Getting Ready For the Gorge

The Gorge - 8.7.09 (Graham Lucas)

Question: What will happen when a blossoming, new-era Phish collides with the vast scenery and rich history of the Gorge?


Wide-Open Improvisation—During June and Super Ball, Phish’s improvisational prowess truly defined their music for the first time this era. This summer has carried the feeling of an arrival; a culmination of the last two years. With the band finally able to visit enchanting music planes regularly, what better place to kick off leg two than the Gorge? A venue that is virtually synonymous with patient, open jamming, the Gorge has brought out the best in Phish throughout their career and will provide an engaging backdrop for the beginning of the summer’s final twelve shows. Ever since the band’s inaugural visit to George, Washington, in 1997, they have played exclusively top-notch shows amidst the amphitheatre’s stunning surroundings. And with Phish coming off a fire-filled festival that was littered with innovative jams, one can only expect Phish to continue pushing new musical frontiers.

The Gorge - 8.7.09 (G.Lucas)

“Storage” Jamming—And part in parcel with Super Ball—and many jams of June—was Phish’s abstract sound-sculpting that Phish culminated in a storage shed late one Saturday night. The last two all-improv, late-night festival sets—Lemonwheel’s Ring of Fire jam and IT’s Tower Jam—were showcases for the Phish’s current and/or upcoming improvisational style, honing on a specific element of an era. If The Storage Jam was any indication, the Gorge shows may feature more abstract exploration of the astral plane. The open-air sound of the Gorge has always pushed Phish in a more patient direction, and when throwing this new style into the mix, things could plunge to serious depths.

Gorge 8.7.09 (Graham Lucas)

A Full Head of “Steam” — When Phish’s wonderful weekend at Watkins Glen came to a close without a festival-sized version of their new song, “Steam,” more than a few fans were a bit surprised. Their only debut of the summer, Phish played the piece only twice over June, and “Steam” seemed due for a breakthrough on the open-air system of Super Ball. But after sticking to a fairly old-school vibe in the Northeast, I surmise the “Steam” we’ve been waiting for will go down at the Gorge. Though I’m not one for “calling” songs, the setting and sound of the slow, groove-based jam seem to match perfectly. And as Phish continues to forge a new path this summer, one has to figure their new song will come along. Will other songs come along as well? Were “Scents and Subtle Sounds” and “A Song the Heard the Ocean Sing” just festival bustouts? It would be inspiring to hear either piece next weekend. What else might the band have in store?

Regardless of what we hear at the Gorge, one can be sure the music within the two shows will be some of the most talked about of the summer. It always is. Only one month removed from their most impressive tour-plus-festival of this go-round, I don’t think its far-fetched think that some of the year’s most exploratory and outstanding improv may stem the two-night stand. And after a year off, the return to the hallowed grounds feels that much more exciting. T-minus 4 days…

8.7.09 (Graham Lucas


Jams of the Day:

Piper” 6.11.2011 II

The improvisational highlight of Merriweather’s opening night. The jams from June just keep on flowing.



Sneakin’ Sally” 8.7.09 I

And one from the Gorge.



8.7.09 (Graham Lucas)

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445 Responses to “Getting Ready For the Gorge”

  1. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Maybe it wasn’t really about the extras, @C? Come on don’t sell yourself short.

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    how was it C?

  3. Mulitbeast Says:

    Yep. Pretty low. Never got that offer in 2.0 but did see way too many fights break out, smashed bottles on kids heads, etc. Coming back to the scene in 3.0, at the very same lots/venues, it seemed like a whole new deal. 180 degree change.

  4. joe Says:

    me and my buddy did get offered a threesome in the lot after the show at SPAC last summer. Didn’t really get into negotiations, but the price of a ticket would have probably been generous. they’re still around at times C.

  5. MrCompletely Says:

    the only venues I’ve been to in 3.0 are the gorge and the greek so what do I know?

    I was just trying to start trouble anyway

  6. Mulitbeast Says:

    These are exciting times we live in. See your favorite band and than get an offer for 3some in the lot post show.

  7. Mulitbeast Says:

    I have always been down for new and creative ways of requesting an extra. That is lot entertainment.

  8. joe Says:

    we had his wife and daughter and my fiance waiting back at the cabin we rented and a sweet (in the personality sense) young 20’s girl in the car with us who was a friend of a friend that we were letting crash with us. Needless to say, whatever small temptation to contract a sexually transmitted disease was squashed by circumstances.

  9. albert walker Says:

    Mikes was my second fav jam besides tweezer

    I now cringe when it starts in a second set

  10. Mike in Austin Says:

    I don’t cringe at Phish shows.

  11. Chuck sweD Says:

    i cringe at the #line intro

    those first few chords need to be reworked.

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Horse, Scent- only cringe worthy moments for me.

    Mr. C- throw out a random, off the radar ’73 or ’74 show for me to spin tonight for Jerry’s birthday. If you would be so kind? I’m not picky.

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I haven’t read back, so if you’ve been doing this all day, i apologize. Just tell me to go searching the previous pages. I’ll understand.

  14. albert walker Says:

    Good to hear MIA

    The world is in proper order when we don’t agree

  15. albert walker Says:

    I try not to visibly cringe

    Trey missed a forbin lick that was such a clunker note it nearly knocked the wind out of me at custy ball

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Actually, the Divided Sky at Pnc was a cringe worthy moment, even for the biggest fluffer fan.

  17. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Worse than the Story of the Numberline?

  18. Mike in Austin Says:

    Cringe away my friends. I even like Horse -> Silent. Scent is too long though. Don’t cringe.

    Can’t put into my head what I don’t want to hear.

    It’s like thinking about not hitting a 9 iron into the lake or a bunker in front of you.

  19. Mike in Austin Says:

    I cringed at Coventry Glide. Bad playing sucks for sure.

  20. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Yes. I just laughed when ghost got numberlined. I thought it was hysterical. Divided was just a bork job of epic proportions.

  21. DukeOfLizards Says:

    I was pissing during the Divided bork job, so no comment.

    But for someone who’s been chasing Ghost up and down the east coast, only to get it once in 21 shows at that point, that Numberline was fucking painful.

    Otherwise awesome show, though.

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I agree with Mia for the most part. Only the bad playing gets the cringe response. Song selection and other musical directions…. oh well. Not worth getting pissy about it at the show. Thats why we come on here the next day!

  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I always end up in the freaking lake btw.

    duke- stop chasing songs ( says the guy who chased Crosseyed for 15 years, and then got it back to back. ) 🙂

  24. ThePigSong Says:

    I’m with sweD – that # line intro is easily the most cringe-worthy intentional section of Phish.

  25. MrCompletely Says:

    there are an assload of dead recs in the middle pages from today Palmer

    most of my recs were from 72 I think

    for a random 74 I say 7-19 Fresno

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