How The Internet Reacted To The First Phish Dicks Show, Aka The ‘S’ Night

By Team JamBase Aug 30, 2019 11:00 am PDT

Tonight, Phish will play their 25th show at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado, and by the time the three-night run is over, the band will have played 27 shows at the venue, making it the home of the most Phish shows except for three other venues: The Front and Nectar’s in Burlington and Madison Square Garden in New York City. It’s hard to believe Phish will have netted more shows at Dick’s dating back to just 2011, than such famed venues like Hampton Coliseum, Alpine Valley Music Theatre, Gorge Amphitheatre, SPAC, Deer Creek and Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Tuesday marks the eight-year anniversary of the first of these 24 shows – what turned out to be the first of the band’s tradition of setlist trickery at the venue that lasted until 2016, starting with this infamous “S” set, where every song in the setlist started with the letter “S.” To celebrate the start of this year’s Dick’s Run, we decided to take a quick stroll down Phish Twitter memory lane and recap just how it all went down that famous day in 2011. Have a look:

Despite their intentions to bust-out a whole lot of songs, the show’s soundcheck showed no foreshadowing of what was to come:

It was a busy weekend of webcasts:

Local press welcomed Phish fans to the town and told everyone what to expect:

The conditions outside were a bit ominous but cleared up:

Pre-show predictions:

Then there was more lightning and delays:

Things started normal:

Then comes The Sloth, and people start to take notice, first starting with @bizarchive:

Then when they drop Sweet Virginia, it really starts to sink in:

Then people’s wheels start turning, what could be next?

Some early confusion about whether or not “The” counts or not:

By the time Suskind Hotel and Strange Design appear, most of Twitter has got it now:

So is it going to be the set or the whole show?

Jeff Waful is the first to suggest Sabotage:

There is much Sparks excitment:

A glowstick hitting Trey can’t derail the fun:

But surely, not everyone totally got it, here’s this one with the first set almost over:

Well, they are about to play it – but it’s not going to close the set…

Why Indeed!

Probably the Phish set? But that was crazy!

With The Squirming Coil, there’s again some confusion about how to sort “The” songs

At setbreak, many turned their attentions to the “M” set from 11-15-1996:

So it’s setbreak, what’s left?

Setbreak was filled with rumors [which were also tweeted about before the show] of Carlos Santana sitting in

Set 2 begins with Sand…

Well that seems a bit unreasonable…

Phish Twitter can be a pretty funny place

Again, not everyone gets it as quick as others:

A quick check-in on the setlist thus far:

Phish Twitter really wants the Scents Intro:

Well, they’ll actually spell THANK YOU in a few years…

Trey’s Sustain in Slave draws a few tweets:

Silent In The Morning wouldn’t temporarily wouldn’t ditch The Horse until 2013, so this raised eyebrows in 2011:


Ok, not every mention of Phish on Twitter that night is positive…

That would be “Running Away” by Bob Marley

Many had called it:

Alright, it’s the break before the encore, who’s calling what?

Nope, it’s…

Many on Twitter thought the “S” set was in memory of Phish crew member Scott Ian Nowak

Phish would go on to spell “Fuck Your Face” in 2012, “Most Shows Spell Something” [backwards] in 2013, and “Lushington” in 2014. For those first four years, it was the first night of the run that involved the spelling hijinx. In 2015, it seemed the tradition had run its course when Night One came and went with nothing spelled out, but Phish would take to the stage for the encore on Night Three to spell out “THANK YOU”. What will Phish spell this weekend, if anything after no spelling in 2016, 2017 and 2018? We shall see – odds are Twitter will be all over it. Webcasts of all three shows are available via

[Originally Published: September 2, 2016]

Loading band summary

JamBase Collections