Sand was unfinished. Reba did not contain the whistling ending. Trey teased No Men In No Man's Land in Bathtub Gin. The jam after Catapult contained Cool Amber and Mercury and Catapult quotes. Meatstick included Catapult and Lonely Trip quotes. This was the rescheduled date from the show that had been postponed due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
Teases
No Men In No Man's Land tease in Bathtub Gin, Cool Amber and Mercury and Catapult quotes in Simple, Catapult and Lonely Trip quotes in Meatstick
Debut Years (Average: 2003)

This show was part of the "2021 Summer Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2021-09-05

Review by DevinB

DevinB What a wild, unconventional show! So much to discuss. How about that seven-song first set? A standard Moma and the relative rarity McGrupp set the stage for a couple big, creative type II jams. Sand is short, but potent, finding a dark funk groove reminiscent of 2001. Trey eventually manages to establish a major key turn, reaching for light in the darkness before sliding back into the groovy mire. Sigma Oasis proves to be even more potent, delivering some monster dark psych and complicated polymetric interplay. This jam packs a whole lot into 15 minutes and it delivers big time! It is a must-hear. The set's only breather comes by way of All of These Dreams, which barely offers enough time to recover. A frenetic Reba and a jumpy, energetic Gin close out the set in a big way. With one in the tank, this is already looking like the best night of the run!

And then comes that second set.

Twists and turns abound, this set features some of the band's most spontaneous and creative playing of the entire summer. They kick things off with an absolute monster Set Your Soul Free, revealing serious jam potential right out of the gate. Grabbing onto the same swampy psych that permeated the middle of the second set, this jam goes deep and dark quickly. Churning rhythms, driving bass, and loopy guitars eventually give way to an anthemic peak. The synergy here between Fish and Mike in particular is a thing of beauty, with Fish laying down some of his biggest, gnarliest stuff all weekend. Seemingly inspired by the commotion, Trey fires up the effect pedals and steers the jam home with laser-guided precision. It's an absolute masterpiece. If you haven't heard it yet, drop everything and give it spin. It's well worth your time!

Lonely Trip serves as another well-earned breather, giving the crowd a moment to reflect on isolation of this past year and the community we are all so lucky to return to. But before we can get too lost in the moment, they hit us with a roiling Simple and the energy goes through the roof! Out of the chaos, we hear the strange Catapult lyrics emerge, but in cadence with broken machines and a clubby, quasi-industrial din. We hear the words repeating, forming hooks, and the jam takes shape into something resembling a song. Is this a song? Someone unfamiliar with this band certainly might mistake it for one. It's just that perfect! I know it's a real challenge to try to judge something as arbitrary as Catapult, but I don't think I'd be remiss if I suggested this one might be in the conversation for Best Ever. Really!

And so, with everyone's minds thoroughly blown, the band kicks off a well-timed dance party by way of Meatstick. But this is no ordinary Dick's Meatstick! As it turns out, this one is hooked to the same machine that drove the Simple -> Catapult madness a moment ago, eventually breaking down into what should, in my humble opinion, be properly noted as Meatstick -> Catapult. To put it simply, this was no simple Meatstick.

The fourth quarter kicks off with a refreshingly straightforward take on Ruby Waves, gathering momentum until hitting a glorious peak. The runtime on this one is deceptive, as it packs a lot of ideas and a whole bunch of energy into its 12 minutes. It's so strong, in fact, that they sufficiently earn themselves another breather, which comes in the form of the blink-and-you'll-miss-it rarity Bliss followed by a delicate Billy Breathes. With palates cleansed, Page leads the band through a slow-burning Most Events Aren't Planned, which steadily builds the energy until the stage is set for a transcendent Hood. Bewildered and amazed, we emerge on the other side with only a vague recollection of what we just saw. You don't get many sets like this one and there's, inevitably, much to unpack.

After acknowledging the crowd one final time, the band delivers a rousing More and a goofy S.A.N.T.O.S. send off. It's a heartfelt, yet unconventional way to cap a a decade at Dick's. Rather than get lost in setlist gags or sophomoric humor or nostalgia of any sort, the band restlessly and relentlessly seeks new ground, undiscovered territory, digging deep and producing some of the most creative jams of the summer.

I'm not sure this one is going to qualify as an all-time classic show, but it's pretty damn close. It demands your attention. It's a band refusing to sit still, refusing to rest on their laurels. With uncertainty lurking on the horizon, the band left it all on the table tonight.

May we be so lucky as to do it again in the fall.
, attached to 2021-09-05

Review by A_Buddhist_Prodigy

A_Buddhist_Prodigy Call it a bathroom break, if you will, but that Bliss>Billy Breathes was an all time highlight for me. My daughter’s first show was Friday and then when those songs started, we hugged and truly experienced the Phishy-ness. I got to see Pebbles and Marbles with her on this run and Bliss>Billy Breathes was something I didn’t know I needed. Thank you for this wonderful moment with my daughter! Great times.
, attached to 2021-09-05

Review by Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe Sometimes I forget I’m sharing the same moments in time as the band onstage.

