Weekend Nuggets: The Spectrum ’97


The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

In all the madness of Fall ’97, this Philly weekend sometimes gets left in the dust.  Surrounded by Hampton and a legendary Cleveland > Detroit > Dayton run, The Spectrum shows don’t always get the credit deserved.  Both second sets were monsters, strewn with all sorts of improvisation.  and ten tons of cow funk.

12.2.97 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA < LINK

12.2.97 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA < TORRENT LINK

I: Buried Alive > Down With Disease, Makisupa Policeman, Chalk Dust Torture, Ghost, The Divided Sky, Dirt > Taste, The Star Spangled Banner

II: Mike’s Song > Simple > Dog Faced Boy > Ya Mar > Weekapaug Groove, Bouncing Around the Room, Character Zero

E: Ginseng Sullivan, Sample in a Jar


12.3.97 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA < LINK

12.3.97 The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA < TORRENT LINK

I: Punch You In The Eye, My Soul, Drowned, The Old Home Place, Gumbo > Also Sprach Zarathustra > You Enjoy Myself

II: David Bowie*> Possum > Funk Jam, Prince Caspian, Frankenstein, Harry Hood

E: Crossroads




3.6.09 “The First Tweezer Back”

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77 Responses to “Weekend Nuggets: The Spectrum ’97”

  1. AlexanderK Says:

    PS: We’ve had Phishthoughts.com running on our new GridServer for a few days now and I’d like to get some feedback on loading times/etc. Is the site running smoothly for everyone? Any problems with loading pages/etc? (Downloads coming from the Amazon s3 service do not count in this question)

    Your feedback is appreciated!

  2. Mugician Says:

    Site runs fine for me.

    Anyone have any ’94 favorites that I should check out?

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    have a great weekend everyone!

  4. Frankie Says:

    Works fine here also Alex, thanks a lot!

    Off the top of my head,
    6/18/94: perfect setlist & playing, ’nuff said!
    7/6/94: Montreal: my city and a great great show, many highlights!
    7/13/94: the second set is anything-goes time, i’m sure you will appreciate the boldness from a musician’s point of view… it’s a lot of fun…
    12/29/94: One of the craziest Bowies of all time but there is an improv in there that is god-sent, it sounds like a composed song, you’ll love it!

    There is many others but those are among my favorites! Check out also the Miner’s Picks: November ’94. They had just played the White Album and were really fearless musically. Great experi-mental Tweezers!

    Thanks a lot for the Spectrum ’97 shows Mr.Miner! I had 12.2.97 back in the analog days and it’s been a while since i revisited it… Have a good weekend!

  5. dyda Says:

    gamehoist – 6.26.94

    site is running smoothly for me. like the redone comments pages now that all the kinks have been troubleshot.


  6. voopa Says:

    6-17-94 (OJ show)
    7-16-94 (end of tour nuttiness “Hit by a comet” – LP #2)
    12-4-94 (sleeper)

  7. hairy pood Says:

    two opshishal 94 releases that are reall good are 7/16/94 at Sugarbush, and 11/30/94 at Evergreen. A classic that Miner put up very recently is 6/11/94 at Red Rocks (one of my favorite shows I’ve heard). Also 11/12/94 at Kent State. However I’m usually partial to shows in places I’ve lived, so the Kent, Vermont, and Olympia shows might be coming from slightly biased judgement.

  8. hairy pood Says:

    I’m stoked to hear these Spectrum shows. Gumbo>2001>YEM has a nice ring to it, especially December 97 style.

  9. BingosBrother Says:


  10. dyda Says:

    also 12.1.94 – great second set:

    norwegian wood jam>

  11. Mitch Says:

    **Currently in need of a campsite at the Gorge, VIP preferred**

    If anyone has any extras, Frankie and I are looking for one.

    Miner, I know you have mad hookups… if you hear of any, claim them.

  12. Henry Holland Says:

    I still can’t believe I got a ticket this morning. I also got my airline ticket, as I’m flying in > hit the lot for some heady sativa and grilled cheese sandwiches and Magic Hat #9 > have face melted by a great Phish show > sleep in airport > home in the morning. When I told my dad what I was doing, he said “I thought we raised you not to be crazy”.

  13. Davey Says:

    Mitch are you going to camp with Frankie?

  14. wanderin Says:

    @ Alex & Miner….Site is working A-OK! Thanks for your efforts.

  15. Read Icculus Says:

    ….melt, spilt open and melt……

  16. wizzle1986 Says:

    almost a year late and off-topic….but I just purchased Walnut Creek and was super impressed by Mike the whole second set

  17. Jeremy Says:

    anyone tell me what would be “obstructing the view” at Toyota Park? I have sec 117 (dead center) 11th row and the tix came with a warning about the view. I looked at pictures of the field and cant imagine having a problem. Appreciate any input!

  18. Mugician Says:

    Ha. I’ll just point out then that the WC “Taste” is excellent.

  19. Matso Says:

    A personal note: 15 years ago today I saw my first Phish show at Metropolis in Montreal. I was 16 at the time, and this was an 18+ gig. There were cops all over the shop beforehand, forcing the venue to check everyone’s ID. I came armed with a bad fake one that I’d finished laminating a few hours beforehand.

