This show was webcast via LivePhish. Prior to Heavy Things, Trey noted that it shared the same chords as Icculus, but had very different lyrics. This show featured the Phish debut of Easy To Slip. Sand included an Also Sprach Zarathustra tease from Fish. Hood and Silent were unfinished. This show featured the first performance of Oh Sweet Nuthin' since August 15, 2010 (120 shows). Continuing a tradition of wordplay at shows performed at Dick's, the first letters of the songs played at this show in reverse order revealed the message "Most Shows Spell Something."
First, the S'ssssss. Then Fuck Your Face. Now Most Shows Spell Something. Backwards! But, once again, one ultimately needs to forget the gimmick. Because what's style without substance? All three run-opening shows over the last the three years have shared a common characteristic: Face Melting and leaving a Blank Space Where My Mind Should Be by the end of each show.
There are folks 'round here that are much better qualified for the blow by blow/song by song description. I feel it suffice it to say that the sheer execution of said setlist was essentially off-da-hook for the entire evening, IMHO only one jam (Twist) did reach for yet did not achieve total liftoff. Everything else did, from the Ghost start to the wonderfully wistful Meatstick closer with a blow-me-away Easy To Slip slipped in there in the middle as a musical pearl. Sneaky good this band is...and my birthday show still awaits me today! How lucky does one get...ready to receive the further embarrassment of musical riches they have in store for us over the next two nights. This is why one travels thousands of miles in order to celebrate with dozens of friends over an entire weekend. Because in the end, they do love Dick's...wow!
Well, what to say about this show? There was a cleansing kind of downpour a few hours before the show that seemed to clear the air and set up a beautiful night. I took my 12 year son to his first Phish show, and really couldn't have asked for a better night. We had a great spot about 20 feet in front of the stage, directly in front of Trey. We were surrounded by some really great people; friendly, kind, and funny. There was a whole crew from Philly that we connected with, who were gracious and seemed to love the fact that my boy was having such a great time. Just spectacular!
Well, on to the music... Ghost opener was welcome in a spot that it doesn't normally occupy. It was a really vibrant version, jammed well (and contained a couple of Guy Forget notes from Trey? Maybe I was hearing things...) and was a portend for the rest of the night. Next was a fun NICU, and then the ICCULUS! There was a plane flying around pre-show that trailed the message "Read The Book" behind it, which Trey referenced in the story (as well as loving Dick's). It was really indicative of the fun that the boys were having, as you can hear Trey laughing during this. The crowd just loved it, as did I. On a side note, the aforementioned crew from Philly were on to them spelling something backwards the moment they began Icculus (as the first three spelled I-N-G). This began the speculation about what they were going to spell, as well as the guessing of what was coming next. I'm not gonna lie, when they played Heavy and Theme, we were on to the word "Something", and for me that meant that there was a strong possibility that "Esther" ( a song I have been chasing for 21 years) would be played. And I got my wish. I was ecstatic, and treated to a wonderful version; phucking phantastic! Thank you, thank you, thank you. A strong Moma > Ocelot, Stash came next. Stash was really nice and focused. It was good Type-I jamming (I hope I am getting that right), and considering where they played it, was a compact version, yet still well-thought out. Lawn Boy saw Page channeling his inner lounge singer. From where I sat he really looked like he was hamming it up for the camera. Those of you on Couch Tour could probably confirm this, but he really seemed to be wooing the lens ... When they began Limb by Limb (which was very good), we all figured it would end the set and they would open Set II with Energy (as it was either going to be "smell" or "spell" that came next, seemingly). But, much to our delight, it was the Phish debut of Easy to Slip. I recognized the song from the times I saw Weir/Wasserman in the summer of 1991, as well as Bob Weir's other incarnations. But admittedly, didn't know it was a Little Feat tune; i now know :-).
During set break, patting my own back (Captain Obvious that I am), I called the PYITE -> Sand opener. Merely because I figured it would be spell rather than smell. Anyway, they were wonderful versions of both, though I give the nod to Sand here. And though it didn't reach the epic heights of last year's at Dick's, it was still excellent. God damn, these guys were really treating us to something beautiful! Moving on, those around me deduced that Say Something would follow (Say Something, Spell Something), but, I stopped following there, assuming that it was a Fuck Your Face type end a la last year. But, I was wrong. A strong Walls was next, with a really nice fleshing out. Oh Kee Pa was fun as usual, and we were kind of expecting Suzy, but got a good, albeit unfinished, Hood next. My son was enthralled with the ensuing glowstick war that followed (which I promised him would come). Next came a "horseless" Silent in the Morning (which they have been doing lately) that lead to Twist, which seemed to not be as jammed out as others, but still a solid offering. The set ended with a really contemplative and thoughtful Slave that for me was a nice statement of laying a guitar down gently and walking away, as opposed to beating it to death (like Pete Townsend) in the form of a rocker (like Antelope). I like those endings too, but on this night, it seemed appropriate. The double encore was nice, as my son got one of his wishes seeing Meatstick (mine too, love it).
