From Sat Sep 12 23:35:41 1998
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 14:57:46 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mark Hutchison 
Subject: So Far...

7/17/98 The Gorge

I: Makisupa, Ya Mar, Gumbo, Divided Sky, Waste, MMGAMOIO, My Soul (69

II: Also Sprach, Mikes->Weekapaug, Character Zero

E: PYITE, Rockytop

The Ya Mar I recall as being really good, but upon listening to it again
it didn't seem as great as I'd remembered.  The Gumbo was good both times,
though.  Divided Sky was a great time, with the sunset behind it and all,
but it wasn't as good as last night's sunset acompanyment.

Second set was da bomb!  Fall '97 had seemed to return.  It is as good as
it looks.  The Also Sprach alone is 25 minutes long.  Even the Character
Zero was good to see.  Trey is soloing again.  He's still playing the
funk a lot, but he's soloing a lot more, too.  Or maybe it's just he's
better.  Honestly, he has finally begun to solo more like a rock star (in
the good aspects - if I'm making any sense in the first place).  He
doesn't stand still forever anymore.  

Punch was wierd to hear for an encore.

 - Mark ("Texas is hot") ah


	"It's kind of silly when [fans are] making pie graphs 
	 about set list openers. 
	 But then, I always liked a good graph."
					 - Mike Gordon in an interview
					   with the Detroit Free Press
					   December 5, 1997


Date:    Mon, 12 Oct 1998 17:49:28 GMT
From:    chris bertolet 
Subject: 7.17.98 set II

I just wanted to *rave* about this set from the Gorge.  It earned mixed
reviews on Lamehendge right after it went down.  But I just heard it for
the first time and I loved it.

The Also Sprach starts out really mellow and builds patiently and with a
lot of collaboration.  Although there's no wicked wailing from Trey a la
4/4, he plays a really thoughtful lead...and Mike is just on *fire* in this
version.  The in-between segment gets really, rrrrreeeeally subdued before
bursting back into the theme, lending a very ethereal quality to the whole
thing.  It's the kind of version that reminds me why this has become one of
my most coveted (if not *the* most coveted, for me) tune that Phish plays.
I think ASZ will go to even more amazing places in '99.

The Mike's is, as many people have noted, repetitive.  The groove that Mike
and Trey lay down could best be described as metalfunk, and it doesn't
really change much.  Every time the theme varies, it ain't very far and it
ain't for long.  I really think that Page could have made a difference in
this Mike's if he were more adventurous, but I think he's lost all desire
to lead the band, like, ever (personal opinion, so flame away).  It's not
really a special Mike's at all, actually, and analog hogs like me will
probably just FF right through it to the flip....and the Groove.

This Weekapaug is ccccrrrrrrrrazy.  First of all, it just rises from the
ashes of this dead-of-attrition Mike's and

[author's note -- I'm pasting this from a mailing list I subscribe to.  I
have since re-listened to this Mike's, and want to note that there's a
really cool jam toward the end of Mike's that's worth listening for.]

although it gets off to a
rather common start, blazes.  I don't think anyone has noted this yet, but
there's a full-on Taste tease about halfway through (the Norweigan
Wood-esque theme that Trey added in Europe in '97 that often sort of
signals the peak of the jam).  The groove takes a few *hard* turns, with
everyone listening to each other and switching direction on a dime...funk
becomes boogie and then whips back to funk.  There's an up-tempo section
about 3/4 of the way through that I can only call Funk on Meth, as the band
breaks it down for Trey, who then proceeds to scratch at his strings and
work his wah pedal at hyperspeed until Fish comes back with the fill -- he
does this like three times and it's electrifying.  The only drawback to
this Weekapaug is the segue into Zero, which Fishman doesn't hear.  He
keeps rapping away at the Groove as Trey sings the first line.  But it's
still not enough to color this anything other than a stellar version, and
anyone who disagrees with me is deaf.


Happy Monday.

"Television!  Teacher...mother...secret lover!  Come, children, let us all
bask in its warm, glowing, warming glow." -- HJS

chris bertolet


7/17/98 - The Gorge, George, WA

After a good but not amazing first night, I had extremely high 
expectations for this show.  I did not leave disappointed.

I: Makisupa - YaMar, Gumbo, Divided, Waste, My Mind's, My Soul
II: 2001 - Mike's - jam - Weekapaug - 0
E: PYITE - Rocky Top

Set I...

