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Link Saturday, 08/02/1997
Gorge Amphitheatre, George, WA

Set 1: ThemeTheme From the Bottom, GinsengGinseng Sullivan, Ghost, Dogs Stole Things, DividedDivided Sky, Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother, Water in the Sky, SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt

Set 2: DwDDown with Disease[1] -> Tweezer -> JBGJohnny B. Goode > Sparkle, Velvet SeaWading in the Velvet Sea, Loving Cup > TweepriseTweezer Reprise

Encore: HoodHarry Hood

[1] Unfinished.

Teases:
· Three Blind Mice and Take Me Out to the Ballgame teases in Down with Disease
· Down with Disease tease in Tweezer

Noteworthy Jams: Ghost, Divided Sky, Wolfman's Brother, Down with Disease, Tweezer, Harry Hood

Average Song Gap: 7.81

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: Disease included teases of Three Blind Mice and Take Me Out to the Ball Game in its intro and was unfinished. Disease was subsequently teased near the end of Tweezer. During Hood, Trey asked Chris Kuroda to turn off the lights, "So we can just have the outdoor vibe here." Also, at Hood's end, Trey added "Mount Hood" once after the lyric, "You can feel good about Hood."

Song Distribution:
3 The Story of the Ghost
2 Stash
2 Hoist
2 A Picture of Nectar
1 Billy Breathes
1 Rift
1 Lawn Boy
1 Junta
1 The White Tape

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1997 Summer U.S. Tour."

Doctor_Smarty Phish.net Staff , attached to 1997-08-02 Permalink
Doctor_Smarty It was about six months into my residency in Portland, Oregon that I realized it was going to be a lot more difficult to see Phish living out here. Gone were the days where there were five shows within a three hundred mile radius of home in any given seven day period. The reason for this is two-fold, it seems. First, the west is ENORMOUS; secondly, it is a lot further from Burlington, Vermont. Is the trade-off worth it? Absolutely! No clearer evidence of this fact could be demonstrated than catching the first two-day run at the Gorge Amphitheater.

This venue is absolutely stunning. The first view of the stage I caught as I crested the hill at the back of the lawn took my breath away. The lawn slopes fairly steeply to a short set of terraces, and a fairly tight front of stage floor area. The backdrop to this is a surreal tapestry of channeled scab-lands, razor sharp coulees, columnar basalt cliffs, the mighty Columbia River, and an enormous sky.

Two geologic events have the primary responsibility for sculpting this unique terrain. The first was a massive outpouring of lava which began about 17 million years ago and lasted for about 10 million years. The second was a series of catastrophic floods that occurred near the end of the last Ice Age. These floods swept across the area as they churned from their source near Missoula, Montana to their final destination in the Pacific Ocean. It was a land of stark beauty born of fire and flood; it was thus a fitting venue for my first exposure to '97 Phish, which was frequently molten, tumultuous, and overwhelming.

Night one: while delirious from the breathtaking venue, the music was a near afterthought until "Wolfman's Brother" got me personally introduced to the "Cow Funk" sound and the new and improved Mike Gordon. "Divided Sky" at the most gorgeous outdoor venue in all of North America"...I mean come on people. Ultimately "Split Open and Melt" was the point at which the jam flood finally let loose, and this one, like the Missoula Flood before it, explored each and every channel of the scab lands behind the stage.

The second set of the first night of this run is still one of my all-time favorite Phish moments. As the lights went down, it seemed many members of the crowd were not where they wanted to be. To rectify this they scampered up or down the people-sized Habitrail paths that lead to or from the lawn. The band's visual of this from the stage must have been amusing; the "Three Blind Mice" tease before "Down with Disease" that it elicited certainly was. The "Diseezer Redux" (see the 11/27/96 Seattle show) that followed was alternately frenetic and bouncy or slow and funky. I got my "Tweezer" so the rest of the set was gravy. The encore "Harry Hood" was just plain GORGEous. In my mind, the glow-stick jam that emerged from the womb of the Great Went "Harry Hood" was conceived at the point where Trey asked Chris to kill the lights so we could get down with the outdoor vibe and the starlight. And get down with it we did.

Night two: security related buzz kill on the way into the venue; consequently I spent the first half of the first set trying to reconcile the loss of a cherished gift. Despite a decent "Bathtub Gin," and my first live exposure to both "Dirt" and "Vultures," two songs I just love now, it took a surprising "Twist" and a chance meeting with a "Fluffhead" to finally get me out of my bout of disappointment and self-resentment. With my focus on the music restored, the rest of the night was a blast. This second Gorge show was one of those times for me when the personal experience associated with the show distorts the perception of the music. As I left the show I was convinced the first night was better. Upon subsequent reevaluation of the two, I sometimes lean the other way. It is all about set and setting I guess. In the Gorge, I feel there is no better setting. However, the mindset I have carried into it hasn't always been the best. The lesson here is simple: with Phish, if you aren't having fun, you really only have yourself to blame.
Score: 7
montaigne , attached to 1997-08-02 Permalink
This was my first experience with the newly funked out freaky Phish. I fucking LOVED it!
Two things- first, seeing any band you love at this venue is a religious experience (sorry Red Rocks, this is just much nicer!).
Secondly, the Disease>Tweezer>Disease second set opener is epic. Absolutely epic.
One of the best jams I have ever heard or seen them play.
Score: 1
ADAWGWYO , attached to 1997-08-02 Permalink
ADAWGWYO Solid show front to back. Down with Tweezer Disease is Grate! Slower and funkier as they were really getting into the funk about now. 18 minute old school Ghost. Really nice Dogs Stole Things and of course the Hood under the Washington stars reflecting off the Snake river.

Priceless memories

Solid 4/5
Score: 0

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