Summer at Shoreline

8.5.09 Shoreline (W.Rogell)

8.5.09 Shoreline (W.Rogell)

In a mid-week stop by the Bay, Phish entered into the post-Red Rocks era of 3.0 with a fierce second set that carried their rejuvenated style of improv to the west coast.  Showcasing a wildly exploratory “Down With Disease,” Phish threw down arguably the jam of the tour amidst an aggressive and full-on second set.  With a setlist that reads like an amalgam, the band put together a diverse set of songs that flowed quite well, following up Red Rocks with a more-than-solid effort on Wednesday night.

Following a tasteful “Number Line” opener, Phish let things hang out in a multi-faceted exploration of “Disease.”  A jam that reached several distinct planes, Phish’s bravado was on display as they confidently blasted off into the nether regions of sonic manipulation.  From blistering rock, to gorgeous passages of layered psychedelia, this jam wove together many musical milieus organically with a daring spirit.  Unquestionably the centerpiece of the show, this piece brought balls-out improv, illustrating that Red Rocks was- in fact- not some magic oasis up in the mountains.  While its tough to say that a twenty minute jam ended abrubtly, this one did, as Trey decided things were done and began the opening of “Limb By Limb.”

8.5.09 (W.Rogell)

8.5.09 (W.Rogell)

The uplifting piece brought resolution to the murky soundscapes that had just unfolded, and while remaining anchored to its structure, provided a soaring piece of full-band interplay that left the crowd agasp after a half-hour of wizardry.  As Phish wound up the initial segment of the set, they stepped into a slower song that only took a few notes to identify as “Oh! Sweet Nuthin,” the final track of Velvet Underground’s Loaded.  Taking the emotional ballad off the shelf for the first time since Vegas ’98, the band continued to reference Halloweens past, prominently featuring covers from their former “costumes.”  This one was a real treat, as the band juiced the emotion out of the poignant song.  Remembering back to Vegas and forward to Indio, “Oh! Sweet Nuthin” was certainly a nod to their unrivaled holiday tradition.

8.5.09 (W.Rogell)

8.5.09 (W.Rogell)

The barrage of late-summer covers continued as the Phish revved the second half of the set with the slower funk stylings of Talking Head’s “Cities.”  A complete surprise at this point in the second set, the band sat into the first outright dance-grooves of the show, pouring them thick.  As the band settled the funk, however, they began to take the jam out into a drone feel that seamlessly transformed into the beginning of “Maze.”  Juxtaposing two of their most divergent styles of music, Phish stepped into the break-neck improv with a purpose.  Again appearing in the second set, “Maze” became a focal point that saw Trey and Page play off of each other masterfully, as Fish and Mike locked down maniacal rhythms.  This well-crafted song combo culminated with a searing “Maze” that may be the boldest outing for the song in this era.

8.5.09 (W.Rogell)

8.5.09 (W.Rogell)

With time left for one big closer, the slot ached for a “Mike’s Groove” to punctuate the night.  And when the hammer dropped, Trey left behind the wide-open funk of Morrison in favor of a growling, raunchy rendition that continued the time-honored tradition of Shoreline “Mike’s Songs.”  Albeit concise, the song’s jam was dense and dark, creating some crunching bombast late in the show, and when combined with “Maze,” a devastating segment of music.  Choosing “Simple” as the groove-connector, the band didn’t crash into the song out of the normal drum fill, but rather played the ending of “Mike’s” before starting the song- a little twist on an old one-two.  Though nothing out of the ordinary, “Simple” was phrased artistically, flowing with the summery evening.  Closing with a ripping ride through “Weekapaug” county,  Phish capped a high-flying evening in the Bay Area with upbeat musical theatrics before crafting a denouement in the form of a double encore.  “Let Me Lie” and “Bold As Love” brought some introspective rock and roll to the end of a Wednesday night before the community mobilized for a weekend up north at the Columbia River Gorge that has been circled on our calendar for months.  Safe travels, and enjoy the drive from Seattle- its a beauty!

8.5.09 (W.Rogell)

8.5.09 (W.Rogell)

Set One Notes: A relatively contained first set was highlighted by the closing “Bowie,” a jam whose abstract darkness set the tone for the second half of the show.  A truly ripping version, Phish has killed the first two “Bowies” of tour.  Every time “Stealing Time” gets going, I’m always hoping for a little bit more.  The song could easily turn into dirty jam, and most likely will at some point.  The “Divided Sky” was particularly inspirational, and you’ll rarely hear me say that- this one just popped with far more zest than most.  The band got into an engaging segment at the top of the “Chalk Dust” jam before crashing back into its composed ending- definitely worth checking out.



