Phish Tour 2021 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny: DICK’S Night 2

Phish Tour 2021 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny: DICK’S Night 2

Phish returned to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Colorado Saturday for the second of three nights, and in many ways they picked up right where they left off on Friday night. That first night ended with a sort of figurative “letter” to Jimmy Page in the form of a rather rocking version of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times,” where Saturday’s show opened with a rather rocking “Letter To Jimmy Page” sandwiched in its traditional spot between “Alumni Blues.” That was followed by the Kasvot Växt new newwaver “Turtle In The Clouds” with its choreographed dance moves by Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon very reminiscent of the dance moves at the end of “Cavern,” another encore from the previous night. While those were maybe unintentional links to the previous night, the real nod came in the heavy duty jamming in the first set which felt like a thematic carryover from Friday’s explorative “Carini.”

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While none of Saturday’s first set jamming reached quite the dizziness of “Carini,” the audience found plenty to dig into. “Blaze On” featured perhaps the best improvisation of the opening stanza, but also contained its theme in the beloved lyric “three wrong turns can make a right.” Indeed, it’s often the case that the crowd longs for those “wrong turns” out of a song’s main theme, and “Blaze On” featured at least three of these, the band ignoring the well-beaten path and making left turn after left turn — first led by Jon Fishman, then Mike Gordon, then Trey Anastasio, then Page McConnell — until they all added up to a glorious “right.” The jam turned dark then less dark, then euphoric, Fishman corralling Trey’s meandering tendencies into dance-inducing peak building. The summer’s first “Cool It Down,” off Loaded followed and by the time it hit “Ghost,” pretty much everything you love about your favorite band had been featured, from goofy set-pieces to old school bust outs to Type II jamming to Halloween-debuted covers to deep funk boogie-downs, it was all there … and that was only the first half of the first set.

“Ghost” shifted the show to a new space of tight, coherent improvisation that was characterized mostly by the band’s ability to unleash highly creative on-the-fly jams in a limited time frame. “Ghost,” “Undermind,” “Tube” and the set-closing “David Bowie,” were filled with fiery “three wrong turn” style, full-band-interaction playing in versions that stood out for their quality-not-quantity excellence. Fishman’s continued leadership behind the drum kit this summer was on full display, his playing felt like the two flippers in a pinball machine during a chaotic multiball moment, keeping the other three balls in play, constant kinetic motion, with repeated dark-then-light, high-altitude energy. It was, in sum, an excellent first set.

Read on after The Skinny for the rest of the recap and more.

The Skinny

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The Setlist

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The Venue

Dick’s Sporting Goods Park [See upcoming shows]

27000

28 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, 09/01/2019, 09/03/2021

The Music

10 songs / 7:53 pm to 9:17 pm (84 minutes)

8 songs / 9:53 pm to 11:34 pm (101 minutes)

18 songs / 15 originals / 3 covers

2000

None

Alumni Blues, Letter To Jimmy Page, Cool It Down, Seven Below, Bold As Love

Bold As Love – LTP 02/21/2019 (66 Show Gap)

Everything’s Right – 25:19

Alumni Blues – 1:02

Junta – 2, The Story of the Ghost – 1, Farmhouse – 1, Round Room – 1, Undermind – 1, Fuego – 1, Big Boat – 1, Kasvot Växt – 1, Sigma Oasis – 2 Misc. – 4, Covers – 3

The Rest

79° and Fair at Showtime

Koa 4

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More Skinny

As for the second set, the highlight came early in the set, in the form of an extended jam out of the opening “Everything’s Right.” The quartet wasted no time disembarking from the song’s theme, peeling off in different directions, but remaining, in flock-of-starlings murmuration fashion, as one unit. Pick any isolated moment from this longform improv and you will find four musicians in perfect equilibrium, themes originating and taken up by the whole with an ease that few other bands could muster. The tones of the keyboards, guitar and bass seemed to blend into a singular sound, in-the-moment serving the whole. Mike supercharged the descent from the song’s bubbly optimism to a darker underworld and Page’s use of intergalactic effects seemed to energize Trey’s playing, which was some of the best of the weekend.

Twenty some-odd minutes later, the wrong turns piling up one after the other, adding up to make a (everything’s) right, the band had already delivered multiple weekend-making moments. From there. the show bounced between moods and shifts in energy, a succession of scattered puzzle pieces that sometimes fit, sometimes didn’t. “Fuego” and “Mercury” contained interesting “wrong turn” moments, half-folded origami that didn’t always find their final form, but kept the momentum going and the audience moving.

When “You Enjoy Myself” started up to close out the show, it was clear that a night that seemed to hit every spot on the what-we-love-about-Phish (and-maybe-some-things-we-don’t) spectrum could end no other way. Thankfully, they had kept plenty of the proverbial powder dry and the “YEM” jam was, as they used to say, pure hose, with Trey machine-gunning his solo to take-no-prisoners status before finally relenting to Mike’s pure-ooze funk solo and a haunting vocal section. Blaze on, indeed. Keeping the finish-it-with-classic-rock theme alive, the encore was the first “Bold As Love” since Mexico 2019, Chris Kuroda closing out a night of incredibly superlative lighting with a follow-the-rainbow display to match Jimi Hendrix’s “not so mellow” lyrics.

The audience filed out of Dick’s Saturday night with enough left in the tank for one more tour-closing performance, everyone hoping that the band had a few more of those glorious wrong turns left in their arsenal. We’ll find out tonight when Phish returns to Dick’s tonight for the final show of Summer Tour 2021. Livestreams are available through LivePhish.com.

Alumni Blues (w/ Letter To Jimmy Page)

Everything’s Right

Phish From The Road Photos

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Posters

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