Date: Tue, 5 Aug 1997 14:59:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Larry E. Lemm" 
Subject: The Gorge '97

Somewhere in the vast wasteland that is Eastern Washington lies an oasis
of a river.  It's water providing the only greenery in a sea of dry grass.
Perched 1000 feet above the river lies THE GORGE.

The Gorge was a beautiful venue.  The staff was confused, but friendly
(mostly).  There were many more people there to camp and party (a staff
worker told me up to 60-70,000).  There were NO COPS in the campgrounds,
and vending was unofficially permitted.  Pretty much an open market,
enough of the scene, now for the shows.


Set I

Theme from the Bottom:  A nice opener, but not enough energy for me.  I
like theme better at the end of a set personally.  But I am always game
for whatever they are ready to throw my way...

Ginseng Sullivan:  I have a feeling this song was a make up for
misidentifying it last fall in nearby Spokane(calling it a Monroe tune
instead of a Blake). I love the bluegrass,
Ginseng always makes me smile, now the set is starting to build some

Ghost:  The best of the new songs.  Ghost is funky, and Mike (with his
shiny new bass) is sounding better than ever.  By this point in the show
the Bop Gun is out funkatizing the crowd P-Funk style, which moves us to

Dogs Stole Things:  This song is good too, it grooves along but it was
quickly forgotten after I heard the first few notes of

Divided Sky:  The huge open sky of E. Washington made this song an obvious
choice.  They jammed it out long.  Nice.

Wolfman's Brother:  This was one of the new slow funk style Wolfmans.
Mike stole the shows on the West Coast (imho), and funky bass jams like
Wolfmans are the reason.

Water in the Sky:  A new bluegrass tune.  Can never be wrong.

Split Open & Melt:  The highlight of the set.  Crazy jams, long,
everything you ever wanted out of a split open in craziness, however it
might have been a little faster.  Highlight reel material though.

Set II

DWD:  They started of in a blob of space, and a lot of people around me
were thnking 2001, however Mike seemed too happy and funky, so I knew
after a seconds Disease was on the way.  Really awesone, reminded me of
Seattle '96 Disease

>Tweezer:  The Disease\Tweeze is a great combo.  The tweezer kept rolling
along, I have no idea how long it went, but it kept me frozen in my place
with insane jams

>DWD:  The jam flowed into each other, and Page has a new keyboard that
sound so Herbie Hancock, the disease finnaly broke into\

>Johnny B. Goode:  Hands down the best Johnny I have ever seen.  It was
super fast, but then kept rolling and jamming.  It must have gone 10 or 15
minutes wow.

Sparkle:  Always fun.  Some people in the campground started shooting off
some fireworks, and after the energy of J B Goode, Sparkle had me ready to
explode, but then....

Waiting in the Velvet Sea:  This is a great song to smoke a bowl in. (My
mother taught me that if I can't say something nice I shouldn't say
anything at all, so there is something nice about that song.)(Personally I
would love to hear it roll into BBFCFM and never be heard from again)

Loving Cup:  After all the energy that was lost with WITVS, I was
expecting to hear something chock full of funk...still gotta love the cup

Tweezer Reprise:  Ahh the reprise is not dead at all.  As a whole the
second set was seriously funky.  If you haven't gotten the Disease/Tweeze
yet, you are missing some good shit.  If they could just not drop all that
grovve with Waiting.....

Hood:  The hood was good.  Everyone really clicked together (Even the Bank
of Fishman....if you haven't heard, Henrietta is dead, and they have
replaced Fishman with some yuppie banker;}-'  The part where the lights
went out was very peaceful, with the keys rolling up and down the chords.

The first night was dominated by Melt-Disease\Tweeze-Hood.  The rest was
good, but those four were just rocking.  

Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 16:03:42 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Gorge shows 8/2 & 8/3

The Gorge 8/2

     The band came out at about 7:45, after an announcement at about 7:30
that the band was waiting for the crowd to fill up, as traffic into the Gorge
amphitheater was terrible.
     As I alluded to in the other posting, there were county sheriffs at the
site, ostensibly to direct traffic, but they didn't do much.  The Gorge staff
would seem to be a better choice, since it's their work place, maybe they'd
take some pride, etc, etc.  The amphitheater was packed- Saturday's show sold
out in advance, 25000 tickets or so.
     Opened the set with Theme From the Bottom and the crowd loved it. The
next three songs were new to most of us who haven't been to any other shows
this year- Ginseng Sullivan (new to me anyway), Ghost and Dogs Stole Things-
both new as far as I know.  Divided Sky next, followed by Wolfman's Bro,
Water in the Sky and Split Open and Melt.  Excellent first set.
     I can't comment much on the second set.  During the set break I started
to feel awful- a combination of heat and mushrooms.  As the second set began,
I was stumbling through the crowd.  After breaking free of the most crowded
section, I began to regain some lucidity- in fact I was dancing and singing
along with Down w/Disease, feeling fine for a few moments.  Then it was back
to I'm-gonna-die land. Eventually I stumbled into the first aid station and I
must give very heartfelt thanks to the staff there.  The men and women there
were efficient, concerned and empathetic.  After a quick I.V. and a nap, I
was good to go. Unfortunetly, the encore was just ending.
     According to the set list posted on the AOL Phish page, the second set
consisted of a long Down w/Disease --> Tweezer --> Down --> Johnny B. Goode
jam.  After came Sparkle, Waiting in a Velvet Sea, Loving Cup and Tweezer
reprise.  The encore was Harry Hood.


Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 19:48:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: The Gorge, August 2,3 1997 George, Washington

Anticipation for the 2 night run at the Gorge was very high, especially after
the shorleline show blew my mind and about everybody else around me, but
enough of that on with the Gorge.

We arrived to the camp grounds about 2:00 pm to some minor traffic delays (I
understand it got alot worst) and some serious heat in eastern Washington.
 We set camp up, had a bite to eat and then headed to the show about 5:00 pm.
 Its hard to describe the feeling I got as I walked over the hill for the
first time seeing this venue I had heard so much about, WOW is all I can say,
what a backdrop for a Phish show!  The show started about 45 min late due to
the traffic problems but at least they announced that the show was going to
start late instead of leaving us in the dark.  The boys then walk out on

8/2/97 Saturday
Set 1:
Theme from the Bottom:  Good opener not much out of the ordinary here, people
still moving into there seats made it kinda hard to get into the show right
away but nevertheless still an enjoyable opener.

Ginseng Sullivan: Alright this is more like it, lots of energy one of my
favorite bluegrass tunes really got the show moving early, Mike is sounding

Ghost: This is definetley one of my favorite new songs, I was a little
dissapointed at first, having heard this just 2 nights before at shoreline
but once they got into it so did the crowd and I wasnt far behind.

Dog Stole Things:  Another repeat from the shoreline show, this one has nice
possibilities of the new songs, nice and bluesy song, I like the blues!

Divided Sky:  Me and my buddy knew we would get this one, with a backdrop
like the gorge it just called for a Divided Sky, and we were not
dissapointed, it was really tight and this is where the show started feeling
like we were going to be in for a really really good ride.  Trey sounds
awesome on this he is really starting to get into the show, I love how he
bobs back and forth.

Water in the Sky:  Another new song, first time I had heard this one cant
really comment to much on this one as I was playing the part of Water Boy to
quench our thirst but it was pretty mellow from what I heard.

Wolfman's Brother:  Yes Yes Yes,  Definetley the Highlight for me in the
first set, I really wanted to here this song and boy did I hear this song.
 They slowed and funked out the brother to start and then the jam:  WOW it
left the realm of Wolfman's Brother and launched us all into outerspace with
an amazing 15 or 20 min phreaky jam then like clockwork took us back into
reality with the familiar notes of the brother again.  Best Wolfman's Ive
ever heard!

Split Open and Melt:  Another Set 1 highlight my boy Brad called this one he
definatley was in tune with what the band was doing on this night.  Mike once
again sounded great, as well as the rest of the band.  Great jam as well in
this one, Great set closer, but the best was yet to come.

