, attached to 2003-07-12

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround The trek from Shoreline was oh so worth it. Quite the scenic drive from NorCal. We finally made it to on-site camping around 2am on 7/12. There were still lots of John Mayer/Counting Crows patrons in the campgrounds and those that were still awake seemed to be plenty intoxicated. I have never seen so many people aside from a DMB show that seemed to be getting drunk for the first time in their lives. Yee haw. We camped w/ a plethora of phookers: leonard, marshy1243, junkbondking, jasongladys, along4theride plus the 4 of us. It was great to finally meet and party w/ Gladys (already met Rebecca last year, so good to see you again). All I can tell you is Klingons can party. So junkbondking (and I think Leonard and Melissa too) went in real early and reserved a sweet spot for all of us on the terraces (thanks dudes and dudette). Tons of room to dance and get down. Many thanks for saving that you guys.
What can I say? the Gorge is a spiritual place to see a show. I had been here before for the Phish '99 run. However I made the trek by myself, and it just wasn't the same as being w/ a big group of friends. To the Gorge gang: this is the best experience I have had since we had our whole college "family" together at Deer Creek in 97. Everything just felt right. Sound cheesy? Yup. But that is the truth. Anywho, onto the show.

SET 1: Taste: Interesting selection as the opener, I think this may well have been the first time I've seen this tune open a show. Solid version though I think Chula's is a bit better.

Mexican Cousin: Good spot for it (i.e. not an encore). Smiles all around.

Stash: Like Phoenix, a good Stash but nothing mind blowing here. Love Stash this early in the first set.

NICU: Standard.

Heavy Things: If they are going to play it, this is the place for it - mid first set.

Mock Song: Debut.

Army of One: Phish debut, Vida Blue tune. Nice vocals by Page but not a big fan of this tune.

Maze: Too dang long for my tastes. This one meandered, lost momentum and didn't have the blitzkrieg ending that I am used to. Still a good set closer, I was wondering when they would play Maze this tour.

SET 2: Piper: Ah the boys mean business now! Excellent opener and a nice reward for the people that traveled from near and wide. Very good Piper that did not quite match the Shoreline Piper yet still very good in its own right. >

Two Versions of Me: Concert debut. Very nice new song, I instantly loved the harmonizing vocals and lyrics. This would turn out to be my favorite of the new songs behind Scents.

Tweezer: Now we are talking! Excellent choice after what had just preceded it. Like Chula, another relatively short, succinct and to the point Tweezer. No boring spacey jams, just the 4 fellas bringing some heat. Nice Tweezer! Good bit of Free teases/jamming. Great segue into… ->

Dogs Stole Things: Man did I ever think they were going to bust out a Jesus Left Chicago here. Both intros are relatively similar, but I was a little surprised to hear Dogs emerge (not sure if I have ever seen this in a second set before). No worries, the segue I thought was sweet – very tight. I must say this is the best Dogs I have heard, be it live or on tape. Trey was just smoking on this one - damn! I was a bit in awe when this one was over, so I wasn't to bummed w/ the next selection.

Water in the Sky: Bad placement. Standard playing.

Ghost: Ladies and Gentlemen please buckle your seatbelts. No loop intro to this Ghost. This one starts quietly as do all Ghost's w/out the delay intro and I think it caught a lot of people off guard. Crowd goes nuts as they figure it out. This Ghost is just friggin' crazy people. 18-19 minutes of no letup whatsoever. No space, no ambience. Just 4 guys up on stage doing what they know best, shredding like madmen. This Ghost will surely go down in the books as one of the best. Pure Phish at their collective best here.>

David Bowie: Wow! Take no prisoners attitude by the band here. Like the Phoenix Bowie, nothing w/in it seems too crazy. The composed intro to the song sure was a lot tighter than the botched AZ version I will tell you that much. Strong Bowie to close out on hell of a second set. This set would end up being my favorite of the 4 Washington sets, no doubt in my mind.

ENCORE: Frankenstein - Hell yeah! No let up at all. I love this cover and what they do w/ it. This one was definitely torquing on my reality helmet. >

Tweezer Reprise: Everyone knew it was coming and welcomed the opening notes to it. Nice and subdued glow stick war upfront. That's right, no one whipped any at the stage or soundboard or taper's section. The west coast knows what's up!

Replay Value/Summary: I would recommend Taste, Maze for the uniqueness of it and definitely Ghost – all timer right there. Nice show and had a wonderful time w/ good friends. The best part? We got to do it all over again the next day! Woo hoo! It was nice meeting clearerphish I believe before first set (or was it the next day?). These things tend to run together for me but very nice meeting you Patrick. The next day I met many a phooker - review tomorrow.

Score: 3.5 out of 5.


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