With summer on our minds this week with the announcement of Summer 20011 Leg I, this Friday we focus on Summer tour from fourteen years ago—1997. Phish had just returned from Europe, where they funked out every song imaginable, beginning to hone their new playing style. When the pulled into Virginia Beach on July 21 to kick off their US tour, they were a well-oiled groove machine that was ready for business. Here are some of my favorites selections from a transformative summer tour that criss-crossed the nation.
One of the most adventurous jam sequences of the summer from Walnut Creek, with, arguably, the best segue ever executed in band history.
“Run Like An Antelope” 7.29 II
A fierce rendition from Desert Sky in Phoenix.
My favorite jam of the summer when tour ended, and still right up there with the best of the best of Summer ’97.
“Gumbo” 8.13 I
This is, perhaps, the most liquid “Gumbo” ever played, including some of the danciest music of the summer and a legitimate nod to “Franklin’s Tower” towards the end of the jam. My personal favorite, I don’t think any version even approaches this one.
“Harry Hood > jam” 8.14 II
This version from Darien Lake gets my vote for the “Hood” of Summer ’97—and there were more than a few gems. And that is not even considering the sublime jam that oozed from the song’s peak; some of the most intricate interplay you’ll ever hear.
One of the defining jam sequences of the Great Went.
“Tweezer” 8.17 I
One of only two “Tweezers” in a massive US tour (the other came at The Gorge), this version dropped on the final day of tour in the Great Went’s afternoon set.
Tags: 1997, TTFF