Sunday show at Dicks. Final night of summer tour 2021. The band was obviously ready to celebrate their achievements this summer but they were also ready to explore some of the new sonic territory they’ve been working through this summer.

To my ears Trey was actively holding back this summer from taking jams in the somewhat more predictable up, up, up direction, instead taking them wide and deep. Spacey dissonant malfunctioning robot sounds from Trey’s line 6 pedal helped take them in new directions and we get some of my favorite examples in the simple->catapult->meatstick segment. This is a must hear segment where the band sounds in top form relative to any era.

Last night though the band managed to take the jams up, wide, and deep. Sand, sigma oasis, and gin brought some glorious celebratory peaks. The ballads were well placed and well chosen. All of these dreams was a first for me and such a treat. SYSF delivered thoughtful poised jamming.

There wasn’t a space unexplored on Sunday at Dicks and it made for the most complete and flowing Phish performance of the summer in my opinion, and that’s on a tour full of similarly successful outings.
, attached to 2021-09-05

Review by youenjoymyghost

youenjoymyghost Phish comes out tonight, dicks fully plugged into a machine to deliver the best night of the run.

First set is focused and explosive. From Mcgrupp onward it is all highlights. Sand rages, Sigma Oasis goes deep for its first proper outing, twisting and turning into the shadows. They bring us back with All of My Dreams, engaged with a great reba and Gin rages the set closing position, best outing of the year for one of summers MVP songs.

Second set is beautiful, fun, strange. Souls are set free, I thought I heard a Simple riff from trey. But before that we get lonely trip which is such a great song. Simple with a catapult and jam that gets to sounding like the grinding of gears and the beeps of the buttons of the machine. Meatstick finally, another dick joke. Ruby Waves gets interesting, the second ever Bliss -> Billy, I think it worked well. Pages future funk most events aren't planned, fitting considering we decided last minute on Monday Lead to come. Seemed a common thread thus weekend. Strong outing for this song and then a ripping and roaring Hood, they drop into some funk territory and peak it beautifully.
SANTOS is the new improved Zero. Sent home very happy tonight.
, attached to 2021-09-05

Review by neal_nugget

neal_nugget If I were looking at setlists, I might be underwhelmed (although a 7-song first set is always something to behold): SYSF, Lonely Trip, and Ruby Waves were songs I actively hoped to avoid. Catapult and MEAP weren’t on my radar, Bliss and Billy breathes seemed out of the realm of possibility, All of these Dreams was a song I forgot I loved, and a third-quarter Meatstick normally seems to portend bad things.

But damn, it all came together perfectly. The fact that such a seemingly incongruous set of songs converged so seamlessly tells the whole story. Phish knew what they were doing last night—just as they have all summer, even if I didn't realize it (see my thread lamenting a lack of peaks). Syunda night, Phish totally surprised me in the best possible way, and it’s the way that that unpredictability pays off that makes this the most compelling band I'll ever have the immense pleasure of engaging with.

I talked a lot in the “Do you miss the peaks?” thread about how I felt they were missing a sense of cohesiveness this summer, maybe a price for all the exciting exploration that was happening. Last night, as well as set 2 on Friday, it felt like it all came together.

Set one was one of the rarities that felt fully complete—everything purposeful, zero filler. Moma and McGrupp were great calls to get started. Sand in the third slot indicated we might be in for one of those special nights, and Sigma Oasis made good on that promise. Sigma was another song I was not looking forward to hearing, but damn, what a fun, feel-good song—one of Trey's rare new ones that, IMHO, manages to tastefully balance the love and light positivity with some nuance and grace. But the composed section of Sigma was just the start: following some triumphant bends after the vocals finished, we suddenly steered into the darkness. My friend Nate (who was decidedly anti-Phish until the pandemic, fell deeply in love during our year of isolation, and enjoyed his first ever shows at Dicks this weekend) and I looked over at each other excitedly: back-to-back type II jams straddling Q1 and 2? It was one of those nights.

Sigma explored similar terrain as Sand, with no complaints here, before sliding nicely into All of These Dreams, making only its...13th... appearance ever. I was not expecting or thinking of this song before this show, and it’s this kind of micro-bustout (if you will, per se, some call it, but actually no one calls it) that speaks to me: it’s just a subtle enough of a nod to Phish’s incomparable magnitude, and how many points of connection I have with this band, that reminds me of the sheer vastness of this whole thing. Making me fall in love once again with a song I didn't even know I had forgotten—one that will be but a footnote on a stellar weekend run—is something I can't imagine many other bands doing to me. Reba was a winner (any time Trey nails the composed section, the call-waiting/dentists office smooth jazz jam that follows is all butter) and Gin provided the glorious, triumphant closer that I love so much. My best friend Aaron, who has been marooned in Germany since before the pandemic, called it "overwhelmingly optimistic." Going into the third winter of this neverending pandemic, I'll bottle up this shining light of positivity for the darkness that surely lies ahead.

