When The Funk Came Home

Summer 1997

Summer 1997 (S.Nissman)

The day had finally come.  We hadn’t seen the band for six months- six months that had changed everything- and we had finally made it.  We were in Virginia Beach, and it was July 21st!  It was here.  After waiting over half a year that seemed more like an eternity, we would finally see what this new funk was all about!  Unless you were lucky enough to make it to Europe earlier in 1997, you were in the same boat- fiending for Phish and more curious than ever.

phish-amsterdam-97-subwayAfter finishing off 1996 with a smoking New Years Run, peaking at the Fleet Center amidst unreasonably cold temperatures in Boston, the band disappeared from the American scene.  Only two months later they were off on their first of two European tours before we’d have a chance to see them in the states again*.  Their twelve-show winter run continued the transformation to groove-based playing that had begun during the second half of Fall ’96.  And once we got a hold of that 2.17 Amsterdam tape, we knew something special was going on.   That “Disease” slowed down into some thick music we’d never heard before- and then segued into a dark, new song called “Lucy Had A Lumpy Head”- who was this band?!  This was different music than we heard in Boston- that was for sure- and it was very engaging!  Phish went on to play their infamous Markthalle show captured on Slip, Stitch, and Pass, but at the time, that Amsterdam tape was all anyone could talk about. *(Phish did play a small benefit in Burlington on 3.17)

6.19.97 Arena, Vienna, Austria

6.19.97 Vienna, Austria

We got some of the other winter tapes as well, and then we waited.  The band took off across the pond once again in June- this time armed with an array of new songs that spilled out quickly over their first two nights in Dublin.  “Ghost,” “Twist,” “Limb By Limb,” “Dogs Stole Things,” “Piper,” “I Saw It Again,” “Oblivious Fool,” “Vultures,” “Velvet Sea,” “Water In the Sky”- and come Virginia Beach, most of us had never heard them!  These were not the days of instant uploads and digital Phish; the tapers were all in Europe.  With only ten days separating the last European show and Virginia Beach, most of us didn’t have time for a blanks and postage deal.

(R. Bleckman)

(R. Bleckman)

But while we weren’t getting Phish music instantly online, it was around this time that Phish internet space- and the internet in general- began to catch fire.  On message boards and over email, we heard stories about twenty-minute funk jams played really, really slow; about this new song called “Ghost” that was all the rage; about bass led grooves coming from everywhere!  But they were just stories.  With each passing day and setlist, excitement amongst fans grew exponentially.  After six and a half months of no Phish coupled with tales of legendary jams, our imaginations were about to burst- we couldn’t wait any longer.  And we didn’t have to, because the day had arrived.

The Gorge '97 (J.Schwartz)

The Gorge '97 (J.Schwartz)

When we got into the amphitheatre, the energy was palpable as the entire crowd seemed to be on the verge of explosion.  How long would we have to wait before we heard all these new songs?  As a rainbow appeared over the lawn, breaking the day’s inclement weather, Phish stepped on stage with the first stateside drop into “Ghost.”  The music felt immediately addictive- its deep bass and slow grooves coursing through your veins.  It was a new high you’d never felt before- and Wow!- it felt good.  You had to dance, no matter how awkward it might have looked; this shit was funky!  And as the band entered the jam, we experienced the first gooey excursion of what would be a stellar summer tour.

Ghost ————————————— [audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/ph97-07-21d1t01.mp3]

1997-07-21gnFollowing up with “Dogs,” “Piper,” and “Dirt,” the band was as eager to introduce their new material as we were to hear it.  When listening to just the abbreviated version of “Piper,” you could feel the magic in that song from day one.  And finally, to welcome everyone to their US Summer Tour, Phish ripped apart a funktatstic “Bathtub Gin” that saw Trey jokingly chant “USA! USA! USA!” at the end.  Spirits were soaring; the band was as ecstatic to start a long US tour as we were, and a new era had truly begun.

Bathtub Gin ———————————– [audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/ph97-07-21d1t06.mp3]

7.21.97 Virgina Beach, VA – 12 Years Ago Today

I: Ghost, Dogs Stole Things, Piper, Dirt, Ginseng Sullivan, Bathtub Gin*, Character Zero

II: Wolfman’s Brother > Magilla, David Bowie, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Theme From the Bottom* > Funky Bitch*, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Loving Cup

*w/ Leroi Moore

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

You Enjoy Myself” 11.28.97 Worcester SBD


Perhaps the greatest version of “You Enjoy Myself” from Fall ’97, this one will get anyone’s head bobbing.  Coming in a show opening combo of “Curtain > YEM” to begin Worcester’s three-night stand, Phish got the party started right.  While not necessarily a dark-horse, a run through the SBD of this impeccable jam brightens any day.  With a fierce and funk-laced “Crosseyed” segment, this one is a keeper.



3.20.92 Broome Co. Forum, Binghamton, NY SBD < TORRENT

3.20.92 Broome Co. Forum, Binghamton, NY  SBD < MEGAUPLOAD

Spring '92 (phish.com)

Spring '92 (phish.com)

Keeping with the early-era soundboard trend of yesterday, here we have one of the greatest shows from the hallowed Spring of ’92.  This Binghamton show was an analog staple back in the day, with a SBD source that circulated early on.  In a show strewn with highlights, the “Antelope” stands out as one of the greatest early-90’s versions.  The first set is absolutely flawless, and set two isn’t far behind.  Enjoy this gem!

