Wednesday 02/20/2019 by howard_roark


[Welcome To Weekly Catch With Osiris! A weekly series brought to you from the team at Osiris. Each Wednesday we're going to bring you a historic Phish show from that week with some commentary. Our goal is to go beyond official releases and well-known shows to bring you some of the overlooked gems throughout Phish history. If you like what you find, we'd encourage you to check out the assortment of podcasts at the Osiris! This week's catch comes from Michael Shield of Across The Margin.]

Listen: Tenax, Florence, Italy, 02/21/1997

Even the most nooby of Phish fans has encountered the lore that surrounds Phish’s almighty 1997. It was a tremendous year, culminating in a Fall and New Year’s Run for the books. All good things must start somewhere, and 1997 kicked off with Winter European Tour, one that often goes unsung for its grandeur.

Coming just six weeks after Phish ripped through Philly and then into Boston as part of 1996’s New Year’s celebration, the band wasn’t only playing impassioned music across Europe, but also came equipped with an intriguing collection of new songs. First fans were introduced to “Walfredo," “Love Me,” “My Soul,” the deeply affecting “When the Circus Comes,” and “Rock A William.” Then they were treated to “Beauty of My Dreams.” Then Amsterdam happened and “Soul Shakedown Party” and “Carini” were birthed into the world — two notable additions to Phish’s already stout songbook.

Beyond the new song drops and the fiery playing throughout the tour, this Europe run is marked by the beginning of Phish's experimenting with James Brown-styled funk. “Super Bad” teases were woven in and out of jams everywhere, and this tour plainly observed the birth of the vibe that eventually permeated everything they did throughout the extraordinary year.

Amid their European Winter run, Phish rolled into Florence, Italy on Friday, February 21st and played an absolute barnburner of a show. Highlighted by an impassioned “Down With Disease” and “You Enjoy Myself” — one where Fishman hollered "This is a dream come true" during the “Wash Uffizi Drive Me to Firenze” section (my sentiments exactly!) — and a far heavier than normal “Antelope” and “Wilson,” this show is one that is best absorbed whole. What is entirely wondrous about this eventful evening is how quality both sets were. The six-pack first set they laid down would murder most second sets on paper alone to this day. It is as good of a first set you will come upon, and I can’t help but imagine what set break must have been like for the Italian wooks privy to that madness.

Thanks for reading and hopefully you're enjoying this series. Another Weekly Catch with Osiris will be up next week!

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, comment by thisonegoesto11
thisonegoesto11 "Italian Wooks" if there was ever a band in search of a name there you go.
, comment by The_Blob
The_Blob This is one of the few things that make me wish time travel was a thing (or lowkey that I was born earlier), as I was just a baby when this was played. Then again, I don't know if I would've ever come to know about them at that time, as the amount of people who know Phish in Italy was, and still is, next to 0.
, comment by lizards95
lizards95 It was really good but also the sound and the jams were so much different then what was played. You knew every song they you didn’t. It was just beautiful to be in a different place taking the next step with the band. Wish everybody could of been lucky to see phish and take that next step that was incredible and just so happy I was a part of it! Was something special.
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