Saturday 07/21/2018 by phishnet

GORGE1 RECAP: SOULS WERE FREE'D

[Recap courtesy of Pete "PhanArt" Mason. -Ed.]

The hot and windy mid-Washington Gorge Amphitheater slowly welcomed Phish fans to their first ever three-night run, home to legendary Phish runs going back 21 years. With eager families and first timers dotting the hill and posing for the obligatory "We have arrived" photo, the return to the Gorge was met with plenty of buzz as the first weekend of the tour got underway.

© 2018 Satoshi (@SakuraYem)
© 2018 Satoshi (@SakuraYem)

And so with much anticipation for the start of Phish’s three night run at the best outdoor venue in the country, I gotta say I was surprised when they opened up with a Trey Anastasio Band song, "Set Your Soul Free," when SO many other options were available. But hey, play what 'ya want. The tune did fit the sunset nicely, and the crowd eventually got down to the fun new jam, which worked into "Wolfman's" and "Roggae," a perfect pairing in a first set tonight. A half-hour into the set and the evening setting in, a quick "Poor Heart" preceded an adventurous "Undermind" that always finds a welcome home mid-first. This gave birth to a "Simple" where the band took a blues rock turn, driving deeper for a jam that stands out as a highlight of the night. "Ya Mar" could have been one or two songs earlier and been a perfect fit, but at any point of a first set, it works. The "Sand" closing the first set out was tight and energetic, keeping the vibe of the set flowing well through break.

© 2018 Phish (Huemer)
© 2018 Phish (Huemer)
Set two kicked off with a 24-minute "Chalk Dust Torture" that had a jam of the Baker’s variety: flowing jams with grooves for Trey and Page to slide into, which helped build toward rock peaks beyond the 20-minute mark. Once that peak was found Page got spacey, landing the jam safely for Trey to shift into "My Friend My Friend," and what felt like a first set in the middle of the second set. Not to downplay how great they were playing the songs (the rust from Tahoe was nonexistent tonight), but the selection for set two was set one songs performed with slightly more panache.

© 2018 Phish (Huemer)
© 2018 Phish (Huemer)
Did they really play "Sparkle" in the second set? Yes, it was random, but we accepted it and danced regardless.

"Light" gave some hope with a murky "Hood"-esque jam, lowlighted by unnecessary woo'ing and an abrupt ending by Trey, who opted for a late ballad in "Waste," then a "Rock and Roll" to send us out on. An encore of "Tube" > "Golgi" felt very mid-90's, and was a reaffirmation of Phish’s ability to rock out when they want to.

© 2018 Phish (Huemer)
© 2018 Phish (Huemer)

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Comments

, comment by Cerias
Cerias Red Rocks would like to know on what authority you make the statement "the best outdoor venue in the country" ;-) Thanks for the recap!
, comment by PersnicketyJim
PersnicketyJim A possible explanation for Sparkle, Halley's > Light: the ISS passed overhead at 10:27pm.

I was camping ~50mi north of the Gorge, and watched it emerge over the SSW horizon. From the stage, the band may have been able to view the entire transit, while NW-facing fans might not have noticed at all.

Also, the Set Your Soul opener is reminiscent of 2013's Architect.
, comment by Scott
Scott "The rust from Tahoe was non-existent tonight" -- sorry but no. The Halley's and the Rock and Roll were on the verge of falling apart because Trey couldn't remember the chords. The Simple and CDT were transcendent, but I'm concerned about Trey's tone / rig and having the final 1/3 of the show go nowhere in particular. This was the best show yet but I wish they were better rehearsed for this West Coast run.
, comment by PersnicketyJim
PersnicketyJim See also: "an asteroid crashed and nothing burned"

A possible explanation for Sparkle, Halley's > Light: the ISS passed overhead at 10:27pm.
, comment by beyondthebeyond
beyondthebeyond @PersnicketyJim said:
See also: "an asteroid crashed and nothing burned"

A possible explanation for Sparkle, Halley's > Light: the ISS passed overhead at 10:27pm.
Wolfman's and Roggae also contain mentions of stars. Page's shirt also. It might be reaching, but there could be something to it.
, comment by CuddlyButDeadly
CuddlyButDeadly @PersnicketyJim said:
A possible explanation for Sparkle, Halley's > Light: the ISS passed overhead at 10:27pm.
A few of us watched it from the view bar that overlooks the Gorge. It passed close to the moon and Venus before it passed directly overhead. Most people in the venue would have seen it if they’d known to look overhead, but I figure not many of them even noticed it was there.
, comment by 46Dizzle
46Dizzle FYI... There was no rust in Tahoe
, comment by AbePhroman
AbePhroman Glad you had fun! Looks like a good time!
, comment by CarpetPissers
CarpetPissers @Cerias said:
Red Rocks would like to know on what authority you make the statement "the best outdoor venue in the country" ;-) Thanks for the recap!