I: Wilson, Reba, Brother, Glide, Rift, Fluffhead, Maze, Lizards, Mound, Run Like an Antelope

II: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Sanity, The Sloth, The Mango Song, Cavern, Uncle Pen, Harry Hood, Terrapin*, Possum

E: Lawn Boy, Fire

* Trey explains “Secret Language” before “Possum”

Tags: ,

269 Responses to “When The Funk Came Home”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:


  2. msbjivein Says:

    Awesome Thanks!!

  3. msbjivein Says:

    Looks like some type of cells……W/nucleoid

  4. Frankie Says:

    For a great Roundabout cover, check out the first Duo & Mike show from moe. down 2004 i think. It’s been awhile since i heard it but i remember really digging it… it was up on the archive… I truly recommend that show! Duo tunes w/Mike = Greatness!

  5. Jay Says:

    I would like to see an Uncle Johns Band as a nod to jer’s birthday at RR 🙂

  6. whole tour! Says:

    siket disc = my #1 late night, lights dimmed, trip face album.

    floyd’s ‘ummagumma’ was my go to album for that slot pre siket disc.

  7. guyforget Says:

    Just got my tix confirmations and tracking numbers for all of my PTBM. Sweeet.

  8. cwc Says:

    Jay, the Proud Mary vocal jam from Greensboro 3-1-03 is one of the few I don’t skip over. Pretty solid show all together.

    Haven’t listened to the DOTD yet, but speaking of Roundabout, any Yes album would be sweet for halloween. Talk about out there, how about Tales from Topographic Oceans? Fragile or Close to the Edge would be nice too.

  9. msbjivein Says:

    Loved that Greensboro show!!! Forgot all about that Proud Mary Voc jam! Good Call!

  10. whole tour! Says:

    greensboro 2003 was the ( + v + ) ‘ s !
    big ole double d’s.

  11. Frankie Says:

    I remember getting the Siket disc from Dry Goods back in ’99 and i really treasured it in my collection as some of the most unique Phish music i had… I remember playing The Name Is Slick on repeat just wishing it was longer… you can really feel the late night session on that one… so laidback…

  12. Jay Says:

    would have been cool if they did the “Proud Mary” dance with that vocal jam LOL!

  13. msbjivein Says:

    Frankie, I have a Feeling Trey and Mike liked playing w/ the Duo more than the Duo liked playin w/ Trey & Mike. This is what I took away from a conversation I had w/ Russo a while back. He said he hated when phans would yell for Phish tunes when the boys weren’t even there. So they(Russo & Marco) decided to take a break from the DUO.

  14. Frankie Says:

    Yeah i read about that. They had two interviews back to back on jambase with Joe and Marco earlier this year and they talked a little bit about that… it’s a shame ’cause both Duo studio records are full of GREAT songs! Can’t wait for the next one but right now i’m really enjoying Marco Benevento’s solo work… Invisible Baby is sick!

  15. msbjivein Says:

    Wasn’t trying to kill the vibe. Just a comment. He also said it was a privilage to play w/ Trey and Mike.

  16. Frankie Says:

    I never got into GRAB as much as i got into Mike & The Duo… to me, it just felt like Trey wanted in on the fun the three of them had but with Trey it wasn’t as weird as only with Mike…

    I really enjoy the Billie Jean jam on youtube from Memphis though… love the laugh the guy holding the camera has when he recognize the song…

  17. msbjivein Says:

    Russo is one of my favorite drummers. When I saw them at the Terrapin Hills fest last Sept. I had a drink w/ him. When I asked him how it was to play w/ Trey and Mike. He gave pretty much the same answer as in that article plus a couple explicit remarks. It was the Heat though for sure!!

  18. msbjivein Says:

    Saw the Duo w/ Gordo once in NOLA during Jazz. Was off the hook!!

  19. R1 Says:

    Just had the idea that they will play a Bowie album for Halloween. However, I don’t know any Bowie albums, so I have no idea which one it will be. The thought “They will play a Bowie album” simply popped into my brain.

  20. Frankie Says:

    Yeah Russo is a really fun drummer to see live! Amazing musician… My Pet Goat anybody?

    On a side note, i saw that Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey is opening for Mike Gordon Band in Burlington and i was wondering if they were doing the whole tour… anybody knows? Good for them anyway… go download WINTERWOOD for free from their site if you don’t already have it… http://www.jfjo.com One of my favorites this year…

  21. whole tour! Says:

    ziggy stardust and the spider from mars

  22. msbjivein Says:

    JAcob Fred is great. Like them more w/ Reed Mathis. In Summer of ’03 after Shoreline we saw Jacob Fred w/ Umphrees opening latenite. Gordo sat in w/ JFJO!! I met Gordo for the 1st time that night also. Nver forget that shit! I’ll check out that download thanks!

  23. msbjivein Says:

    I saw JFJO w/ new bass played this yr at Jazzfest in NOLA. Was good just a little different w/out Reed. The new guy plays upright w/ some sic effects.

  24. Jay Says:

    Diamond Dogs for sure if it’s Bowie 🙂

  25. Frankie Says:

    Winterwood is the last record with Reed and he produced it… he plays banjo, bass, guitar and pedal steel on it… i liked them more with Reed also… the 03 shows on the archive are great! Reed, Brian and Jason Smart…

Leave a Reply