7-13-03 - The Gorge, George, WA

review submisions to me at dws@netspace.org, dws@gadiel.com, reviews@walfredo.com

please review the show, not the other reviews....

Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 19:38:34 -0700 From: eric tipton Subject: Phish 7/13/03 review from Phish.net 7/13/03 - Gorge Amphitheatre - George, Washington Set 1: Runaway Jim, Scents > Subtle Sounds, Axilla, Carini, Dog Faced Boy, Round Room, Halley's Comet*, Guyute*, You Enjoy Myself Set 2: Llama, Wolfman's Brother > Jesus Just Left Chicago, Seven Below*, Harry Hood, Chalkdust Torture Encore: First Tube * with Mike on electronic bagpipes I think all of our group was expecting big things from the band on this night considering the sick second set from last night. We would not be disappointed! Gilmour25 (Spence), Cher9094 (Cher!), jwoolfall (Jeff), danelson1749 (Dan) and spiritsdad (Brian) all ended up hanging out w/ our group this afternoon. Really nice to meet Spence, Cher and Brian (Woolfall, Dan and I go way back [wink.gif] ). Chris and I were the ones to go in early today. I think we left our campsite at about 3 or so to go in and hold a good terrace spot. So as we are exiting the campgrounds there are three people in front of us walking with index fingers in the air. Chris says he has a couple extras to get rid of. They ask how much. He says I will give them to you for 25 dollars, 15 under face value. They say forget you, we will wait and get tickets for free. After that it just got ugly. To make a long story short, there was a relatively brief, intense verbal altercation. They were shouting things at us like, "Ever heard of the family? Where's the family?" Fucking bullshit. This is the one and only time in 81 Phish shows where I have ever been in a situation like this, it was really fucking strange. I'm not one to use the wookie stereotype but when the shoe fits... So Chris and I grab a sweet spot on the terrace Mike's side. He takes a nap, and I head for the beer garden. Met some nice folks in there and leave after two beers. The rest of our group got in around 7-7:30. Here are some pics from our spot courtesy of Z. [31949192.jpg] [31949419.jpg] [31950717.jpg] First Set: Runaway Jim: The band ripped into this at 7:43. This Jim was relatively standard yet still had plenty of fire to it. Very nice opener, better than the Taste the day before for sure. Scents and Subtle Sounds: I was stoked to hear this again especially considering this was the first time I had heard it stand on it's own (i.e. not being segued into). Rock solid version that was close to 12 minutes. Axilla: Oh yeah, heavy metal Phish baby! Short and sweet, nice and rocking. Carini: Oh man another sick and nasty Carini, much like the San Diego version. This one was every bit as intense as the CA version, good stuff. Although, am I the only one that thinks this song has become overplayed? Don't get me wrong, I love it. But don't need to hear it at every 4th show. Dog Faced Boy: Blah. Round Room: I like this in this spot. This RR really got quite jammed out - I really, really like this version. It got quite trippy actually w/ Page laying on the synthesizer heavily at the end. Excellent! Halley's: It's on now boys and girls! Huge shit eating grins from everyone around us. My face hurt after this show I was smiling so damn much. It does not get much better than Halley's at sunset w/ a bunch of your friends getting down! This version featured more rock than funk, they never really took it out there, it was just under 9 minutes long. At the end Mike plays electric bagpipes (we had no idea what the hell it was from so far away). This added a very quirky sound to the end of Halley's. Soo Mike Gordon!! Guyute: Blah. Very well played, gets quite evil actually which I like. But I am all Guyute'd out at this point in my Phish career. This song needs to be shelved or played once a tour. It was such a treat to hear in 97 but since then it has been played so much. YEM: Hell yes, thank you Phish! The nirvana segment featured and extremely respectful crowd. You could have heard a pin drop! Trey has some minor difficulties at 4:40 but otherwise no problems. This was a very solid YEM and the first to have a vocal jam (Shoreline segued right into Simple) which completely tripped me out, very nice! Great choice as a first set closer, I think it is the best spot for YEM personally so I was very happy w/ it here. Setbreak - First Set Highlights: Round Room, Halley's and YEM. Round Room was definitely a nice suprise and the Halley's and the YEM really stoked the fires of the crowd. Second Set: Llama: Ah, the boys waste no