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)

Tags: , ,

445 Responses to “Getting Ready For the Gorge”

  1. albert walker Says:

    I’m pretty indifferent in my old age

    Horse silent
    Sugar shack

    Those have been annoying me lately. Don’t give a fuck though really.

  2. DukeOfLizards Says:

    At the time, I wasn’t really “chasing” it per se – could’ve never caught another Ghost after MSG and been fine with that – but it still is one of my favorite tunes to catch, so for it to turn out like that was less than ideal.

    Only two Crosseyeds? n00b. 😀

  3. ThePigSong Says:

    Mr C – it appears Bright Side of the Road is missing from your JGB mix. fyi

  4. MrCompletely Says:

    there are a ton of phish songs to which I am indifferent at best. If I listed them all you’d all think I was the biggest hater on earth.

    however I go to so few shows these days that I can’t afford to be too picky. it’d take a long string of those tunes to set me off. Definitely taking a glass half full perspective.

  5. DukeOfLizards Says:

    But seriously, seeing Phish play any song is better than not seeing Phish play any song. Every tune has some kind of value to me.

    …except Summer of 89.

  6. MrCompletely Says:

    @pig it looks like several tracks are missing actually, thanks for noticing that!

    I will rip and zip ALACs of that comp and upload a corrected version for Jerry Week

  7. albert walker Says:

    Seeing all of leg 2 but the gorge isn’t making much sense right now

    Afraid if I miss too much work they’ll realize how worthless my wool add is. Like to keep it to a week at a time.

    Should have done gorge through tahoe and missed Fri through Thursday

  8. joe Says:

    I’m going with this one recommended by C.

    apparently, he’s not the only one who likes it as this link and the other of the same date on archive have been downloaded around 550,000 times.

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Thanks C. Fresno it is. Never heard that one, for sure. Just what i wanted.

  10. albert walker Says:

    Wook ass

    New phone auto corrected Wook

  11. MrCompletely Says:

    “wool add” lol

    ahhh you’re in for a treat Palmer. It’s a great one.

    5-15-70 is an official release now BTW. all remastered and shit. road trip from last year-ish

  12. Mulitbeast Says:

    One song that used to make me ‘cringe’ was Prince Caspian. But to be honest, this song would always win me move over by the end of the tune. So eventually I came to the realization to not hate on that song, because it usually is a winner.

    Not a fan of Wading in the Velvet.

  13. Mike in Austin Says:

    Just busting AW.

    I spend way too much money going to Phish to not high five when Sparkle or Horse or Velvet Sea … comes on. Hell, this trip to Bollywood->Tahoe->UIC is gonna be $4K when I’m done for me and the Mrs.

    Fucking ROCK that Sparkle Phish. Get my money’s worth.

    No second Mike’s, well, I’m gonna be in 75 degree sunny weather listening to Phish and out of this god-forsaken 105 degree weather here in Austin. It’s gonna be awesome.

    I can only hope tanned Cali girls in bikinis come up to me and ask me about Wilson signs.

  14. Mulitbeast Says:

    “win me over”

  15. albert walker Says:

    My fav jerry will always be 75 legion

    Just getting high. Studying fusion and soul. My favorite of his playing. Pure fire.

    I Stole so many licks from 4.19

  16. ThePigSong Says:

    yeah thanks for putting it together – I grabbed set 2 and 3. I only see two that are missing, Bright Side & Everybody needs Somebody

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    If anyone else is interested. 7/19/74 C.Miller soundboard.

    d1t01 – Jam

    Set 1:
    d1t02 – Bertha
    d1t03 – Mexicali Blues
    d1t04 – Deal
    d1t05 – Beat It On Down The Line
    d1t06 – Row Jimmy
    d1t07 – Me And Bobby McGee
    d1t08 – Scarlet Begonias
    d1t09 – El Paso
    d1t10 – Tennessee Jed
    d2t01 – Playing In The Band

    Set 1.5:
    d2t02 – Seastones

    Set 2:
    d2t03 – Brown Eyed Women
    d2t04 – Me And My Uncle
    d2t05 – It Must Have Been The Roses
    d2t06 – Jack Straw
    d3t01 – He’s Gone ->
    d3t02 – U.S. Blues
    d3t03 – Weather Report Suite ->
    d3t04 – Let It Grow ->
    d3t05 – Spanish Jam ->
    d3t06 – Eyes Of The World ->
    d3t07 – China Doll
    d3t08 – One More Saturday Night

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    knee deep in 3/2/69 for the moment. Once i start one of these shows fro the Fillmore Recordings, i can’t turn it off. Shit’s awesome. Favorite box set from the Dead…to date. Europe ’72 will be the grail when its out. regretting not pre ordering. couldn’t justify the $$ at the time.

  19. albert walker Says:

    No shit man. Between planes to LA and reno. Rental car. Condo in tahoe. Rooms at the standard and hotel Monaco. Zip of nuggets. California tour will be $$$$. Literally.

    Ned tour stylee

    Not exactly sleeping in the 92 sunbird like summer 95

  20. MrCompletely Says:

    looks like set 3 is missing Dear Prudence btwn He Ain’t Give You None and Don’t Let Go. but it’s just the (sublime) one from the grey double CD live release

  21. albert walker Says:

    I am in my most appreciative phish state of my life right now

    Getting old and working 50 hour weeks will do that to you

    Laterz comrades
    Been fun

  22. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Was just pamping 7/19/74 the other night. Hot show. That Playin’ hangs with most dark stars for sure. And that’s just the first set.

  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    “I am in my most appreciative phish state of my life right now”- AW

    ^ no question, i’m with you in that regard.

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    I think some of the ’74 Playins go too far out into droney guitar space and get a little boring. Not that one though.

  25. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah sign me up for Appreciation Tour 2011

    no kidding

Leave a Reply