Soundcheck: Limb By Limb (x3), Vultures, Water in the Sky, Saw It Again (first verse only)

SET 1: Runaway Jim -> My Soul, Water in the Sky, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Vultures, Bye Bye Foot, Taste

SET 2: Down with Disease[1] -> Mike's Song > Simple -> I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Hello My Baby

ENCORE: When the Circus Comes > Harry Hood

The first set of this show was performed during a furious lightning storm; during Taste, the band even jammed along with the thunder and lightning. Mother (Pink Floyd) was teased by Trey in Bye Bye Foot. Down with Disease was unfinished. Weekapaug also included a Hydrogen tease from Trey and closed with a Can’t You Hear Me Knocking tease. This show is also available on DVD from Phish Dry Goods.
Noteworthy Jams
Mother tease in Bye Bye Foot, I Am Hydrogen and Can't You Hear Me Knocking teases in Weekapaug Groove
Debut Years (Average: 1992)

This show was part of the "1997 Summer U.S. Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by Anonymous

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

This show is, by far, the shortest I have ever seen and is one of the shortest I have ever heard on tape. If anyone complains about it, though, I will hunt them down and force them to listen to Fishman impersonating James Brown covering Hanson for hours upon end!
The night before was the U.S. tour opener in Virginia Beach. I was staying at a house in Nag's Head for the weekend, partying down with some fellow fans. One of them had taped the two July Amsterdam shows, so we all got a chance to hear some of the new songs and get prepared. I drove to Raleigh from Nag's Head with those two shows, as well as the night before, lingering in my head.
Pressed up against the gates, I listened to the soundcheck. I knew this would be my last show until the fall, so I wanted it to be a great one. I left a few hours later far from disappointed! I had decided to go to this show at the last minute, so I was on the lawn while my friends were all in the reserved seats. I had found a patch of grass in the front of the lawn near an awesome couple from Texas and a guy named Travis who was at his first show. Prophetically, Travis's last name was Rainwater. We talked and laughed and waited for the show to start.
Honestly, though, the first set was pretty unremarkable. The "Runaway Jim" opener was a surprising call, especially given the monster "Jim" in Raleigh during the summer of 1995. My friend Brian swears he saw Trey pour some water on his hands and rub them together, as if to "wash his hands" of that epic jam. I've heard people corroborate this story, so maybe it happened. The "Stash" was nice, and I knew that Fishman's "Footsteps" poem from the Schvice had been turned into a song. Since I thought (and still think) it was a poignant poem, I was glad to hear it. Somewhere about this time is when the rain that had been steadily falling turned into an all-out downpour.
As the band launched into "Taste", we were trying to find ways to stay dry. Travis' girlfriend had some sort of blanket, which had been stretched out over us until it was too soaked to do any good. That's when the thunder and lightning kicked in. Listen to the tapes; the crackles are unmistakable! For a moment, I thought about leaving"...hell, I love Phish shows but I certainly didn't want to get electrocuted at one! The lightning crashed down on all sides of the amphitheater, and I realized that I probably had a better chance getting hit while walking to my car than I did standing with thousands of other people!
So, I started to pay attention to the "Taste" jam, and it was simply electrifying. Each crash of thunder and burst of lightning brought a frenzied scream from the crowd, which seemed to further excite the band and deepen the jam. When it ended ten minutes later, I had been hosed in both the literal and metaphoric sense.
I have to say that this is the only show I have ever seen where set break was actually fifteen minutes. Who knows, maybe the band realized how bad the weather was and wanted to finish the show before anyone got hurt. We out on the lawn didn't seem to care anymore, though. Since we were all wet and muddy to begin with, rounds of mudsliding began. It became an all-out pigpen party, and everyone was loving it.
Words can't do the second set justice. All I can do is advise you to get a tape and listen for yourself. The "Disease" starts out really shaky but the set from there is basically flawless. The segue from "Disease" into "Mike's" is perhaps the best, most fluid, most inventive segue the band has ever pulled off. The "Hydrogen" was a treat, and the "Weekapaug" was an all-out dancefest in the mud.
I was excited to hear "When the Circus Comes", and thought it was a sweet way to bring us back to earth after an ethereal show. Little did I realize that we'd get a "Harry Hood" after it to cap an excellent set! Personally, I say get the second set at any cost and have someone throw on the first-set "Taste" as filler. And, if you've got good ears and want goose bumps, pay close attention to the roar of the crowd as they realize that the band is about to break into "Mike's" from "Disease". If you listen closely, you can hear me"...cold, wet, tired, and loving every second of it.
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks Fine first set cut off early by a biblical rainstorm, which invests Taste with hair-raising energy - an absolute must-hear version. The whole second set flows pleasantly from the post-Disease swamp-funk; the segue into Mike's Song is worth hearing for the crowd's ecstatic response, never mind Trey's patient thematic teasing and the band's effortless group modulation. Not for nothing did this multifaceted show get an official release, though there are stronger summer outings overall.
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by tubinator