time in tearing it up. Sweet. Wolfman's: Hmm, another repeat huh? Cactus completely owns this version, his bass drives this song and everyone follows along. You can hear Trey quietly chording Jesus a good twenty seconds before they segue into it. It sounds a little rough by Trey here but when they do launch the segue it sounded pretty good to my ears. After the Dogs Stole Things last night, I think our whole group was kind of expecting a JLC at some point throughout this show. > Jesus Left Chicago: This version shook me to the very core! My mouth was hanging so wide open that I must have looked like Cletus the slack jawed yokel after this one was over, sick sick version. Page of course owns this one big time - crisp vocals by the Chairman and who can tickle the ivory like this man? Very impressive. You can tell Trey is itching to tear it up by the time Page turns it over to him. He just tore us all a new one, from bluesy riffs to in your face shredding. This right here is one of the reasons I love this band so much: they can play so many different genres of music in one night it's just a joy to see. 7 Below: Another repeat huh? Well, 22 minutes later I could give a shit about that. This 7 Below goes everywhere and then some! A v ery spaced out trippy jam evolves somewhere around 11 minutes or so and continues for another few minutes. Fishman seems to have had enough of this, he sped up his beat quite a bit and brings the band (and the crowd) out of their trance. They reach a really nice pinnacle and then they segue back into the song itself which was a really rough transition I might add. But that was pretty easy to overlook considering the nutty jam that we all had just witnessed. Whew! Hood: Yep another repeat, but again; w/ the awe inspiring setting of the Gorge it does not matter one bit. This has to be the shortest Hood of '03 as it was slightly under 13 minutes. They didn't quite build the ending up to a peak as much as I would have liked but still, I sure felt good about Hood. Chalkdust: Really? I thought for sure the band would want to close it out w/ Hood but what the hell do I know. Another reason I love this band, they will always keep you guessing; even a jaded oldbie like myself [wink.gif] ! Nothing too out of the ordinary for Chalkdust, just a good old fashioned rager. Good way to close it out after that ultra mellow Hood. Encore: First Tube: Sweet! No let up here! I think this is Phish's way of bopping us down the road to Utah in grand fashion. I love First Tube in the encore slot and obviously so does Trey. Sweet way to close out a really fun two day run. Second set highlights: Wolfmans>JLC (sick sick sick), 7 Below and 1st Tube encore. I felt this show was better from top to bottom than the night before. But second set from first night wins best set of the run in my eyes. Back to the campground to party into the wee hours. All I can say is Gladys can put any man/woman half his age to shame - the man put me down y'all! To everyone I met at the Gorge -> what can I say - we all had a blast! Our group really made the weekend for me. Awesome music, great folks in a truly stunning setting. I will never forget. Than ks to you all for making my Gorge '03 run what it was - unforgettable. [31949576.jpg] On the Tipton-o-meter, I give this show a 7.5. peace, et
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 09:52:28 +0200 From: Alexander Vardakis Subject: Gorge review 7/13/03 Hi, here's my Gorge 7/13/03 review: Trey's phat guitar sound is back!!!!! I noticed it for the first time during the Antelope at Shoreline. This show at the Gorge is simply phantastic. I could tell you more "magic phreaking" moments within this show than I could from the whole winter tour. The Runaway Jim is simply exceptional. Gets very aggressive. The Jam in YEM is really very very good. I like when Trey gets really funky and plays great licks. Some of his licks here reminded me of the Red Rocks 94 Version. Great guitar work. Nice sustained notes. The seven Below is indeed the gem of this show. It is a pure adventure to follow these guys through it. Turns from happy to dangerously evil and frightning and back again. Sounds like being in a jungle for a time. I like the Hood, very soft beginning to the end solo. sweet. The chalkdust is much much better than any from the last winter tour! There is such a great moment when Trey plays a ahight note after a pretty tough shredding phase. You could sceam by power!! Great Version. Oh god, now they are back after the hiatus, now they are really back. And Trey understood that some songs really need his sustained phat guitar sound!!
