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Link Sunday, 09/04/2011
Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO

Soundcheck: 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover Jam, The Way It Goes (attempted multiple times) [Unconfirmed and Possibly Incomplete]

Set 1: Maze, BOTTBack on the Train > Rift > GinBathtub Gin, The Way It Goes[1], Halfway to the Moon, Gumbo, Halley'sHalley's Comet > Tube > TimberTimber (Jerry) > RosesRoses Are Free > CDTChalk Dust Torture

Set 2: R&RRock and Roll -> Come Together[2] -> Twist -> Piper[3] > HoodHarry Hood > Roggae > Ghost -> Guy Forget -> Ghost, WotCWalls of the Cave

Encore: BDTNLBackwards Down the Number Line

[1] Phish debut.
[2] Incomplete.
[3] Page on theremin.

Teases:
· Sneakin' Sally through the Alley tease in Back on the Train
· Low Rider tease in Bathtub Gin
· Streets of Cairo tease in The Way It Goes
· Theme from Charlie Chan tease in Tube
· Low Rider jam in Twist
· Oye Como Va and Guy Forget teases in Ghost
· Rock and Roll quote in Walls of the Cave

Noteworthy Jams: Back on the Train, Bathtub Gin, Tube, Chalk Dust Torture, Piper, Roggae

Average Song Gap: 38.5

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: This show was webcast via LivePhish. This show featured the first Maze opener since December 9, 1995 (536 shows), the first Come Together (albeit incomplete) since December 8, 1995 (537 shows), and the first Guy Forget since October 1, 2000 (199 shows). Back on the Train contained a brief Sneakin' Sally tease from Trey. Bathtub Gin contained Low Rider teases from Trey and Twist subsequently contained a brief Low Rider tease/jam. The Phish debut of Gillian Welch's The Way It Goes included a Streets of Cairo tease from Page. Tube featured a Charlie Chan theme tease by Trey. Towards the end of Chalk Dust, Trey made an "Ssssssss" sound, referring to Friday, September 2, 2011's "S" songtitled show. Piper featured Page on theremin. Ghost contained Oye Como Va teases. After Guy Forget, the end of Ghost contained a Guy Forget quote. Walls of the Cave featured Rock and Roll quotes from Page.

Links:
Photos Official Photos
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download
Video "Bathtub Gin" Official Video
Phish.net Blog Recap Phish.net Recap

Song Distribution:
3 Farmhouse
2 The Story of the Ghost
2 Stash
2 Rift
1 Fuego
1 Joy
1 Round Room
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Lawn Boy

Songs by Debut Year:

waxbanks , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
waxbanks OK, a brief experiment before we get to this wonderful show: grab your copy of the Jones Beach '09 Harry Hood - you do have one, right? - and listen again to the (inevitably disappointing) return to the I-V-IV jam after the blissful ambient passage. Note, in passing, how Fishman back then was aiming toward the kind of lightning-quick, frenetic wall-of-rhythm stuff he's doing now, but without his present insane level of chops. Note too Trey's much-maligned 'whale call' effect pedal. Aah, Phish 2009. How I don't really miss you anymore...

OK. Around 14:40 in the lovely SBD/AUD matrix recording floating out there (ahem), listen now to Trey's *totally out-of-place* insertion of 'Eastern' scalar runs in an otherwise conventional major-chords-all-over jam. Page tries to integrate Trey's statement into the texture of the jam but it's a weird fit, and what should've been a best-ever Hood weirdly kind of limps to the finish line.

What we didn't (couldn't!) know in 2009 was that THAT kind of playing - Trey's uncharacteristic (and clumsy, back then) harmonic experimentation, Page's instant responsiveness, the sheer density of the jam's texture, the awesome possibilities for tension/release latent in that kind of harmonic superposition - all that stuff was gonna blossom, in 2011, into the most interesting new Phish music since at least 1999, maybe even 1997. After the stunning ambient music the chaotichromatic stuff sounded like a flub...but *it*, not the free-floating bliss-space, was the future of Phish's jamming.