Set II:
Down With Disease: This is where it all got crazy, they started the second
set with a little spacy noodling, at first I thought we were about to get a
2001 but once again my boy Brad called it as the familiar notes rang out of
Mikes Bass the Disease was here and with lots of energy.  Vocals were great,
Page, Fishman. Mike and Trey all looked like they were having a blast playing
to this crowd.  Then the jam was the start of somethin good but we didnt
quite know what.  The jam got really spacey once again and left the disease
far behind.  I was guessing that they would segue into a Antelope or Bowie
but like a answer from God a Glimmering light from the Darkness "THE TWEEZER"

Tweezer:  What was this I was hearing but the first Tweezer since February in
Italy?  Alright this was more like it and this tweezer was diferent it was
really slow and really funky and it was working the crowd over like a 5 day
old Veggie Burrito.  I was in lala land being hosed like never before, the
energy and the funk was to much, I felt like I was going to explode from the
inside out, what was going to come out of this tweezer?

Down With Disease:  Back into the Disease of course awesome segue back into
the Disease but they didnt stay there very long because if seemed that
Fishman had other plans in mind with a furious snare roll on the drums and a
long look from Trey the familiar sounds of Rock and Roll from yesteryear came

Johnny B. Goode:  By far the highest most intense energy of the set and the
show, couldnt stop moving if I would have had Rosanne Barr sitting on top of
me.  The absolute best I have ever heard Johnny B. Goode sound (even from
Chuck) Trey just jammed and jammed and jammed the whole crowd was one big
united force of the kindest most beautiful energy I have ever felt, what a
feeling.  Go Johnny Go!!!!!!

Sparkle:  I have to say that I knew we were going to here this song somewhere
in the 2 nights at the Gorge but in my oppinion this was about the worst
place you could have put it in the set.  Sparkle is not one of my favorites
to begin with and maybe Im being a little hard on the song but I think that
it, along with the next song of the set were damn near close to bringing the
Greatest set of Phish music Ive heard live to a dead halt.

Wading in the Velvet Sea:  Well what can you say but it was time to Get water
during this one and I think thats what most people did,  lots of room
developed on the floor at this time.  The only saving grace of this one was
Treys Guitar work, it was really surreal and kind of a bluesy solo.  But all
in all I think that it really killed the good energy and peak that we had all
acheived earlier.  But the set would be saved!

Loving Cup:  I love this song, I was so glad to here it after the Velvet Sea
it really picked everybody back up.  Its a great song to sing along to and
release some of that mellow energy everybody had just picked up.Give a little
drink of your Loving Cup.

Tweezer Reprise:  The reprise is not dead either, always a great way to end a
show with that Tweezer Vibe.  Great build up to the end!

Harry Hood:  What more could you ask for (another one that Brad called) what
a great encore.  The begining was really really tight and then right before
the jam Trey stepped up to the microphone and asked that all the lights be
turned off so that we could get that natural outdoor effect and then the band
played.  The only thing I could see was just the lights on Trey's and Mike's
amps and I was only about 5 or 6 rows back it was pretty dark.  The chance to
just look up at the million or so stars that you can see in the Washington
sky while listening to Trey's beautiful guitar work was a once in a lifetime
experience.  It was such a peacefull moment at the show and then the light
started to slowly come back up as Trey started building up the jam.  Then
after a few more minutes of the jam and build up We could all feel good about
hood!  What a show if you were there you should consider yourself honored to
be there, if you werent get the tapes to this one and close your eyes and
picture yourself there either way you wont or didnt get dissapointed this

On to Night 2 at the Gorge!!

Paul Scott

Date: Wed, 06 Aug 1997 16:30:04 +0000
From: patrick chadwick
Subject: Gorge Shows


My most hearty recomendation to everyone is that they go see a show at
the's the most incredible venue I have ever seen; imagine
Alpine Valley except take trees and hills out of the background and add
a massive rocky gorge with the beautiful Columbia River rolling through
it...truly incredible. I was happy just laying on the lawn bouncing
around the clouds and checking out the scenery while waiting for the
shows to start...The on-site camping is a complete 24-hour non-stop
melee, probably only half the people go to the show. And it rages all
night long. My only complaint was the lack of ice at the little general
store, but I'm sure they were completely overwhelmed...still, be advised
to pack in everything you need when you go. No cops in sight, and the
staff is nice enough.

Anyhow, the shows...