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 2003 02:36:47 -0700 (PDT) From: Ryan Ainsworth Subject: 7-13-03 Gorge Amp. After the 2nd set from the night before everyone was expecting a lot from this show, and everyone got it. † Jim....always a good opener...better opener than the night†before. † Scents @ Suble Sounds...haven't quite made up my mind about this song yet...it has potential though. † Axilla...always a good way to pick up the energy....pretty standard version † Carini...I was†glad to see they kept the energy going†unlike the first set from the night before...a good†in your face†Carini jam. † Dog Faced Boy...this was a good catch your breath song that I kind of knew was coming after the rocking Axilla>Carini † Round Room....this song has definitely grown on me...very good jam from Trey and Page...pretty trippy ending with Page on his synthesizers....I like this song † Halley's....everyone went crazy when Mike started it off with the vocal part....everyone was going nuts and having a blast. † Guyute...this setlist is getting better and better....Guyute seems like it must be almost and impossible song to play...this was a good version. † YEM...I think this is Phish's best song....some amazing playing by Trey..the crowd was going nuts while the sun went down....very trippy vocal jam and light show to match....the lights were going nuts during the vocal jam. † Set II Llama...my first time to see this...great energy and a great song to open a set with. † Wolfman's....kind of had the start-stop jamming...very funky groove and you can tell they love playing this song. † Jesus Left Chicago....I kept thinking this was coming all weekend...I could have sworn they teased it the night before...just a great†cover to hear them play. † Seven Below....this song definitely blew me away...this might be the best song of the whole weekend...at one point it looked like they were ending it and trey looked at page and just ripped away at his guitar as to say "let's keep it up"...had a really spacy jam and segued backed into Seven Below....this jam made the weekend for me. † Hood...probably the best song they could play at the Gorge...this and YEM are the two songs I wanted to hear most...kind of a short version but that doesn't mean bad...great placement of this song too. † Chalkdust...I really wasn't expecting this here...great energy and you can tell Trey loves playing Chalkdust... † Encore....I like First Tube but I was kind of hoping for a Squirming Coil here...I thought it would be the perfect song to end the weekend...First Tube was full of energy though... † This show was probably the better show in my opinion. I pretty much heard everything I wanted to here except for Tube. The Gorge is definitely an amazing place. These shows are definitely worth getting a copy of and everyone should see a show at the Gorge in their lifetime.
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2003 16:41:52 -0500 From: "Pacino, Marty" Subject: review of the gorge 7/13/03 ok. here's my exceedingly long review of the gorge. sorry it's so long, but i'm really cool and every thing I say is super important. Well, I just got back to southern cali (and fu*king work) from the Gorge. I started seeing phish in 95 and have probably been to 40 or so shows since then, but never the Gorge. A few years ago, not having visited this famous venue started to make me feel like a Muslim who opts for Six Flags over Mecca. I'd been to some cool venues too, Big Cypress, Red Rocks, Shoreline, etc, but there was always a noticeable void with no Gorge shows to speak of. Turns out it was more warranted than I could have ever imagined. I'm hesitant to even review the shows at all, and instead just belabor my newfound love for this place. We drove in Friday at 2am from Seattle under a moon that was like a giant flashlight, making the lakes and trees of the Cascades light up and remind us all just how far we were from the gridlock and stripmalls that are Orange County. Got there, got set up, had a few beers, just in time for a spirited sunrise game of wiffle ball in the campground. A few words about the campground: First, its grass. And not just choppy, brown grass, but the long, healthy green kind. The kind you have in the back of your mind when you buy a slip and slide. Second, it's pretty close to the venue. Third, there's a mist tent (huge), a well stocked store and a full court and though I didn't run, I was a amazed by more than a few dreadies who could handle the pill. Fourth, there's a great little shakedown where two lots converge. Anything and everything can be found there, including (I kid you not) Viagra. Not sure why that was so amazing to me. OK, the venue: I'll try to keep this short, but it's going to be tough. I'd seen pictures of the Gorge, but I've seen pictures of the sun and both did about the same job of preparing me for the actual visit (see: "Random Guy Walks on Surface of the Sun" Newsweek, 09/97 p. 143). The backdrop to the stage looks positively fake. It looks like one of those stock backgrounds that they use for sorry Hollywood westerns. Vast cliffs on both sides of the periphery stretch off as far as you can see, bisected by the rolling Columbia river. The enormity of the whole setting is impossible to impart in writing or photo. We joked about what it would be like to just walk down in it and keep going. My friend Jason submitted that Lewis and Clark had done it, and we all gave a quick thanks to that wacky duo who found a bunch of places that we all would have found anyway. So, anyway, perched right there on the verge of it all is the massive venue. I can't help but think that the site is so beautiful that the whole amphitheater scene is the end result of some dude back in the day throwing up