[Phish.net welcomes back guest recapper Oliver Pierson for writing this recap. -Ed.]
Rolling into the Saturday show at the Gorge after a beautiful day in Central Washington, I felt all kinds of excitement. Night one’s patient jamming, bust-outs, and the best ever version of "Mull" were behind us, and seemed plausible that the band had now shaken off what little rust may have built up between Atlantic City and the Gorge and was ready to come out swinging. I’m a Vermonter and this Gorge run is my first west coast Phish, but I had been intrigued about seeing the band play in the pacific northwest since I first listened to the 10/13/1991 Olympia Surf Club show where Trey made a point in the Gamehendge narration at the band’s second show in Washington to comment twice about the beauty of the surroundings, and the sense of awe that I always feel out here is noticeable in his voice. Coming over that last rise at the venue before Friday night’s show, and reaching the spot where you first see the stage, the Columbia river, and the eroded canyon walls in the background provoked an exclamatory “wow” from me, and the guy walking next to me said “is this your first time here?” Yes, and I was stoked. Back to Saturday, our crew settled in at the bottom of the terraces Mike-side, waited for the sun to set over the ridge, and made our list of songs with a high show gap that we hoped to hear. And besides being a spectacular venue, I was impressed by the sheer number of vendors inside the venue, perhaps because the beer lines at Hershey two weeks ago required a 45-minute investment. Hello local craft beer tent with great selections and no line!
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