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Permalink Posted by lpenoza on , attached to 1998-07-17
lpenozaYes I am biased. This show would get the same rating had I not been there. This 2nd summer visit to central Washington's Gorge Amphitheater repeated the '97 heat conditions closely enough that it felt just the same (over 100 F both days) but this time the second show of the pair fell on my 37th birthday. The core of my PHiSH crew and I had been serious fans since their first trip to Seattle in October of '91, and had grown steadily until our camp numbered in the dozens. One of the core was my friend Shari who SHARes the same birthday as mine, July 17.

Set I was fine, if not sonically striking, how many shows open with Makisupa->Ya Mar, Gumbo, Divided Sky (with sunset during pause for those of us eye-level with the band).

At setbreak, Shari arrived on our 4-square of around 25-30 fine Northwest PHiSH phreaks, which as always is Dead Fucking Center, 2/3 back toward the SBD - THE ZONE for sound, and you're EYE-LEVEL with the band (Oh yes Trey watches us). As we sat awaiting set II, I heard the words "Happy Birthday" from just behind me. The guy sitting with his back to mine was the recipient of the wish. I turned and confirmed it was his birthday as he sat by myself and Shari. As we shared a group hug, the band walked out and eased into the deepest, funkiest groove I had ever heard until that time. We three birthday kids were busting moves I had not known possible. People still talk about the aliens landing during this LOooooong, patient groove of a 2001 or ASZ that really was unlike anything I had experienced. Every body around us was twisting and dipping to the nasty greasy grind.

The Mike's ->Weekapaug that follow ended with some of PHiSH's best stop/start skank-funk-clavinet riffing ever captured. I still get confused when listening to the recordings because it feels like a LP release or some reference version everyone ought to own. Phenomenal. The Ch Zero set cap was just a fine rock-n-roll icing on a fat cake of insane cow-funk. Punch->Rocky danced at the top of the steps with fists held high as in the movie poster, celebrating a triumphant set few will ever forget.
Score: 5

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