I want to sincerely thank Phish for such a beautiful night under the clouds, as well as those around us that added to the ambiance. A great night, and I can't wait for tonight's show!
An interesting gimmick, sure to send some people pouring back though setlists looking for messages from the past. Fortunately, Esther is the only song representing the most common letter in the English language to be played more than 4 times.
Solid and concise Ghost as a surprise opener. Seemed Page doninated at first with Trey playing languidly, but then Trey went for the jugular.
eally enjoyed Fishman during NICU.
The 25th Icculus ever, and the 1st in set 1 since Halloween 95 was a treat and clued us that the fix was in. Before Heavy Things there's some funny banter about the chords and lyrics of Icculus and Heavy Things.
It's an interesting dichotomy. Icculus has foreboding music but (generally, brusquely) a message of positivity and hope for the future. Heavy Things has the happiest music ever, combined with lyrics that roam from sad sack to menacing and back again. "she rips and tears my ventricles, steals my one remaining breath" and what not.
During Heavy Things I said "if the next song starts with T they're going to spell Spell Something or Spell Anything backwards, In honor of all the people wondering if they'll spell something. Is Vegas taking bets on Esther and Ocelot?" - I was pretty close at least!
Page is so awesome on Heavy Things. Theme>Esther was a great pairing. Theme was paced well and really deliberate in its ascent whiie the Esther really popped. Moma seemed to tug at its leash, Fishman unleashing some tasty rolls. Ocelot broke free for a bit, It reminded me of one of those super patient Julius jams where they take it down quiet and slowly methodically work back upwards. Or maybe it's just like Julius in that it's hard to tell when one rises above the pack.
Stash went for MPPs title belt with some cool key changes. It didnt win it, but definitely my 2nd favorite Stash of the year. Fishman continued his MVP set with some unobtrusive woodblock / roto-Tom work. Mike added some really crisp basslines to counterpoint Trey's staccato pointilism as they slipped into a major key jam. Just phenomenal interplay in Stash again. It's so nice to hear Stash and Bowie regain their greatness through pure inspired communication instead of just tacking 10 minutes of extra jam on. Page's ascending chords into the crescendo and then Jerry Lee Lewising of the piano.. Golly. What a release! The second half of this Stash is amazing.
The Limb almost reprises the Stash jam in a few points with Page playing a similar style. It sounds like they're improvising the multifaceted surface of some glowing crystal in this jam. Poor Cactus seems a little insistent on taking into a darker realm. Or maybe he's just throwing the shadow that puts the jam into stark relief. They crest into the crescendo so nicely a and Trey fan shreds for a few seconds. Beautifully done Limb.
Easy To Slip.. Well. The beginning was a disaster. The first sign of some surprising sloppiness that would be an issue throughout set 2. The jam section has some great push and pull from Fish. I can easily imagine the triumphant ending chords being used as a launch pad for great things. Unfortunately, they may have just needed an E song that wasnt Energy - sure to be massive in the next 2 nights, or Emotional Rescue - played at Dicks last year.
On to set 2..
The Landlady segments in PYITE were really inspired and mildly atypical. Pretty great if you ask me. One of those PYITEs that makes me think about how surprising it is that they've never jammed this song out, or really done a monster segue into it. This one was dripping with potential!
I could have sworn I heard some DEG towards the beginning of the Sand jam last night but on re-listen im not hearing it. Trey keeps everything tethered to Sand for the first half, but Fish and Page are all over the place yet again. Then it mutates and it almost sounds like Antelope, Gin and Weekapaug for fleeting moments. At around 12 minutes it sounds a lot like a 97 funk jam from a Weekapaug. Things get kind of staccato, then things get incredibly sloppy. Mike stopped playing at one point and visibly sighed. It's great that truly sloppy moments stick out like a sore thumb now. Especially after my salad days in the 97-00 range when extreme flubs and slop were part of the package on a routine basis. But yeah. This Sand ends hideously. When Say Something started it made more sense. My assumption is part of the band thought they were going to work the funk jam straight into this. The other part didnt.
Say Something seemed less tight than the Phish debut, but it followed Energy's framework for new songs to a tee. Pushing the jam of the second version a ittle further than the debut. Nice melt into Walls.
Walls was bursting at the seams with energy. Page brought the thunder and Trey ended up getting really grimey with his solo. Great stuff.