a park bench just so he could look out everyday. Chronologically, I think it went Dirt-->Egg Crate-->Bench-->Place to pee 500 feet straight down-->Full-on Picnic table-->House-->Rest stop-->Campground-->Venue. Anyway, I digress (a lot). Lets just say that if the boys hadn't even shown up, I still would have felt something move in my soul. Inside the venue itself was so incredibly chill, too. You could go wherever you wanted to take in the show, but the closer you got to the stage, the more of the insane view you'd sacrifice. Saturday, we opted for the grass and scenery. Sunday, we were in the dish...ten or so rows back right in front of Page, yet we walked in roughly 20 minutes before the show started. crazy. Ok, the show: I chose to review Sunday for a few reasons. Some are listed above, but also music-wise they were very different experiences. Say what you will about the first night (Saturday), but I think anyone who was there would agree that they were left at least slightly hanging. The virtually universal summation of the show around the campground was "yeah, but it was a sick Ghost." And it was a sick Ghost...but not much else. Don't get me wrong, I loved the show and I never stopped moving my feet but opening a show with Taste (great version that it was) makes it tough for me to recover. So, Sunday we all showed up hoping for a lot. Like I said, we were right in front of the stage and the weather was perfect. There had been a nasty wind the night before, but it was gone and we were all set to get loose. The sun was still far from setting when the lads took the stage and ripped through a "Runaway Jim." Classic opener. Got everybody grooving. Next up, a new song "Scents and Subtle Sounds." Like a lot of new phish material, I really liked the melody and musicianship but the lyrics kind of suck. Enough with the obvious metaphors and imagery. Plus, there are very few ballads out there that Trey can nail. This one needs a little work...and perhaps new lyrics. Other than that though... Then on to a little Axilla, Carini...both dark, hard-driving songs that exhibit a side of phish that I've always been down with. These were good ones. I'm just about to get tired of Carini though. It's very much on the verge of being overplayed, especially on the west coast. Dog Faced Boy woulda been cool if the venue held ten people and centered around a campfire. It's a nice cerebral, introspective tune that I had no desire to hear. Round Room was a shocker for me. Never heard it live before and it was great. Love the jam that rises out of the final chorus. There was a mad tortilla war that erupted during this tune and I think they may have played it a little longer than usual just to get everybody refocused on the music. Whatever, I dug it. A lot. What can you say about Halley's? One of those songs that you just never mind hearing. If you can listen to that song and not be smiling, you are most likely an alien or dead. Guyute is, well, Guyute. There was a time when I loved the song and I still like it, but I was convinced they'd finish the set with it so I sort of fumed the whole way through. I will say this though, if you ever have the pleasure of being really close to the stage for a Guyute, you'll see why Trey is the best guitarist in town. There are scales in that song that I couldn't play with 4 hands, much less one. So, a major facet of this trip was the Phish indoctrination of one of my best friends, Carson. It was Carson's 4th show and like most of us the bug didn't really bite him until he got his ears around a solid You Enjoy Myself on CD. He even completely wore out a sick version of it that I burned from Red Rocks '95 (as in, it's gone now so if anyone has it...). So, all trip (starting in San Diego) that was all he wanted to hear. We skipped Shoreline (bummer, I know) and I didn't have the heart to tell him that rarely do they play it at consecutive venues. Anyway, walking into the venue on Sunday he solemnly declared "No You Enjoy Myself tonight and I'm not seeing Phish anymore." Incidental comment, I know, but apparently word got to the boys about Carson's claim and being terrified at the prospect of losing such an ardent, burgeoning fan, they busted it out to close the first set. It was, in a word, perfect. We've all been moved in one way or another by this tune at some point, so I'll spare you a dissection of this version...but it was solid. One of the best I've ever heard, in person or otherwise. Set break at the Gorge is cool because the sun finishes its monumental trek to bed. It doesn't get dark til close to 10pm and the hour before is truly a sight like no other. Finishing a first set with YEM leads to all sorts of expectations about what's to come after the break. Llama was a more than cool opener and got everything back to the frenetic. Wolfman's provided a much needed infusion of funk after the Llama. I'm always down for this song, probably cause I think they like playing it so much. Thick funk jam throughout... And on to the highlight of my weekend, Jesus Left Chicago. It was pretty much the last song on my list of those that "have to be heard live" and I absolutely flipped out when I heard the first chords all the way until Trey finished his raucous solo. Perfect version. I love this song and it loves me. Seven Below is really the only song off Round Room that I wanted to hear going into the weekend and with good reason as it turns out. This is one of those ones that creates such free-form jamming that you completely forget what song it is until they snap back into the chorus at the end and leave your tongue on the ground. Great, great tune. A sign of what phish is still capable of writing. Harry came next in all it's typical greatness. Very short version. Some people think that means "bad." I think this one was perfect and sometimes this song seems to play itself and need to be ended a little sooner than normal. This was a great addition to the show and I loved hearing it, even after the epic 20+ minute San Diego version. Chalkdust closed things out and despite an unuaual placement, it too was great. Yet another one of those songs that I could never get tired of and it got everybody rocking again after the somewhat subdued Hood. First Tube for an encore was just fine. I don't really remember it. By that time I was already on to checking out the newly forged memories. So, that's it. All I can say is that if you have blood pumping through your veins, visit the Gorge for a concert. There is absolutely no way you'll be disappointed. ~Marty Pacino jamdp77@yahoo.com
