, attached to 1997-12-28

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

Though the 1997 New Years Run started in Maryland, it was viewed by many as a one-night mid-Atlantic warmup followed by a three-night romp through the Big Apple. And what a romp it was!
As with many fans, and as I had done in 1996, I spent the New Years Run traveling with a large group of fans and friends. There was a distinctly different feeling in the air this year, though. The 1996 Run came on the heels of a solid but unspectacular tour, while the 1997 Run came at the close of one of the most exciting Phish years ever. I was lucky enough to catch a few shows earlier in the year (most notably the lightning-inflected Raleigh show in the summer and the underrated Winston-Salem show in the fall), but most of the hose I felt was through tapes of the then-recent Hampton extravaganza and shows like Rochester and Auburn Hills. None of this prepared me for the four night Run.
Sure enough, Landover was a warm-up. A strong warm-up, mind you, but definitely a warm-up. There were some minor technical problems (the ghost in the machine, according to Trey) and some rough spots, but it was, overall, a solid Phish show. My fondest memory of that show was visual rather than musical. My group was scattered around the arena but six of us wound up in the same section on the Page side of the building. During the second set, as we looked across the arena, we saw that some fans had strung a series of glowrings together. The glowrings were being passed around a few rows of that section, bending and gyrating with the music, seemingly under some greater control than the hands that held them. I had gotten somewhat used to seeing and hearing about glowstick wars through the summer and fall of 1997, but this innovative (and harmless) visual spectacle was incredible to watch.


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