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. DryIceFactory Says:

    I see a big time 2nd set LxL coming at The Gorge. Out of a segue for the ages.

  2. angryjoggerz Says:

    Repost from last night:

    Here is some hopefully useful information for visitors.

    – Blue Line stop is Racine
    – Tons of food in the area, Taylor street for Italian and bars, Greektown for Greek, Manny’s yes, hella Italian beef type of places all over.
    – If people are looking for a fun post show bar that is just oh so Chicago, def check out Skylark Fun place, not too far from UIC, but def a drive, not a walk from UIC. Fast cab ride.
    – On that Monday there is a free concert at noon at Millennium Park, Josh Berman, a local jazz cat. A great venue to see a show, free, one hour. Come chill and have a coffee and take it in, Chicago in the summer.
    – I would definitely hit the Art Institute while you are there, a world class museum, one of my favorite places in Chicago.
    – If people are up for late night music in a classic Chicago venue, hit the Green Mill for some late night jazz, open till 3 or 4. This is an old timey jazz place, Capone hung out there and all that, very cool vibe, classic Chicago bar. You can take the Red Line to Lawrence and walk half a block. I live about 2 blocks from there, so hit me up.
    – If you are looking for a cheap lunch downtown and dont want to do chain stuff, hit the Oasis Cafe for some fallafels and stuff. It is a trip, in the back of a jewelry store under the train tracks on Wabash. Lots of Art Institute students and regular folks, was my staple when I worked nearby.
    – Also, since you are going to be right downtown and you may want coffee, fuck starbucks and go to Intelligentsia, which is very close. Some real deal coffee, great vibe in there too.
    – Another Chicago institution is Reckless Records, with 3 locations in the city. If you dont have time to hit the Wicker Park store, check the one out in the loop, always worth a visit.
    Alright, will think about if there are other things and also hope other Chicagoans will fill in and correct me.

  3. alf Says:

    thanks voopa, and aj

  4. marcoesq Says:

    morning folks. glad to be back in the states. trying to finalize brahlarado trip

  5. marcoesq Says:

    I heard Willowed on here a few days ago say only stands passes were still available but Ticket Horse just offered me GA Field passes. Is that right?

    Anyone got extras they looking to part wit?

  6. kayatosh Says:

    celebrate JERRY.

    8.13.79 peggy-o nice place to start.

  7. stitchstash Says:

    Angry, you’re awesome! Thanks for putting that list together.

  8. DryIceFactory Says:

    Quiet bunch this morning.

  9. Robear Says:

    Top of the mornin! Gotta find some Jerry to spin. Thanks for the heads up!

  10. Summer98 Says:


    Must get some work done over these few days. It’ll be difficult though. Anticipation building….

  11. dusty Says:

    HBD Jerr-bear… Thanks for the many memories that still make me SMILE, SMILE, SMILE!!!

  12. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Hey Comrades-

    Happy Brirthday Jerry.

    Totally forgot how large this Sally was from Gorge 09… Goodness. Sublime.

  13. butter Says:

    Leo’s are obviously the best

    Happy B Day Jer

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    what?!? no Gorge Gin?!?


  15. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Kicking off Jerry Week with a continuation of my Fall ’79 immersion.

    Just started set II of 11/1/79 (NVMC) if anyone wants to join in.

  16. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Joining you Duke

    Found out last night that storage jam is not for noobs. Made them really groove the Portsmoth Sand I played right after though.

  17. butter Says:

    Thanks AJ, looks like I have a place to try coffee in Chi

    Used to spin the he’ll out of 11.25.79 UCLA Pauley Pav

    Sick Shakedowm, sailor saint, with the disco sound, I remember it being one of my best sounding tapes

  18. butter Says:

    Let me know when y’all figure out what the best setting to spin storage jam is

    Can u say set and setting

  19. halcyon Says:

    Morning folks.

    Listening to Shady Grove right now. Happy Birthday Jerry.

    Another Chicago Recommendation – Crofton on Wells. The sister of an old roomate is the owner/chef/proprietor. Smooth dining joing.

  20. negev79 Says:

    Morning everyone! @Miner, I’ve never wanted you to be right more in my life than today. Um, wide open improvisation/storage jam/steam? Yes please!

    I think I may have pissed my little brother off yesterday. He’s coming to the show with me and informed me yesterday that he was making a sign. I accused him of being “that guy.” I also told him that he couldn’t bring an Israeli flag to mark the camp site with since we don’t know a couple of the people we are camping with and it seemed too political and unfair to impose that on the others sharing our camp. Now he thinks I’m being hettier than thou and putting all sorts of restrictions on him because I’m afraid he’ll embarass me.

    The flag thing is because I wan’t to keep the peace and avoid political-ness. The sign thing is in part anyway because I just wanted him to know that it could open him up to being made fun of (including by me). But he’s a grown up, I shouldn’t be lecturing him.

    You all might remember my advice to my noob friend going to the show – to not let anyone tell her she is doing Phish wrong? Well, apparently I don’t take my own advice when it comes to my brother. I feel like a bad person now.

  21. halcyon Says:


    Managed to root and install a new ROM on my ohone without bricking it. I am trying out the MIUI interface. Phone is operating smooth thus far with only a few hiccups. Whenever you root and install a new ROM on your Nook, backup all info, and remember to wipe your cache’s first so your device does not get stuck in a Boot Loop.

  22. halcyon Says:

    The last picture in today’s post is awesome. I wish I was hitting the Gorge. That place is so beautiful and chill.

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    thanks. tackling that tonight. it is a new one with no data on it, so I’m ok on the backup front. i’m hoping it goes swimmingly

  24. kayatosh Says:

    negev: not to make light of the situation, but there is comedy in your story. sign + israeli flag = asking for trouble. lol. i side with you on both accounts. little bro’s should defer to your better judgment.

  25. alf Says:

    where’s the place for chicago pizza?

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