Debut Years (Average: 1993)

This show was part of the "2009 Late Summer Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by CannedWalrus

CannedWalrus This was my fist show. I was only 14 at the time, just turned 15. I love Phish more than life itself. Unfortunately I have no time to write an extremely long review, as much as I really want to.I just want to say that the two nights at the Gorge changed my life.

Thankyou Phish, for enlightening through music and saving through creativity!

P.S. I was also surprised at the unfamiliarity with Destiny! Greeeeaaaaat tune. I was front row right in front of Mike the second night and was in heaven watching his pure genius unfold right in front of my eyes!

Thanks Guys!
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks Sally through Slave might be the best run of Phish '09. In a summer of strong DWD's this opener's strictly by-the-numbers, but only a churl can complain about a show this playfully focused. Listen for the elves-in-bermuda-shorts groove that slips (from the best Light yet) into a strong Taste. And dig that humongous Gin > Hood!
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by HippieMama

HippieMama It's been 10 years since this show took place and only now have I been able to look back on it, and even bring myself to listen to some of it. Despite it being one of the best shows of 2009, my fondness for it is bittersweet.

After spending the previous few weeks at my mother's bed side as she lay dying of cancer in her assisted living apartment, she implored me to stop coming by every day. She was glad we kept our plans to go see Phish at the Gorge (we bought the tickets before she was given 3 months left to live); she wanted me to be happy, knowing how hard her decision to forgo chemo had been on me. I reluctantly agreed to go, sure that these 2 days would be just a quick break and I'd be right back by her side when we returned. We had only just moved to Washington from Vermont, and this would be a first trip to the Gorge for both of us. So, after one last visit we headed out on Thursday, set up camp and went to sleep, excited to see our our first shows in 5 years.

The next morning, I woke up to several messages on my phone. One from my mom's hospice case worker, one from her assisted living facility and one from my husband's cousin, who was staying with our son, at our house.

At around 4:30 that morning, my mom -- my only parent and best friend -- had passed away.

My husband offered to pack everything up and head back, but I told him I needed to think about it. The more I considered going home vs. staying, the more I felt that I needed to stay -- that that's what my mom would have wanted. I recalled some of the information that the hospice case worker gave us during the intake appointment that covered dying, death, grief, etc. and one of the points that stood out to me is that dying people will sometimes choose their moment to let go, oftentimes influenced by how prepared they feel their loved ones are to handle it. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that I needed to stay, that my mother had chosen her moment because she knows there's no happier place for me than at a Phish concert.

My husband took care of all the phone calls to family, friends, her assisted living community, the funeral home, etc. When he was done, I told him I wanted to stay. He said that the hospice worker actually recommended that we do. She told him it would be the best thing for me right now, but he didn't want to influence my decision, so he wanted me to think it through and arrive at what I wanted independently of that.

So we stayed.

Things that are notable about this show for me, personally: "Down with Disease" to open the show was a huge surprise, since they had just played at at the previous show (Shoreline) and we had left it out of our set list baseball discussions because of that.

Waiting for the time when I can finally say,
'This has all been wonderful, but now I'm on my way'
When I think it's time to leave it all behind
Try to find a way to, but there's nothing I can say to make it stop

Also notable for me is that they played both "Pebbles and Marbles," and "Joy" at this show. Everyone interprets what they want from lyrics, but both always came across as parent-child relationship songs to me.

We want you to be happy, don't live inside the gloom
We want you to be happy, come step outside your room
We want you to be happy, 'cause this is your song too

While those songs can be written off as serendipitous coincidences, there is one that I can't dismiss as such.

My mother's name was Sally. No, I'm not kidding. Legally, it was Sara, but she had been Sally from childhood on to all who knew her. "Sneaking Sally Through the Alley" was the one song she and I had danced to together at my wedding in 2005... before the stroke that took her ability to communicate clearly and easily, before the heart attack that put her back into the hospital for another extended stay, before the breast cancer she'd had in 2001 returned and metastasized in her bones, ultimately spreading far enough to bring us to the chemo or hospice option.

To have those 4 men, who have had such far-reaching influence over my adult life, stand on that stage, in front of a crowd of thousands, and say my mother's name -- repeatedly -- on the day she died, referencing a song with such a joyful memory she and I had shared on my wedding day, while I stood in the audience (crying until I couldn't anymore), will never fade from my memories of that day. It was such a difficult mix of emotions to process all at once; the sorrow of deep, profound loss mixed in with an empathetic relief of release, knowing that her suffering was finally over.

On the worst day of my life, after hearing the news I had dreaded from the time as a child when I first came to the realization that a day would come when it would arrive, Phish made me smile, laugh, cry, and stand in awe at the connective power of music.