Part 2 of our experiment: grab your copy of the 8/15/11 UIC Light and fast-forward to the 4:10 mark (in the SBD). Check out how Trey's playing, over just a handful of choruses, swings from the majestic blues-inflected I-IV movement of the main Light jam, through some tense minor-scale passages, past a series of choppy figures, into a lightning-quick run beneath which PAGE MCCONNELL DOES THE COOLEST THING HE'S EVER DONE.

OK it's a small thing but let's take a breath, then a beat, and see what's happening here. Trey is playing a gnarly run that sounds like IIb or even a whole-tone scale a half-step offset from the usual Light key; Page responds by switching from I-IV-IV (the basic Light pattern) to I-IIb-Vb7, launching off from Trey's bluesy sustained third and chord-climbing even as Trey rockets skyward. It's not earth-shaking music, but the fact is, *Phish don't play like this* - or they didn't used to - and even if Page is secretly giving Trey a modulated I-IV to play with, it sounds so perfectly strange (and vice versa) that for a second it seems they can all of a sudden do anything they want to, again.

The whole thing takes four seconds. In just that much time Page and Trey blow open the sound of the whole jam. As if in celebration, Page hops onto the Hammond organ to fill the sky with Soaring! Technicolor! Noise! Mike, Fish, Trey, and Page get more and more noisy and tense and dissonant and FURIOUS - the light growing brighter, darker, deeper, more present, past and future in painful proximity like matched magnetic poles, the field strengthening...

At 5:40 or so the jam enters its next phase, a loping decrescendo above Fish's clanging cymbal pattern, and we can put down the phone at this point, moving on to 9/4/11. We just had to seed our listening first - to see how Trey's clumsy Jones Beach '09 maneuvers had mutated and matured in two years, how his bandmates were responding in new ways, how the off-kilter chromaticism Trey was reaching for had at last *fully integrated* into a Phish sound that had been, dare I say, a little predictable...

...

...and so OK here comes 9/4/11 Denver. But I'm not gonna talk about the patient Twist, the frightening 'storage shed' psychedelia in Piper, completely integrated 'plinko' section in this instant-classic Hood, thrilling Beatles/Guy Forget bustouts emerging from solid R'n'R and Ghost jams, funky Gin, or even how happy I am to hear this melodramatic but awesome version of Page's Halfway to the Moon. Nah, the hell with the usual happyhappy stuff. Let's just for a second talk about the Chalkdust that closes Set One.

OK. Preliminaries end at 2:40, at which point Trey begins his usual blues soloing, which stays 'inside the box' for just 30 seconds before he brings the volume down and starts a Stash-style tension/release routine. Nothing out of the ordinary for Chalkdust, really, and after a moment it's back to the usual stuff...but by 4:20 Page is rumbling low on the piano, throwing out new chords, Mike is acting a little silly down low, Trey starts with his minimalist patterns, Page is doing chromatic whoopsy-daysies up and down the keys...at 5:30 it's a lightning-quick 'Night in Tunisia' pattern from Trey and we're firmly into the Nü Tonalitas or Le Petit Dissonance whatever we pretentious jackasses want to call it...

Then SHIT at 6:30 the band pulls together for one of its patented 'Let Us All Climax Together Now' downbeats, only Cactus is NOT PLAYING BALL. And for a couple of choruses everything seems to hang together only barely, if at all, with Trey signaling Return and Mike responding with Maintain, Fishman bashing out Release, Page happily spraying Why Not over everything within reach of his (ahem) organ...

The end of the jam is such a colossal group orgasm that Trey manages to totally flub his entrance after the break, before nailing the final written lines. And instead of the grand set-ending major chord the song usually provides in this spot, Trey gives us a short, nasty dissonant minor-chord *rogering* at the outro, all industrial noises and weirdness, before a *perfect* unison hit to close things out.

It's not groundbreaking music; heck, no one aspect of this jam is unprecedented for Phish. It does come back periodically, as it must, to the bluesy peacocking that comprises 99% of all Chalkdust jams. But I'm not sure Phish have ever been able to integrate their melodic, harmonic, atmospheric, and stylistic ideas this well, this consistently, this *effortlessly*.