Shoreline 8.5.09 (Photo: Wendy Rogell)

Tags: ,

782 Responses to “Summer at Shoreline”

  1. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    stealing time> asihtos would be amazing but i think they’ll play the latter at the gorge

  2. voopa Says:

    Just listened to Shoreline after being there…some thoughts:

    First, sorry for those that had a bad time. We were in the dirt lot, and everyone I saw had garbage/recycling bags for their stuff, and kept it pretty mellow. Friend scored a 1/4 of shrooms less than five minutes after arriving.

    The crowd in my area was very respectful and dug the show. Seems like everyone knows all the lyrics to the old songs now…don’t recall hearing that much singing along before. Not intrusive either, just everyone groovin’ on their own.

    I loved the setlist…engaging and surprising. Trey had a couple issues with tone and hitting the right chords/notes here and there, but like the Red Rocks shows proved, he’s clearly a different person than whoever was playing guitar for this band in 03-04, and overall the band is as fun to see as ever.

    There were no real segues, and some of the in-song transitions out of jams were a little rough, but overall generally superior to the 1st leg.

    Called the Golgi opener, and EVERYONE was calling for Maze. After Oh Sweet Nothin’, I turned to my wife and said that the set was ripe for Mike’s song. Nope- Cities! Another nice surprise. Mike’s would have to wait. Listen for a little Moma tease in the Cities jam- I heard Trey do it at the show, and on the sbd you can Page doing it too*…I thought they were going to do a quick segue a la RR Drowned>C&P, but it was Maze instead. OK. Still could have used a little extra funk from Cities…

    Also called 3 of the 4 new ones they played. Woohoo.

    *Page was noticeably quiet throughout the show, the only exception being when he was on the Clav. At one point, my wfie turned to me, looking very concerned, and said, “Where’s Page?? I can’t hear Page!!” Hope they fix that…

    When Mike’s started I figured it would be fairly compact, and it was, but it was packed too. Some great sludge out of Mike’s, nice to hear the end-2nd jam chords again, even without the 2nd jam…made the transition into Simple kind of weird, but it was a nice twist. Sweet little jam out of Simple that served like a “ballad slot”. Great upbeat Weekapaug, with some nice machine-gunning.

    The Disease jam is probably the jam of the year so far, next to RR Tweezer. Went many places, and never lost steam. Thought they were going to go into Free a couple times, but Trey just switched gears after a while and started Limb.

    Stealing Time had a rager of a jam in it too, very Char. Zero like. So much so that I thought it would end the set.

    There was nice stuff throughout both sets. and it was great to witness a perfect Divided Sky. Absolutely nailed it.

    Have fun, Gorge goers! Really wish I was there, but I guess I got what I needed for now on Wednesday. Thank you Phish- see you at Indio!

  3. larry bird flu Says:

    nice voopa, glad you had a blast, very insightful review BTW

  4. Robear Says:

    great review voopa! I personally had a great time. I was bummed this morning to read that not everyone else did. What can I say, I want everyone to have an awesome time! More Pre-show meetings w/ other phishthoughs folks could be the ticket!

    It was my son’s first show. He’s four and was born w/o his cerebrum, for those that haven’t heard me talk about it before. The condition is hydranencephaly, you’ll have to ‘google’ that one. Anyway, he really seemed to dig it. He responds to music / bass, and lights, so I figured he’d dig a Phish show. He even let out his version of a cheer a couple times, when the crowd did. People were extremely respectful of his big stroller, and people around us took time to give him a smile! We were fortunate to have the special needs seating, which is a pretty safe island. One cat did sneak in and almost dump the stroller, but my friend caught it, and he was asked to move down. It was my 9 year old daughter’s first show since ’03 shoreline, she was 3, so needless to say, this was kind of a ‘first’ for her as well. She’s never been a big fan of listening to Phish on the stereo, but she really dug the live show and danced until she was too tired. The next morning she confirmed that she liked them live better than recorded. People were very respectful of her, as well.

  5. oneshowatatime Says:

    anyone have a link to a good aud or a matrix for 8/1/09??