After such a promising first set—and the fewest songs played in a Sunday at Dicks as far as I can remember (too tired to research now)—I had no idea what to expect for the second set. Nor did I really care. I was ready to follow wherever the night might go. Where we went was so much richer than the mountain range of blissful peaks I thought I'd wanted all summer.

SYSF is perhaps the song of the soul suite I've hated most, thanks to its atrociously unacceptable lyrics, until I got tired of fighting it all this summer. Trey loves this song, clearly. I can block out the lyrics enough to appreciate that the vocal buildup right before the jam is undeniably fun, and the band clearly cares about going deep into the ensuing jam. This version proved true: the jam started with darkness, crossed into the light, then built to a shreddy electrical inferno, complete with shrieks that felt like the far off, slightly more concentrated echoes of the 9/2/16 Dicks NMINL. Not an intentional callback, I'm sure, and a technique Trey has used much in recent years (especially 2017), but I couldn't help but gratefully connect it back to Dicks Night 1 in 2016, one of my favorite shows for personal, sentimental reasons.

Lonely Trip was a heartfelt and reassuring comedown. This song, as intended, is now burned into my soul as a marker of these goddamn weird and disconnected times we live in. Despite being vaccinated and returning to some sense of normalcy over the summer, and then spending my weekend with 75,000 people the past three nights. I’ve been feeling the isolation lately. Lonely Trip spoke to that, and it will forever be a vessel to how I feel right now.

Simple was the party starter we all needed, and the fact that Nate called it as Lonely Trip gently wound up made it all the more special. Simple sinisterly devolved into a malfunction at the robot factory with Catapult, setting the stage for another goofily feel-good, come-together-and-sing-a-song-about-nonsense arty anthem with Meatstick. Back-to-back party classics, sandwiched around a weirdo semi-bustout morphed into a barely recognizable format? This was the second set I didn't know I needed.

We soon enough found ourselves back in the short-circuiting robot factory with the Catapult callback (a place I was happy to return to even if I never expected wanting to go in the first place), then onto Ruby Waves, which surprisingly cut me deep. I know that’s what it’s intended to do, but it’s usually too saccharine to get past my guarded, skeptical brain. But this was a night of feels for me, and Ruby Waves easily slid into my heart that had already been plowed open by 2+ hours of immaculate song choices, "trust-me-you'll-like-it" setlist construction, and inspired playing. This version of Ruby Waves, charging hard out of the gate thanks to Fishman, built to a chaotic and intense peak before beautifully evaporating into...BLISS? Yes. Whoa. Bliss!

What a treat for me to hear. Billy Breathes is my favorite album, the one that got me into the band when I was in 5th grade, forever ag. To bridge that time in my life to today, nearly 25 years later, where I’m ostensibly an adult but still carry the same childlike wonder and playfulness that Phish so perfectly taps into, was so special.

The Billy Breathes that followed wasn’t an all-time version, especially after I’ve listened to the Hampton Winston Salem standout so many times. But the vocal section was performed well enough. And choice to play it felt like a nod to someone like me—as if saying, “We’re light years away from the era in which we wrote the songs you grew up on, but we’re still the same band that wrote them.” A validating and special moment, an amazing connector of the dots between the past and present.

Most Events Aren’t Planned is one of the coolest new songs the band has introduced in recent years. Conventional wisdom probably called for 2001, Possum, or maybe even that long-clambered for Tweezer. But the band’s decision to buck expectations during the waning moments on the last night of tour paid off, at least to this guy—and proved that sticking to the script denies us the opportunity to keep writing new chapters of this weird, rarely boring, never-ending book. Sure, Trey could have pushed the solo section deeper, but I didn’t care. MEAP was plenty supercharged, setting the stage for a Hood that was as good as Hood will get these days—the perfect call to end such a wild, exploratory night and tour altogether. As surprising as MEAP might have been in the penultimate slot, Hood was the obvious call for closer, and proof that sometimes sticking to the script is the right call.

Overall, though, it was the lack of sticking to the script that made this night—and tour—so special. I’ve found the last few Sunday nights at Dicks to be a bit deflating. Ever since the THANKYOU show*, Dicks Sunday shows have felt like a greatest hits collection on a CD you’d find in the bargain bin of Walmart—all the songs you love, but packaged in an unforgettable, if not altogether uninspiring way (listen to the fourth quarter Chalkdust from 2019 and tell me the band sounds excited at all to be there). Tonight, and this whole summer, was the opposite.