Yeah - I said 'ever,' as in, as perfect as Fall 1997 is in my mind, the density and well-roundedness of this music has no equal in Phish's gigantic live catalogue. How can I put this? I think they're playing now with a really unprecedented *density of musical information*, by which I mean that while they may still be drawing on templates they established a while back - particularly mid-90's spacy/spacious psychedelia, post-1996 funk, post-1997 ambient textures - the individual components are richer and more complex than they've ever been. The individual players' lines are certainly at peak intricacy and facility (excepting only Trey, *arguably*), but that's not all of it: there's just a palpable spirit of generosity and even bravery, which really brings up the level of all the music.

As if all four players trust themselves and one another so deeply, now, that they can throw out just not Weird and Stupid Ideas, nor Silly ones, nor deliberately Oppositional notions, but finally really Complex ideas...the obvious showcase in 2009-11 has been Light, with its involuted musical snarls and crosshatched tonalities, but jams like this Chalkdust show off just how much each player is offering the other four at all times.

I suspect it's a function of Mike's remarkable move to frontline prominence, but also Page's enormous gains in confidence and assertiveness (think of his leadership role in the Albany '09 Seven > Ghost!), and Trey's newfound directness and solo experimentalism. Not to mention Fish's restored chops, which are as good as they've ever been. (And by the late-90's he was one of the most skilled drummers anywhere.) But it's also a matter of the band having nothing to prove and no one to please but themselves. More and more, their best jams are starting to resemble their freewheeling soundchecks, where they've long experimented with sounds they were too reserved (in a weird way) to bring before the paying audience.

I imagine the (sometimes boring) Superball IX late-nite 'storage shed' jam was a turning point as well - a much-needed reminder of just how far we, the obsessives, are willing to follow Phish's experiments. They're *bolder* now then they've been in a long time...but their instincts for stage performance keep their experiments from the perversity of (say) their pre-1997 music.

My point here is that Phish have always been a fast-moving band, a *brainy* band, but having exhausted musical algebra they've moved into a realm where they can really PLAY with their many musical ideas: a deep ambient jam in Hood, a thunderous 'Endtroducing...' groove emerging from R'n'R, a self-devouring noise groove in Sneakin' Sally, chiming children's soundtrack music in Disease, dark rock'n'roll beats in the Waves outro, eerie chiming chords beneath Undermind, pure industrial noise drowning a funk jam in Light. And the crucial bit, the point I'm desperately trying to make, is that these deep experiments don't sound like experiments, nor accidents, nor exceptions...they're flowing seamlessly and joyfully from the textures of the songs themselves.

Every idea now seems copresent in a way it's simply never been. Phish 1997 could seemingly do anything they wanted do; Phish 2011 seem prepared to do *everything*, to allow all these musical possibilities not just to alternate or succeed one another (One Idea Per Minute) but to intermingle and cross-pollinate.

I'm so goddamn happy about this music right now. So excited to hear these men make such joyful and *adult* music. Maybe past the formalism and mere information I've been repeating these last N paragraphs, maybe THAT is the whole point of the thing. I wish most of all to tell you that it gives me joy, and I hope the same for you. In and through and with this music we've loved for such a long time, the ridiculous lot of us...to live so close to so rich and true a thing as this ever-growing music is a blessing, if that word means anything. This afternoon, at least, I'd like to believe that it does.

Or not, whatever. I mean it's just a concert review. Hey here's a summary DOWNLOAD THE SHOW ITS AWESOME U WILL LOVE IT THEY EVEN PLAYED A SOLID A- VERSION OF PIPER :)
Score: 27
paulj , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
paulj At setbreak, a couple was married in Section 128. Much cheering ensued.
Score: 20
1withefluff , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
Phish at their absolute best. this show had me in a state of utter euphoria. Thank you, livephish.com for making couch tour possible. all i can say about this show is... the first set was awesome. maze > back on the train were fantastic. great jams. rift was super tight and featured some phenominal playing by page. halleys > tube > timber > roses. you can play whatever the fuck you want after that. I'll leave happy. oh, chalkdust? sure. thanks.