Makisupa- nice opener, key word=dank, got everyone on their feet and 
grooving -

YaMar- another very phun song to keep the vibe going, excellent 
placement IMO, this pairing was the
 perfect way to get things started and accented the hot summer weather 

Gumbo- yes!!!  my first Gumbo, pretty good version

Divided- even though they played it at the Gorge last year, I knew we 
were getting this one.  there is no better song to describe this venue.  
ok, not one of the better ones I've heard, but I love Divided and was 
excited to hear it nonetheless.  good placement

Waste- well, I will probably get flamed for this, but I like this song, 
very mellow

My Mind's- after a song like Waste I would have expected something more 
high energy; fairly standard, no flaws, but at this point I felt as if 
the momentum had sort of been killed

My Soul- actually kind of jammed out, one of the better versions I've 
heard, but not enough to make this set stand out as truly excellent.

Set II:

2001- was absolutely phenomenal!  you had to have seen in to believe it, 
extremely long, unbelievable energy, the boys were really on fire here.  
Chris always does a great job with the lights, on this 2001 he went 
beyond his usual standard of excellence.  I hesitate to call anything 
perfect, so let's just say that 
this was far and away the highlight of west-coast run for me -

Mike's- first Mike's of the tour, excellent, really nice jam, this was 
not the standard psychadelic jam at the end of most Mikes', this was 
insane! -

Weekapaug- would I be exaggerating if I said this was one of the best 
versions ever? nah -

Character Zero- rockin', no energy let-up here kids!  


PYITE- good but not spectacular, I always love Punch, no noticable flubs 
or anything like that -

Rocky Top- phun little tune to end a great show, for an encore, you 
can't really expect too much more after a Punch

Overall notes:
-this is the most amazing venue, I had a wonderful time, crowd was cool, 
no rude or obnoxious phans, hardly any of those drama infested 
teeny-boppers you find at Shoreline, Ventura, or the east coast shows, 
what a wonderful atmosphere.  talk about majestic backdrops!
-music was good, set II of 7/17 was exceptional, get this set!!!!