For that, I will be forever grateful.
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by Mikesgroover

Mikesgroover It had been 10 years since my last visit to the Gorge, and this run gave me a chance to see in person the band's progression since the high-energy Hampton return in March. Remembering the wind-affected sound on the lawn in 1999, we headed to the floor where we found a nice spot towards the back on Page's side. The sound quality was perfect throughout the show. Though I think Trey has been too high in the mix on most of the summer tour tapes I've heard, it wasn't as noticeable in person. The crowd was fantastic, laid-back, yet attentive.

The band opted to open with Down with Disease, which had been played the previous show at Shoreline. It was just what I needed to hear though, an opportunity to cast aside my cares for the next couple of days and just dance to a song I'd first heard 15 year earlier. It was clear from the first jam that the band was clicking, but Disease never wandered far from the theme and while pleasing to the ear, was just a high-energy warm up for the band and audience. Ocelot, the first of three songs from "Joy" to make an appearance, is comfortable and bluesy, but not thrilling to these ears, though Mike got a chance to take the lead for the first time of the night. Pebbles and Marbles made its first appearance since the band's return slid straight into the now overplayed Possum.

I honestly wasn't expecting to ever hear Destiny in person, so my joyful reaction to hearing the opening notes helped me conveniently overlook the fact that the execution was a little forced and the band was a bit out of sync. Interesting to see how 95 percent of the crowd appeared completely unfamiliar with the tune, but given it was only the third performance in 18 years, it's understandable that younger fans don't seem to know it.

A strong Stash allowed the band to get into darker, more psychedelic jamming for the first time in the set but it was Sneakin' Sally through the Alley that was the highlight of the set. At about the five minute mark they went into a full-on, out-there vocal jam before getting back into a high-energy jamming. At around the 11 minute mark, the band headed for spacier territory and a beautiful, melodic theme eventually emerged. This version was eons better than the song's last appearance at Camden in 2004 and a highlight of 2009 summer tour. They probably could have ended the set there and I would have been happy, but Trey busted into Cavern to wrap the set up on more rocking ground.

Moma Dance is an enjoyable second set opener, but the 2009 versions have been more truncated and less jammy. I find that a little disappointing in that Moma Dance grew out of the great funk sound of 1997. It's not meant to be a eight-minute tune, in my opinion. The third-ever version of Light contains an excellent outro jam that flows perfectly into Taste, which soars as usual. A joyful Fluffhead (a guarantee to bring the house down any time it's played these days) had a few unique instrumental textures and flourishes to make it distinctive. Joy, which while heartfelt, is a little on the sappy side for my taste and might be more appropriate as a first set song.

To close they show, they pulled out three heavy hitters in a row. The Gin doesn't disappoint, with multiple exciting themes including a funky middle section dominated by Mike and a Trey-led flourish in the final minutes that's equally enjoyable. Harry Hood has become a bit too common for my taste, and this version doesn't break any new ground but still leaves you with a smile on your face.

A Slave encore is rare enough that it made the night feel special, like the band didn't want to stop playing. A solid version. Overall, an excellent show, with a nice blend of well-played old favorites, rarities and new songs. Light in particular has great potential and the Sally, Light>Taste and Gin are must hears.
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by FunkyCFunkyDo

FunkyCFunkyDo Five years ago today. Crazy how time flies, isn't it?

These shows marked a turning point in the fledgling era of 3.0 Phish. Shows before we scatter-shot, and with do cause, as the band was still getting their improvisational bearings and musical foundation set beneath them after five years off the grid. When Down with Disease opened the first night, it had that *feel* ... you know what I'm talking about. The feel where something special was about to happen. It was intangible as much as it was sensory.

They smoked through Down with Disease, played (to my ears) the most unique Possum of 3.0, and dazzled with gems like an elongated Stash, Destiny, and a worthwhile early Ocelot. Phish then opened it all up. Using the Gorge itself as an amplifier, they played a first set, 18 minute Sneakin Sally that, I believe, is a top-10 jam of 3.0 Phish and the very best Sally played to date.