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 16:04:36 -0700 (PDT) From: August West Subject: 7/13/03 Review The Gorge Amphitheatre What a weekend.† Last night was my 27th Phish show and, luckily for me, 8th time seeing the boys at the Gorge.† The Gorge is definitely the place.† Just a wonderful place to see a show, vast and spectacular scenery, great sound, lots of space to boogie, and the camp ground is roomy and within walking distance. Even the weather this year wasn^“t nearly as hot as it can be (think 97 & 98). † Saturday^“s show got stronger as it went and we were expecting a monster show on Sunday, and boy did we get it. † Runaway Jim -- nice opener, got the crowd moving.† Scents and Subtle Sounds ^÷ 1st time hearing this one.† Not sure how I feel, about it yet^Ň. Axilla ^÷ This is where things really started going off.† This was a short but hot version which segued into Carini.† Carini was the high-light of the first set.† Trey absolutely ripped it up with Mike supplying the driving bass line.† The energy of the crowd was quite impressive.† Dog Faced Boy and Round Room followed with the sun rapidly going down on a picture perfect evening.† A big flour tortilla war erupted in the lawn during Round Room^Ň.After Round Room the last of the sun was disappearing over the horizon, Trey and Mike talked briefly with Mike moving upto the mic for the intro to Halley^“s Comet.† Nice.† Guyute followed.† Fairly standard version.† I thought this would close the set but Trey turned around to Fishman and before you knew it YEM -- including vocal jam.† Another nice, but standard version.† Very nice 1st set, definitely an improvement over the previous night^“s first set.† I am not sure of the timing but it seemed like 90 minutes or so. SET TWO is where things went off.† Llama was a nice rocking opener.† Wolfman^“s came next.† Real nice end jam which segued into Jesus Just Left Chicago.† YES.† I was waiting for this one, seemed like to me that they were hinting this tune all weekend.† I could have sworn they were gonna play it Saturday night but it turned into Dogs Stole Things^Ň.. This version ripped.† Trey was a monster.† He laid down some seriously sick bluesy licks.† The interplay between Trey and Page was impressive.† The high-light of the whole weekend came next: Seven Below.† What a song, so much more impressive than all the other versions I have heard.† The jamming during this tune was some of the best playing I have experienced.† Half-way through the tune the boys hesitated for a brief second and Trey just absolutely ripped it up.† The playing was inspiring and rocking at the same time.† It was one of those ^”what song is this^‘ jam, truly epic.† Finally, the Seven Below riff came back and the sound soon morphed into Harry Hood.† I do not believe there can be a more perfect setting for Harry Hood than at the Gorge. †Hood started off slowly and softly, after the Mr. Minor part the playing almost came to a stop, Chris turned the lights way down (reminisent of 97) and the boys continued to groove.† What an experience.† Anybody that says Phish lacks depth or spirituality would be rendered speechless.† I was half expecting the Hood to finish the set but oh, not yet.† Trey turned to Fishman and started out Chalkdust Torture.† I know Trey and the band loves Chalkdust and has ripped it many times, but last night^“s version was incredible.† It absolutely ROCKED.† If you could have bottled up the energy you could have lit up the state of Washington.† Encore of First Tube picked up where Chalkdust left off.† Just an enormous wall of sound.† With that we melted back into the high desert night.† Get the tape.
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 23:15:33 -0800 From: Alan Tenenbaum Subject: 7-13-03 - The Gorge, George, WA † Day 2 proved to be just as good as the night before! It was hot, but not Africa Hot like Gorge veterans had been warning me. Neither was security as brutal as I thought it'd be. Although I'm concerned over the rise and presence of the Hippie Mafia. Also, the omnipresence of bootleg shirts with brand name logos substituted with Phish songs is getting so played. Let's be creative shall we. † I wore my vintage Ozzy "Bark at the Moon" tour '84 jersey specially for the Phull Moon and was rewarded with a dank and deep phunk jam! † What will surely be one of the highlight jams of the Summer tour was the 7 Below! Focused Type II jamming and Trey hosing lead to this insanely driven climax that had everyone grinding hard and had the crowd ripp out a spontaneous (and welcomed i might add) glow stick war. That Jam was so ferocious, I'd like to dub it as the "It's Summer, It's Hot, It's the Gorge, Thus We Jam" Jam of Summer 2003! It was so good, the dude next to me puking in his sock which resulted in spillage on my leg didn't even flinch me 'cause the jam was so hot! † The 1st Tube encore had me shaking my head with delirium†thinking, "Will this crazy ride ever end"? † never...
