Ten Tunes For Friday: Summer ’97


Summer 1997 (S.Nissman)

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.


Down with Disease > Mike’s > Simple” 7.22

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.



Cities > GTBT”  8.10 II

The Cornfields

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

Darien Lake

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.



Wolfman’s > Simple 8.16 II

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.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/ph1997-08-17d1t08.mp3] Tags: ,

855 Responses to “Ten Tunes For Friday: Summer ’97”

  1. SillyWilly Says:

    Will do, Cal!

    And no worries, TGhost. I know you got a lot on your plate right now!

    I totally agree with you about the bop players.

    Here I go getting theoretical, but I don’t think intentionality is necessary. I’m sure they weren’t thinking along black power lines, but that doesn’t mean culturally confusion and anger can’t be read onto their music. I think jazz fundamentally subverts western music.

    Bop was the most radical version, yet.

    And of course, don’t take their audience out of it. Plenty in the audience identified with the anger inherent in bop.

    Kerouc wrote a great piece called the history of bop. Its like a poem almost. And it was relatively contemporary and he seems sold on the black aspect of jazz.

    And then of course Amiri Baraka claimed jazz for black power.

    And iin the end was Homer teaching religious truths or just telling a fucking good story??

    The choice is yours.

  2. sumodie Says:

    @HHood: hope you guys get a smokin’ show! If tonight’s performance is as super hot as the last two (Utica/Manchester) you caught, I’ll know in the future to attend every show as you (I see Bethel in your future… 8)

  3. albert walker Says:

    sumo. just wondering. do you feel the effort of the acoustic sets is sufficient and the sets entertaining.

    I know I’m a dick but more kinder folks like my man Robear feel the same as me.

    just wondering your thoughts?

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    There goes Silly dropping the knowledge bomb. Dig it.

    Nice post. I’d love to continue, but I have got to practice a bit. Later guys

  5. cal Says:

    Like I said, I’m a cheeseball, and I’ll enjoy the acoustic shenanigans, and I’ll probably sing along (prompting aw to get as far away from me as possible).

    But I definitely GET why folks are down on it. Tolerate it or love it or hate it, who here GOES to see Trey FOR that? Seriously, even fringe fans aren’t flocking to the show to see an acoustic “Carini”. And I think even the folks here who hate the acoustic set have been pretty tame overall.

    Even if some folks ARE going for the acoustic sets, we’d all be totally fine with ’em if we had a chance for even a 15-minute “ML&C” or “Mr. Completely” or “Night Speaks” in set two. Right?

  6. albert walker Says:

    BK or anyone interested. I think jazz cats would dig this shit.

    Gateway 1974

    Dejohnette abercrombi and holland

    killer wide open guitar trio


  7. albert walker Says:

    BK or any jazz cats. check this out. the album is Gateway and it is from 1974

    killer guitar trio

    Holland and Dejohnette


  8. cal Says:

    Kerouac is the best music writer who ever lived. No other writer I’ve ever read comes close to evoking what it’s like to actually BE AT a jazz concert. His words are rhythms and melodies. I wish I had half the talent that guy had.

  9. albert walker Says:

    yes Cal the lack of fire in set II I think is most fans issues

    I mean we sat through this in 99 also

  10. albert walker Says:

    I think you are downplaying custies digging an acoustic sample Cal

    kids were screaming that shit at the Riv last year

  11. Jtran Says:

    Finally just put all my Phish music in 1 place on the new HD

    Only 83.3 gigs


  12. albert walker Says:

    time to puff, hit the treadmill finally, and jump into set II of thsi 7/1 for the first time


  13. cal Says:

    Jealous of aw. That’s like finishing LORD OF THE RINGS for the first time.

  14. sumodie Says:

    Repost request for a seeder for Trey’s 6.23.02 Bonnaroo performance

    (fuck all this acoustic shit, I wanna hear a shreddy 41 minute Night Speaks!)

    Source: AKG C391B’s


    Source: FOB Schoeps MK4V(ortf)

    @voopa: did you say you had a copy you could easily re-seed? I haven’t had any luck yet over at week4paug.net

  15. cal Says:

    Yeah, but a lot of kids are screaming along to “Sample” ’cause there’s nothing better to do at that point.

  16. voopa Says:


    Spaced on it last night. Not sure of the source. Will look it up when I get home. Which will be soon, because fuck this work shit.

  17. EL Duderino Says:

    The acoustic sets both suck and blow! period.

    Throw the veggies I don’t care its really just fuckin’ lame

  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    Trey acoustic is kind if a joke if you ask me. What is he doing up there?!? I could understand a full band set with Trey on acoustic, but his solo sing along stuff is complete crap IMO and a total waste of time.

  19. cal Says:

    But chicks dig it.

  20. EL Duderino Says:

    A lot of chicks dig coke too but that don’t make it right!

  21. Jtran Says:

    cal speaks truth

  22. SillyWilly Says:


    thanks for uploading the Gateway!

    Love that stuff, man

  23. phoammhead Says:

    i’m going to try to upload one or both of those trey bonnaroos that sumo posted above

    someone helps us out by seeding


  24. Jtran Says:

    dude also speaks truth

  25. cal Says:

    Seriously, at this point, my suspicion is that TAB tour is precisely the same as Mike tour: they think to themselves, hey, I’ve got these friends who are good (TAB)/decent (Mike) musicians, and they don’t make nearly as much money as me; why don’t I take ’em on a tour and share the wealth?

    I could be totally wrong, but with the lack of actual musical worth on this TAB tour, I don’t know how rewarding it could be for Trey unless he truly just needs the ego stroke of being the undisputed leader of the band and/or sitting up there by himself. And as such, I’m fine with it for the moment.

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