 1:30 am, July 16th 
     We opted to stay in Portland for the opportunity to see a good friends 
     band play in some downtown lounge, where the drinks were as strong as 
     my desire to get the f*&ck out of there and commence our journey.  The 
     hitch: Being sole commander of our mother ship (27' RV), sobriety was 
     the singular option in guaranteeing a safe arrival at the Gorge.  As 
     if a six person pay load isn't sobering enough, not to mention the 
     five-car caravan who followed suit, locked onto the motherships rear 
     floods.  Visions of a slinky glow stick doing a nosedive over the 
     canyon walls proved to be a frightening form of entertainment. "Can't 
     you drive faster than 50 mpr?"  (Clearly the answer to that one, Mr. 
     Sagarin, is a resounding no.)
     In paying homage to our bigger is better values system, yours truly 
     garnered a continual flow of accolades, and positive reinforcement.  
     The truth is all "scout ship" captains earned the "hard core, bad ass, 
     mo fo," standing in my book - Cheers to all the drivers.
     4:10 am, July 16th 
     Holy sh*t!! Is that the sun rising?  Life begins to stir in the rear 
     of our RV.   At this point of our journey I give full credit to the 
     almighty sun for escorting our deliriously fatigued posse, unscathed 
     to our final destination.  Notes to all friendly convoys . . . when 
     travelling in large, overly tired groups stop every 50 minuets for 
     friendly banter, good conversation, and a couple of cokes.  There is 
     no better stimulant!!
     10:00 am, July 16th 
     The transient gods were smiling on us, not only did our sorry convoy 
     arrive safely, but we colonized one of the most convenient, private, 
     beautiful spots on the whole lot!  For those in the know, we were the 
     RV that had a perfect view of the Basketball counts.  A blistering 
     110-degree heat, dehydration, and sleep depravation do not encourage a 
     good pick up game.  I kept thinking of Mark Walberg in Jim Carol's 
     Basketball diaries, (you know the scene where they take the downers 
     ("The blue ones, or the red ones?") right before the big game) 
     standing at the foul line, pushing the ball four feet with that look 
     on his face, "na cowch, I didn't taaake anything."
     11:00 am, July 17th
     Thanks to a kind trader I met via Mr. Gadiel's fall mini tour review 
     page, I had the low down on an "exceptionally beautiful" state park on 
     the Columbia River.  Full facilities, three acres of wooded lawn, 
     concessions, and of course a sprawling black beach, served as our 
     oasis from the unrelenting Washington heat.  This little piece of 
     heaven revived all our vital signs.  To all that are unaware of this 
     majestic spot, it's on the opposite side of the Columbia River from 
     the Gorge . . . thank you Washington State Park and recreational 
     5:30 PM, July 17th
     My loving trusted confidant Merrie and I collected our provisions for 
     the show and decided to make our way into the amphitheater.  
     Thankfully the group mentality was in full force, Mr. Wiesenstock 
     sacrificed some perspiration to head in about 20 minuets before us in 
     order to secure the all important "zone" spot, for our group of 40 
     friends (I kid you not, 40). Hats off to Jason for making the move 
     early so the rest of us didn't have too.   Prime positioning in the 
     Gorge is a must for anybody who is accustomed to the shove ahead 
     mentality of the East Coast. 
     7:50 PM, July 17
     Our spirits (and expectations) were running quite high (thank you Mr. 
     Owsley ;-) at this point.  Greatly anticipating what would no doubt be 
     an earth shattering musical journey through the nether world of Phish.
     Makisupa Opener - The subtle "shwanks" of Makisupa descended upon us 
     as a wave of delirious smiles over took over our group of Phreakers.  
     This opener served as a formal introduction into that special place 
     only the boys can take us.  As the song grew into its final stages a 
     healthy curiosity began to surface.  Contrast is one of my favorite 
     qualities of Phish, and I knew they would have to supply us with a fun 
     loving tune.
     Ya Mar - Ya Mar did not disappoint!  This old fav comprising of 
     Calypso and Ska brought me all the closer to "that place."  Once again 
     the foundation had been reinvented to resemble something along the 
     lines of a medi evil sling shot, prepped and ready to throw this 
     phreaker far beyond the canyon rim where the sun would soon follow 
     Gumbo - Ever since the 8/8/97, 8/13/97 Gumbo's, my expectations for 
     this song have reached an almost unobtainable level.  But achieving 
     and exceeding expectations is how Phish adds to the size of their 
     pension fund.  "Just feel those endorphins go!"  From the first note 
     of the Jam I knew the "Disco Porno Funk" had been introduced (more on 
     this later.)  The shwanked out groove was in full force and so were my 
     hips.  This Gumbo jam had a feeling entirely its own . . . different 
     than the other (stating this is redundant, I know.  I just can't help 
     myself.) Gumbo's of shows past.  It seemed to sink down deep, deep 
     into the world of naughty raunchy funk!  Bravo boys, so good to be 
     back on planet 17 again!
     Divided Sky - How did this song elude my radar?  A terribly obvious 
     prediction that had escaped any and all pre-show conversation.  My 
     absentmindedness paid off though, for my lack of foreshadowing made 
     the unexpected all the more sweet.  Timing is another commodity the 
     boys seem to have the inside scoop on.  Divine intervention, maybe, 
     probably not though.  A higher consciousness is more likely the 
     culprit for their remarkable timing in greeting the twilight with the 
     revolving groove of divided.  A healthy cheer accompanied the sun on 
     its journey west, "wow, they timed the jam perfectly with sun set . . 
     . cool!"  Many, many smiles erupted as they took that decisive trip 
     around the track for a fourth time.  IMO, the success of any divided 
