The show opened up in high spirits with the first Stealin’ Time since Summer. With everyone knowing Time Turns Elastic loomed over our heads to be dropped at any time, Phish squeezed it in the 2 spot which was unexpected. The outro was blazing and had people on the edge of their seats wondering what was to come next.
MEAT! The last time Meat was played was on 11/29 of last year in Maine, making last night’s the second version of 2.0. While it was not as improvisational as Portland’s was, this Meat absolutely blew doors down with Mike crushing the audience. His bass was so powerful you could feel your heart struggling to properly function. I sure wish this wasn’t such a rarity; then again, it sure makes it more fun when they bust into it.
Set I: Stealin’ Time from the Faulty Plan, Time Turns Elastic, Meat, Divided Sky, Timber Ho!, On Your Way Down, Heavy Things, Sugar Shack, 46 Days
Set II: Carini -> David Bowie, Light -> Theme from the Bottom > Free, Joy, Halfway to the Moon, Bug, Summer of ’89, Split Open and Melt
*Crowd continued singing chorus after band left the stage and house lights came on
After a standard Divided Sky, Timber Ho! combo, Phish played the second On Your Way Down of the year. The last time they played it was during Alpine this summer. This might be one of the real old songs they are trying to bring back for good, like Curtis Lowe and Destiny Unbound.
A boisterous Sugar Shack teed us up for a scorching 46 Days. I will need to listen to the recording to be positive, but if memory serves me correctly, the jam out of the blazing rock took a nice throbbing form before finally dwindling away to set break. It was a truly impressive version that left people picking up the skin of their face off the ground with a turkey baster.
Last night’s first set was a bit shorter than the previous two nights’ and set break was about the same: 30-35 minutes. The lights eventually went down and the crowd jumped to their feet. When Carini blared out of the speakers the place just broke down.
Carini kept to it’s personality with a dark and dense jam that floated into whatever outer space’s version of Hell would be. As the guitars and keyboard sounds settled down, Fishman’s hi-hit stayed fixed. Immediately I assumed Maze, but before anyone could contemplate further Trey scratched his guitar, looked at Fish and BAM David Bowie. Bowie was kept short but was particularly furious. Most of you are aware that I am usually quite critical of 3.0 versions of the song; I will admit that this one got me going, thanks Trey.
For some reason, I hadn’t even been thinking about the possibility of Light until it started up. This version dodged the meandering jam that it usually contains and focused on some dark melodies. Mike started becoming more prominent, and I was starting to think this was going to becoming more prominent, and I was starting to think this was going to become the jam of the run. Unfortunately it bled right into Theme.
Free, which was expected to come at any point, made its appearance before dripping into a late-set Joy to cool things down. Halfway to the Moon came next which I was happy to see return; I didn’t think they would be playing it again since they debuted it at SPAC last summer.
I expected a YEM to come next, but instead it was Bug–and Trey nailed it. I’ll have to listen again, but I remember Trey attacking the end of this in beautiful fashion. Summer of ’89 was next; it was so out of place and unwelcome it was almost offensive. Was Trey jealous that Mike got Sugar Shack and Page got Halfway to the Moon? I mean, what the hell was Trey thinking? Summer of ’89 as the 2nd to last song of a great 3 night run in Colorado–I really would like to know what’s going on in his brain sometimes. Again, this wouldn’t be so bad if it was a short breather, like Strange Design was the night before, but it’s ten minutes long.
Split Open and Melt closed the second set before they came back out for a rare Meatstick closer. Unexpected and fun closers are always welcome; this was a perfect way to close out the run. Phish navigated through the Japanese lyrics before heading into the end of the song and slowly faded out while the entire crowd sang the lyrics. The band left the stage, the house lights came on, and the the crowd was still singing Meatstick. Another “only at a Phish show” moments.