, attached to 1997-11-17

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks The three shows leading up to 11/17 are fine, of course, but this is countdown and liftoff: from this night in Denver to the drawn breath in Cleveland three weeks later, every single show is 200-proof danger, baby. (And that's not counting 12/6 II, which is a strong contender for best-ever single set of Phish.)

All that needs to be said here is that 11/17 is as good as its reputation. The first-set Ghost is a disco-ball explosion, one of the canonical Fall '97 jams; when Trey announces that there'll be just one more song in the set 'for your dancing pleasure,' it's close to Too Damn Much. Of course the Fall '97 funk is in effect here, but the real surprise is that grand, wide-ranging second set, which is a nigh-perfect suite of four songs with a YEM chaser. It's all here: technical proficiency, empathy, fearless collective experimentation, and straight-up dancefloor porno. That this isn't the best show of the tour - maybe not even Top 5! - is to say that Fall '97 was in many ways the top of the mountain, though Big Cypress partisans no doubt disagree.


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