Post-Phish: Particle Path 8.31.12

Quixote's True Blue
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By J-man

As the party unfolded just a short distance away at Dick's Sporting Good Center in Commerce City, Quixote's True Blue sat empty aside from a handful of staff and a few folks loading in. We weren't in the state of mind for an empty venue. The potential for face to face conversation in this state, seemed only to elevate the anxiety of our quickly changing reality. Coors field let out into the streets following a Rockies home game, further altering the scene in a nonsensical fashion. Slowly, patrons began to arrive. It was clear that those fans had not come from Phish, as the show was still in it's first set. A scene began to emerge in the courtyard as The Honeydrops hit the stage to open the evening at Quixote's.

The lights strewn over the courtyard shined bright, contrasting the night sky as The Honeydrops eased in with a very swinging old time feel. This may not have normally been something that we sought out, however, I was intrigued. As the set progressed, they played to the small crowd with smiles and direct interaction. The crowd, receptive as all hell, did as they were told with delight. The courtyard transformed into what felt like an empty bar on a Florida beach, with those in attendance feeling like they were experiencing something special. More and more folks filed in as Phish was wrapping up across town. Towards the end of the set, the band stepped down to the floor to play what sounded like Klezmer music for to the people. Upon the conclusion of their set, the energy was elevated. Job well done, Honeydrops.

As Dimitri's Ascent set up in the courtyard, the evening's headliner, Particle Path began their set to an empty room. A combination of two jamtronica pioneers, Particle and Signal Path, the evening was sure to be a dance party... assuming that people turned out. As folks realized that Particle Path was on, they made their way into the main room. A short time later the Phish buses began to arrive and the room filled in about half way. Phans entered Quixote's to find Steve Molitz (Keys), Ryan Burnett (Guitar), Pete Wall (Sax), Eric Gould (Bass) and Damon Metzner (Drums) on stage improvising away.

The compositions were loose... very loose, with a lot of changes clearly being dictated via physical motions. That being said, it was the perfect fit for an after-party full of folks spaced out and looking to dance. The grooves had the moderate crowd moving, as the "band" passed around solos. There were flat moments and their were raging moments, as to be expected in any improvisational setting, but overall the mixed group of musicians meshed well together.

Back in the courtyard Dimitri's Ascent played a fairly diverse set to a moderate crowd as well. The challenges of a post-Phish show were clear at Quixote's. It was the first of three nights, so folks had probably gone all out, and whether or not fans planned on making the after-show it didn't translate into reality. Promotion was also an issue. When a show like this gets thrown together, it is the responsibility of the bands and promoter to spread the word. Particle posted about the event heavily, Quixote's did their part, while Signal Path posted one status on Facebook, omitting most of the event details. The night extended well past 2:00 am to around the 3:00 am hour as it came to a close. Regardless of the small turnout, the evening was a blast. Folks danced uncontrollably and left feeling as if they had just completed a marathon. What a way to open up one of the biggest weekends of the year in Colorado!

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