  6. Lycanthropist Says:

    @ voopa

    kudos to your review, very nice.
    hoping for a long sand or twist tonight, keeping in theme with the Disease @ shoreline or the Tweezer from RR. Agreed that these are top contenders for 09 jams.


    glad to see that the youngins were diggin it.

  7. Pence Says:

    Its so cool to hear everyones awesome stories about taking their kids to the shows. I always thought Phish was a kid friendly band, and I have dreamt of my kid growing up to be a rockstar. I dont have kids, but I hope that they are around to experience a live phish show. Im 28, so its not to far fetched. At least I will have TONS of recordings if phish is gone by then. I think that phish is the best band for someone seeing their first concert. I think it could turn anyone into a music lover.

  8. Lycanthropist Says:

    relistening to Island Tour shows.

    man when can we get another Birds like this?

  9. Lycanthropist Says:

    to be honest i kinda bailed out on the 2.0 era of Phish. I did seem em three times though, in Greensboro, Raliegh, and Hampton.
    Had to stop listening to so much phish cause they were overly influencing our band.

    Their Reunion brought me back, I guess my point is I think I might have missed out on some good 03 shows, so can anyone point me in the right direction.

  10. Little Buddy Says:


  11. BK Says:

    @ Robear – Hope it’s not presumptuous of me to bring this up, but I’ve thought of if the few times you’ve mentioned your son’s condition. I wonder if you’ve read Aidan’s Way by Sam Crane? If not, do some googling and check it out…

    Sorry for the mini-hijack – Enjoy the shows Gorgers

  12. Robear Says:

    Lycan, IMO, 7/9/03 from Shoreline is a great example of ’03 jamming. The show everyone collects is from Burgesstown of that run. I also thought the ‘IT’ festival had some excellent playing. Scents and Subtle sounds is a tune I’m waiting to hear from that era of song writing.

    And speaking of Halloween style bust-outs, I’d love me some ‘Real Me’ in the rotation once in awhile. You folks that were talking 12/30 and 31 ’95, don’t snooze on the 28th and 29th from Worcester.

  13. Robear Says:

    ^thx BK, I’ll check that out.

  14. Lycanthropist Says:

    yeah i have heard some of IT, real good stuff. I wasn’t totally absent from Phish then. I just made it a point not to track them for a while. Got kinda jaded with em. Felt they had come back too soon or something.

    Totally different vibe this time.

  15. KWL Says:


    generally summer 2003 was pretty good, as was the February run. My favorites:


  16. larry bird flu Says:

    wasnt the island tour the debut of birds as well? lycan check out saratoga from 04 as well. id put those two shows up against just about any other. they both rocked

  17. Lycanthropist Says:

    anyone have any links to a good IT download?

  18. Robear Says:

    BK, the story looks a lot like my sons story. I ordered a used copy from Amazon and will give it a read. thanks for the thought.

  19. Lycanthropist Says:

    thanks everyone for the suggestions.

  20. Chuck D Says:

    lycan, I cant vouch for the quality the IT recording specifically because i havnt listened to it, but generaly has decent stuff

  21. Chuck D Says:

    phishows is the easist place to download… if you dont like to torrent

  22. JP Says:

    Sitting here looking out at the columbia river gorge, enjoying the unusally mild weather, slightly concerned with the wind levels for the sound tonight – but overall just feeling damn lucky to be here. If not for the complete throwdown at RR, would not have ebayed for the tickets.

    Definitely think over the two nights we’ll get a:


    Hoping for:
    My Friend
    Sneaking Sally
    Mountains in the Mist
    My Left Toe

    Alright – let’s just say, if they bring the same kind of intensity and creativity as was on display in RR, I basically don’t care what they play!

  23. Robear Says:

    Chuck, of all the stuff I’ve gotten from, the IT material probably sounded the worst. I only downloaded the first night, haven’t tried the second. I agree that most of their stuff is really good, and that it’s easy to use.

    Lycan, I’m a ‘torrent’ noob, but have had luck with the site, using ‘Transmission’ on a Mac. I reckon that site has some good ’03.

  24. Lycanthropist Says:

    yeah have found a few sources to grab from… thanks guys!

  25. KWL Says:

    @Lycanthropist, I don’t know how well they circulate, but if you can find copies definitely check out the IT soundcheck and tower jam, especially the tower jam.

    And I second the suggestion of both nights SPAC 04.

Leave a Reply