Oh Kee Pah had some issues but it popped more than usual thanks to some incredible Fishman.
Hood showed major flashes of Worcester 2010 with the staccato interplay and some of Mike's specific basslines. Page on the Rhodes was a welcome addition keeping this plinko jam a little gauzy.
They've segued out of Hood a bunch of times the last few years, but this segue into Silent was utter perfection. I guess my imagination runs too wild, but I thought they were on the verge of going back into Hood every single measure of the Silent ending, oh well lol.
On one hand, I thought I loved this placement of Twist.. But then it seemed kind of anticlimactic. There were a few really cool wrinkles including one where they seemed to bore into a little improv black hole but they don't last long. Few seconds here and there. If I could back seat drive this set, I'd say Taste would be the exact right song to go in that T slot. We got some woos! And the. The crowd finally annoyed me with a Woo by doing it in Slave!
Slave started off really active, then calmed down to normal realms for the start of a Slave..ending up hitting yet another massive peak for the song. They're really blowing this one up lately.
Overall... I'd say it's a decent show. I'd expect the next 2 nights to top it handily though. Just a little disjointed from a setlist perspective and sloppier than I'm used to for 2013 Phish.
Seek out.. Stash, Limb, Hood-> Silent, Ocelot, Slave and Sand.
This show was fun to watch couch tour style. What I loved was the song choices they used for each song. No one correctly guessed any of the songs for each letter maybe besides ocelot. Esther? No one saw that coming as we'll as the phish debut of easy to slip. It was a fun guessing game to play. I think a lot of us thought the spelling ended with Sand completing Spell. But no they kept going and it was a fun wheel of fortune type show to play. Glad I didn't bet though.
Highlights for me was the obvious Icculus. I also think Stash was jammed pretty well and may be the best stash of the year thus far. Also the pairing of Oh! Sweet Nothing Nothing and Meatstick was fantastic. Sweet Nothing is a perfect encore song and Meatstick has shown over time to be one of the best ways to close a show (next to tweeprise).
This show was the start to my journey across the nation after my college graduation. My girlfriend (another devout fan thankfully) and i set out from boston a week before and spent time camping and driving...alot. A massive change from the lush coast line and sub tropical forest I grew up in I had never been west of virginia. The days of Corn, soy and oat field monocultures had me about as low as i could feel, disappointed in what had become of the plains I imagined.
But when I went up to grab a beer before the show and wound up talking to a middle-aged man that reminded me of my dad, asking about my trip, future plans, how many shows I had seen; I knew things were about to change.
Ghost. As the opener! from 106 degrees in kansas dehydrating me in my sleep to a cold beer and surprising opener I was well on my way to recouping. NICU was a great way to just bring my mood to the highest point. Then trey starts talking about the planes and it clicks, My first ICCULUS, I drove over 2,000 miles for these shows and already I could continue to Wyoming satisfied. The rest of the second set I was boogie'ing down real hard, It may have been my weariness but the moma was killer for me, letting looser then ever at a show out of joy. Even re-listening it makes me shiver while i reminisce on how satisfying the whole show was, so I may be biased. But it is an awesome moma.
The start of the second set was amazing I hadn't heard Say Something yet so I was assuming a cover. But re-listening it's my favorite addition to the line up in 2013, I think it could use some work in parts but hey, It's a great tune and has a lot of potential IMO. Sending us home for the night bobbing to meatstick?! We were swaying the whole way to our bed with those funky notes.
For me this shows greatness has a lot to do with my situation. I have found myself re-listening to this over and over just to feel those feelings I had that night...I think we all have at least one of these super meaningful shows. The entire run holds a special place in my phish memories, from Bangor in the front to Dicks in the rear and all the shows I made in between, What a great start to the close of summer tour this was for me.
This is it guys!!!
My first Icculus!
So epic, magical, orgasmical!
and then I got a freaking Esther later in the same set!!!!
Took me over 120 sets to hear those 2 songs and it was worth every damn penny, blood, sweat, tears that I put in over the past 5 years. If I never see another show again I can still say I got an ICCULUS bitches!
I just wanna say, I had an absolute blast @ all 3 nights. I'm gonna be brief as I plan on doing a more in depth review for the whole run. We entered the stadium right at 6pm to secure prime real estate ended up the closest i've been at Phish Show. Slightly Pageside @ the front bout 5 peeps away from Lope G (who as always had the masterspot locked down with his crew). Highlights for me; I. Icculus, Theme>Esther, Moma, Stash II. PYITE>Sand, Hood, Slave. Really the whole show (especially the special bustouts, debut, and nonstop 2nd set) was a highlight for me. I LOVE all you guys! Personal HighLIght of the show for me: As the boys we're coming back out for the encore, right before Page was about to take his seat @ the boards, He picked up a glowstick and perfectly lobbed it. Having the real estate I had waited so patiently to have. In slow motion I can see this stick floating directly toward us. I reached up I high as I could AND CAUGHT THAT SUCKER!!!!! I've been tryin to find footage of it but havent had any luck yet. If you guys find some let me kno. I would love to see it! Pretty sure it was the only glowstick thrown by any of the boys the entire run.
