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”

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269 Responses to “When The Funk Came Home”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:

    common knowledge I dunno…I probably shouldn’t have said anything I guess, but I’m not in the biz anymore…he just struck me as diva-ish and sorta about the benjamins which was very unlike the other guys in the band so it was odd

    cat has chops tho…maybe we’ve just caught his bad side, he might be a saint otherwise for all I know

  2. digs5446 Says:

    can’t remember who inquired but The Pharmer’s Almanac’s last edition was in 2000, covering everything from 1.0.

  3. larry bird flu Says:

    who put out the pharmers almanac? picked up a copy of the phishing companion a few years ago on sale, quite handy i must say

  4. Shafty Says:

    I’m calling a Harpua to open Red Rocks. The story of Jimmy will explain why he hasn’t been allowed to come to Morrison for quite some time. Maybe his mom told him that his cat would get killed there. Then the boys bust into our favorite cat song Ocelot. What do you think?

  5. Little Buddy Says:

    Nice call, Shafty. I’m not making in to RR but I’ve been telling my buddy that is that he’ll be hearing Harpua>Walls of the Cave there. Hadn’t thought about that “cat” connection between Harpua and Ocelot though. That;s a great call!

  6. larry bird flu Says:

    i respectfully disagree shafty, im hoping there saving it for the northeast run, of which i will be in attendance. but if ones gonna happen it will probably be at Red Rocks.

  7. Prince Nabby Says:

    If Phish open RR1 with Harpua>Ocelot>Harpua, I would probably pee my pants!

  8. Mitch Says:

    ^Leo Weaver
    “Tito Puente (yes, in a tux) and Arturo Sandoval…in a small piazza in Cortona with about 200-300 other folks. HOLY SHIT WHAT A SHOW!”

    My buddy was Tito’s bass player. I asked him if he remembered that show at the Umbria Jazz Fest. He was like “you’re saying it wrong, its umbria, and yeah I remember that one, good times. then started talking about barcelona shows.” Wish I could have been there.

  9. Pence Says:

    SBDs SBDs SBDs I love SBDs.
    SBDs SBDs SBDs I love SBDs
    SBDs SBDs SBDs I love SBDs
    SBDs SBDs SBDs I love SBDs
    SBDs SBDs SBDs I love SBDs

    thats a song I wrote..thanks miner keep em coming

    SBDs SBDs SBDs I love
    SBDs SBDs SBDs I love
    SBDs SBDs SBDs I love
    SBDs SBDs SBDs I love

  10. Pence Says:

    I left those open for audience participation ya know

    wow it must be time to go home.

  11. Shafty Says:

    I would pee my pants too.

    Cortona is a town in Tuscany
    Umbria is a region of Italy south of Tuscany
    Tuscany equals good wine
    Umbria equals crappy wine-Orvieto is bad

  12. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    poster is dead…
    poster is dead…
    poster’s SO dead!

  13. Mitch Says:

    I like that Walls of the Cave idea for Red Rocks!!

    Time to bust that one and the rest of 2.0 songs out.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    Walls of the Cave and Sand seem like obvious locks for RR, thematically speaking

    tho it’s like phish to play against expectations

  15. larry bird flu Says:

    hmm that gets me thinking as to whether or not they played the wedge at each of the limestone shows? ill have to check zzyzx.

  16. Mitch Says:

    My expectation is the Mango Song at the Gorge but I’m sticking to it.

    I hear ya tho, Mr. C. They always trick ya. Those pranksters. I had brother on my setlist game in Camden for the Philly city of brotherly love reference but that didnt happen. Anyone know if they have played brother in Philly or Camden before? zzyzx here I come too.

  17. MP Says:

    First time the boys played RR, Trey was talking about how cool the dressing rooms were, how they were like a cave built into the rock. “Walls” is a lock. Wonder if the Lizard will rear his head this time around? he seems to show up for Phish shows there. I think his mother was a wookie.

  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    “Umbria equals crappy wine-Orvieto is bad”

    ^ this equals generalization. 😉

  19. larry bird flu Says:

    zzyzx says yes

  20. larry bird flu Says:

    acctually im wrong, they didnt play it at IT. but it opened up sets at both the wheel and the went

  21. Comrade Says:

    Anyone able to seed the BCH torrent?

  22. Mitch Says:

    Thats cause it was played a week prior in ATL if memory serves me.

    7.26.03, Hi-Fi Buys or something. I traded a show for those cds on lot in Burgettstown. Pretty sweet when you can get the show a couple days after on the lot for the car ride.

  23. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Harpua has already visited Red Rocks. I requested it in wirting the first time around back in ’93.

    I shreiked very very loud when it began one song in in the first set no less.
    Funny thing is that I had a cat named Poster nutbag at the time only he had been fixed so we just shortened it to Poster to avoid re-hashing the whole we lopped of your nuts so you should be a vindictive gato to everyone in the house. Anyhow, Some of the behavior outlined in the narration are real bahviors the cat exhibited. My wife will confirm.

    It is not likely that the saga will resurface again at the same location. Though I would be pleased, no less.

    No Rules in 3.0 though so a wait and see approach is best, just decouple your expectations module for maximum enjoyment.

    Look out for the iguana!

  24. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ comrade my cpu should be seeding it the whole time

  25. Jon Bailey Says:

    I just tinkled in my pants thinking of a Harpua in 3.0.
    Please save it for Hartford….Not likely though. Not much history there.
    That Ha Ha Ha opner back in 2000 was pretty sweet though!
    I strongly advise all to listen to these 2.

    06-30-00 Meadows Music Theatre, Hartford, CT
    1: Ha Ha Ha, AC/DC Bag, Tweezer -> Runaway Jim, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > Ginseng Sullivan, Guyute, Golgi Apparatus > Tweezer Reprise, Possum (1:23)

    2: Halley’s Comet, The Mango Song > Twist, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Back on the Train > Makisupa Policeman*, Farmhouse, Sleeping Monkey, David Bowie (1:10)

    E: Cavern** (0:07)

    *Key phrase was “1 bourbon, 1 scotch, 1 big fat doob.” **Trey teased “Tweezer” between verses; also with a “Moby Dick” (Led Zeppelin) tease/call-out.

    07-01-00 Meadows Music Theatre, Hartford, CT

    1: Buried Alive, Wolfman’s Brother, Axilla > Poor Heart, Sample in a Jar, Tube*, Beauty of My Dreams**, Roggae, Vultures, Dirt, Split Open and Melt (1:11)

    2: Gotta Jibboo*, Bug, First Tube, Mike’s Song > Swept Away > Steep > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove -> Nellie Kane, Ghost

    E: While My Guitar Gently Weeps (0:08)

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