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:

    Sweet, @alf. I just sent @duke an e-mail saying you were thinking about it. There is that room that Gavins has, if it’s still available. Could be fun.

  2. Dr Pronoia Says:

    Yeah, 12th St and 6th Avenue. the Washington Sq Inn is a great place. I walked 10 minutes to work at NYU for 3 years, though we’ve lived in the neighborhood for 6 or so. I love the area completely, but you’re not a true resident if you’re not always bitching about how much it’s changing…

    also, what’s a hammock district? sounds like something I’d be interested in

  3. Guyute711 Says:

    Hammock district.

  4. DukeOfLizards Says:

    @tzara’s – YGM

    @kalf – like I told Tzara’s, I’m still assessing what the hell’s going on with my current plans, but I should know by the end of the week. Let’s keep in touch.

    Time for a nice Dark-Star-sized run on the east river.

    Stay classy, kids.

  5. tela'smuff Says:

    TT sesh anyone?

  6. MrCompletely Says:

    forecast for the Gorge bumped up a little to the lower 90s. still very dealable.

  7. bob dylan Says:

    i can dig it.

    undefined and undermind errors.

  8. bob dylan Says:

    is undefined error the same as ! if the site is about to do the crash thing?

  9. Gavinsdad Says:

    Tzaras/alf/duke – that single queen room adjoining my other room at the burnham is still avail mon/mon nite. Tuesday looks like Palmer is in there and on weds alf has a floorspace invite as somehow I’ll be in there with Palmer. Total musical rooms for me and my crew but we’re makin it happen.

  10. Gavinsdad Says:

    Reason I don’t get to TT or listen to music that often is that I chill with my wife out here in the living room. Were on the couches reading like nerds or watching tv. We have an iMac in her office but no laptops or tablets etc. So I just rock the BB via iPhone 3. If I had laptop or iPad I guess I’d be more socially productive since we do have airport express for our wireless.

    One day I’ll get into the modern era and get my music streamed throughout my house….like via apple tv or some such.

  11. joe Says:

    No tt for me. No facebook. I feel left out

  12. joe Says:

    Oh and no internet connection at home

  13. Gavinsdad Says:

    TT more fun than Facebook by a longshot.

    Doc pro – did you used to eat at Joe jr before it closed? Was an honest little diner and a David Byrne haunt taboot. one of my favorite magazine shops was there on the NE corner of your intersection if not one block south. Spent too much time right there growing up. These days I head slightly west for lunch at Jeffreys grocery if im in town (I haven’t been to Joseph Leonard unfortunately)

  14. tela'smuff Says:

    GD – that doesn’t sound so bad either. props. i love family stylie as well.

  15. floyd Says:

    Does any one have any info on camping at the gorge? Do i need to buy this $73 live nation camping pass? or can i just show up… What was it like in ’09?

  16. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    I believe that regular Gorge camping doesn’t sell out, you can just pay on your way in.

  17. Gavinsdad Says:

    Tho no tv tonite. Just chilling. What I’d really like is that Internet ready blurAy so it could ride on our wireless and I could Netflix right there via the tv and then never have to watch current tv again. I still need to see: the wire, UK office, freaks and geeks, boardwalk empire, 3 seasons of curb, arrested development and countless others like breaking bad etc. At the very least I know I have some good viewing coming in the future.

  18. Gavinsdad Says:

    @floyd – in 09 the “regular” gorge camping lot you could just roll up to and get in. I don’t know about the premier camping pass or any of that. And I guess now there’s an even pimpier “glamping”. Someone here will know way better than me. Enjoy.

  19. floyd Says:

    tg: same price as tix in advance, do you think?

    Live nation says 2 tickets per camping pass! And it doesn’t open til 4:30! robbers and theives i tell ya

    not to complain or anything

  20. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    hmm, floyd, not sure about that. You mean you can only buy 2 tickets for each pass? It’s been a few years since I’ve camped there, but they have limitless space. I do know that if there is a way for them to make more money they will do so.

    If anything it seems like it might be cheaper, as you wouldn’t have the livenation fees.

  21. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah I don’t really have time anywhere in my day for the TT hangout just b/c it requires too much attention. it’s fun but between work, family and my own interests i’m pretty damn busy

  22. floyd Says:

    thanks dude.

    ln says two tickets per camping space…im guessing two ticketholding persons per space

    lame. we’re just going for it

  23. floyd Says:

    maybe thats just for “glamping”

  24. Luther T. Justice Says:

    In honor of Jerry, I just finished listening back to my first Deer Creek show of any kind which was:

    Grateful Dead
    Deer Creek Music Center

    final “Easy To Love You”

    Set List:
    Help on the Way
    Franklin’s Tower
    New Minglewood Blues
    Easy to Love You
    Brown Eyed Women

    China Cat Sunflower
    I Know You Rider
    Looks Like Rain
    Terrapin Station
    The Other One
    Morning Dew

    E: The Weight

    This was my first top notch Dead show and it made me want to chase great live music for the rest of my days.

  25. sumodie Says:

    standard gorge camping does NOT sell out

    it’s one ticket per vehicle (no idea what the fine print means about two tix limit for camping -I wouldn’t worry about it)

    and i’ve no idea how much it costs at the gate

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