     sky is determined by how many revolutions the cyclical groove box 
     takes, will it be three or four . . . four!!  I'm loving' it too 
     Stevie E!
     Waste - Perhaps I'm revealing my age here but this song continues to 
     grow on me every time I hear it.  The lyrics are clearly applicable to 
     anyone who spends moy time and hard earned $$ to see our heroes.  The 
     climatic ending turns me into a ball of smiling jellow.   
     My Mind - Certainly does!  This song always reminds me that not only 
     does my mind have a mind of its own, but that my mind is rooted to my 
     body which is firmly planted on earth.  Surveying the surrounding 
     environment I smiled.  A feel good song, performed in a feel f*&cking 
     great amphitheater.
     My Soul - I have to be honest here . . . the first couple of times I 
     heard this song I chalked it up as bathroom material, or in the case 
     of the Gorge, "My my my my my my my my my my my ice cream, it's my ice 
     cream."  But in fairness, the further the boys delve into this new and 
     improved funk/groove realm, the more value this song gains in my book. 
      After all, it is their soul that is at the bottom of it all.
     Set break - More group hugs . . . not that this set was monumental or 
     anything.  We just had to revel in the thought that it would be at 
     least another year before we could all savor the thought that a 2nd 
     set was peaking around the corner!!  A 2nd set at the GORGE none the 
     Pre 2nd set thought - I'm not going to claim to be a Phish guru or 
     anything, but as my good friend Steve relayed to me a couple of days 
     prier to the show, "If you predict a home run every time someone comes 
     to bat, you're bound to get a few right."  Needless to say I 
     predicted, and was given a grand slam.
     2001 - A 4:00 min intro had me teetering between DWD and 2001, "If 
     it's 2001 I'm going to freak!"  It was, and I did . . . hard."  This 
     song delivered in a major way!!  Trey was dropping the teardrop, 
     liquid licks from heaven, which always send waves of ecstasy through 
     me.  I hadn't heard a version this deep since 12/12/97, and one this 
     long since the Went.  The atomic groove (thanks Mike!) found a happy 
     home, as bursts of endorphins tangled in my brain.  I never wear a 
     watch inside of a show, besides standard time doesn't apply on planet 
     25, (Note to Franklin: Overkill with the numerical planets, I know, I 
     just can't help myself.) but this 2001 kept going, and going, and 
     going.  Freak show!!
     Mikes Song - Prepare for take off, our final destination will be 
     planet 30.  I'm not sure when the last time I heard a 2001Mikes song, 
     perhaps 12/30/93, either way both the band and I had experienced some 
     remarkable changes since these two monstrosities tangoed.  OLD SCHOOL, 
     OLD SCHOOL, OLD SCHOOL!!  In keeping true to the rare marriage of 
     these songs, the boys slaughtered us with, yup, the OLD SCHOOL mikes 
     groove.  You know what I mean, the style where Trey maintains a 
     metronome like groove which the band spirals around and around until 
     you forget what song, what state, and planet you're on.  That distinct 
     Mike song change, the pivotal moment which traditionally marked the 
     middle of the jam, but had somehow been abandoned these past couple of 
     years, resurfaced to many a phans delight!  As the song began to fade 
     into obscurity, my pouch of predictions ran empty, and certainly 
     couldn't account for what was about to happen.
     Weekapaug!! - Are you f@#king kidding me!  At this point I urged Dan 
     S. to locate my fork . . . I was so done it hurt.  The beginning of 
     this jam delivered like they all do, by not going into my alternative 
     mode of description my intention is not to undermine the significance 
     of this portion of Groove, because what followed may have to go down 
     in my head as being one of the singular greatest moments of my life . 
     . . at least until the next time ;-)  As the jam began to wind down to 
     what I, and I'm sure the majority of phans thought would be the 
     conclusion of a masterful run of songs . . . BAM, SMACK . . . the phab 
     four threw it into overdrive.  What can only be characterized as the 
     DISCO PORNO FUNK, threw everybody, including the band into a 
     shameless, primal phrenzy!!  Words have yet to be coined (other than 
     DISCO PORNO FUNK) to describe the shear level of euphoric mayhem that 
     was achieved.  My only suggestion is to GET THE TAPES.  SPEED ATOMIC 
     FUNK OVERLOAD.  The set could have ended right hear and I'm certain 
     there would have been no complaints.
     Character 0 - An impressive version considering what just look place 
     10 minuets earlier.  Some deep cold water grooves were discovered.  I 
     raised my hand, partially to pay homage to one of the best sets of my 
     Phish career, (chalk this one up for the home team) but to add a drop 
     of recognition in a virtual sea of screams and applauds.  I wasn't the 
     only one jumping up and down.
     Encore, Punch You - The "shwanked" out intro was a slight return to 
     the devastating level of Phunk that was discovered (I say discovered 
     because I had never before heard that sound projected from their 
     stacks during a Weekapaug, or any other song for that matter) just a 
     half hour earlier.  Tight and beautifully played, a baffled grin 
     exposed my thanks and appreciation.  To share such a profound 
     experience with 40 beloved friends and family, in such a remarkable 
     setting, overwhelmed me with an revived appreciation for this special 
     band, and perhaps more importantly, my relationships with friends and 
     loved ones.  For those of you who can't appreciate such a deep 
     founded, probably sappy review, it's OK . . . there's still hope.  I 
     only wish everybody could experience the level of happiness that was 
     shared on this fine evening, we would all be better for it.
     Oh ya - I forgot to mention that they encored the encore with Rocky 
     Top . . . good ole rocky top . . . 
     Matthew Rossi