    While I was standing in line to get in, I saw Mike Gordon pop into a Vietnamese restaurant next door. At the time, having never seen pictures of the band in action and not knowing who was who from the album photos, I thought he was Fishman, the drummer. I kept thinking “God I hope he doesn’t eat something that upsets his stomach in there”.

    Eventually I got in and and soon afterwards, so did my friends and the redheaded girl I had a massive crush on at the time. We stood or sat around, trying to act cool, waiting, endlessly waiting, for the band to get on stage. If memory serves correct it was about 9pm before they hit the stage, at which point we’d been sitting around for close to 2 hours.

    I’d never heard Runaway Jim before and, without any exageration, those opening chords changed my life. It was amazing. I still get chills when I listen to the tapes of this show – listen to the way the crowd sounds when they get to the bass/drums breakdown of Jim, and Trey plays that sublime little solo.

    Anyway, 15 years ago today – it feels like a long time ago and I’ve obviously changed a huge amount (awkward teen -> working father), but there’s a distinct thread that’s run through all the years since:

    I love Phish.

  20. Wax Banks Says:

    That post-Possum jam has some gnarly Page clav action, damn! The boys were as tight in ’97 as they’d ever been; the sloppiness didn’t set in until the Covers’R’Us silliness of ’98.

    On that note:

    I was reading some rec.music.phish archives the other day and saw that Dirksen – who, let’s be frank here, doesn’t have a great musical ear, has no vocabulary for talking about it whatsoever, and has always had maddeningly specific musical tastes – roundly panned Phish ’98 at the time, stopped touring before the hiatus, and didn’t really get back on the bus near as I can tell. He and I shared a sense that thing were a little directionless in that year – there wasn’t really a narrative, or the covers seemed slipshod, or the otherworldly intensity and focus of Fall ’97 seemed to be lost, or…something. Hell, I count that July ’98 Houston Wolfman’s (SBD) as the best version I’ve heard, but it’s mostly the odd-numbered years that for me mark the big leaps forward: 93’s outward-bound push, 95’s arena/summer spaciousness, 97’s maniacal funk, 99’s move toward ambient and textural sounds, 03’s rock-will-do stuff, 09’s restart (OK I’m being silly).

    Anyhow, I listen to these Philly second sets from late ’97 and I’m not surprised the band didn’t make the same bold strides in ’98. How the hell do you keep that up? You can’t switch up your personnel and your fans demand a certain musical culture and (roughly) style, where do you go from Fall ’97? How do you stay that tightly wound and that faithful?

    To their credit, Phish did find some answers to that question, but it took a breakup to really kick things loose. Is it perverse that what I want most is for them to find their way back there, to get just as tight/loose as they were on that (to me) best-ever tour and try again to keep it up? But then for all I want, I wouldn’t know what I need. And will have to live with what I have. Like everyone I guess.

    Anyhow, I’ve got these shows going already but thanks for sharing, Miner.

  21. Dr SF Jones Says:

    A personal bias because not only was it my first show, it was the first time I even heard Phish. 04.10.94 . University of Buffalo, Amherst.
    The Runaway Jim opener changed my life forever.

  22. Pence Says:

    WOW Toyo park still available.

  23. Cactus Says:

    Runaway Jim is a really good solid opener, and a really good first show first song if that makes sense. I rememer a Runaway Jim at the Spectrum in 96. One of the first shows I saw with my little brother. Hearing the three opening chords as we were trying to find our seats in the small hallway spectrum tunnels, then scrambling in time to the drums darting past whoever seeemed in the way, to one of the entrances, cruising down a few rows to settle where we could. Most of those Philly shows were tight, so we knew we were going to enjoy in the festivities that night.

  24. Exree Hipp Says:


    I often consider Dirksen’s opinion when listening to Phish, as he was the most influential person on RMP for me when I was just getting into the band, and he literally spun me as many as 75 tapes over the years. Through 95-98, his reviews were something I looked forward to, and that always helped turn me on to new shows I may have overlooked due to their setlists or obscurity, etc.

    I have basically always been on the same page as him, and felt that the band fell off dramatically throughout 98, never to return to their greatest glory. I saw 11/29/98 and 12/30/98 and basically checked out after then until Fall 2000, when I caught a few shows that, to me, didn’t hold up to my snobby earlier standards. Not until this past year (and through the encouragement of this site) have I really got into the post hiatus sound and the diversity of their sound through 2000. I still feel that 93-97 isn’t touched by the later stuff, but I have real love now for 2000 and winter ’03, largely thanks to this site’s writing.

    Dirksen deserves eternal credit for his boosting the profile of the band’s jams in RMP in the mid 90s, especially since there was no file sharing, and tracking down shows was a more labor intensive, and much more expensive endeavor. His write-ups are still worth revisiting now, too.

  25. snigglebeach Says:

    I like that topic….

    First song at first show..

    I will have to think about that, seems odd i can’t remember. But i know that night changed my life.

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