tubinator This was the first show I ever heard, and it remains in my heart as a truly emotional, exciting experience every time I jam it out. The first set is just fun, with a crowd pleasing Stash, and genius execution of Vultures. For me, set two is where S*** GETS REAL. Starting with, in my mind, a perfect DWD with a truly awe inspiring jam into Mike's. This snail's pace, big, phat, juicy, funkadelic Mike's is really what told me as a kid that Phish was the band for me. I always had a very strong tendency to prefer funk over any other genre, (as a bassist, I sort of have to) but I'd still find myself always jammin' out on the "classic rock" side of the spectrum. Anyway, directly following Mike's is a high energy Simple, which kind of brings the listener back down to earth from this funkadelic super trip from outer space. After that, a short but sweet Hydrogen, into a perfectly executed Weekapaug. Mike goes pretty hard in this jam, which of course I love. To close the second set, we get a great A Capella 'HMB' that lets the listener off on a pleasant, goofy note. For the encore we get a pretty standard 'Circus' into a sweet ass Hood. Now, as stated before, this was the first Phish show I ever heard, which obviously means the first Hood too. I can still remember so vividly hearing my first Mr. Miner sequence. For lack of a better term, that s*** SHOCKED MY BRAIN. This might still be my favorite show, its got such a sentimental value in my heart, and the transformation for Disease to Mike's remains to be my favorite ">" of all time. Great job boys.
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by zsmith0307

zsmith0307 I still have to rate this a 4, as I did 7/21/97, but make no mistake, this show is worlds better. (Oh, why can't we use half stars???) The first set features an excellent bluesy Jim with a very nice segue into My soul. Stash is above-average if not extraordinary, and Vultures is always welcome. The set highlight is clearly Bye Bye Foot, Taste. Perhaps my love for Foot is irrational, but man does Trey kill his solo. And Taste with the lightning is an all-time classic.

Second set highlight is clearly the Disease->Mike's segue... it's probably the best segue in Phish history, but the Groove is also an above-average version and not to be missed.
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by Xpanding_Man

Xpanding_Man At one point, I thought I saw the band member's heads detach from their bodies and float above the stage while their bodies continued to play music. But that's just crazy, right? :)

This show still sends shivers down my spine. Quite simply, it's the most amazing concert I've been lucky enough to witness. As most have mentioned, this one has a phenomenal jam/transition from Disease into Mike's. I pride myself (somewhat) on having an "insider's" knowledge of this music; I almost always know what song is being teased, jammed, etc. however the transition was SO SMOOTH into Mike's that it took me completely by surprise. To me, that means something. This was music beyond the form of "songs", this was the tightest rock group in history fully tapped into the musical well; they could have played the theme to rawhide for an hour and they would have found a way to make it interesting.

My most distinct memory of the show was when a bolt of lightning hit one of the rods on the shed, and for a few seconds, it was as bright as high noon, despite the sun having already set. Talk about an acid test!

Get the DVD; it's the house screen feed so you lose some sense of what it was like to be in the crowd, but still worth it imho.
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by coral_sand_below

coral_sand_below The DWD>Mike's transition is just nuts. So smooth you might not hear it coming the first time around. All of a sudden we're in the midst of a "time stands still" Mike's intro, before they seamlessly speed up to the usual tempo. I love how it takes a few seconds for the crowd to catch on!
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by ElihuRoot