Set II:

okay... phew... things got off to a great start. R&R great opener... come together? awesome! great twist jam. things got hysterical somewhere between piper and the encore break. okay, the hood jam is a MUST hear. all four of them locked onto some amazing grooves that were blended together in absolute PERFECT harmony. > roggae > ghost fantastic!!!! can't stress this enough. DOWNLOAD THIS SHOW. favorite 3.0 show. by far. finished the set with an absolutely perfect walls of the cave.

this is a show that deserves a live phish CD release or DVD or something. it was great. really, take my advice. download it!
Score: 8
smelt , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
I just got home from this show. My face is melted.
Score: 7
mangobrain , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
mangobrain Although I can't say that I'd look at the set list and go bananas, I did listen online and woke up this morning to find my face still partially melted. For several long years, I considered myself a disaffected Phish Phan, having seen them a bunch from the mid-nineties to the turn of the century. After moving to Argentina, I almost completely lost touch, only listening to older shows (I have an affinity for their older stuff). The Webcast has brought me right back into the fold; I've even come to appreciate stuff on later albums that I previously rolled my eyes at, which means: Phish is rocking.

Anyway, I'd just like to give a shout-out to those who provided the stream, GFH and Moo.

Long Live Phish!!!!!!!!!!!
Score: 7
nichobert , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
nichobert Not sure if I'd consider this show to have any "terrible lows" - Come Together was kinda messy (We're not counting the 5th Ball as the last time it was played? Maybe they forgot how to play it without Jim Carrey?) as they didn't seem to be on the same page about how much of the song they were going to play.. Same thing with Halley's where it briefly seemed as if they thought they were playing Suzy and had to drop out for Page's solo.

Either way, I'll take those two minor hiccups and a second set that stayed cohesive and interesting all the way to the end over a second set that morphs into an encore with 25 minutes left :)

Wonderful to see Halfway To The Moon and Roggae played in a show with a lot of replay value as both songs don't seem to get the credit they deserve, plus Walls Of The Cave feeling like it belonged for perhaps the first time ever- I'd still love to see them jam into or out of the first verse and ignore the 2nd section completely once or twice but last night was ripping.
Perfect 4 song start to the show featuring a grand Maze opener, the likewise underrated BOTT, always welcome Rift and one of the best Bathtubs of the past decade. The Way It Goes was quite nice, and while unfortunately Halfway To The Moon didn't stretch to 40 minutes and finish the set who can really complain about a stretch of Gumbo, Halley's, Tube, Timber, Roses, Chalkdust?

A lot of people, apparently. While all those songs have reached sparkling improvisational heights, none of them were ever a guarantee to produce a Type II improv segment. Roses in particular seems to always be followed by a wave of "Why didn't they jam it out?"- They only "Jammed it out" on 4/3/98 and 12/31/99 so I don't know where the expectancy comes from when Fee has had more amazing long jams in the past 12 years than Roses. Gumbo, Halley's, Tube, Timber & Chalkdust have had a few more long exploratory jams in their history but I'd be surprised if more than 5% of their total versions resulted in the type II facemelting which everyone strangely expects.

Personally, I think it's more fun to bitch about why they didn't jam out Camel Walk or Halfway To The Moon or Foam or Bouncin' or something. I'm giddy for the future.
Score: 7
JordyBug , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
JordyBug This was one of the best shows musically I have ever seen from Phish. Starting off with Maze just setting it off. Maze was tight, concise and just enough pure ripping to get things to a pace most fans love to just dig in and pie up. As a coincedence two of the footnotes to the show happen to be shows I was in attendance. Albany '95 and Phoenix '00. Those were different times my friends. I really do not like trying to compare shows prior to Coventry against the new and improved 3.0 and I wont do it now. 3.0 is somewhere near an apex right now in my opinion however I dont see a downturn anywhere in the near future..... Sorry, back to the review at hand.