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 18:14:03 -0500 From: Jeff frawley Subject: 7/13/03 review 7/13/03 Gorge Amphitheatre George, Washington More beautiful weather made for a very relaxed day at the Gorge. Much anticipation for showtime, but met tons of cool people during the day, and was quite pleased, just like the day before, at how much better behaved fans seem to be compared to the winter shows. Runaway Jim opener- We discussed this as a possibility before the showÖlow and behold! A good opener, an unexceptional Jim. Better opener than the Taste from the day before though. Scents and Subtle Sounds- Was excited for this one after hearing some good reviews about the jam. The song itself is a little odd and slow, and made for some questionable placement in this slot, but it was cool. The jam was very good, as anticipated. Almost Hood-like, but with more power throughout. Not much direction to the jam, but rather the band keeping it loud and noodle-y for all ten minutes. Axilla- Maybe the only song I really don't like. Most seemed very into it though. Carini- Came right out of the Axilla ending, and stepped the energy up even higher than the Axilla had. A very dark Carini (although I guess they all are, bad description) and trey seemed very focused on singing and playing as heavily as possible. Good jam. Typical for Carini, but pretty long at about nine minutes. Dog Faced Boy- good to hear, didn't seem to do much for the audience though. Dreaded another middle of set meltdown like the night before. Round Room- I love this one, but could sense that others around me might have gotten a little worried about the meltdown themselves. As with the other versions of this song, the jam was very peculiar- very trippy with Page synthesizers, and some spacey guitar work. I think if this showed up more in the second set, people would say that it's a developing jam monster, but in the middle of the first, people usually seem bored. Halley's- Goodbye, meltdown!!! Man did I want to see this over the weekend, so I went nuts. The jam was short, but very energetic and the key-changes were right on. Some repetitive riffs from Trey, not really any funk but more-so rock, and right they could have taken the jam out there (would've gone nicely with the killer sunset, boys), the sound began to die down and Mike came away from his amp with a recorder (as in the fourth grade plastic instrument) looking-thing. Turned out to be electric bagpipes, and although it meant no more Halley's, was kind of cool and rather amusing. Guyute- Probably the best Guyute I've seen live. No different of course, but very together and if nothing else, the band really seemed to enjoy it. YEM- Much like the Piper for them night before, a huge surprise. But it was one of the better surprises we could have asked for. Very noteworthy: During the nirvana part, the crowd was COMPLETELY SILENT!!!!!!!!!!! Remember before when I said I was impressed with the scene compared to the Feb. shows? I got chills watching a beautiful sunset, at the Gorge, to the nirvana of YEM, in COMPLETE SILENCEÖjust like the way it must have used to have been. Very touching, very exciting. The B and D jam was good. More heavy chording from Trey than funky jamming, but it was good. Great closer to a great backdrop. I enjoyed this set much more than the 1st from the night before. Looking at the setlist, the song choices are interesting; the Halley's worked wonders to keep the energy of the set driving. Set break didn't seem too long. Llama- Called it as the opener to the showÖguess I was kind of close. Third time Llama, Wolfman's combo has opened a set that I've been to (10/2/99 and 2/15/03 the others). Wolfman's- Very good jam. Very tight, funky sounds highlighted by come near start-top jamming. This allowed everyone to hear all the band members, and Trey's guitar work was rather light and noodle-y. The jam got slower and slower rather quickly, and you could hear the Jesus rhythm a good half-minute before they dove into it. Jesus- What a transition! This was exactly what everyone wanted, judging from crowd response. The place went nuts. Great song choice! Page wailed of course, both vocally and instrumentally, and when Trey took over, the energy exploded. His solo rocked very hard, and pretty soon, the jam was a full-band effort that lead to an incredible peak. Wow. Seven Below- What the hell? Another surprise coming off Shoreline. Was eager to see this one live again, so at this point, the second set setlist seemed mind-blowing to me. This jam wasÖwellÖinteresting. Started very good with some great lightwork, and some very good jamming. I love Trey's rhythm during this jam (or at least at the start). I still haven't heard the Cincy version, so I went into this one a bit unaware what happens when they really open this one up. After the "real" Seven Below jam died at around 10 minutes (after a decent space jam that went well with the setting and the lights), Fishman began a vicious, fast drum beat that started up out of the depths. Really out of place, but kind of a relief in terms of tempo change, once the spacey jam had started to wear out its welcome. The band began a new, very fast and heavy jam out of this beat, and it was very controlled by heavy soloing and chording from Trey (as most long jams are these days). Built in tempo and heaviness, until a peak was reached, then out of nowhere, Trey started up the opening riff to the song. A bit contrived, and a bit sloppy, but an interesting, long (22 minutes),and rocking jam overall. Still like the song a lot, but needs to be tightened eventually, especially the ending. Harry Hood- Who could complain? A necessity at the Gorge. A rather short version. The jam was very quiet and very delicate, but was really gorgeous. Then it was like they had to get to the refrain out of obligation, and they started the "feel good about Hood" before really reaching it. One of the more mellow Hoods ever, but it is one of my favorite songs of all time so it was good. Chalkdust- Probably tacked on to make up for the shorter Hood. Great rocking closer, pretty standard. E: 1st Tube- Alright!!!! 