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. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Exactly, @C. That one from Hec Ed in Seattle for instance. People drool cause it’s the longest ever, but it never really goes anywhere.

  2. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Is that the 46 minute one @ Tzara’s? I saw that on the setlist and it caught my eye. Had to double check the length. I won’t bother then…

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    yes Palmer

    it is the Woosta Jim of Playin’s


  4. Mike in Austin Says:

    Why I hate the

  5. MrCompletely Says:

    come on MiA

    foreign billionaires need bailouts too

    what are ya, prejudiced?

  6. Mike in Austin Says:

    Amazing this doesn’t make news

  7. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Yowza, @C. Well played.
    @palmer, the Fresno one is way more fun. And any from ’73, they seem almost similarly ferocious, C could pick one better than me. And of course Veneta and 11/15/72 also stand out.

  8. gavinsdad Says:

    Ned tour – lol

    adult things…life insurance chat today with USAA…looks like i’m getting the wife and i sorted something serious, then came home and had mortgage chat with B of A which got me an immediate escrow overage disbursement of 1400…cause my township taxes decreased if you can believe that in NJ after a town-wide reassessment and finally stayed on the line for the mortgage peeps to tell me that for only a bit more $ they’d take me down to a 20 year fixed mortgage at a half point less (and eliminate 50 payments saving me a total of 66K). then called HSBC and closed the account since i finished financing my 40″ tv (no money down, zero apr, equal payments for 12 months…thank you Best Buy). what a fuckin day of this shit.

    where’s my dozen bongrips and dead tapes and papasan chair of old????

  9. joe Says:

    no coincidence that your link is from the only independent in congress (I don’t count Leiberman as a “true” independent) MIA

  10. Mike in Austin Says:

    Nice GD.

  11. Mike in Austin Says:

    I kinda agree Joe, but also hit tip/thanks to Ron Paul too. He put the original legislation into the Dodd/Frank Bill, and I fear Sen. Jim DeMint and Sen. Sanders both stopped it from being a “full” audit actually. They helped make sure that it passed though so I guess spoonful of sugar.

    The “full” audit would have pointed out that the Fed Reserve was insolvent with no assets with which to make the zero interest loans out other than the “good will of the American People’s” taxes as their backing.

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    ha you can just start at Veneta and listen to every Playin in order and you’d hear something pretty interesting as they evolve

    my faves are the Miles style modal ones from late 72 e.g. 11-15 and 11-18 and a few others.

    hard to go wrong in 73 tho

    8-6-74 Playin > Scarlet > Playin, of course… with “Summer ’74 funk jam” (aka “Proto 18 Proper”) thematic segment a la Louisville, straight out of the gnarly Tiger jam and into the Playin’…

  13. gavinsdad Says:

    ^awful adult hijack…sorry about that…shit is kinda real tho.

  14. MrCompletely Says:

    one of the top items on my list of “projects I will never get around to” is a compilation of all the insane segues they did directly out of Tiger jams in 72-74

    celebrating Jerry day, 8-1-73 Dark Star > tiger > El Paso is a favorite, with the awesomely over the top excellent El Paso paying it off in spades

    sloppy show, great moment

  15. kayatosh Says:

    GD rec.’s from 73: 12.6.73 stella; 11.11.73 Dark Star, china doll; 10.29.73 loser, brokedownpalace; 9.12.73 bird song,

  16. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah man every once in awhile (well maybe more often than that) you just have to take the bull by the tail and look the facts in the face, when it comes to that grownup financial type stuff…I’ve had a lot of that kind of homeowner-y crap in the last year or so…

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Gdad- i need to get my mortgage shit straighten out as well. Thinking i’m due for a refi myself. Wife and I have actually begun discussing leaving the NE for good. Depends on how her work situation unfolds. Thinking we need to venture to another side of this country.

  18. joe Says:

    I was more speaking about making the findings available. (although I’m sure they were out there somewhere else too).

    puts a different spin on the “debt-crisis”.

    (last political thought from me as this isn’t the place for me to voice my mostly uniformed half-views…as opposed to twitter where I’m going to start spewing angry running cspan commentary under the name PhilaBustah69)

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Barney Frank makes me laugh.

  20. MrCompletely Says:

    peace all

    Gorge getting close!

  21. joe Says:

    “that’s my congressman, man” (in best T.O impression)

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Barney likes the herb.

  23. angryjoggerz Says:

    anyone up for spinnin some tunes on the TT? Hey chief, let’s chat, why not?

  24. Tray Anastasio Says:

    ’73 playin’s are the business for sure.

    Just got back from a 20 mile bike ride and it’s time to wind the evening down while spinning some Dead dvd’s in honor of the fat man

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    All about the fat man tonight Aj….

Leave a Reply