 I had to send in a review after reading some that have been posted.  Let's not look at the Gorge shows as an entity of there
own, rather look at each Phish show as it's own entity.  These shows are going to be different then every other show of the tour, as
those are too.  I'm going to compare the Gorge to last years Gorge shows.  Huge improvement by Phish.  I think last year they were
in the middle of the tour and a little burned out plus the searing heat didn't help.  Also I think as people, the band was dwarfed by the
awesome beauty of the place and had that element to work against.  This year they seemed very fresh, charged and ready.  They
weren't the same "stunned" musicians who played last year.  I use stunned loosely as I can't think of a better word. 

        I listened to last years tapes the other day and could not find any point where the band eclipsed or met the feverish funk
jamming they achieved this year.  Yes, Phish has slowly evolved into another direction and sound with their music but the intensity
was not there last year.  The first set of the first show almost seemed like a hit parade as it unfolded but that didn't change how the
band played.  They were there to play and exhibit their magic as the attraction, not as a "side show"  to the environment they
seemed to be last year.  I know there are folks who will take exception to some of the phrases and language I'm using but I'm just
not coming up with anything more diplomatic.  I just can't remember seeing the band so relaxed.  In a nutshell last year it appeared
as work, this year it was pure fun!  Listen to the tapes.

        That's the next topic, get the tapes of these shows.  Like all Phish shows there are moments of pure blissfulness, but these
shows were pure moments of blissfulness.  Not at one point did I think "oh no not that again".  Length of sets didn't matter because
what was inside was so satisfying and glorious that if each set was an essay, the arguments were concluded perfectly and the
reader was satisfied with the thoughts. 

        For those who weren't there, try to make the extra effort it may take to get a copy of the second show, second set.  I could
have gone home to Canada after hearing that 2001 if that was the only thing they played for two days.  I'm hoping they're not burned
out on the Gorge yet or vice versa as for the sometimes "limited" time they spend on the west coast it's as good as it gets.  Enjoy
the rest of the tour, 

Peter Tessier 
AV Production Coordinator 
London Drugs Ltd. 

Makisupa- Nice way to open the show! Pretty good version,nice page on some
wierd synth type stuff with the usual trey and fish but mike was unleashing
bombs! Right on Mike!

Ya Mar-Pretty good way to keep the summer vibe going! Very nice Trey, he
did that little solo he did in nassau 4-5-98, but not quite as long. This
was a good Ya Mar.

Gumbo-Definately Phunky as hell ala 8-13-97 style for all the gumbo lovers!
Longer and Phatter than ever! Bless fishman for writing this tune!

Divided-O.K. My first divided and I was absolutley stoked to say the least!
Trey didn't bobble this one as was reported, he merely took his time and
made his tone fatter for certain parts! THIS BEING MY FIRST I PAYED SPECIAL
ATTENTION TO THIS! He was on and any one who didn't think so should wait
for their tapes! Divided was nice!


MMGAMOIO- The usual bluegrass fun!

My soul- A very fine rollicking trey guitar virtuoso solo!

Set1 Verdict: (7 of 10)


2001-Absolutely the best I believe I've ever heard! So unreal, so
exploratory, so well played! Almost 30 Minutes! Not one second was not
fully jammed out! Get this tape for this if anything!

Mike's-Jam-Weekapaug-Mike's was very wierd, it started out as normal and
then it started to sound like some '93,'94 Mike's. Trey kept banging these
heavy metal type chords then all of a sudden, the band went quieter then
they went into this surreal jam! It went for a while and was very melodic
and had nice playing from all the members. Then it segued into a strange
jam that I can't remember too well so I will not explicate on it any
further. When the jam segued into Weekapaug MIke simply took over and let a
nasty solo go a little longer than normal and got the crowd into a frenzy!
This Weekapaug raged!

Character Zilch-Well played rock n' roll by PHiSH!

PYITE-decent not exactly sparkling, but after a show like that I'll give
the boyz some room!