Great opening night for my first experience in Commerce City. Strong Moma Dance, Stash, and LimbxLimb in first set; strong Sand, Say Something, WotC, Twist, and Slave. Never saw Hood coming out of the Oh Kee Pa, and the subsequent transition into Silent was effortless. Great to see Velvet Underground's Oh! Sweet Nuthin' resurface again, and a little more funk in Meatstick to complete the "backwards down the set list" show finished night one off in style.
Well icculus came alive again and this time it was absolutely perfect, first time in Colorado, first year at dicks. Everytime I listen to the beginning when trey us talking about dicks I'll never forget being on the floor laughing my ass off. The 2nd set was one to remember personally didn't stop grooving for one moment .... maybe to buy a beer, BTW those beer guys/ security at dicks are totally legit. They really don't care as long as you don't jump gate for do anything stupid.
Had no clues to go on to hazard a guess at the opener, but wore my Ghost socks. Can I get a wut WHHHHATTT? Moma , Ocelot , Stash highlighted the first set with a groovy sway. Say Something is taking root in my mind as a funky fit for Mike. All in all, I felt the energy level was a bit uneven if not awkward. Anticipation break down? When the band finally got mellow on Oh Sweet Nothin' the groove and ease returned to my body and I wondered what might have been if The Boys had discovered that easing into this thing was better than hitting it quick. How a bout a little foreplay next time guys?Albuquerque anyone? I headed back to camp consciously intent on biting my tongue at criticism. I don't ever want to be that guy. Clearly the gimmick disjointed the flow. I was worried that the layoff had led to rust , until Saturday night funked up my world in the best way possible. A text from a friend home on couch tour summed it up Saturday, " Predictably Sick" . See you next year Dick lovers.
It just hit me, my brother just saw his first.....um the author of the book - this past Friday night August 30th at DUCKS PARK - - - and and I was with him. Heee heee hee!! In 30 years as a band, Phish has only performed ______ twenty five times LIVE in concert. I mistakenly said to Todd that he saw IT once before at Red Rocks in 1993, but I was drooling wrong wooooo woo woooo! Sorry, Todd. I was wrong. The proof is in the STATS. THIS was your phirst, um, your first meeting with the author of the book ever! Congratulations!!
The fact is, grown men were crying at Duck's Sporting Goods Park last Friday night as Trey broke into ________ a song written about a great man.....just three songs into set one. Todd and I were two of the balling shirtless men. You see, this great person - he was a prophet. I mean he is a prophet. I mean, he is the author of the book and his name is..... He is the one who wrote the helping phriendly book. He only comes out of his cave once every few years....... in this case once in 2013, once in 2011, once in 2009, once in 1999 and one fateful evening on 10/31/95 at Rosemont Horizon for MY first _________. And it was back in 1995 when I first heard Trey talk about THE BOOK that changed me forever - he talked about the great man who wrote the book. You see, THE BOOK, the book, the thing that his great person wrote, explains exactly why PHISH is on Earth. This great author is the supreme god of the sky and the author of the BOOK. All of life's questions can be answered by simply reading the book - written by the great and knowledgeable ICCCCCULUSSSS!!!!
Having been blessed with attending seven face melters on the west coast run, returned to watching via couch tour for last nights Phishenanigans!
A few thoughts. One is for you Mr. Larry King- check your paypal Pal. No Icculus?!? AHA !
solid show overall, but musically may have suffered (especially set 2) trying to get all the letters in. 4 out of 5 stars
great fun time trying to figure out what the boys were up to, and then completely guessing wrong down the stretch. classic!
first set came out swinging with Ghost>NICU>Icculus.
1st set must hears: Ghost, Icculus, Ocelot and Stash
hello OCELOT? wow. that jam could be the best one yet. powerhouse stuff from the lads. and Stash was downright filthy ! Getting 3 more tunes afterwards was like free bacon. hah
second set again thought maybe was rushed a bit due top the antics required to finish their "message." Sand was really excellent until it stopped. Hood also had that "what happened" abrupto-exit, but the fun level was the rough transitions imho. my second set must hears would be Sand and Walls (strong again, as it has been all summer).
prediction for night 2: Forbins>Mockingbird. and more melted faces!
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