I had occasion to interview a pop star last week, and in reference to his band's current tour, he said it was "a good show." One of the treats about following the work of Phish is that its touring history is a long, ever-evolving narrative—not a collection of singular "shows" that are each mounted night after night in different cities, aiming to achieve the same effect and hit the same marks, as if a touring Broadway production. And so, within the rhythm of a given Phish tour, different clumps of shows naturally cohere into groups: a West Coast run here, a second leg there, perhaps a Red Rocks stand. For attendees of the second-leg-opening pair of shows at the Gorge this weekend, the music of the two nights likey combines into a jamble of highlights. And so the weaknesses of Saturday's show are easier to overlook—it's more pleasant to take its high points, combine them with the best parts of Friday's tour opener, and celebrate the highlight reel of "the Gorge."
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Congratulations to "Runaway Jim", pictured above with phan owner Stacy.
Jim won his maiden race for three year olds and up at the Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY in Friday's 8th race (a $48,000 allowance race on the turf for 3-year-olds and up), running 1 1/16 miles on the inner turf and winning in 1:42:40. It was only his second race of the year, after a rehab stint over the winter/spring season. Jim paid $10 to win, $4.20 to place and $3.60 to show.
Photo by Patrick Kerrison, courtesy Saratoga.com.
The Gorge. A simply stunning landscape coupled with rich Phish history spanning back to 1997, you know it is going to be good. Apparently required disclaimer: I didn’t attend this gig and am writing this recap literally “on the couch” from Cape Cod based on the recording. If this approach offends your sensibilities or invalidates the opinions offered, you are welcome and encouraged to not read it. Thanks! Let’s get to the action.
A crisp, upbeat and metaphor-rich opening sequence of “Kill Devil Falls” and “The Wedge” starts things out with appropriate nods to the spectacular surroundings before yielding to the first jam vehicle of the night, "Bathtub Gin.” Facing a strong headwind of history at this venue (8/3/97 and 8/7/09 are must-hears) “Gin” immediately dispels any notion that rust may have accumulated during the month break after SBIX. Breezily riding the main theme with Trey sailing over the groove, the foundation doesn’t stray but the steady, attacking build and culmination equals total satisfaction. In the words of @ericwyman: “pure power gin last night, rage face on hardcore.” Indeed.
IT never ceases to amaze you. The first taste fills you with a joy so supreme, you want the experience to last forever. The moment of discovery is pure and beautiful. As it happens, there is nothing more important, nothing more meaningful. Your heart races. You forget to breathe. Your soul is blissfully overwhelmed. You cannot get enough of it. You had never met before, but you had known it all your life. It has found you, and you, it.
For over ten years, phans have volunteered a lot of creative fundraising efforts to support the Mockingbird Foundation's mission to bring music education to underserved kids, including tribute band shows, poker tournaments, poster exhibitions and CD release parties.
For Phish's Denver-area run at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in suburban Commerce City, CO over Labor Day weekend, tour operator Greg Yance of Bobby D-Tour is donating the entire proceeds of the on-board bars on his upscale Denver shuttle buses to the Mockingbird Foundation. The rolling bars will feature beer, wine, sodas and snacks "at lot prices".
Seattle's annual Seafair festival concludes this weekend and includes performances by the Blue Angels. The Federal Aviation Administration requires the closure of Interstate 90 while the Blue Angels perform for the safety of both drivers and pilots. If you are travelling from Seattle to the Gorge for Phish this weekend, be aware of these bridge closures as it may add time to your drive. Note there are closures Sunday as well so if you are driving back to Seattle after the shows you may be affected as well.
Interstate 90 will be closed to all vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, eastbound and westbound, mainline and express lanes, between Interstate 5 in Seattle to Island Crest Way on Mercer Island:
- Thursday, Aug. 4: 9:45 a.m. - noon & 1:15 - 2:30 p.m., (Practice)
- Friday, Aug. 5: 12:45 p.m. - 2:40 p.m., (Practice)
- Saturday, Aug. 6: 12:45 p.m. - 2:40 p.m., (Full show)
- Sunday, Aug. 7: 12:45 p.m. - 2:40 p.m., (Full show)
Twenty years ago today, in the cozy confines of Larrabee Farm in Auburn, Maine, Phish wrapped up their touring for the Summer of 1991. The entire run, barring Amy’s Farm, consisted of the well received Horn Tour. Commencing with the home-town show at Battery Park in Burlington, VT on July 11th and winding down the East Coast and culminating at the potent one set blowout at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA, the Horn Tour was 15 shows that became etched into the collective memory of the fan-base. However, as fun as the Horn Tour was, and as good as the shows were, the definitive show that paints the picture of where Phish was at that time, and portended signs of things to come, was Saturday, August 3rd at Amy’s Farm.
Front page Maine Sun Journal, August 4, 1991
Phish was slowly graduating from smoky clubs, college bars, and fraternity houses to slightly larger venues in 1991. While clubs like the Front in Burlington, the Campus Club in Providence, and Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill were still on the docket, so too were venues like the State Theatre in Ithaca (not the Haunt!), the Boulder Theater in Colorado (not JJ McCabes!) and the Capitol Theater in Port Chester (not Club Bene!) The excitement was palpable and though most shows were not sold-out, it was abundantly clear something special was happening. The momentum was building and there was a buzz about the band that was literally deafening. It was tough to talk about music on the nascent Internet, at other shows, around campuses and all along the East Coast without someone bringing up Phish. An exciting time it was to still be able to arrive at a club 30 minutes before show time, pay $10 and get your hand stamped, and know that you were seeing history in the making. At the final show of the Horn Tour, Trey made official what had been rumored since the Spring and all summer long: there would be an end of summer party at Amy’s Farm, and we were all invited.
Last Mystery Jam before the second leg of Summer Tour! Get it while it's hot!! As usual, we will be playing for an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net. The rules haven't changed: you need to correctly identify the song and the date to win. Post your guess in the comments. One guess per person per day (with the second “day” starting after I post the hint). The hint will come on Tuesday and the answer will be posted on Wednesday. Good luck...
Tuesday Hint: Apologies for the lack of a hint. The Blog is on vacation this week. I guess my name is mud around here...
Wednesday Answer: Congrats to Pauly7917 for guessing the 6/14/95 Mud Island "Tweezer." The MJ will be back on Monday...
MP3 Downloads Courtesy of LivePhish.com
Then-Manager John Paluska, 7/30/95 New York Times
It took a lot of convincing, but Elektra finally came around to the idea that Phish is not a hit-single-and-MTV kind of band. We could stop putting out records and continue to grow.
"Some of our fans have set up this thing called The Phish.net, an international computer network, and anyone who has acomputer can get on this thing..." (Trey @ 3:50)