Set2 Verdict: (8 of 10)

This show is so sick and when I think about it both nights of the gorge
were spectacular! These are going to be favs as soon as they get
circulated! I plan on helping them become circulated. 

I just wanted to put a quick word in for the people who are bashing the length of the second set at the second
night of the Gorge. For those of you who were there, you know how amazing everything was...when i say
amazing i am refering to the scenery, the atmosphere, the light show, and especially, the incredible music the
Phish jammed straight through till the lights came up. Granted the setlist looks a little light, but if you were at the
Gorge and experienced the second set, then you know wha i am talking about, this for sure the best set that i
have ever seen, and everyone should be grateful to the guys for coming up with an incredible musical experience
in the greatest venue in the country.
P.S. As for you people from the East coast who swear that Phish shows out in the west simpy do not compare to
those ont he east coast, get the tape of this show, you will be blown out of the water!!! 

I am quite amazed that anyone can whine about either of the Gorge shows.
Some of you people need to be a little more grateful.  You just cant
beat the Gorge as place to see the boys, and the shows where hands down
some of the best I've seen since first seeing Phish in '88. They
definately dig the place and rose to the occasion. There is such a kind
and mellow vibe about the place, and the view is unbeatable. The second
night second set was just perfect- I have never seen Trey so into it,
strutting around like a man possesed. The 2001 could not have been a
better choice- amazing lights!!! Who cares how long they set was, it
makes no difference- they boys did not stop playing from the minute they
started 2001 till the last of the Rocky Top- one solid kicking jam!! Get
the tape and stop whining. I'm sure the vast majority of people there
had the time of thier lives. 

Portland, OR

Hey folks,

I was actually *at* the Gorge, and wanted to respond to some of those 
non-attendees who were complaining about the short sets. Listen, set II 
of the second night was simply amazing. I've been seeing Phish since 
'94, on both coasts, and this was one of the most memorable sets I've 
seen. Short, strictly in minutes, yes; short, in terms of how much they 
packed into an hour, no way. The thing that those of you who weren't 
there don't understand is the energy level of 2001, Mike's Groove, and 
Character Zero--it was so incredibly high, that it would've been simply 
impossible to do any more with this set. The boys were *tired* by the 
time they got through with this one, people. I have never, in over four 
solid years, seen Trey go so f*cking crazy on stage. I *have* seen 
high-energy shows (12/31/95 still ranks at the top), but this one was 
definitely up there. To have had a Bouncin' or Billy Breathes follow 
Character Zero would've just sucked. It was in the boys' best judgment 
to let go of this one while they were still ahead. The crowd was going 
*insane* the entire set--why not just stop while we're all (band and 
crowd) on the highest high possible? It makes perfect sense. Plus, the 
light show was hands-down the best I have ever seen, and boy, did that 
add a whole extra dimension to the music. Not to mention the Gorge 
itself--a beautiful venue and the perfect place to experience Phish. 
Moral of the story, don't knock a show because of its length. I know 
from experience how satisfying a short show can be (take my first one 
for example, 4/13/94--excellent, and by no means extraordinarily 
lengthty), and how unfulfilling a long one can be (12/31/97 takes the 
cake in this department--the worst Phish show I've seen, and certainly 
*not* a short one). So you see, folks, you mustn't judge a book by its 
cover. Didn't we all learn that years ago?

As for the rest of the Gorge: set I of the second night was fun but 
standard. Trey *struggled* through D. Sky. Trust me, I was as excited as 
anyone to hear this tune and very glad that I did (the last one for me 
was at the Ball), but boy, did Trey have a *hard* time with it. In fact, 
I've personally never seen Trey struggle more. He was just off, at least 
throughout the composed sections. Overall, the set was nothing to write 
home about. 