ElihuRoot Me and my bro chickened out and left this show during the setbreak. The thunder and lightning-driven Taste to end the first set was truly terrifying, the experience was just more intense than we were prepared to handle I guess. I don't even remember making the decision to leave, all I remember is wandering around outside for a while after the band started back up, getting kinda freaked out by the lot scene, and eventually leaving sometimes during the Mikes. More than 15 years later, I just listened to set 2 for the first time, and I'm regretting the decision to leave more than ever! At least we made it to Atlanta the next night for that transcendent experience.
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by bunnyrhae

bunnyrhae This was the first show that I had ever seen and it was a magical night. I had decided the night before the show to go and went to see if I could get tickets, to my surprise there was a pair of front and center tickets that I quickly snatched up and the rest is history. I had the time of my life and have been seeing them ever since. The storm was epic to say the least. Best night of my life. On a side note while I stayed dry in the front row my future husband was on the lawn dancing the night away in a thunderstorm. We both look back at the DVD and smile. Me a little more because there I am in the front row dancing my ass off.
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by montaigne

montaigne If you dig this Disease>Mike's, I urge you to check out the Disease>Tweezer from the Gorge 8-2-1997. The amazing segue is eerily similar.
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by Fallopian_Dude

Fallopian_Dude While all four members turned in strong performances, Trey was the MVP that summer evening in Raleigh. Check out the incendiary guitar work on Jim > My Soul and Stash. The highlight of the night was the sublime Taste, whose intensity was heightened by a storm of biblical dimensions.
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by pmc2kd

pmc2kd It didn't take long for the U.S. tour to hit some major high points. (just check out the opening show!)

As for Walnut Creek and it's fantastic official DVD release here goes...

The first set is pretty short, cut off by an epic rain storm.

Runaway Jim works well as an opener and is plenty crisp ->My Soul (or as I call it, my least favorite overplayed song from '97)

Water in the Sky is fitting.

Stash is pretty good, without being anything too special. It's still nice to hear and has a capable jam.

Bouncing slows it down for a second.

Vultures is a nice treat and is well played. Always welcome.

Bye Bye Foot is cool and gets the major rarity points.

Taste is surely the highlight in closing the set prematurely. The epic rainstorm kicked in and the song is infused with incredible energy. This is a must hear version and the DVD even gives us the evidence of the crazy lightning. Suddenly I heard the crack of thunder indeed!

So overall set I is a bit tough to judge because it's quite short. That said, the Taste is certainly worth your time.

Set II is a very well respected set with impeccable flow, song selection, and jamming. It's a set that certainly solidifed my fandom.

They open with DWD, which has a great jam. Nice rocking section and then just funky '97 madness. It's a nice length and they give it good patient treatment. It's a lot of fun on the DVD/SBD to hear Trey's vocal enthusiasm during the swampy funk jam. Eventually they slow down hitting an oh so familiar vamp. They milk this slowly progressing in one of the ultimate segues -> Mike's song. Side note, my favorite moment in the DVD is when they craft and execute this segue, which culminates in an absolutely infectious smile from Page (who is usually understated on stage). It's a legendary moment.

Mike's is fantastic as well. The jam proper is a good one, and Trey's playing is funkalicious. A second favorite moment for me is the evil dark jam at the end, with Trey wobbling maniacally back and forth backlit by a couple of candles. It's menacing stuff.

Simple is up next and is a nice version. It's not majorly jammed out or overly long, but it's more than capable. Always a fun one to belt out.

They ->Hydrogen with aplomb, which is a beautiful treat. This is a very nice version as well.

Weekapaug serves as the instrumental closer and rages very well. Very fun version and completes the flow of the set to perfection.

Hello My Baby is a nice choice for a little a capella.

So the set was a bit short - but not to worry - a double encore of Circus and Harry Hood close out the show.

When the Circus Comes to Town is a very well played rendition of a great tune.

Harry Hood is equally well performed. This is a very nice version. It has a great jam in the traditional Harry Hood mold. Very fine ending.

Overall set II is a monster with no let up. The whole thing is one beautiful suite of music and the opening pairing is monstrous jamming. It's a damn near perfect set.

4.2/5 - just knock it because environmental factors cut the show a bit short. Go get this DVD!!!
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by WayIFeel

WayIFeel The first funk/jam section of Mike's at 5:55 it sounds like the basis of BEK.
, attached to 1997-07-22

Review by Wolf75

Wolf75 The absolute worst thunder, and lightning I can remember at a show, really fun show, the band playing with the storm was epic, I think I'll grab the DVD...
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