Saturday night was a fun ordeal. The heat dissapated a bit when the sun
went down and the band was in ultra-funky mode. 
First set:

Theme from the Bottom: Terrific opener.
Ginseng Sullivan: Fun, nice change of speed from Theme opener.
Ghost: Started the funk attack theme that dominated the evening. This is
a great new song, and there were lots of great new songs on tap!
Dogs Stole Things: Another great new tune.
Divided Sky: A brilliant inclusion in the set, and it almost had to be a
tribute to the incredible vastness on display at the venue. Excellent
long jam...
Wolfmans Brother: Started the end-of-the-set funkadelic blitzkreig -
loads of fun!
Water In The Sky: A nice little transition, kinda blue-grassy thing.
Split Open and Melt: WOW! They went crazy on this song, it sounded like
they coulda played all night! 

Second set:

Down with Disease: I thought this was going to be 2001 during the little
spacey warmup noise-glob, but then Mike started the funk and the whole
gang was back into phunkification!
>Tweezer: A little slower than I guess I would like, but Im just being picky maybe. Not bad, the jams were solid.
>DWD: Rollin....
>Johnny B. Goode: Alright! This just seemed to spring up out of nowhere, and it absolutely cooked! Fun throw-in!
Sparkle: The crowd seemed to love it and it was fun.
Wading In The Velvet Sea: I know all the words to this one! I see this
one frequently listed as "Waiting In The Velvet Sea", but "Wading" makes
more sense to me, so I don't OK song, but it really seemed to
bog down the nice phunk they had built up into a rolling thunder.
Loving Cup: I love this cover, but it was absolutely gutted by the
slowness of the previous song...too bad. It just didn't have the ooomph
I like. Still salty though. What a beautiful buzz!

Harry Hood: Always fun, great jammy encore, and especially fun when Trey
asked Chris to turn out the lights and get "an outdoor vibe going." So
they jammed in the dark for a while with just the massive gorge darkness
behind them...very cool, and a great way to head back into the weird
darkness of the campground...

See you soon.

Eugene, OR

Date: Thu, 07 Aug 1997 09:52:11 -0800
From: Darius Zelkha 
Subject: Shoreline/Gorge reviews

Subject: Shoreline -> Gorge REVIEWED (very long)
Date: Tue, 05 Aug 1997 17:03:17 -0800
From: Darius Zelkha 

Ahh, Summer Time; the weather is warm, the times are slow, and the
circus that is the Phish tour comes to town.  My brief thoughts of the
Shoreline -> Gorge experience come from someone who's seen 20+ Phish
shows (dating back to Spring '93), has hundreds of hours of the band on
tape, and enjoys seriously discussing and critiquing their music.

Woke up at 6am, packed the car, and headed out for the 975 mile drive up
north.  A wonderful drive in all regards; not much traffic, great
conversation and music, and absolutely beautiful scenery that puts the
drive from SF to Red Rocks to shame, frankly (a theme that would
continue throughout the journey).  Rolled into the Gorge at around
11:30pm to set up camp.  

At this point I should mention that there was a show at the Gorge on
Friday night: It was the "KUBE Jam," a concert of 11 rap bands set up by
a local radio station.  Needless to say, the mix of KUBE crowd and Phish
crowd was rather entertaining; to give you an example, our car/campsite
was sandwiched between two cars, one of which was blasting Dead and the
other which was blasting Snoop Dog :)

The Gorge is the greatest place I've ever seen music, period.  I saw the
Red Rocks shows of 1995 and 1996, and frankly, I'd take the Gorge over
Red Rocks any day of the week.  Besides being an incredibly beautiful,
outstanding, mindblowing venue in terms of looks and sound, the place is
extremely well-organized, as they had COLD running water all over the
venue, both inside and out.  Security was very, very cool; they were
even spraying people with hoses before the show so we could cool off,
and were (to my knowledge) virtually non-existant during the show

Though I'm in the minority here, I'd say that the first Gorge show was
my favorite of the three shows I saw, no question.  THEME opened the
show strongly.  I was absolutely thrilled to hear another GHOST; I was
honestly hoping this would open the 2nd Gorge show as well, even though
I had heard it at Shoreline too.  I just love this song and the jam that
comes out of it.  GHOST was typically funky, indicative of the entire
show that would follow.  The DIVIDED SKY in the first set was the
definition of "rusty," as Trey missed some composed stuff and just
didn't feel very comfortable with the jam.  

