Dick's Kills Saturday Night Syndrome: A Review of the Fire that Phish Threw Down on Saturday Night.-9/3/16

The band took over Dick's on Saturday Night and laid down the the most cohesive and Phish-y set since LOCKN'.

Phish, on Saturday, was the best band in the world. Maybe for a few hours, maybe the whole show. They showed the spirit and band interplay that makes a Phish show really take off. Even the Dick's employees were dancing.  When the band came out and opened with the first "Slave to the Traffic Light" opener since 1988, it was clear anything was on the table. The jam moved into an oddly placed DWD in the second slot of the first set and I loved it. The song and the jam and the fact they actually finished it. Generally, they use it as a vehicle to move to other songs but this time they ended it and kicked the "wow" factor up with "What's the Use", a classic from The Siket Disc. This is an amazing tune and it flowed like molasses through the venue. Basically, this show was two 2016 second sets. The "What's the Use" slid into a tightly jammed "Maze" that didn't go too far out but was the perfect length. Like another band used to say, "It's Just Exactly Perfect".  Once the band let us out of the maze, we stopped for a breather at the, "Farmhouse". I really like this song but set placement is everything. KEEP "FARMHOUSE" OUT OF MY MIKE'S GROOVE.

Gordo, who may have been the MVP of the run, with Trey and Page in tight contention for second, took over for "555" then things got real. Real funky. This is when the employees started dancing. "Wolfman's Brother" was another well-played and perfectly placed song. It cranked up the atmosphere and got the crowd dancing even harder and led into the delicate "Divided Sky" wonderfully. I'm torn on this song. I have heard it so many times from listening to Junta, from seeing it live more times than I can count since 94', and hearing it on bootlegs. Frankly, I could never hear it again and I would be happy for the rest of my Phish career. It's not a jam-vehicle, it's composed and the exact same every time. What other song do people time the SILENCE, instead of the music? But anyway, that led into one of my favorite Phish covers, "Rock and Roll" and that song was a minor masterpiece Saturday night. The only other Velvet Underground song they play that I like more is "Oh, Sweet Nuthin!" but even that had nuthin' on what Phish was doing to "Rock and Roll. And that was just the first half...

What's the Use 9/3/16

The second set kicked off with a hot(no pun) "Fuego". I've heard people say it wasn't a great version or it wasn't jammed out enough. It sounded just fine from the floor and the ending jam got plenty spacey from where I was sitting. Although it's a little overplayed in the one-two spot of the second set, it was still a good rendition. I had a feeling "Blaze On" was coming but I didn't think it would be after "Sand". The difference between being there and watching the stream is if you're just watching and listening you can be very critical because you have no other sensory input. Therefore, those of you calling the "Fuego > Sand" transition sloppy must not have been there. Mike's syncopation at the beginning and the way they played around it before jumping in with both feet sounded great.  

I love me some standalone "Simple" and that was the only song I could stream for Grateful Music fans, because it was excellent and I was able to dance and stand still enough to stream. It was a great piece of music. It was placed perfectly and Trey's marimba time actually helped give the type-II jam texture and it worked on every level. Especially as they snuck into "Twist". Well, they didn't sneak in because, if you know music theory or chords/scales, you could hear them moving that way. However, "Theme From the Bottom" towards the end of the second set was gold. I loved it and thought the transition worked great. It really fit the mood and showed the band/audience relationship was still locked onto the same frequency. I'm a sucker for "2001" ever since 95' and I will always love it. Whether it's long or short, it's one of my favorite covers, hands-down.  The drum riff that signals "Harry Hood" brought up a scream of joy from the crowd and many blew their collective glow-sticks a little early. It was one of the best Hood jams I've heard in a long time and I've heard quite a few. Enough has been said about Mike closing the show with a bass solo during "The Squirming Coil" instead of the normal Page solo, so I won't go into it. The Hood was the last song of the set that night and the boys hit the afterburners and no one walked out upset. We were only waiting for the next night and whether there would be a gag or not. Turns out, we are "still waiting". I think "THANK YOU" is enough and I gratefully thank the real Phish for showing up at Dick's this year. No wonder it's become a tour-ending tradition.

Written by: Greg Heffelfinger

2001>Harry Hood 9/3/2016


Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO

Soundcheck: Dogs Stole Things, My Soul
EncoreThe Squirming Coil[2]
[1] Trey on Marimba Lumina.
[2] With closing bass solo.

Notes: This show was webcast via LivePhish. Simple featured Trey on Marimba Lumina. Squirming Coil ended with Trey, Fish, and finally Page walking off, leaving Mike to take a bass solo to finish the song for the first time in Phish history. (courtesy of Phish.net)



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