A Portal to Paradise

"Rock and Roll" - 8.5.11 - The Gorge (Graham Lucas)

As the lights spun to the side of the stage just before the band launched into “Rock and Roll’s” jam, I looked out over the Gorge on a fresh head and thought to myself, “Is this really gonna’ happen?” I wasn’t sure what I meant. It was one of those transient thoughts that flash through your mind as quickly as they leave during an electric night at Phish. The sound was perfect, the weather divine, and on the first night of tour, it felt like the band was on the brink of something huge. Twenty minutes—or a lifetime—later as Phish seamlessly slid into “Meatstick,” bringing me out of an subconscious state, my soul had been wrenched by spiritual aliens, worked over by a funk seductress, and dragged deep into the dark side by a demonic, psychedelic muse. Phish had harnessed IT—that unspeakable power of the universe—in the course of one musical adventure for the ages. And when the dust settled on “Rock and Roll,” let alone “-> Meatstick -> Boogie On,” I had just lived a dream.

8.5.11 (G.Lucas)

This is the type of cosmic escapade that alters lives, moves metaphysical mountains—changes things. Walking up the terraces of the Gorge after the show, I—we—had been forever altered by such a profound evening with the Phish. Wide-eyed and beaming, still trailing stardust behind, I pondered the musical insanity that had just transpired. Phish had been playing unbelievably at Super Ball, but this was a different sort of scene. This was one of those nights where the guys’ playing was so natural and of the stars, it infused a sense of majesty into every unfolding moment. And moments seemed to be around every corner during this sequence. Fusing styles past and present, Phish molded a psychedelic symphony out of “Rock and Roll” that stands up to anything they’ve ever done. Period. (Not to mention one of the most fluid segues in history.)

8.5.11 (G.Lucas)

With improvisation so innovative and engaging, time stood still—or flew out the window. This was an experience that afterwards one looked back on in awe and respect rather that just as a piece of music. Everything flowed with such patience and prowess, and the band committed to taking us to places none of us had seen before—a collective musical discovery amidst the natural world. Building through distinct stages of improv without losing cohesion, Phish hit a sacred stride on this night. Something special happened; something that doesn’t occur at every show. The band created a piece of music that spoke to the very ethos of Phish, a jam that opened up an invisible doorway to a fantasy for which we criss-cross the nation.

Everything over the past two-plus years had built up to this. All the stepping stones of ’09 and ’10—all the sublime highlights and borked jams, missed transitions and musical triumphs—had brought us here; to the Gorge on August 5th, a night when everything changed again. Phish hadn’t dropped something like this before. Not in this context. Not with this palate of sound. Not ever. Throw the era qualifications right into the Columbia River Gorge. And when Mike dropped that bass line deep into the night, bringing the beat back from the netherworld, the Earth shook with delight as skulls shattered across the hillside. IT was real. And IT was good.

In fact, IT was alright.


Jam of the Day:

Rock and Roll -> Meatstick -> Boogie On” 8.5 II

A musical revelation on the first night of tour.



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277 Responses to “A Portal to Paradise”

  1. Kaveh Says:

    New Ryan Adams album coming out, if he is our bag:


  2. joe Says:

    well, not really FTW as that part of my life’s brain files have been erased by all the phish factoids I’ve picked up here, but email sent Miner.

  3. dusty Says:

    @ Tzara’s Ghost Wipeout is a bit thin. Also Viscosity from Port Brewing.

  4. fLippingBackward Says:

    Hey BBers- Anyone happen to have or know of any extras to the Trey Silver Spring, MD show on 10/13?? I was waiting to get tix after summer tour ended to give my credit card a little relief… stupid mistake since they are sold out! Damn… Can anyone hook up some extras?

  5. Mr.Miner Says:

    i think the shipping thing may have just worked itself out…the printers thought the slow boat from china had to go to Philly (where the publisher is based) but SF cuts of 2 weeks…ch-ching…should have books in time to ship like a madman for holidays 🙂

  6. sumodie Says:

    there won’t be chairs on Dick’s field

    phish knows what we want

  7. joe Says:

    best non-musical trend by far is the GA floor.

  8. joe Says:

    although, my lady would disagree as we spent set 2 of Worcester GA floor up in the seats.

  9. Chuck sweD Says:

    free range phaners~

  10. Al Says:

    I made a personal remix of Live Phish Jams and I’m not sure if I should upload it on vimeo. It’s 35 min. long. Only instrumental.

    Tweezer (08/12/11)>YEM (ALO)>Sand (UIC 2011)>Mike’s Song (08/12(11) >Reba (10/19/10)>Suzy Greenberg Jam (09/14/00)

    Do you think I might get into trouble? I’d include a link to Livephish.com. What do you think?

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    im thinking (hoping) the field will be covered a la toyota park with a hard dancablel surface

  12. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ Al, what could they possibly do? upload it to mediafire…

  13. jonacho Says:

    Dicks play on wide open grass.
    No chairs, no BS, just blankets and lots of grass.

  14. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Who needs a second jam in Mike’s when songs like Waves (UIC), Disease (UIC), RnR (Gorge), and Light (Tahoe) are all getting dark-ass bonus jam segments?

  15. Al Says:

    @Miner – Ok I’m uploading to mediafire at the moment. It’s all a Type I mix of jams. Quite easy listening, funky and dancable. Good to convert people into phans at parties…;-)

  16. sumodie Says:

    as for jumping onto the field, the smart venues ring the gen adm space w/ a barrier, so you’ll need to perfect the double jump if Dick’s takes that approach

    did uic have a temp barrier round the floor? worcester did

  17. Kaveh Says:

    did uic have a temp barrier round the floor?


  18. bob dylan Says:

    Who needs a second jam in Mike’s when songs like Waves (UIC), Disease (UIC), RnR (Gorge), and Light (Tahoe) are all getting dark-ass bonus jam segments

    ^id take one.

  19. joe Says:

    I wish I could find the video the dead played at Giant’s stadium with Mickey Hart dressed as a sportscaster telling people not to jump over the wall to get on the field. “Remember, you can’t dance with a broken ankle”

  20. Mike in Austin Says:

    Loving this Broken Social Scene album right now.

    “Quite easy listening, funky and dancable. Good to convert people into phans at parties…;-)”

    Nice. Personally, Miner’s Funky Laid Back Funk ’98 mix always attracts a crowd.

    Check the last 10 minutes of Wolfman’s at the Woodlands in Houston. Great stuff really. All building up towards that Bathtub Gin at Riverport.

  21. Mike in Austin Says:

    “did uic have a temp barrier round the floor?


    Dr. P looked at it, and with his Jedi skills, just walked past it.

    I’ve probably missed it, but how did is interview at Duke go? He was going down last Friday right?

  22. Mike in Austin Says:

    “his” interview at Duke.

  23. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Soccer season still in play, field likely covered.

    Not sure how this will be. Any input? good/bad/indifferent?

    I like dancing on the lawn.

  24. BingosBrother Says:

    Dr. P led me to the promised land. Set 2 was all hallway for this dancin freak.

    Hopin Dicks field isn’t w a x’d. Mother nature feels good whilst spun. Not that I’ll be there. Fuckers.

  25. Mike in Austin Says:

    pro tip: if you smoke, please fill a baggie with sand, and keep butts in your pocket, and don’t ash out on the pitch.

    Just spreading the good word. I know that was a big thing for the GD, and wish more Phish fans did it.

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