I'm trying an experiment and writing a recap without a laptop by solely using my CrackBerry. I'll just jot down a few random (and unedited) thoughts. I have to be brief because I'm running out of juice and I don't want to turn on the car at 3am to only charge my phone, so why piss off my neighbors in the campgrounds of the Gorge.
Yes...the Gorge. Why the hell would I fly to Seattle then drive out in the middle of nowhere unless I'm helping a friend bury the remains of a dead hooker, or I'm seeing the Phish bring the funk.
I think I might have seen every Phish show at the Gorge. I need an intern/personal assistant that I can outsource from India to remind me of little things like that. Oh, and hire a couple more interns to wait in line for Pollack posters and fetch me ice for rum cocktails in the blistering central Washington sun that bakes anything and everything.
We set up camp and avoided moving to stay cool and avoid sunstroke on the first day of tour. Friends trickled by our area because I'm still hobbled a bit from a car accident last month. The Gorge is so friggin enormous, which also includes the sprawling campgrounds and the long ass hike to the venue along a windy, hilly gravel path.
Shakedown was impressive as usual. The local law enforcement let's the inmates run the asylum at the Gorge, and that includes a free-for-all in the campgrounds. We scored a premier camping pass which is a way to segregate the wooks and other sketchy fucktards from wandering around our campsite and shitting in my tent. But, shakedown was relatively close to our location, so if you wanted ketamine or a burrito, you were only a few steps away from satisfying your jones.
I saw a random dog piss on a tent in shakedown. I also saw a wookette yell at a guy for trying to sell his extra for face plus ticketbastard fees.
"$65? That's for two right? I aint paying that much for 1 ticket!!"
The Gorge seemed not as packed as previous shows I've seen here. I also heard they weren't sold out. If you hustled you could score extras on the cheap.
I almost got hit by a custie driving a silver Mercedes through shakedown. He looked like Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons and was blasting Phish.
Security patdown was light, but some spun out balding dude in a vest tried to sneak a white parrot in with him. He somehow slipped passed security, but when he reached the ticket scanners -- he got nabbed. That sucks. If the parrot has a ticket, he should be allowed to see the Phish. Anti-parrot laws in Washington state are bogus.
The floor was kinda empty in the back. I got the same spot as 2 years ago -- nice nook on fishman side and 20 yards from the back. Lots of space to dance and groove and watch the sun set.
First set was 90+ minutes and with exception of Kill Devil opener, the first set could have been from 99.
The highlights were a delicious Gin jam and Roggae (which Justin from LMB called the best roggae ever). T'was pretty gnarly. I particularly dug Walk Away. I was glad to hear Roses (and I can hear it every night), but they could've done a better job with that one -- seemed rushed just like Bowie set closer. Regardless of the minor gripe, the first set from the tour opener was better than expected. I'm glad they played 90+ minutes.
Second set was a little funky-freaky and they reached a few pinnacle moments with their jamming -- Rock and Roll > Meatstick > Boogie On. Perhaps they could've not killed the trip-funk-infused momentum of the set with Farmhouse. Sure the clusters of stars were cool to see when you look up, but the boys were killing it in the second set until they veered off path with Farmhouse. They regrouped with a powerful Julius/Zero one-two punch to end the set.
A few odd incidents... I got busted smoking a bowl and security was cool and kindly asked me to put it away. In Cincy, G-money got busted and waved off the guard like he was working a Jedimind trick. Also, a guy faceplanted during Rock and Roll jam and ate some serious pavement. The floor is asphalt and not like a soft grass up on the lawn. Also, I accidentally broke a glowstick and it sprayed all over shirt of guy in front of me. I offered to buy him a new shirt, but he was too wasted to understand what I was saying. He rubbed the goo under his eyes like war paint.
Encore was your standard Loving Cup in which Page shines and Trey plays too many notes. They ended the show on a proverbial high note and left the sweat-soaked crowd wanting more and more. But, it was only a one-trick pony encore. We'd have to go back on Saturday if we wanted another taste of the Phish.
We hit the lot as soon after we hiked the 27 miles required from the floor of the venue up to the guys slinging Jerry rolls in Shakedown. Tons of balloons were visible as kids, wooks, custies, and one girl in a wheelchair were all huffing down on big ass balloon.
One wook was angry and waving a crystal around at the schwasted youth.
"Buy crystals! Not balloons! You'll remember these in the morning," he pleaded.
Ha, too bad no one wants crystals when it's after midnight at the Gorge.
One down, one more to go here and 11 more shows before the boys hang it up for a while.