Red Rocks is clearly an amazing venue, but nothing compares to the awe and beauty of the Gorge. Apples and Mangos!
, comment by NipseySlicer
NipseySlicer There are many great outdoor venues in this wonderful country of ours. My personal favorite is the Palo Solari , in Santa Fe. It holds 2400. The Gorge accomodates 18,000 . Red Rocks 10ish. Telluride Town Park 9 to 12 K depending.Hornings Hideout 5800. Dick's 28,000. I have enjoyed amazing shows at each. They are all unique in their vibe and the energy exchange between band and audience. On site camping , changes the dynamic wat to the plus side for me, but it is as rare as hens teeth. I am critical of Red Rocks because if you are behind the sound board by very far, it can be a bit too quiet ,with audience noise competing with my attention for the music. Just get there early and stake a claim, be ready to freeze your ass off in thunder showers tgat take the temps down into the 40's , when a few hours earlier you were sweating balls on tge 90's. The hike in and the drive out are pretty rough too. I am trying to be politic here . But imho Red Rocks is over rated.
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten Sorry but this review is a pile of jaded vet crap. Your obsession with song location is so convoluted and clearly hindering your ability to surrender to the flow. Friday night at the Gorge was magic front to back. No rust in Tahoe. The boys are on fire.
, comment by cookphish
cookphish Nice recap. I couched this one from Long Island, NY and let me say Wolfman's (with that extra cowbell), Roggae, and Sand were clear highlights for me that night. Trey's solo in Roggae is outstanding and Sand is always usually good, but this one was great! I understand everyone has different views of Trey's new tone, but when I first heard this new sound during the NYE run, I was blown away. Baker's was cool, but the sound of Phish to me was much better for the NYE run, and there are amazing gems of sound coming out of this summer tour. Once the band starts really meshing, I think we could get blown off the planet at some point.
, comment by lofus99
lofus99 I have been to both. No contest. The Gorge is WAY more impressive and the views are unmatched. Red Rocks is a solid 2nd place though.

@Cerias said:
Red Rocks would like to know on what authority you make the statement "the best outdoor venue in the country" ;-) Thanks for the recap!
, comment by PhanArt
PhanArt @Cerias said:
Red Rocks would like to know on what authority you make the statement "the best outdoor venue in the country" ;-) Thanks for the recap!
Red Rocks is wonderful but you can't camp there, The Gorge holds more than double the capacity of Red Rocks and its a farther destination, making the allure that much greater.
, comment by PhanArt
PhanArt @PersnicketyJim said:
A possible explanation for Sparkle, Halley's > Light: the ISS passed overhead at 10:27pm.

I was camping ~50mi north of the Gorge, and watched it emerge over the SSW horizon. From the stage, the band may have been able to view the entire transit, while NW-facing fans might not have noticed at all.

Also, the Set Your Soul opener is reminiscent of 2013's Architect.
This would have been awesome to know when writing this review. It just seemed so random and didn't connect the second set together very well. If that is what they were thinking in playing those songs, then that is awesome
, comment by PhanArt
PhanArt @46Dizzle said:
FYI... There was no rust in Tahoe
did you miss the abrupt Slave out of Carini? and a short one at that? there was rust
, comment by PhanArt
PhanArt @TwiceBitten said:
Sorry but this review is a pile of jaded vet crap. Your obsession with song location is so convoluted and clearly hindering your ability to surrender to the flow. Friday night at the Gorge was magic front to back. No rust in Tahoe. The boys are on fire.
There was rust in Tahoe and you can base that on how little that show will be listened to or referred back to as the tour progresses. some nice jams but nothing stands out and Trey's tone was all over the place. Sorry if I'm jaded but I have expectations of the band and don't accept Set 1 appearing in the second set. Friday was the low point of the run thus far
, comment by hayschwa
hayschwa I just added a review on this show, but wanted to share this here as well. I have a very real theory as to why they played Sparke>Halley's:

Our group headed to the lawn early to get a good spot. . Once we find a spot, my boyfriend of 6 years, Andrew, asks our friend to take a photo of us with the venue in the background. As our friend is taking the photo, I notice that all our other friends had their phones out, and think to myself “I wonder why they want this picture too?” The next thing I know, Andrew is holding my hands and looks me in the eyes as he begins to recite a poem he wrote using different Phish lyrics. He then gets down on one knee, busts out the ring, and says, “Hayley, will you marry me?” Of course I said YES!! I was in absolute SHOCK! It was the most beautiful moment of my life. I love this guy more than words can explain...Of course he planned the most epic proposal ever!!!!

Right after the proposal, Mike Gordon’s wife Susan just happened to be standing there and congratulated us. We introduced ourselves, and she asked us if we had any songs that we wanted to hear that night that would be appropriate for an engagement. Andrew said “Sparkle” would be a good one... well, what song do they play in the second set?! Sparkle! And what song do they play immediately after? “Halley’s Comet,” which has always been my song and one that I always hope to hear. I knew in my heart that it was not a coincidence at all. That was the first time they’ve ever done those songs back-to-back! They played it for us!!! I still get chills when I think about it. To top it off, they closed the set with “Waste.” The night and weekend was the most magical time of my life. THANK YOU PHISH for continuing to blow my mind and heart wide open!

@PhanArt said:
@PersnicketyJim said:
A possible explanation for Sparkle, Halley's > Light: the ISS passed overhead at 10:27pm.

I was camping ~50mi north of the Gorge, and watched it emerge over the SSW horizon. From the stage, the band may have been able to view the entire transit, while NW-facing fans might not have noticed at all.

Also, the Set Your Soul opener is reminiscent of 2013's Architect.
This would have been awesome to know when writing this review. It just seemed so random and didn't connect the second set together very well. If that is what they were thinking in playing those songs, then that is awesome
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten @PhanArt said:
@TwiceBitten said:
Sorry but this review is a pile of jaded vet crap. Your obsession with song location is so convoluted and clearly hindering your ability to surrender to the flow. Friday night at the Gorge was magic front to back. No rust in Tahoe. The boys are on fire.
There was rust in Tahoe and you can base that on how little that show will be listened to or referred back to as the tour progresses. some nice jams but nothing stands out and Trey's tone was all over the place. Sorry if I'm jaded but I have expectations of the band and don't accept Set 1 appearing in the second set. Friday was the low point of the run thus far
You must hate 94 and 95 Phish then RE setlists. Take a lap and come back when you are ready to love Phish again.
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