Moma Dance hit and then the glowsticks flew. I remember it so well, it was pure bliss. The fans were in full dance mode after setbreak, again, feeling now more than ever that we were experiencing a crux in the evolution of Phish. We just knew what was happening. We were riding the crest of a new wave, a new light... then Light itself came next. Wow. What a special and so unique calypso jam this evolved into. Island rhythms layered over vocal harmonizing created, much indeed, a light amongst the band and fans. A smooth segue into Taste provided another "wow" moment. Taste fades and Fluffheads hits. For those of you too immersed in more recent tours, it should be noted that Fluffhead was A REALLY BIG DEAL in 2009. At that point, it wasn't in "regular rotation" and after the Hampton run, the song itself embodied the reincarnation of Phish. Perfect placement. Joy followed with a smooth momentum that let us all absorb the feeling we were experiencing, but then, blastoff. Gin. This Gin. Had it not been for Summer of 2014, this Gin is easily the best of 3.0 Phish (and again in my opinion, still the best). Ripping through the normal Gin build, then breaking form into a driving open soundscape before trickling into a cascade of waterfall notes, this Gin has it all. Much the same, the Hood that comes next follows that same soundscape pattern Gin created 15 minutes before. Open space and serenity are thematic in this Gin. It is not fiery. It is peaceful and contemplative... beautiful even. What a combo to close a set... to close a show.

The next night picked up the pace in the first set. I mean Phish came out firing. Chalkdust, MOTR, Tweezer, Ya Mar (a jammed out Ya Mar at that!), 20 Years Later, and an absolutely ripping trifecta of Wolfmans > Zero > Antelope framed one of the best first sets I've ever heard... oh not to mention the Mango opener, first time played since IT. And of course a special Driver, even then the song carried so much weight for me... it was amazing to see live. The first set was complete, it flowed, it jammed, and it rocked. The feeling was growing. The light was getting brighter. The Gorge was opening itself up to the universe in a spectacular of light and sound and energy. When Rock and Roll opened the second set, I smiled beyond compare. The feeling. This song had it. 23 minutes of tension and release that flowed into nimble musical weaving that slinked into a full-band groove-fest that rocketed back into an incendiary 5-minute closing peak all before slowing down so very naturally and dissolving into Makisupa. The Policeman was especially playful that night. A broken down (in a good way) jam left lot of open space for Mike and Fish to do their thang. Then, because they are Phish, Mike and Trey decided to switch instruments - so cool. SO COOL! Wedge and Alaska provided an acceptable respite before a mid-set YEM hit us. To say the energy before the AHHHHH BOY build was volcanic would be an injustice. The band was raging and the crowd was furiousy dancing, Unfortunately, the YEM jam did not go anywhere special and the band seemed to sit back, almost a little *too* patiently for the rest of the show. Number Line and what-the-heck set-closing Piper rounded off the run, complete with Fish teasing that Llama drum beat multiple times, giving me multiple cardiac episodes, before settling down and serenading us with Grind.

Guys, if you want to see not just how far the band has come, but how good they were in 2009, listen to these shows. You too will feel what I am talking about. Some sort of magic that only the Gorge brings out in this amazing band. Enjoy.
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by andrewrose

andrewrose This is an incredible show by any standards, and one of the strongest offerings the band has made since having returned in March of that year. The Disease opener is one of those quick, but sharp-as-a-knife kind of affairs, with some incredible soloing by Trey. Trey was really inspired AND on point on this night and it showed from the get-go. A nice laid back contrast in Ocelot followed, and the first set is full of welcomed rarities in Pebbles and Marbles, and Destiny. The Sneaking Sally is out of this world. A really great funky Sally jam to get started, followed by a vocal-jam breakdown, followed by an out of this world patient, melodic glory hose fest. Hear it!

Set two has tons to love as well. The calypso groove that emerges from the Light jam and then segues beautifully into Taste is delicious, and the Bathtub Gin probably still stands as the best 3.0 version to-date. A summer 97 throwback. Hood and then Slave encore to close? Sure. A+
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez this show, in my opinion, is the best show of the summer, possibly of the year. i feel phish was still shaking off some rust on their june east coast run. they started to pick up some steam during the burgettstown-deer creek-alpine valley run, but i still don't think they were going as far out or hitting some of the peaks they found on the redrocks/gorge run. the east coast run that came after was good, but i felt it benefitted from oddball/rare song selection more than tight, explorative jamming. anyway, back to this gem...

after blowing up down with disease for the first time since their return at shoreline, they opened with it the very next show. this is a much more standard version, think early '94 version. ocelot works well after disease, and pebbles and marbles is a nice early treat. one of the few songs from that batch that i really get into. possum gasses the crowd up before taking a breather in sleep. destiny unbound rips. trey is particularly hot in the funky middle section. i like this one more than the fenway version. stash is nice and explorative. page and trey both have some hot licks. then comes what is possibly the jam of the summer. this sneaking sally is huge, and it should be considered one of the best. out of the "song", they hit a funky vocal jam, similar to vegas 04, but this isnt one of those shitty vegas shows. fishman and trey lead them back around into a very slick and funky sneaking sally jam. they move in and out of the the theme, but the funk exploration is constant. this jam works really well into cavern to close the set.

