Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
Soundcheck: Jam, My Soul, Timber (jam only), Buffalo Bill
Set 1: SampleSample in a Jar, Sparkle, SlothThe Sloth, Sweet Virginia, Susskind Hotel, Strange Design, Stash, Sneakin' SallySneakin' Sally Through the Alley -> Sparks > SOAMuleScent of a Mule, STFTFPStealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Shine a Light, SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt, CoilThe Squirming Coil
Set 2: Sand > Simple -> Steam > Soul Shakedown Party -> Seven Below > SuzySuzy Greenberg > Scents and Subtle Sounds > SlaveSlave to the Traffic Light > SilentSilent in the Morning > Sanity, Sweet Adeline
 No intro.
 Running Away quotes from Fishman.
Notes: This was the first of three Pay Per view performances and was brought to you by the letter "S." Sparks was played for the first time since November 29, 1996 (463 shows). Sweet Adeline was played for the first time since August 1, 1999 (285 shows). Silent was played without the Horse for the first time since December 13, 1999 (251 shows). Sabotage was played for the first time since November 21, 1998 (318 shows). Scents did not have the intro. Sanity contained Running Away (Bob Marley) quotes from Fishman.
Trey was energetic and full of life tonight, but Mike Gordon drove the bus and elevated the performance. Sally>Sparks was a real musical treat, but Stealing Time and even Susskind Hotel were notable for their enthusiastic deliveries.
The segue of the night is the Simple>Steam, but the entire second set smoothly fit together and never felt forced, with the exception of a slightly out-of-place Silent in the Morning. At one point (I believe during the end of Seven Below) Fishman was so lost in a jam that when Mike walked over to tell him what they planned to do, Fish never even noticed him. Eventually rest of the band were all staring at Fish grinning, looking at their drummer whose eyes were closed while he was lost in the moment.
A Soul Shakedown Party indeed.
P.S. I'll probably get a -1 for this..since some fool did it to all the other reviews for this show..
To put the Friday show into perspective think about this: Two Rolling Stones songs (“Sweet Virginia,” and “Shine a Light”) were played in the same set, The Who’s “Sparks” was played for the first time since 11/29/96, the Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage” was played for the fourth time-ever, the first time since 11/21/98, “Sweet Adeline” was played for first time since 08/01/99, “Silent in the Morning” was played for the fourth time-ever without it’s typical intro “The Horse,” “Soul Shakedown Party” was played for the third time since 2004 and “Suskind Hotel” was played for the second time-ever. On paper this show would make most Phish junkies drool. It is easily the biggest stat-building show of the summer. However, as crazy as the show concept was and as sporadic as the song selection might have seemed, or felt, there were definite highlights. The Mike Gordon-penned song “Suskind Hotel” was a pleasant first set surprise, providing the first inspired weekend solo from guitarist Trey Anastasio. The crowd energy in the first set seemed to really take off during the “Sneaking Sally through the Alley > Sparks > Scent of a Mule, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan” run, the later featured some smoking guitar work from Anastasio as well. By set break everyone at the show was buzzing with “S” excitement—would the “S” theme continue in the second set? If so, what songs would they play? Truth is, at that point it didn’t matter if the first set lacked flow, the “S” buzz had taken over and that carried into the night’s second set.
Perhaps by sheer luck, Friday’s second set flowed better than the first and the opener “Sand” only fueled the crowd energy. A few of my personal second set highlights include a very beautiful and often underrated “Scents and Subtle Sounds” that gradually slid into a pretty divine “Slave to the Traffic Light,” which could have easily ended the set and left the crowd roaring for an encore. The “Sanity” and “Sweet Adeline” that followed and the “Sabotage” encore continued the “S” madness and were all fun, at times hysterically funny, and totally unexpected. Was Friday night a mind-blowing show? No, it really wasn’t. But it sure was fun as hell and was absolutely entertaining to be there.
I experienced a lot more of the pre-show butterflies than normal. For some unexplained reason, I was much more pumped for this show than usual. The Sloth only fueled my fire.
Our area of page side started chattering after the start of Suskind. Something was definitely up. Songs were especially spicy, and we all made calls for the rest of the set list. Throughout the night, one by one, all of us seemed to get a few right. Scent of a Mule got a huge response from our side of the crowd, but I was most excited about my first Sparks and great jams out of Sally and Melt.
Sand can do no wrong right now. This version will stand the test of time for me because it was so patient. Trey doesn't go for the jugular until the very end, allowing Page and Mike to play a bigger role. The peak was still HUGE, don't get me wrong. Simple brought its usual sweetness and Steam finally payed me a visit. Seven Below was my favorite jam of the night, mostly for the last few minutes. Suzy slammed into Scents and Subtle Sounds telling us there wasn't going to be a break. Keep moving people. Trey's endless sustain in Slave helped set up the final emotional moment of the show. This version reminded me that this song will never be ordinary again.
The most impressive thing about Friday night was how engaging it was from start to finish. No filler whatsoever. Even ballads seemed to have more luster. Jamming was sprinkled throughout the entire show and the set list had to be creative to work. We'd get big jams the next two nights, but I left feeling like I didn't need anything at all.
I wanted to comment on an earlier review stating that the only exploratory jamming in this show occurred during SOAM and Seven Below. Although I agree that those jams are great and some of the best of the night, the jam from Simple into Steam is both exploratory and pretty darn good as well. It's not very long but I would definitely recommend giving it a spin.
In the campground after this show, I think one of the common themes was "Phish is REALLY back." That sums up pretty well my entirely satisfied state of mind at the end of this show ...
My highlights of the show was
Stash and Slit Open and Melt from set 1.
Sand>Simple, Seven below, Scents & Subtle Sounds>Slave
I was not a big fan of the Sabatoge encore. didin't really care for it in 98 and I don't much care for it now other than it was fun. But I do feel that it probably was one of those "lets play this song I know we haven't practiced it since 11/21/98, but what the hell we sabatoged these people tonight."
As for the crap above that are not reviews, I really hope they do something here on this site to be able to fix this non review of reviews.