The highlight of the first set was, no question, the WOLFMAN'S BROTHER. 
I knew they were jamming this out, but I had no idea the song had become
_this_ huge.  The funky, Meters-esq jam out of the Wolfman's groove
developed into a full-fledged arena rock groove and jam, which
absolutely tore the Gorge apart.  From what I heard, this made the
Ventura Wolfman's look like Green Day.

The MELT that ended the set was interesting.  The first portion of the
jam didn't interest me at all; just the standard stacatto Melt jamming
(boring).  Then something broke, and the band (and all hell) really
broke loose.  The ending few minutes of the Melt were just NUTS, as the
band screechingly jammed with little-to-no cohesion, but still nailing
the time signature, and the lights went berzerk.  Normally I'd frown on
such behavior, but this time, it really worked for me; it reminded me of
the 6/11/94 Red Rocks Melt, actually.  The whole crowd was going
bananas, and it was a great way to end the set.

The second set was, for me, pure bliss.  I just enjoyed every single
moment of this set.  The DISEASE that started it off was furious and
funky, and in the same way that the Raleigh DWD slows down and grooves
into Mike's Song, this one slowed down, and, after some time, we could
hear Trey working around the opening riff to TWEEZER.

TWEEZER!!!!  (It's baaaaaaaaaaaaack.....)

Similarly to Seattle (the other Diseezer), this Tweezer was sloooooow
and verryyyy, verrrry funky.  Lots of mishaps here and there, as the
band hadn't played this one for a long time (I never thought they'd
forget how to play Tweezer...some serious flubs), but inspired
nonetheless.  Funky, funky jamming, very indicative of the jamming found
in Ghost earlier in the show and some of the Wolfman's stuff.  As the
jam sped up, you could feel the return to Disease coming, and we were
right, as Trey got that lick in there and launched back into the
Disease-esq groove and jam.  After a bit more jamming in the Disease
vein, Trey sped the jam up and began chording as he would in Llama.  He
began waving at Fish and pointing at himself.  Fish eased off, and then
the band stopped dead as Trey began the opening riff to JOHNNY B.
GOODE.  Absolutely thrilling (a little sloppy; still deserves a "->",
though) segue!  The place went bananas.  

After an inspired JBG and a weak Sparkle (not kidding; this version was
lame), VELVET SEA followed.  While I had previously dreaded hearing this
live, I actually enjoyed it more than most of the other new tunes
(except Ghost, which I love, and Limb By Limb, which is great and
getting better all the time).  They've added a few new lines ("I won't
be there to set your clocks") which really work to add depth and dialog
to the song.  Very enjoyable, though I wouldn't like to hear it every
show (unlike Ghost, which I'd love to hear!!!).

The LOVING CUP that followed was excellent (thought it would close the
set) and the TWEEPRISE that closed the show, while inspired, wasn't
flawless.  Great closer (as usual).

I called the HOOD encore from a mile away (along with the Bottom
opener), but I never expected a Hood the gem we received.  I've had the
pleasure of seeing a good amount of Hoods, and several as encores, but
this one absolutely blew them all out of the water.  Page was doing some
really different, stellar melody work during the intro, and the HOOD
chant was in full swing, with Trey playing along by turning his ear to
the audience as "Hood!" was yelled.

As the jam begun, Trey, to the delight of the fans and the band, asks
Chris to cut the lights to "get the outdoor vibe going", and the band
jams to the stars for five minutes.  The lights gradually ease on, and
the jam continues, building slowly and patiently to a furious peak.  I
really loved Trey's playing during this Hood; for the most part, he was
content to merely outline and illustrate the chords of the jam, adding
to the textural build, and then he stepped in and lead only after the
jam had been sufficiently built up.  Very mature.  

I'll admit that Shoreline was more exploratory than this first Gorge
show, in the sense that Shoreline had more variety in the jamming, but I
think the raw power of this Gorge show really appealed to me at a base
level.  While Shoreline was definitely the weirder of the two shows,
this Gorge show was chock-full of Rock 'N Funk jamming that blew my

In terms of rating the three shows:

Shoreline:  7.5 -- Some great exploratory jamming, but too many slow
moments in set one.

Gorge I:      7.0 -- Shoreline may have been more exploratory, but this
show was more solid, IMO.  Hardly a dull moment in the first set, and
the entire second set and encore were killer.  While I think most people
will disagree with this, I personally found this show much more
enjoyable than Shoreline, though I will admit that Shoreline was more
"out there".


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