2 good encores sans Round Room songs, 2 nights in a row!!! I like that this one has become a rarity, most apparently as an encore treat. Wonderful versionÖhigh energy to end the show, but it kind of sucked that they ended with distortion, rather than ending it on one beat (a la past versions or the album version). I was peaking with the jam, waiting for that one beat that ends the song with Trey's die-down delay loop (this would have DESTROYED the audience), but rather, they never hit it and extended out the typical set-closing cacophony of noise. Oh well, great encore choice. Two good nights at the Gorge (or at least 3 good sets at the Gorge). I had a blast, mostly due to hearing some killer jams, but also due to a mellow, controlled, somewhat respectful scene IMO. Much more enjoyable than, say, the Vegas shows. I still am trying to grasp the signatures of Phish's new sound. I hear a lot of heavier jams captained by driving rhythms and chords from Trey. Nearly all the jams seem to peak as heavy as possible, then work there way back down without hitting much spacey stuff (and sometimes peak back up again). I like it a lot; it makes for some very long jams that can really get the crowd going, but often leaves little room for flow from song to song. For this weekend, I recommend heavily the Maze, Tweezer, Ghost, Wolfman's>Jesus jams for some mindblowing attention paid to old tunes, and also the Seven Below, to hear what ideas the boys might have in mind for this potential new monster.
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 11:42:13 -0700 From: Richard Duke Subject: 7-13-03 Gorge Ever since I saw a picture of the Gorge Amphitheater in "The Phish Book" I knew I had to go there at least once. Being from Arkansas, that is not an easy task, but with the way these bands are going on hiatus, you never know when you'll get another chance, so off we went, packing up as much camping gear as we could into three bags of luggage. Alright, the venue, the camping the area is as good as advertised. A dude we met at "Summer Camp" in Illinois in May told us that the view was not great from the campsite, but awesome from the venue. Totally false. You can see for miles and miles from the campsite. The venue view is absolutely incredible. Words cannot describe it, but I'll try.....absolutely incredible. Was that good enough? Some negatives: 1) The wind...does this happen all the time up there? The first day, it was overpowering. Our tarp held out as long as it could but by the second day we had to break it down and build it back up. 2) The beer garden...ok let me get this straight. You can go to a baseball game and drink wherever you want for up to 2 1/2 hours, but here you are roped into an area and cannot take your beer anywhere else in the venue? Someone speculated that it was an all ages show, but so what? I have never seen anything like that before. They don't even play the same music as in the venue. 3) The sound system...maybe it was because of the wind, but the sound, especially the first night, seemed to be at times muffled and at other times very clear, like the speakers were rotating. It took some getting used to, but if that is the trade off for the view, then I'll take it. The show: My first two shows since the hiatus, and they didn't disappoint. The first night got better as it moved along, I was certain that the guys were ready to unleash a monster show. With the sun still a little high, the guys came out (a little early) at 7:45 and jumped into "Runaway Jim." Great daytime song. After that, they played their new "Scents and Subtle Sounds" which is a nice tune that they are still working trough. It was a good spot in the first set. Didn't break up any tension. The the show really kicked into high gear. A raging "Axilla" (my first since Deer Creek '99) went right into "Carini." I would love to keep that energy going as long as possible, but the band had other ideas. It looked from my viewpoint that they stopped after the song to check out the sunset. Then Trey went into "Dog Faced Boy," maybe to capture the moment. Next was "Round Room," which I like better as a live song than the previous night's "Mock Song." It was accompanied by a tortilla war, which made the bouncy song tat much more fun to listen to. The came, in my opinion, the highlight of the show: "Halley's Comet," "Guyute," and "You Enjoy Myself." There is no way to talk about the nuances of each particular jam in each song just to say that they were placed perfectly in the set. I really thought "Guyute" would close the set, and I would not have been disappointed, but to hear "YEM" begin freaked me out. Loved this vocal jam as much as any I had ever heard. Second set had a lot to live up to, and damn if they didn't try as hard as they could. "Llama" started the nighttime set off strong, and a funky "Wolfman's Brother" into "Jesus Left Chicago" was a perfect balance. "Seven Below" had an epic jam in the middle of it that I thought was going to be a different song, but they came right back into it. There was glowstick war during