Great BOTT jam, as fluid as ever and very funky at pionts. Gin was stellar. The jam in Gin was a window into what the boys were going to try and execute all night, just unadultarated improv. After a nice breather with Mike and Page tunes the hammer was about to be dropped on us by an 800 pound gorrilla. Gumbo through Chalkdust were stunning. Each song with very different personas, the band was just rolling hitting each distinct song with fervor and strength. Tube started off right out of Halley's, what a transition. Tube had all the strength of any I've heard the past couple years. After this run of songs I had absolutely no doubt the second would be sick.

R&R was belted. Page was on fire. I think Come Together was great considering it was taken out of thin air. Although this hard Beatles tune was abbreiviated it was still pulled off pretty well. Again, a hard tune to play live. Now at this point my attention shifted to a run of songs that will undoubtedly go down in phishtory. I was blown away. It had a late 90's feel, maybe a summer or fall '99. Twist->Piper was perfect. Give and take all the way from all of the band. I think at one point it was Fish that needed a breather from just pelting the skins non-stop. Hood began a stanza that was super fun, creative and elemental. Jam out of Hood was rocking and Roggae was stong and clean. Ghost -> Guy Forget-> Ghost had me stunned. This was the moment it all came together and was undoubtely the pinnacle of the night. Funny, serious, and all out blasted finale. WOTC was also nailed and a great exclemation piont on the night. I actually love BDTNL as an anthem of sorts and it really put things in perspective on a a night, a final tour night, a beautiful Denver night and a thank you to fans and friends alike. Super Show.

TY P
Score: 6
LG221 , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
Only the best band in the world!!! No big deal or anything.....
Score: 4
ColForbin Phish.net Staff , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
ColForbin After hearing the soundcheck (curiously a SBD leak - how did that happen?) where the band was working out Gillian Welch's The Way it Goes, I made a last minute decision to buy the webcast. Couldn't find my DVI->HDMI cable, so it ended up being desk tour instead of couch tour for me.

Maze and Back on the Train were very well-played, and made for an extremely high energy/danceable start of the show, but I'll admit I didn't really start feeling this set until the Gin. This Gin was really smoking, not quite as amazing as the Golden Age Gin from Bethel, but a top version to be sure. Neat little Low Rider tease from Trey at the very end, didn't catch it live but clear as day on re-listening. The Way it Goes had a cool arrangement (on the album, it's only 2 guitars), but Mike and Trey's voices don't quite live up to the original. It's clear this version was played with a lot of love, however, particularly on Mike's part, who has covered Welch with his solo project before. Halfway to the Moon is such a great song, great use of Page on vocals, just hope it shows up more in the future. The rest of the set was somewhat typical set 1 fare, although some of the transitions between the songs were cool.

Set 2 is where this show really shines. Rock and Roll was spectacular, with an incredibly surprising and random and cool segue into Come Together. As I wrote on twitter when it happened: *jaw drops*. It was a pretty messy version, but for a song they've only played once before, it was a hell of a lot of fun. Twist is relatively short, but the extended tease of Low Rider was awesome - and in retrospect, after noticing the brief tease by Trey in Gin, it is one of my favorite things Phish does - take an idea and reference it repeatedly through a show (i.e. the Wipeout show). Piper has to be heard to be believed; whether or not the jam is teasing Roadrunner (I think not) it is still great when the band latches on to a theme like that, and whenever you start getting incomprehensible vocals from Trey in a jam you know it is a good one. I love that the Page's theremin has gone from being a novelty to showing up in awesome jams and lending some spacey textures. Harry Hood and Roggae with both played at a very high level, and shouldn't be overlooked given the greatness in the rest of the set. Ghost started off at an extremely high tempo and continued to rage and then Fishman started singing the words "Guy Forget." Eventually the band caught on and played the second version of Guy Forget ever (might have to turn in my fan card for this, but I had never heard the original up to this point). Just a great segue. Walls of the Cave is one of my favorite 2.0 songs, and they have really breathed new life into it this summer to the point where it is an appropriately high energy set closer. The Rock and Roll "all rights" during the jam from Page sealed the deal - spectacular set. The Number Line encore, while not one of my favorite choices for an encore, fit nicely with the end of tour vibe.