Sunday night’s second set was a complete musical journey, one that went horizontal, vertical, into the darkness and back toward the light, straddling tones and textures and terrains I didn't even know existed. Last night, Phish balanced familiarity with something weird and excitingly exploratory in the most Phish-like way possible—in the way that only this band, with its 35+ year repertoire of songs that, at their best, resemble their former selves enough to keep the thread connected between all our yesterdays and our current reality while simutaleously breaking free from the past enough to keep us all guessing, trying to find the end of the never-ending maze, and always coming back for more. Who knows where it’ll all end up?

That’s a question I hope we don’t have the answer to any time soon. I’m not ready to see where the rainbow of infinity ends. After this tour and tour finale, it’s beyond encouraging to know that our favorite band feels the same way.

(*I have a huge soft spot for 2016, what with the huge peaks and all).
, attached to 2021-09-05

Review by CarrotEyes

CarrotEyes This is a stellar show, top-to-bottom, and certainly should be in the running for best of tour (along with, to these ears at least, Deer Creek 1, Hershey 2, Gorge 2, and Shoreline 2). Gin is deserving of special mention for closing the first set in especially fine style. However, the completely unexpected highlight of the set if not the entire show is a way, way, out-there Sigma Oasis.
Then there’s the second set. SYSF in some ways follows the excellent example of ER from the night before, and as with its predecessor is likely one of the best versions to date. The segue to Lonely Trip which follows is surprising but is also perhaps even more emotionally poignant as a result. It just works.
A Catapult-infused machine jam sandwiched between high-energy takes on Simple and Meatstick then leads to a totally unhinged Ruby Waves. Like Lonely Trip, though, the subsequent Bliss segue to Billy Breathes fits and flows. Not to be outdone, a set-ending Hood that is concise yet powerful comes screaming to its rightful end.
Still, there are more high points to cover: Sand, Reba. All in all, with a different selection of songs this show might not have sounded out of place in Spring or Summer 1994. The energy, song placement, and execution seem similar, if not exactly alike. It’s a gem for sure and bodes well for Fall. Onward!
, attached to 2021-09-05

Review by itsice88

itsice88 I don't typically write too many show reviews, but I've had some scattered thoughts about this tour and this show in particular for the last week. We are so lucky to have the band playing at the level they are at right now. This year has given me a new appreciation for the depth of the Phish catalog...which was explored with precision over this summer tour. Trey seemingly made a conscious effort to play a very different show every night. This of course is always the case on some level...but this year felt different. "I Never Needed You Like This Before" rang so painfully and cathartically true from both the band's perspective and ours.

On to this show. This show feels like quintessential Summer 2021 show in its unrelenting and supremely confident unpredictability. There were a few song choices from this night that raised my eyebrows a bit...but not in a cynical "Oh no, what are they doing?" sort of way. My reaction was more that of curiosity and in those moments at the show that night...I realized that I fully trusted the band's judgement perhaps since the first time since Magnaball. Take Sand>Sigma Oasis for example. The Sand busts out as an early night Type 2 highlight and while the segue into Sigma Oasis is excellent, at the show I expected Sigma to be a standard reading...but this is 2021 Phish. The danger, the risk...it's back. Sigma becomes an incredible jam and winds down into one of my favorite Phish ballads in All of These Dreams.

The lyrics to this song hit me particularly hard. This past year and a half has had me alternating between deep anxiety, depression, fear and it caused me to retreat into myself and my own fears all too often. I adopted a sense of complacency in this fear...but while listening to the lyrics to All of These Dreams it hit me. I was living again. I was taking in an incredible Phish show yet again, and my sense of gratitude essentially overwhelmed me. As for the music from the rest of this night, it was just perfect. The band deftly moved vastly across their catalog...giving us excellent Type 2 throughout the entire show, great and atypical song selection, some of the most unique music I've heard from this band in years in Simple->Catapult>Meatstick. This show really had it all, and I'm so incredibly grateful we got to experience it and the rest of this amazing tour.

As to my earlier point of feeling alive again, these lyrics from All of These Dreams hit me like a ton of bricks at the show.

Such is the promise, such is the curse
You could just live your life, better or worse
Knowing the cache of dreams up on that hill
Beckons and sways but won't bend to your will

And if you go there, and after you do
All of these dreams would be yours to purse
The rest of your lifetime, devoid of a care
If you keep your eyes open, you may find yourself there.

Thanks for helping us feel alive again Phish. I'm eternally grateful for your presence in my life as it has enriched basically every aspect of it. I hope everyone who has suffered from the fear and anxiety of this nightmare year+ can feel the reprieve I felt this night. Seeya in the Fall.
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