Phish Summer Tour 2019: Dick’s Night 3 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny
Phish‘s annual three-night run over Labor Day weekend in Commerce City, Colorado at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park has come to a close. Dick’s has been preposterously spoiled over the years in what has become one of the most enduring and beloved traditions in the band’s long history. It is hard to believe, knock on wood, that next year will be the 10th Anniversary of the first set of shows back in 2011.
With 27 shows so far featuring over 200 different songs and 575 total songs, incalculable highlights pepper the history of this venue. Memorable highlights include an “S show,” the “Fuck Your Face” show, a show that spelled something and of course the infamous “Almost Lushington” show. Oh, and lest we not forget the band’s greatest encore ever.
The weekend already had a bevy of highlights to add to the Dick’s highlight reel. Among the standouts include the “Everything’s Right” > “Mercury” sequence from Friday, the first set stars in “Ghost” and “Tube” from Saturday night and the kick-ass “Down With Disease” from the heart of the second set. With two sets of music still to come, Sunday night’s end of summer show was of course bound to have more highlights.
The show kicked off with another nod to the plague-infested prairie dogs that had invaded the Commerce City area in the days leading up to the weekend shows. “Stray Dog” was sung as “Plague Dog” which cracked guitarist Trey Anastasio up as much as his “flea” reference from Friday night. The quick Kasvot Växt ditty was followed by an almost equally quick “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan” as the band tried to get on solid footing for the final night of the run. Another Kasvot Växt tune came next in “Turtle In The Clouds”. If Trey and Mike Gordon‘s choreographed dance kicks and high fives weren’t particularly well-executed, at least keyboardist Page McConnell picked up the slack and was absolutely shining throughout just like he was throughout Saturday night. His synthesizer volume was boosted to the hilt and his notes fat and luscious … no doubt looking forward to his impending Vida Blue tour.
It was Mike’s turn to show off a little in the “Wolfman’s Brother” that followed. His funky bass lines helped lead the band into a nice groove that ended up fully developing into one of the buttery and blissful jams that so many fans crave. An early first set addition to the “Dick’s Highlight Reel.”
“Birds Of A Feather” came after the great “Wolfman’s” and gave way to the set’s third Kasvot Växt song in “We Are Come To Outlive Our Brains.” The band got into another nice groove as they had previously done in “Wolfman’s” with a relaxed, easy-going pace. While it felt like they might jam it out a bit longer, alas, it was not to be the glue in the set’s magnet. Nevertheless, it nicely segued into “Taste.” A straightforward, albeit at times roughly played version, “Taste” was performed for the first time at Dick’s crossing off another tune from the “most common not seen” list like “I Am Hydrogen” did the previous night. Another nice segue into “My Friend, My Friend” followed.
Joy’s “Twenty Years Later” came next and is always one of those songs that seems like it might go off the deep end and get unexpectedly jammed out like it did in Reading, Pennsylvania in 2013. The band decided not to go in that direction and followed it with the peppy “Sparkle” and Gordon’s “Crazy Sometimes” with yet again more stellar playing by McConnell.
If you thought the show was cruising towards setbreak without another “Dick’s Highlight Reel” addition, you were mistaken. Now we can add Sunday’s “Bathtub Gin.” The jam included standout performances from all band members. Page continued with his outstanding playing, drummer Jon Fishman was monstrous with his gong-like cymbal and crushing his full kit, Trey’s guitar was finally explosive and Gordon nicely kept the entire smoking hot jam tied together nicely with his deep and solid bass lines.
Five sets down and one more to go.
The Phish debut of the Ghosts Of The Forest tune, “Sightless Escape” opened the set and narrowed the list of GOTF songs not yet played by Phish. The band effortlessly slipped into a seemingly familiar groove and it felt more like an older classic than a debut. “Fuego” followed and is another example of a song that the band immediately was able to lock onto from its debut performance. This “Fuego” may not have been a “best of” version but it had elements of all the standout performances and was most enjoyable. A beautiful and seamless segue into “Piper” was pulled off with an atypical beginning seemingly starting the song twice. It wasn’t long though before the band morphed into something familiar to older Pipers – the much-coveted “slow build.” Gorgeous playing again amongst all the band members featured so many of the hallmarks of an extraordinary Phish jam: Blissful peaks, impossibly deep bass notes, Pink Floydian synthesizer, Trey’s intricate guitar and Fishman perfectly complimenting everything.
If anyone felt like a breather after the “Fuego” and “Piper” it simply wasn’t coming as the quartet launched into the always potent “Tweezer.” Of course, potent comes in many forms. This wasn’t the frenetic, hard-rocking, arena anthem potent. It was the potent funk groove. It was the potent soaring guitar notes from Trey. It was the potent and perfectly placed “Fuego” teases and lyrics as well as, yet again, the potent synthy-psychedelic keyboards from Page. The jam winded down after covering quite a bit of territory in a relatively short time with some nice ambiance as they continued noodling around with the “Fuego” theme and gracefully segued into “2001.” Phish has made that “cover” their own quite frankly, and it was just the second cover of the weekend.
Another high octane number followed with a transition into “Chalk Dust Torture” after the relatively brief “2001.” This “Chalk Dust” exquisitely changed tempo and direction throughout approximately 12 minutes. Yet another song performed this show where the timings will belie the brilliance of what was actually performed. “Waste” and “Cavern” set the stage for the always incendiary “First Tube” that culminated with Trey brandishing his guitar over his head like a Jedi does with his lightsaber after a battle to close the show.
The final moments of the ninth Dick’s run, the summer tour, and summer, in general, featured the much-beloved pairing of Rift’s “The Horse” and “Silent In The Morning” before “A Life Beyond The Dream” closed it all out … Of course not, that wouldn’t make sense. The frenetic, crowd-pleasing, arena rocker and anticipated “Tweezer Reprise” punctuated the latest chapter of Dick’s history and was the final encore. See you next year for the 10th Anniversary of the most-beloved three-night run in Phish history. Until then, a very brief Fall Tour is on the books that includes the sure to be classic “Reverse Island Tour.”
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park [See upcoming shows]
26 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, 09/02/2017, 09/03/2017, 08/31/2018, 09/01/2018, 09/02/2018, 08/30/2019, 08/31/2019
12 songs / 8:11 pm to 9:40 pm (89 minutes)
13 songs / 10:12 pm to 11:55 pm (103 minutes)
25 songs / 24 originals / 1 cover
7.79 [Gap chart]
Sightless Escape (Anastasio)
Taste -- 19 Shows (LTP - 06/21/2019)
Piper -- 15:33
The Horse -- 1:17
Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 4, Rift - 4, Hoist - 1, Billy Breathes - 2, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 2, Joy - 2, Fuego - 1, Misc. - 6, Covers - 1
89° and Partly Cloudy at showtime