This set is a great example of what top-tier 3.0 Phish can be, while it lacked a really long epic jam a la some of 2.0 and 1.0 every song played was at such a high level that the sum was greater than its parts. If this is 3.0 going forward, put me down for another 18 years of fandom.

8.5 on the SJCRS.
Score: 3
landladylover , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
landladylover The entire show was truly amazing energy from the band/audience/CK5, but the second set was really fluid and touching. Hood and Roggae absolutely blew me away. Honestly the best versions I've heard, let alone seen in person. What happened with the Piper/Low Rider and the Ghost/Guy Forget was out of this world. So freaking fun. The WoTC closer was damn near perfection, and the BDTNL encore really fit well. I couldn't have asked for a better ending!
Also-a shout out to Mike for his "That's the Way it Goes" Gillian Welch cover, and to Page for "Halfway to the Moon". They were both played beautifully.
Score: 3
cristilclear , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
Hmmm.

Well, apparently Fish's reversed color, kisses instead of hugs, pinned at the shoulder dress wasn't doing it for him since he changed during set break. Interesting twist though.

Love it when Mike plays Gillian Welch songs. Don't much like it when partial songs are played, as in Come Together. Trey redeemed himself, as usual, during the Hood jam though when he sprinkled some kind of heart-centered fireworks right onto my couch and through my heart. Like Cupid.

Page was 100% tonight, as usual. 1/2 Way to the Moon is so beautiful.

Pretty awesome.
Score: 2
pelswick , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
Overall awesome show, watched the stream and the guys were on fire. Maze opener was insane and set the insanity of the show. Tube > timber was great. The set closer chalk dust was the best ive seen since last summer. When they were playing come together it seemed as if they didnt practice it and felt a bit off but still decent. When the band left after the encore and only played backwards down the numberline i was kinda dissapointed, i thought the tour would have ended with a bigger band and a longer encore. Still had a great time watching the show and cant wait for the next tour.
Score: 2
JARdale , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
This show was out of hand at times. The jam with Page on the theremin was one of the greatest jams I have ever heard. So many songs just kept peaking when I thought they would end them. Truly amazing.
Score: 2
JonnyRingo , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
Personally, the 9/4, Sunday show was my favorite night of the run. For starters the song selection for the most part was superb, the jams had great direction and creativity, teases were everywhere and both sets included many of my favorite Phish songs. “Maze” opened the show (first “Maze” opener since 12/09/95) however the first real heat of the night came during “Bathtub Gin.” During the song’s jam segment the band quickly dropped into a funk groove that carried through the entire jam, basically setting the tone for a night of groove based jams. The following number was an unexpected surprise, the Phish debut of the Gillian Welch song, “The Way it Goes.” The song is a mid-tempo country number featuring Gordon on lead vocal and didn’t seem to do much for the crowd on-hand as most didn’t know what the song was. Perhaps the strongest aspect of Sunday’s first set was the unbelievable flow after the band got through the mid-set breather “Halfway to the Moon.” The set ending run of “Gumbo, Halley’s Comet > Tube > Timber (Jerry) > Roses Are Free > Chalk Dust Torture” was simply awesome. Great playing, great flow, great Phish.

