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

By Scott Bernstein Sep 3, 2016 10:43 pm PDT

Vermont jam quartet Phish came out swinging on the first night of this year’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Park run and didn’t let up at Saturday’s second of three shows at the Commerce City, Colorado soccer stadium. The band continues to focus on high-energy romps as they have yet to play a ballad during the second set at either of the Lockn’ shows or at Dick’s. Saturday’s concert featured a shocking opener, a few standout jams and a well-crafted setlist.

Thirty-three years into Phish’s career it’s hard to think of many heavy rotation songs that would raise eyebrows in the opener slot, but the band did so on Saturday by kicking off the show with “Slave To The Traffic Light.” The last time Phish opened with “Slave?” Nearly 28 years ago on November 5, 1988 at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. “Down With Disease” completed an impressive 1-2 punch. Unlike most first set versions of “Disease,” this one went beyond the song’s normal boundaries. The foursome focused on an arena rock jam space for a few excellent minutes of improvisation before returning to play the end of the Hoist classic, something they don’t usually do on extended versions. As if the start of the show wasn’t impressive enough out came “What’s The Use?” This one began out of a dead stop unlike every other “What’s The Use?” since June 8, 2011.

[Slave To The Traffic Light]

Everything Phish touched they turned to gold at the beginning of the show including “Maze.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio came up with inventive rhythms while keyboardist Page McConnell delivered a more frenetic organ solo than usual. Anastasio then ripped a frenetic solo of his own under which drummer Jon Fishman played a series of inhuman fills. Up next came a run of staples in “Farmhouse,” “555” and “Wolfman’s Brother.” The latter featured especially noteworthy contributions from Mike Gordon, who propelled the jam section with otherworldly slap bass. From there, Phish finished the set with “Divided Sky” and the run’s first cover, “Rock & Roll” by The Velvet Underground.

Saturday’s second set started with “Fuego,” which is tied for the most plays this summer with seven. The straight-forward “Fuego” gave way to “Sand.” Anastasio showed off some of his best soloing of the night on the Farmhouse rocker. Out of “Sand” came an extended “Blaze On.” Trey elicited shrieking and down right evil tones out of his Languedoc guitar throughout the potent “Blaze On” jam. Eventually, the guitarist settled in the “Simple” riff and his three band mates quickly followed his lead. McConnell and Gordon shined at the start of the “Simple” with gorgeous interplay. Anastasio made his presence felt by inserting a pretty cascade of notes and then used his delay pedal to keep a drone going while he headed to Fish’s Marimba Lumina. Mike stepped up melodically as Trey pounded on the electronic instrument, Fish provided a steady beat and Page added swirls of synth. The guitarist has played Marimba Lumina a good deal this summer, yet it was the Dick’s “Simple” that stood out as the best piece of music the band has performed when Trey used the Marimba Lumina. Phish was in no rush and explored the blissful segment for seven minutes.

When Trey picked his guitar back up, he quickly started “Twist.” While all versions of “Twist” have a Santana-esque sound to them this one had more of Carlos’s influence than usual. Anastasio let loose with fretboard fireworks throughout the Type I “Twist” as he did the “Theme From The Bottom” that followed. Phish finally paused for a brief moment after “Theme” before treating the capacity crowd to “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” aka “2001.” Anastasio worked a descending riff into the pre “chorus” section of “2001” reminiscent of “Dear Prudence.” The quinquagenarians weren’t done yet as “Harry Hood” gave the foursome another chance to bliss out their faithful fans. And bliss they did with Page and Trey pushing each other to great heights.

Gordon had his turn in the spotlight for a “The Squirming Coil” encore that saw him left on stage to end the night with a bass solo, something that had never happened before out of “Coil.” Phish returns to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Sunday night. A webcast is available via

[Mike’s Squirming Coil Solo]

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park [See upcoming shows]


16 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, 09/02/2016

The Music

9 songs / 8:06 pm to 9:30 pm (84 minutes)

9 songs / 10:03 pm to 11:42 pm (99 minutes)

18 songs / 16 originals / 2 covers


5.5 [Gap chart]



The Squirming Coil - LTP 07/01/2016 (17 Show Gap)

Simple - 15:48

555 - 5:59

Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 0, Rift - 1, Hoist - 2, Billy Breathes - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 0, Farmhouse - 3, Round Room - 0, Undermind - 0, Joy - 0, Fuego - 2, Misc. - 5, Covers - 2

The Rest

76°F and Mostly Cloudy at show time

Koa 1

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