Day one had many highlights, but overall was a bit too mellow for my 
tastes. However, the highlights are definitely noteworthy. I read 
another post praising the meticulous way the boys are playing each and 
every note these days, and this is a very accurate way to explain why 
certain songs the first night were just so damn good. Stash was tight, 
though not stand-out. Reba and Antelope, however, were terriffic. 
Mellow, so I can't use the word "hot," but very "on." Best way to 
describe them: very jazzy, very intricate, very musical. But for those 
fans who like to go f*cking nuts at shows, these weren't the answers to 
their prayers. Personally, I think these tunes will be more impressive 
on tape, when you can really *listen* to the complexities of these jams 
and not just motion through them, itching for an energy outlet. This was 
*serious* music--dare I say, maybe a little too much so for some Phish 
fans to handle??? Then there was the second set. IMO, quite weak until 
Bowie. Too mellow, too standard. But Bowie was *hot*. A superb version. 
Freaky, spacey, way-out intro, and very clean, in fact, nearly seamless, 
transitions throughout the tune. Excellent jam. High-energy, great 
noodling, terrific drum work by Fish. And Mike is just unstoppable these 
days (see 'Paug from night two--boy, did he make this one the great one 
that it was). Then a very nice Tube and a beautiful Slave--extremely 
melodic jam. This three-song run was a knockout--a lot of fun and 
terrific music-making by the boys. Of course, the encore could've been 
stronger, but I was so happy with the way the set ended, that I wasn't 

Anyhow, if you only get one tape of this run, make it night two set two. 
Next best would be night one set I, followed by night one set II. That's 
my opinion, anyhow.

Thanks for reading. See ya in Ventura.


just finished up the 4 show run from the gorge to ventura last nite (and
i'm already debating whether to skip out of work today and hit
phoenix...).   anyways, while the 2nd nite of the gorge was not the
strongest of shows musically, the lights during 2001 were absolutely the
best ever!   chris had it going off during the 2nd set opener.
incredible work with the lights chris.  thank you!  

don't know if it was the extreme heat at the gorge or what, but the
shows were definitely of a mellow tone... i thought if it was going to
go off anywhere on the left coast it would've been at the gorge...
after spending 6 years of being a phish east coaster, these were my
first west coast summer shows and i was a tad disappointed. but then
again, it is not fair to compare to the summers of '94, '93 or last
year's craziness. 

i'll shut up though, because these guys still create an emotional energy
that will always blow my mind.........  

Let me just start by saying that the Gorge is the most incredible
place I have ever seen a show.  For those of you who haven't been there,
the sceneary is unbelievable.

I. Makisupa  Ya mar, Gumbo, Divided Sky, Waste, MMGAMOIO, My soul

Makisupa was a great opener.  It was a standard version but really got
me moving in the 100 degree heat.  Makisupa flowed nicely into Ya Mar,
again standard but well played.  Gumbo was excellent with the now normal
extended funk jam at the end.  This song has come an extremely long way
in the last couple of years.  Divided sky!  ahhhh.  My 1st  since the
Clifford Ball.  I don't know if i could possibly describe this
experience.  They began playing it when the sun was a little ways above
the mountains.  Right in the middle, during the pause, the sun was
half-way blocked by the mountain, and 1/2 way shining.  A true divided
sky.  a couple of minutes after they resumed playing the sun disappeared
and we were treated with some glorious shade and a temperature drop of
about 15 degrees.  As for the version itself, i don't know if I've heard
a better one.  It was perfect, with some unbelievable Trey soloing
towards the end.  I have almost become bitter that they have pretty much
dropped this song from the rotation, but seeing it under these
circumstances made the 2 year wait more than worth while.
    Waste.  Say what you want about the slow billy breathes songs, but
this was perfect placement.  Good time to relax and drink some water.
MMGAMOIO was nice, great lyrics.  The My Soul closer was rocking, with
excellent jamming by Trey.

II.  2001  Mike's  W. Groove  C. Zero
    E.  Punch, Rocky Top

    All I can say about the 2001 is get it.  24 minutes long with an
incredible light show.  Clearly the best version they have ever played.
At the end, Trey strummed the guitar and raised his arm in the air a
couple of times, and then Mike's began.  2001  Mikes.  Nothing is
better than this combo.  The Mike's was awesome.  It came to a climax
and then slowed down and was followed by some serious Hydrogen teases.
At one point, i thought they even began playing it.  But instead it went
right into W. Groove.  A great version with some incredibly intense
soloing by Trey at the end.  C. Zero was extremely intense, and for the
1st time in awhile I really enjoyed it.  The encore was a little
strange.  Punch was standard, but not too exciting and weird as an
    This show was truly excellent.  It was the 1st show I've seen in
awhile that was completely dominated by Trey.  Their new philosophy over
the last year and a half has been to jam as a group, with nobody really
taking over a show.  This night was different, as Trey once again took
it to another level.