Sunday’s second set gets my pick for set of the weekend—the band was firing on all cylinders, almost every jam had unique elements and chances were being taken by the band as a whole. The second set opener “Rock and Roll” was typically great and worked perfectly as a launching point which segued into “Come Together.” The musical segue itself was effortless and smooth, at least until the vocals came in. Sure, the band totally botched the vocals and chord changes to “Come Together,” which was the first since performance since 12/08/95, but it really didn’t matter; it seemed totally spontaneous and was great fun. “Twist” followed and the tune has actually become a 3.0 favorite of mine with its steroid funk jam. This one is especially notable and has a great series of “Low Rider” teases that flow through it and also segues nicely into a very unique “Piper.” “Piper” came out of its vocal refrain blazing before settling into a major key groove that featured a really cool “Roadrunner” tease that carried on for a few minutes. “Harry Hood” was simply wonderful and the band seemed to finally be getting their Hood-swagger back by slowly trying to include the much-missed jam peak near the end of the gorgeous segment before the vocal refrain—easily one of the more inspired versions I’ve heard in 3.0 and very refreshing to hear this song begin to finally show some life in 2011. “Roggae” was yet another highlight and this version differed greatly from the majestic Gorge version last month. Sunday’s version included a big build in the jam segment which then gave way to the quiet/loud segment which was missing from the Gorge version. “Ghost -> Guy Forget -> Ghost” (first “Guy Forget” since 10/01/00) continued the groove-based set and I was a little taken back by the “Walls of the Cave” set closer. I honestly thought they had another song or two in them. I was equally surprised by the single-song “Backwards Down the Number Line” encore but then again, I wasn’t that surprised; Phish is going to do whatever they feel like doing and I guess that’s the song that got Trey writing Phish songs again. Overall Sunday was a pretty stellar show and it provided a perfect coda to a weekend of Phish shows.
Score: 2
CreatureoftheNight , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
CreatureoftheNight Sunday predictably took a bit more energy to pull off. We were all tired, running an hour or so later than the day before. Thankfully the band never showed a single second of fatigue the entire weekend.

The first four songs could have been solid second set material. A ripping Maze, a very hyped BOTT and fireworks all over the Bathtub Gin. I told Bill, this was the night, forget the other two. Next came one for Mike and Page. I would love to see Halfway to the Moon opened up. The changes have a lot of possibilities. Most of the remaining set brought out first set tunes we all wanted to hear in rapid succession. Gumbo through Roses have all been seriously jammed a few times, so I always hold out hope it will happen again. Halley's into Tube gave the band some nice extra credit and Chalkdust finished off a fun first set.

Pausing only for a few seconds during the entire second set, the band played with passion all the way through. Rock and Roll indeed! (Come Together was, mmmm, I'll leave that one alone.)
Twist and Piper are both in my top 5, so I love to hear them on any night. I never dreamed of such a stellar transition from one song to the other. Patient is a word I keep using a lot. Roadrunner was a great ride and Page got another chance to wail on the theremin. The Hood is what I'll listen to the most from this show. The jam recalls Woosta in the first few minutes and then goes its own way. Less popcorn bounce, but adds in an endless amount of emotion. Multiple people around us were crying tears of joy, probably the most I've ever seen at a show. It makes sense that I saw the guy with a "Thank You" sign at some point.

Back at home, my wife was watching the webcast with a good friend. She saw her first shows at the Gorge this year and wasn't even sure if she would watch all 3 Denver shows. Roggae is her favorite Phish song and they gave her another spectacular version. Thanks for helping me get my wife hooked!

Dropping a Ghost towards the end of the weekend pumped us all up. The question was what type of beast would it be? By the time they stopped singing, we knew this one would jam. Guy Forget!? Totally insane.

If they're going to give a few signature songs a rest, Walls can fit in very well in their place. Denver's version brought the fire again to a set that overflowed with it. Backwards capped the night with a celebratory jam and a few hugs. I was totally spent, but I couldn't stand still during the last song of tour.

The only negative moment of the entire weekend was the post show music: 9 to 5. Do they really need to rub it in like that? Thankfully, Phish afterglow set in and I let the evening take me where it wanted.

For the third night in a row, Phish dropped an impressive second set. It is really hard to say which night was my favorite because of the band's consistency right now. They played song based shows in Denver, but threw in jams that got right to the essence. Amazingly efficient playing. The band's unity and sense of purpose right now is hard to ignore. I talked to a lot of locals who have been to a few shows or people who haven't seen the band in years. All of them were just as blown away as I was. Perfect and getting better. There's no place I'd rather be.

