Phish Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Denver 2017 Night Two – Setlist & The Skinny
Saturday night marked the second of Phish‘s three annual Labor Day Weekend concerts at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. One of biggest complaints about Phish in the modern era was the lack of standout first sets. All summer long the Vermonters have answered by turning in killer first sets and the eight-song affair on Saturday at Dick’s was another winner. The second set was more similar to pre ’17 first sets as there was surprisingly little in the way of deep jamming yet plenty of fierce Trey Anastasio shredding. Phish then ended the night with a pair of old-school fan favorites to the delight of the capacity crowd.
Phish came out of the gates with “Simple,” a song that served as improvisational highlights of both the Chicago run and the Baker’s Dozen residency earlier this summer. Those versions spanned 27 and 26-minutes respectively but each took place in the second set. At Dick’s, the quartet delivered a “Simple” that wasn’t quite as long as the other two summer versions, yet was filled with quality jamming. Phish wasted little time blowing through the standard “Simple” structure towards a dirty and rocking soundscape. Trey made good use of his Wah pedal as he was content to focus on rhythms, while Page McConnell gave a tour of his sizable rig including Moog Voyager and electric piano solos. Bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman anchored the rare opening “Type II” excursion which eventually gave way to “Martian Monster.”
Our “Martian Monster” trip was short on this night and followed by the beloved “Reba,” which made just its second appearance in the last 13 months. Phish nailed the composed section of the complex Lawn Boy track and the typically beautiful jam section was highlighted by delicate Trey/Page interplay. The band ended “Reba” properly, complete with whistling ahead of a particularly cool start to “Sand.” Anastasio filled his “Sand” solo with one eerie lead after another to make for a memorable version of the tune. Up next was “Crazy Sometimes,” a song originally debuted by Mike Gordon’s five-piece at High Sierra and then played twice by Phish earlier this summer. Mike’s band recorded a studio version of “Crazy Sometimes” for his forthcoming album, OGOGO. Phish’s version is a bit different than the Gordon band’s live rendition with Fish screaming the “Everybody gets a little crazy” line and Trey taking a more frenetic approach to his solo than Scott Murawski. It remains likely “Crazy Sometimes” will be a jam vehicle for Phish, yet for now the foursome is just getting comfortable with the song.
The veteran jam act continued the high-octane first set with “Limb By Limb” and “Wolfman’s Brother,” two more Trey showcases. “Limb” was a fairly standard affair highlighted by Anastasio’s perfectly placed “Follow The Yellow Brick Road” tease. The members of Phish added a more defined vocal jam than usual to “Wolfmans.” Fishman laid down an impressive in-the-pocket groove off of which Trey, Mike and Page worked as the jam started. The quartet took their time patiently building “Wolfman’s” to a frenzied climax. Over 70 minutes in, the band wasn’t done yet as they delivered a “Walls Of The Cave” set closer was well in line with the rest of the stellar opening stanza.
“Everything’s Right,” a song debuted at TAB in April and by Phish in July, served as the second set opener. Saturday’s “Everything’s Right” was extended slightly, though at times Trey seemed to be directionless. Anastasio and his mates were much more focused on the “Fuego” that followed. The foursome connected a few different riffs during the short but sweet “Fuego” before they made a move towards a conventional “Steam” and straightforward romp through “Chalk Dust Torture.” Phish was tight throughout the second set but there was little in the way of out-of-the-box jams after a Baker’s Dozen run and first night of Dick’s filled with them. “Mike’s Song” was another example as the band crushed the typical progression, yet the second jam which returned at MSG disappeared once more. While Friday’s second set didn’t feature a ballad, Phish connected “Mike’s Song” with “Winterqueen.” Some of Trey’s most inspired playing of the set came during “Winterqueen,” while Mike shined during the intense albeit unadventurous “Mike’s Song.”
Anastasio lit into “What’s The Use?” just as “Winterqueen” came to a close. While the Siket Disc track was once a rarity, the instrumental is now a staple. The song has thrived from the extra reps as Phish expertly moves between tempos over the course of “What’s The Use?” these days. A string of “W” songs concluded with the requisite “Weekapaug Groove.” Mike started the tune with a bass solo, unlike the MSG version in which Phish skipped it until Mike finally delivered the bass solo ahead of the “Tweezer Reprise” that closed the run. Saturday’s “Weekapaug” fit the theme of the night: Trey capably backed while he leads a patient build to a crowd-pleasing peak. The “Slave To The Traffic Light” delivered more of the same as Anastasio weaved beautiful melodies towards a fierce peak while egged on by Mike, Fish and Page. For the encore, Phish said farewell with the old Gamehendge favorite “The Lizards” and Lawn Boy staple “Run Like An Antelope.” Both were tight with you guessed it, crushing leads from Trey.
Phish plays at Dick’s again tomorrow night. A webcast is available via Livephish.com.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park [See upcoming shows]
19 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, 09/03/2016, 09/04/2016, 09/01/2017
8 songs / 8:05 pm to 9:28 pm (83 minutes)
10 songs / 10:07 pm to 11:53 pm (106 minutes)
18 songs / 18 originals / 0 covers
8.26 [Gap chart]
Martian Monster, Reba, Walls, Everything's Right, Slave - 14 Shows (LTP - 7/21/2017)
Simple - 14:01
Martian Monster - 5:23
Lawn Boy - 2, A Picture of Nectar - 1, Hoist - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Round Room - 1, Fuego - 2, , Misc. - 9
82° and Clear at Showtime
Phish From The Road Photos
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