7-13-03 - The Gorge, George, WA
review submisions to me at [email protected],
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
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
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
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.
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
Axilla: Oh yeah, heavy metal Phish baby! Short and sweet, nice and
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
On the Tipton-o-meter, I give this show a 7.5.
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 09:52:28 +0200
From: Alexander Vardakis
Subject: Gorge review 7/13/03
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
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
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.
Llama...my first time to see this...great energy and a great song to open a set
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
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
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
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
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
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
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"?
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 18:14:03 -0500
From: Jeff frawley
Subject: 7/13/03 review
7/13/03 Gorge Amphitheatre
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
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
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
Chalkdust- Probably tacked on to make up for the shorter Hood. Great rocking
closer, pretty standard.
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
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
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...
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!!!!
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