the jam part, and it looked like Trey got hit in the head. So what does the band do? They play the ultimate glowstick war song, "Harry Hood," but with no glowstick war. Whatever. The "Hood" was fine, not an incredible effort, but come on, have you seen the rest of the show? They finished off the set with one of the better "Chalkdust Tortures" that I have heard live. The crowd was raging. Encore with "First Tube." which was a great dancing tune to send everyone away with. Was it the greatest show? Nah. I don't know if we'll get one of those for a while, maybe at It. But it was definitely worth the effort put forth in getting out there. The band seemed to have a lot more fun the second night, and the energy level seemed higher in the crowd as well. Overall: B (and if they played B shows the rest of their careers, it would be fine with me. It's still better than anything else out there.) See you in Kansas City and Atlanta... Ricky Duke
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2003 23:04:24 -0700 From: Pat Sevigny Subject: 07/13/03 Gorge Review This show came on the heels of what I considered to be a pretty good show the night before, they debuted a couple mellow songs on the 12th that sort made it a mellow show over all. But you could feel a certain electricity in the air prior to the show on the 13th that made me feel like something special was going to happen that night, and it did! As the crowd was slowly making its way from the camp ground to the venue you could sense that good things were going to happen. The show opened with a very solid "Runaway Jim," I took a couple breaks from dancing to look at the stage through binoculars and could see that Trey was really into it. He seemed to have an extra big smile on his face, almost the entire night. The solo during Jim was really amazing and you could pretty much tell that was going to be the way the entire show would be, a great way to start things off. I am still a little up in the air on whether or not I think "Scents and Subtle Sounds," is a great song, but nevertheless, they made it sound great on this night. The next two songs "Axilia" into "Carini" really got me jumping and moving, perhaps two of the best versions of these songs I have ever seen. There was so much energy pumped out into the crowd from the smoking "Axilla" that if they were to slow it down after that it would have been a crime. But they didn't because the "Carini" was equally as intense, it was a great version. The next couple songs "Dog Faced Boy," and "Round Room" were a nice break for the crowd to mellow out a bit and take a breather because the previous two songs had most of us drained. Then when they started the intro to "Halley's Comet," I think everyone in attendance went about as close to insane as a crowd could get. At this point the sun was starting to set and the nice picturesque view of the Columbia River and Gorge, coupled with the fantastic "Halleys" made it feel nice to be alive! Mike was playing some sort of funky little electric bag pipe during the song that just made it all that much nicer, a definite nice addition that I hope to hear him playing more of (still wondering if he ever has used this before). The next two songs to end the first set "Guyute," and "YEM" were pretty good as well, not spectacular, but all-in-all, a great way to end an amazing set. During the set break it seems like half the crowd would filter into the beer gardens where they had food and little basketball type games set up. A great place to chill and regain ones composure from the assault on our brains the band had provided with the first set. At this point I really have to say that the Gorge takes my choice as the number one venue in the country, it is truly an amazing place filled with natural beauty, and with the campgrounds right there it makes for a very easy, worry free trip. Without going into too much detail on the second set, almost every song was an exercise in pure funk. It was such a fast paced, tight, cohesive set that I was simply blown away. The highlight, for sure, during this set was "Seven Below." This was my first time seeing this song live and I have to say it has one of the most amazing jams that I have ever heard (well at least it did this night). I was so overwhelmed by the chemistry the band had during the tight jam on this song that when it ended I was almost in tears from screaming in total approval over what a spectacular piece of music it was. It seemed as if they just couldn't let up on the level of intensity during this set. Each song just kept coming with a more ferocious and intense jam then the one before. Yet these jams were unlike any I had heard before, they were so incredible and tight that I was really shocked. Maybe it was just that "consumption" in the campground prior to the show was good, but nevertheless, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that Phish is back with a vengeance from what I thought was a somewhat lackluster Winter tour. They are playing better then I have ever heard them play and this is the eighth year I have been seeing Phish. I now realize that their break was an excellent idea because what we have now is Phish at their finest. It should be mandatory that every Phish fan make a pilgrimage to the Gorge at one time in their lives because the band seems to love the place and it is just truly a beautiful place and a great time. For me, this night was my best Phish show ever, others may not agree, but that is the beauty of this band, they are unique to all of us!!!! Patrick Sevigny
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