Phish Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Denver 2016 Night One – Setlist & The Skinny

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On Friday night Phish kicked off their sixth annual Labor Day weekend run at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. While opening night of the first four Dick’s runs contained setlist shenanigans, this year was like 2015 in that there was no notable acrostic setlist prank. There was however glorious jamming, a pair of 2015 debuts and one of the better second sets of the year.

Phish came out of the gates with a fiery “Ghost” that never broke form. The foursome kept the energy up with the potent “No Men In No Man’s Land.” Just when it seemed “No Men” wouldn’t break form it did. Trey Anastasio made ample use of his Wah-Wah and Echoplex effects to garner dark and screeching sounds from his guitar over the course of the fantastic “No Men In No Man’s Land” jam. The song came to close with an a capella ending. Up next was “Breath & Burning,” one of the tunes Phish debuted earlier this summer. A tight “Undermind” gave way to a “Heavy Things” that gave Trey lyrical fits.

[No Men In No Man’s Land]

After “Heavy Things” Anastasio mentioned keyboardist Page McConnell “is really swinging tonight.” Then, following an uneventful “Stash,” Jon Fishman talked about how the band was swinging at Dick’s. “It seems like tonight we’re swinging dicks,” the drummer said and discussed how at past runs the foursome had “funked Dicks” and “rocked Dicks.” Fish proceeded to sing the a capella portion of “Ass Handed” in swing style before the band finished it with the usual Led Zeppelin-esque progression. A languid “The Wedge” came next featuring a “Stash” tease from Trey. Phish stuck to heavy rotation songs through the start of the concert, but the first surprise was “Alaska” which hadn’t been performed since July 30, 2014 – a span of 77 shows. It was then back to the staples to end the set with “46 Days.” Just as with “No Man’s,” the “46 Days” set-closer saw the band break through the song’s normal boundaries to hit pay dirt and contained a tone clinic from Trey. Both “No Men” and “46 Days” deserve multiple re-listens.

“Run Like An Antelope” opened the second set, marking just the second time the early Phish classic had kicked off a closing stanza since 2004. The intense “Antelope” featured impressive interplay between Anastasio and McConnell. One of more beloved originals debuted last year was the Anastasio/Marshall rocker “Mercury,” however the song disappeared this summer…until Friday night. “Mercury” returned after a 32-show layoff as it was last played during the 2015 Dick’s run. “Mercury,” like 2015’s “No Men’s” and “Blaze On,” has space for a jam and Phish took advantage of this space in Colorado. The mellow “Mercury” jam eventually slid into “Seven Below.” Anastasio unleashed slick leads over the course of the Round Room gem before settling in to the start of “Birds Of A Feather.” From there, the quartet dusted off another underplayed original from the past few years in the form of “Wombat.”

Following “Wombat” Trey started a revved up “Tweezer” at nearly double time. The foursome slowed the pace down a bit as they entered the “Tweezer” jam. McConnell led the improv at first with electric piano work, while Anastasio focused on rhythms. Eventually the pair switched roles and the guitarist strung together melodic leads as the quartet built the tempo to a massive peak. This was the “Tweezer” fans had been waiting for all summer. It wasn’t as adventurous as it was powerful. Fishman and bassist Mike Gordon helped prod a transition into “Runaway Jim” out of the ferocious “Tweezer.” The mid-verse jam of “Runaway Jim” contained a nice little go at “Seven Below.” Phish then ended the all high-energy set with a quick romp through “Suzy Greenberg.” Anastasio headed over to Fish’s rig to pound on the Marimba Lumina during Page’s “Suzy” solo. The band sent fans on their way with a “Bug”/”Tweezer Reprise” encore.

[Tweezer > Runaway Jim > Suzy Greenberg]

Phish returns to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night. A webcast is available via LivePhish.com.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park [See upcoming shows]

15 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, 09/04/2015, 09/05/2015, 09/06/2015

The Music

10 songs / 8:10 pm to 9:38 pm (88 minutes)

10 songs / 10:12 pm to 11:44 pm (92 minutes)

20 songs / 20 originals / 0 covers

2001

10 [Gap chart]

N/A

Alaska, Mercury

Alaska - 77 Shows (LTP - 7/30/2014)

Tweezer - 16:56

Ass Handed - 1:58

Junta - 0, Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 3, Rift - 1, Hoist - 0, Billy Breathes - 0, The Story of the Ghost - 2, Farmhouse - 2, Round Room - 2, Undermind - 1, Joy - 0, Fuego - 1, Misc. - 7, Covers - 0

The Rest

82° and Fair at Ticket time

Koa 1

Capacity: 27,000

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