But the show took a different turn as the setlist shaped up more like a typical Saturday night "arena rock" show. However, Phish's performance was anything but typical. Phish is back, full-bore ladies and gentlemen, more adventurous, tight and confident than ever, and The Gorge shows exemplify this more than any other run they've played since returning.
All in all, listening back both nights of The Gorge are filled with music and an energy we will all be debating and discussing for years to come as the possible moment where Phish gelled as a tangible entity like never before, and turned the corner on a new phase of their collective existence.
PHISH AT THE GORGE SET LIST
August 8, 2009
The Mango Song*, Chalk Dust Torture, Middle of the Road**, Tweezer#, Driver***, Twenty Years Later, Ya Mar, It’s Ice****, Wolfman’s Brother, Character Zero, Run Like an Antelope^
Rock and Roll -> Makisupa Policeman^^, Alaska, The Wedge, You Enjoy Myself, Backwards Down The Number Line -> Piper^^^, Grind
Good Times Bad Times -> Tweeprise
*Second time ever Mango opened a show, third time played since 7/18/03; **Mike Gordon/Leo Kottke song, first time played; #The jam came to a rare, complete stop and differently than the stop on Nectar; ***Fourth time played since 2/20/03, just the 22nd time ever played, and the song was played in the key of B-flat rather than the usual G-major, possibly because the melody sung in B-flat comes across stronger than when sung in the lower register of G-major; ****Fifth time played since 1/2/03; ^With several Mango Song teases; ^^Mike and Trey switched instruments, each taking a solo on the other's guitar; ^^^unfinished with Llama-like teases from Fishman.
Grab an audience recording of the show. These sound just as good as a soundboard, and probably better than a soundboard because the audience recording captures the "vibe" of the venue rather than a flat, lifeless soundboard recording. And these audience downloads, offered courtesy of PhishThoughts.com's "No Spoilers" series, are quite simply the best I have ever heard since I started to collect tapes after my first Grateful Dead show in 1989. Seriously ...
Of course, you can choose for yourself and purchase the official download from LivePhish.com for about $11 by clicking below.
8/8/09 The Gorge, George, WA
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