PS: Get the sound check. The 50 Ways Jam is amazing!
Score: 2
Cerias , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
Beautiful night, though it got a little chilly towards the end. I must give a shoutout for the Bathtub Gin - it was wonderful. Playing was extremely energetic and in-sync. Sooooooo glad I went ...
Score: 1
IMLEATH , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
IMLEATH Real proper stuff from my favorite band.
Score: 1
nails4breakfast , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
Very deliberate "Mind Left Body" progression from Trey towards the end of Piper while Page is on theremin.
Score: 1
floydthecpanzee , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
floydthecpanzee I have to comment on this one more time ... I can't stop listening to this freaking show. This show and this whole weekend stand up to Phish of ANY era. Really the culmination of Phish turning into PHISH again. And I would like to point out that they destroyed 3 days without:

YEM, Mike’s Groove, Bowie, any Gamehenge (except for Sloth), Crosseyed & Painless, Carini, Drowned, PYITE, NICU, Curtain, Mound, The (poor displaced)Horse, and finally ... BOUNCIN’ for heaven’s sake

Not too shabby
Score: 1
joker , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
God I love these guys! What a great vibe at the show.
Score: 0
stumbledinn , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
There were some giant flubs and terrible lows in thus show. But the energy and willingness to take risks more than made up for it. They seemed slightly out of control and I love that. Wow!!
Score: 0
floydthecpanzee , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
floydthecpanzee The energy and overall flow of this show were amazing ... this whole weekend had a very dancy vibe to it, I think, and this show was the culmination ... they destroy every song they touch but never loose that wook dance party feel ... even when they go to another dimension in piper it keeps that vibe ... this is why I keep listening to the phish from vermont
Score: 0
HotPale , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
HotPale MAZE!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAAAATTT???? YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
Score: 0
ithacapete , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
ithacapete I love this show. I was there. If my memory is worth a lick I told my friend that I thought that the Saturday show was more fun to be at but this show was better. This show is a must listen. I have posted about this before and when bust out of Come Together is the lowlight of the show(I liked it but as a whole prolly the weakest song they played just saying) you have a terrific show. If you only saw this on the net or listened to it on a recording I don't think you appreciate how awesome this was live. Phish in soccer arenas is way more of a "rock" concert. As someone whose musical tastes falls more in line with rock and punk I LOVE to see them in soccer stadiums because the music just incubates in there and is way more in your face then say Alpine.
Score: 0
n00b100 , attached to 2011-09-04 Permalink
n00b100 The massive tour-closing party yin to 8/15/11's musical masterpiece yang. Set I opens with a powerful Maze, gets a strong, Mike-led jam in Gin that ends with Trey scaling some heights in his solo (with fun Low Rider teases), contains a wonderful new cover in The Way It Goes (I do like me some Gillian Welch - I'd like to hear Phish cover Revelator, since MGB does a very good job with it), and has a strong six-song closing sequence that flows well together, even without any jams. A first set with a Timber (especially a Timber where Trey really shreds like he does here) is not a first set to be trifled with, IMO.

The second set starts with an exciting rendition of Rock & Roll that doesn't go Gorge deep but provides an energetic opening to one of the most compulsively listenable sequences of 3.0. Then the band starts going into what might be C&P, but the jam then morphs into a surprise Come Together, and while the version is rickety and obviously unrehearsed, it's still a cool surprise. Come Together makes a surprisingly natural segue into Twist, which is a fine version if not spectacular (although the Low Rider callback is inspired), but segues wonderfully into a Piper that IS spectacular and includes a really interesting mid-set jam that sounds like a pre-written song, it's so naturally created by the band, before getting ugly and (as @waxbanks noted) storage-y at the end, modulating tempo between sludgy, slow weirdness and fast-paced crazed weirdness, Page's theremin swirling around everything like a mischievous ghost. That's the first half of the set, and it's a hell of a first half.

Then comes a marvelous (mid-set!) Hood, the peak all the more gorgeous by dint of being mid-set, and a slow, sweet Roggae to give everyone a moment to relax, before the last big jam of the night. And that big jam is a glorious Ghost, which dips slightly in intensity before blooming big and bright and immediately heading for Guy Forget, which is played with rocket-powered intensity, then slides neatly back into Ghost for one last burst of rock. WOTC and #L are just fine closers.

What else can I say about this show? It's a true classic, with a strong first set and an absolute celebration of a second set. Just wonderful.
Score: 0

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