they kept the funk flowing to start the second set with a red hot moma dance. this is a rare 2nd set version. while i don't like the song light, damn, i love those light jams. the whole band is in sync on this one before it gives way to a very nimble taste. this is one of those tastes that makes it easy for me to justify as a damn good second set tune. page and trey work off each other very well. the sharp play continues in this very-well done fluff head. joy mellows everyone out before the best bathtub gin of the year. this was also the only 2nd set performance of bathtub in '09. this one does not take the normal '09 bathtub path. this one has a really nice funk/rock vibe that stretches for nearly 20minutes. after this one starts to peter out, fishman takes us into a beautiful set closing harry hood. they always seem to nail this one at the gorge, and this one was no different. slave was a nice pleasant surpise of an encore. not the best of the year, there are a shit ton to choose from, but this one is very good. page in particular sparkles here.

overall, this is a must hear show. you may not agree that this show is the best of the summer, but if you don't like this show, you are not a phish fan!


set 1:
pebbles and marbles, destiny unbound, sneaking>cavern

set 2:

light>taste, bathtub gin>harry hood
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads This show seems to have three marquee jams: Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley, Light (-> Taste, if you prefer), and Bathtub Gin. The Harry Hood is also typically satorian. Trey's tone is pre-Ocedoc here, perhaps even pre-reintegration of the Ross compressor... I can't quite recall when PhantasyTour gifted him one and convinced him to add it back to his rig. The "Gorge Jam" out of Sneakin' Sally feels remillennial to me, exploring ethereal spaces that recall 1999 and 2000, respectively. Light was relatively new to the catalogue at this time, and features some melodic "crooning" over the climax of the jam, and Bathtub Gin reaches heights of pleasant intensity that expand upon the aforementioned 2000 in Phishtory. The joy (pun intended) of the band being back in its element here is very palpable, and this show is well-acclaimed for good reason, but I feel surer and surer the more I revisit the early years of Phish 3.0 (3/6/09 - current) that Phish continues to improve along their contemporary trajectory, and that they can and will continue to daze and astound.
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by ItalianSpaghetti

ItalianSpaghetti Just gave this show a listen. Wasen't there, but wow, great evening of music. Sounded like an extended "Cold Rain & Snow" tease in Gin which is not pointed out here. Am I wrong?
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw As far as I'm concerned this show marks the beginning of 3.0 in terms of the characteristic's of shows to come. They had pounded out their new material for months, and finally synced them comfortably into their sets.

The only word you need to describe this show is "Inspired". Like most legendary shows almost every song is dripping with creativity and a fresh approach. Possum has a fantastic exchange between Trey and Page as they play over and under eachother. Stash has some of it's typical eeriness but also has a little new approach to it as well.

Another important note is how strong Mike's bass is in this show. None of which is more apparent then in Sally which gets into an infectious jungle funk groove. It pulls you in and then pulls you apart, then it melts into a serene jam which I could only imagine was pure heaven for the people in the most heavenly venue in the USA.

Light is fantastic and it seems the guys are starting to figure out it's jam vehicle capabilities it's a very mellow delicate and happy jam I quite enjoy. And the segue into Taste is amazing!

Gin to me personally has the edge over Sally because it's an indescribable type of jam. It's in a world of it's own, it feels so new and inspired. Every single part feels fresh and different.

Slave is a special encore song and although it is especially tame at the end (I wonder if they were trying to wrap up the show for curfew?) it's still a great ending to this show.

Never miss a Gorge show!
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by CreatureoftheNight

CreatureoftheNight This was my first west coast show and thankfully, my east coast buddies came out to meet my west coast Buddy. Special was written all over this night before the concert even started.
Musically speaking, I still put this show up as the best of 09, definitely better than any show I saw. The Sally, Light and Gin are all worthy of inclusion on anyone's best of 09 list. Even the Hood and Slave had extra mustard in the jams. The Gorge seems to bring out a much more patient and exploratory band. Lets hope they don't skip this venue in 2012.
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by AlumniBlues420

AlumniBlues420 amazing show and time!!!

Sally and Gin are top 5 phish jams of 3.0

Every song was played with alot of energy. And I feel that the Stash, Moma Dance, Taste, and Harry Hood are all near top 3.0jams as well.

overall this show was a great experience and a break out show of 2009 and still is a top show today!!

I really think people need a relisten to the Harry Hood from this nite.... Hood is a hard song to get an intense version of and I feel this version is extremely intense for 3.0 Hood
, attached to 2009-08-07

Review by mantecatweeze

mantecatweeze The Destiny, Stash, Sneakin' with vocal jam is why I keep coming back to Phish over and over.

Great, Great stuff!!!
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