Phish Dick’s Sporting Goods Park 2015 Night One – Setlist & The Skinny

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Phish returned to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver on Friday night for their first of three annual Labor Day Weekend shows at the giant soccer stadium. The last four Dick’s run openers contained setlist shenanigans. In 2011 the quartet began the run with a show that only featured songs starting with the letter “S.” In 2012 the first letter of each song through the first set and most of the second set spelled “FUCK YOUR FACE” and then Phish played the rare original of the same name to end the closing stanza. In 2013 the band went a more unconventional route as the first letter of each song played on the first night spelled “MOST SHOWS SPELL SOMETHING” in reverse order. Last year the band continued the first-letter-word-building approach, opening the show with songs that spelled out “Lushington” in response to ballot-stuffing Phish fans pulled off in a Rolling Stone online poll to select the band’s best song. On Friday the foursome put the tradition to rest with a show that didn’t feature any setlist shenanigans but did contain a number of improvisational highlights and fun encore.

“Tube” kicked off the festivities in Colorado and was extended ever so slightly beyond recent “blink and you missed it” versions. “Ghost” followed in the #2 slot and was a showcase for the dirty tones Trey Anastasio has started milking from his rig this summer. The set continued with a “Halley’s Comet” featuring a tasty call-and-response sequence between Anastasio and keyboardist Page McConnell. The guitarist then rushed a segue into “Undermind.” A well-jammed “Undermind” was the bulk of the pre-show, 35-minute soundcheck, but the public were treated to a fiery yet more restrained take on the title track to Phish’s 2004 studio album. Bassist Mike Gordon had a turn in the spotlight for “Yarmouth Road” before the band launched the good ship “Bathtub Gin.” The “Gin” was a straight-forward affair that packed extra punch in its powerful climax. A run of “Waiting All Night,” “Horn” and “The Wedge” paved the way for “46 Days.” Just as the band reached the point where “46 Days” would usually end, they dove back in for a second jam. The loose second jam in “46 Days” was the highlight of the set as each member made impressive contributions to a true Team Phish improvisation. McConnell hopped on electric piano for the end of “46 Days” while Anastasio made the call to start up “Run Like An Antelope.” Page stayed with electric piano as part of an interesting start to “Antelope” that saw Trey focus on sustaining one note. Throughout the set fans were staring at the setlist to see if any patterns emerged. Alas there were no setlist shenanigans in store on Friday night.

Phish came out to the gates for the second set the same way they did on Saturday at Magnaball by opening with a spirited “Wolfman’s Brother.” They then trotted out the recently debuted Trey/Tom original “Blaze On,” a fitting number for a state where cannabis has been decriminalized. Once again the quartet took their new found jam vehicle out for a lengthy spin as they covered plenty of ground before seguing into “Golden Age.” The lyrics to the TV On The Radio cover gave Anastasio fits, but all was forgotten when the jam began. The band explored three vastly different soundscapes out of “Golden Age” with Jon Fishman’s fast-paced yet delicate beat the only constant. Each of the distinct movements had interesting moments especially the blissful, major key segment towards the end of the 16-minute, instant classic “Golden Age.” A quick romp through Ween’s “Roses Are Free” then led into “Fuego.” One of the benefits of the many “Fuego” that have filled setlists over the past two years is how well the band executes the tune at this point. Friday’s version was extremely tight and found the band exploring the little nooks and crannies between each section. McConnell made a move to electric piano as the jam began and the quartet moved beyond the song’s normal boundaries into the ether for a glorious few moments. As “Fuego” faded Page turned to the grand piano and began “Wading In The Velvet Sea.” The ballad came to a close with a McConnell interlude that connected it to the set-closing “Walls Of The Cave.”

For the encore Trey came out with a shirt saying “Let Fish Suck” similar to the “Let Trey Sing” shirt Bob Weir wore for the final Fare Thee Well encore. Anastasio, Gordon and McConnell started “Hold Your Head Up” signaling a Jon Fishman-led song before Trey headed behind the drums. Fish treated fans to a cover of Syd Barrett’s “Bike,” which had been on the shelf since June 28, 2012 – a span of 132 shows. Following “Bike” Fishman did laps around the stage and even jumped on Page’s piano as the crowd went wild. The foursome then sent fans on their merry way with a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Loving Cup.” Phish returns to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night. A live webcast is available via LivePhish.com.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park [See upcoming shows]

12 shows — 09/02/2011, 09/03/2011, 09/04/2011, 08/31/2012, 09/01/2012, 09/02/2012, 08/30/2013, 08/31/2013, 09/01/2013, 08/29/2014, 08/30/2014, 08/31/2014

The Music

11 songs / 8:17 pm to 9:44 pm (87 minutes)

10 songs / 10:21 pm to 11:56 pm (95 minutes)

21 songs / 16 originals / 5 covers

1998

13.18 [Gap chart]

None

Bike

Bike - 132 Shows (LTP - 06/28/2012)

Golden Age 16:02

Hold Your Head Up 1:24

Lawn Boy - 2, Rift - 2, Hoist - 1, Story Of The Ghost - 2, Round Room - 2, Undermind - 1 , Fuego - 2, Misc. - 4, Cover - 5

The Rest

73°F and Cloudy at show time

KOA #3, aka Ocedoc

Phish From The Road Photos…

Poster

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