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. voopa Says:

    Just caught up. I’m on it, give me a few to load and check the files from the CD backups (!).

    No stream tonight?

  2. BrandonKayda Says:

    Anybody else feel like Phish this summer will be special?

  3. phoammhead Says:

    yes, bk!

    there will be some more amazing moments from 2011

  4. Cable Hogue Says:

    I’m betting that Bethel will be the only tough ticket of this leg. Holiday weekend, 2 hours from NYC…IMO the only one really worth entering lotto for.

  5. kenny powers Says:


    That’s the attitude

  6. sumodie Says:

    no word on a stream, but once more pt’s duanebase is tracking a setlist:



    Backwards Down The Number Line
    Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan
    The Horse ->
    Silent In The Morning
    Theme From The Bottom
    Down With Disease
    Heavy Things
    Liquid Time

  7. kenny powers Says:

    i dunno, I don’t see Bethel being a tough ticket. yeah its fairly close to NYC but It’s fucking out there enough to discourage fair weather fans and its a pretty big venue, and the hype is spread across three shows…

    toughest ticket will be nTelos fo sho.

  8. Mr. Palmer Says:


    possible leg 2 destination according to rumor mill. Would be a camping event.

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    i’m gonna mail order for Bethel and PNC. will be my only shows this leg anyway.

  10. Cable Hogue Says:

    Have people found places to stay for Bethel?

  11. Gavinsdad Says:

    You really telling me your not comin down for Camden @Palmer?

    @sumo – I concur re: 2006 PAF/grab. Lawn (and pav ) at that place are buttery and easy to manage. My whole parent crew had their kids asleep by nightfall and were raging top of the hill. PNC lawn is also excellent but I was in the pav for much of all my Phish and TAB shows there since 99.

  12. sumodie Says:

    I’m holding out hope for another mad dash to nTelos this summer. Agreed it may be the toughest tic as it’s the tour ender, though if there’s a July 4th festie all bets are off

  13. angryjoggerz Says:

    still trying to decide if i have it in me for a 3 night, 3 city run in the midwest. if nothing else, i think detroit for sure, never been there.

  14. KWL Says:

    been going back & forth on mail order for bethel. know i’ll get stuck with lawns for at least 1 night, if not 3, and also know there will be extras around the BB. and yet…. tough to resist

  15. phoammhead Says:

    how does a venue like bethel woods not allow overnight parking? who puts together such a venue and not foresee the real need for making weekend phesties!

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I won’t mail order for Camden. I won’t rule it out either. Futon?

  17. KWL Says:

    then again, lawn isn’t always bad, and pav isn’t always great, when you gotta deal with pushing 15 stubbed down phishies out of your seat

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Nothing wrong w/ Bethel lawn. Venue is only 5 years old. Audio and video quality is as high quality as your gonna get at any venue from that vantage point.

  19. KWL Says:

    this tour could be an interesting one. i might end up doing quite a lot of it spur of the moment stylee

  20. Gavinsdad Says:

    When the security at PNC is chill the top of the steps at the top of the pav are really broad. Fun spots to dance for sure.

  21. KWL Says:

    another acoustic liquid time? funny how we’ve waited so long for it to show up in a phish show, and the one place we could count on it, it’s been demoted to the warm up set with no jam

  22. BrandonKayda Says:

    Bruce Berry was a working man, he used to load that Econo Line van…..

  23. KWL Says:

    it still is a sweet little number though…

  24. sumodie Says:

    I’m guessing Bethel sells out the same day (15,000 peeps), therefore selling one’s lawns very early on should be possible

    Demand will likely slack once the rest of summer is announced (depending on how many northeast dates there are in leg 2)

    Anyway, with the GDad Seal of Approval™, why would you not want to be on the lawn?

  25. Gavinsdad Says:

    Mi Casa es su @Palmer.

    Ptbm will be a shitshow as usual. Don’t drink the koolaid

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