Phish Say ‘Thank You’ to Close Out Dick’s Run in Commerce City, CO (SHOW RECAPS)

It wouldn’t be a Phish show if it was predictable. The many layers of what makes this band so unique is exactly what happened on Sunday night at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO. Capping off a sold out three-night stand, their fifth Labor Day visit to a most random venue in the country that over the years has become a bonnafide Rocky Mountain home, last night Phish made absolute sure Summer Tour 2015 ended on a high note.

Saturday Recap

Before Sunday’s tour closer, Phish delivered a more flowing, albeit somewhat reserved show in terms of exploration on Saturday evening at Dick’s. The first set grew exponentially, starting off funky with “No Men in No Man’s Land” and “Martian Monster”. Tight, contained tunes followed until a dark,” abstract “Split Open and Melt”. “Roggae” hit a high point after a decent run through “Limb by Limb”, but it was the flow of set two that stood out the most on Saturday.

Saturday’s second set can easily be dismissed when thinking of lengthy, patient jamming. However, taken as a whole, the bookends of contained, but fire versions of “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” and “Rock and Roll”, that later of which showcased guitarist Trey Anastasio playing as ferociously as one can possibly hope for in the modern era of Phish, housed some incredible music. The meat of the set paired “Chalkdust Torture” with a smooth move into “Twist”, followed by a memorable trip through “Mercury”, culminating in a well placed, shredding version of “Wingsuit”. The “Light” had great potential, but fizzled after a few ideas didn’t seem to catch on. “Chalkdust takes home the prize for going deep, finding a blissful place for much of the jam, but “Mercury” is arguably the one to go back to and give another listen. Hopefully this new tune is here to stay as it gives life to how Phish is not only still writing relevant music in 2015, they’re continuing to craft songs that have massive improvisational potential more than thirty years into their career.


Set 1No Men In No Man’s LandMartian MonsterNICUStealing Time From the Faulty PlanBouncing Around the Room555WinterqueenSplit Open and MeltLimb By Limb >Roggae > Character Zero

Set 2A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing > Chalk Dust Torture[1] -> Twist > Mercury[2] >Light > Wingsuit > Rock and Roll

EncoreSleeping Monkey > Harry Hood > A Day in the Life

[1] Unfinished.
[2] Fish on Marimba Lumina


Sunday Recap

After two fun, but to be fair, not necessarily top tier shows when looking at how well Phish has played this past summer, the band walked out on Sunday and dropped the first “Landlady” since 1994. The first set was packed with songs, and jumped around quite a bit. “Seven Below” covered original ground. The “Scent of a Mule” and “Saw It Again” pairing was well received, and the closing duo of an acapela “Birdwatcher” and blistering “Frankenstein” spoke to the diversity of musical spaces offered across the opening set.

In the last frame of the 2015 Dick’s run, “Down with Disease” is the clear winner in terms of achieving the engaging, exploratory latent music Phish is capable of. The jam built organically with each band member contributing to the whole incrementally, before finding a light, bouncy place to settle in for a while. It’s the piece of music that singularly stands out the most from the three-night run, and the move into “Carini” was nothing short of perfection. Put together, this one-two punch takes the cake for highlight of the run-minus Sunday’s encore of course. “Carini” may not have been that long of a version, but what it lacks in length is made up for in quality. I think Phish has been doing this all summer, sowing two-to-four songs together in brilliant fashion to arrive at one seemingly salient conglomerate of music. In reality, the whole second set had energetic flow to it. The “Steam”> “Piper” >”2001” had a solid groove throughout the sequence, building from the “Disease” > “Carini” masterpiece. If “Tweezer” had kept going, subbing out “The Horse > “Silent in the Morning” for some more space to explore, ultimately landing in a soaring run through “Slave to the Traffic Light”, this set would have been one for the books.

 But just when your guard is down, that’s when this band reminds you that there’s no one else like them on the planet. If you think about it, all three nights had above average encores. Friday’s boasted some humor with a rare sandwich, Saturday ‘s was musically poignant, and then Sunday’s is something that will live on in Phish lore, indefinitely. Perhaps knowing the plan was for a gag in the encore, on the last night of the run lent itself to more thought for the previous two nights encores. Regardless, each offering easily eclipsed standard status, with Sunday’s going to a whole other level, one that’s craved and loved by anyone with an affinity for this band.

It did seem odd, that after four years of some sort of gag Phish hadn’t done anything over the current Dick’s run to honor that tradition. Who would’ve thought “Harpua” was coming to close out the night? Spelling Thank You, Phish spent more than a half hour weaving incredible bust-outs together within the encore leaving every single fan in the venue floored. If you can’t place “Keyboard Army” that’s because it hadn’t been played since 12/14/95 (one of the best December 95’ shows from an important month in Phishtory). The “Harpua” narrative of Jimmy and his oxygen tank, scored in lot, with Mike Gordon eating Poster Nutbag the cat was hilarious.  It’s a must listen moment, and while “Once in a Lifetime” came off as a little rusty, and I still don’t know what to say about “United We Stand”, the point was served. An adventure no one was expecting was had, and the big energy, flow, and stand out sequence to get set two going is largely what this run will be remembered for. To say fans left the venue last night in jubilance is an understatement. There’s a rumored MSG holiday run, and many are hoping to score tickets to Mexico this upcoming week, but in remaining present, Summer Tour 2015 was one to remember. So much good music was played, the band is at a new high point, and it’s no coincidence that some of most memorable moments that ended the tour, once again took place at Dick’s.


Set 1The LandladyFree > The Moma Dance > Seven Below > Prince Caspian >Backwards Down the Number LineThe LineScent of a Mule[1] > Saw It AgainHalfway to the MoonThe BirdwatcherFrankenstein[2]

Set 2Wilson > Down with Disease[3] > Carini > Steam > Piper > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Tweezer > The Horse > Silent in the Morning > Slave to the Traffic Light

EncoreTweezer RepriseHarpua[4] > After Midnight > NO2[1] > Keyboard Army > Your Pet Cat[5] > Once in a Lifetime > United We Stand[6]

[1] Fish on Marimba Lumina
[2] Page on keytar
[3] Unfinished
[4] Unfinished. Narration included Jimmy being a guy from the east coast coming west and needing an oxygen tank. Trey sucked from an oxygen tank
[5] Included narration from Mike about eating Poster Nutbag
[6] Phish debut


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