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Link Monday, 07/21/1997
Virginia Beach Amphitheater, Virginia Beach, VA

Soundcheck: Limb By Limb, Twist (several times), Ginseng Sullivan

Set 1: Ghost > Dogs Stole Things > Piper, Dirt, GinsengGinseng Sullivan > GinBathtub Gin > Character Zero

Set 2: Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother -> Magilla > BowieDavid Bowie, Velvet SeaWading in the Velvet Sea, ThemeTheme From the Bottom -> Jam[1] > Funky Bitch[1], SlaveSlave to the Traffic Light

Encore: Loving Cup

[1] LeRoi Moore on saxophone.

Teases:
· Drowned tease in Bathtub Gin
· Bathtub Gin tease in Wolfman's Brother
· Birdland jam in David Bowie
· Theme from Woody Woodpecker tease in Jam

Noteworthy Jams: Bathtub Gin (highly recommended), Theme From the Bottom (highly recommended), Jam (highly recommended), Slave to the Traffic Light

Average Song Gap: 3.38

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, LeRoi Moore (Guest)

Notes: The jam during Bathtub Gin featured Trey jumping up and down in time with a syncopated jam, as well as strong Drowned teases. Near the end of the jam, Trey mentioned how good it was to be back home and named the four newer songs that were played. The beginning of Bowie included a Birdland jam and Wolfman’s included a Bathtub Gin tease. The jam out of Theme, as well as Funky Bitch, featured LeRoi Moore on saxophone. The jam with LeRoi included a segment where he played two saxes, Trey played three guitars, Mike played two basses and the Cracklin’ Rosie cymbals, Fish had four drumsticks and Page was lying across his keyboards playing as many as possible. LeRoi also teased the Woody Woodpecker theme during the jam.

Song Distribution:
2 Farmhouse
2 The Story of the Ghost
2 Billy Breathes
1 Hoist
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Lawn Boy
1 Junta
1 The White Tape

Songs by Debut Year:

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

, attached to 1997-07-21 Permalink
"BACK ON THE WORM!!"

7/21/97 Virginia Beach Amphitheater GinStats: Set I Total Time: 21:32

This is no regular shot of Gordon's Dry Gin...no, nope, uh-uh...This epic version is pure GINiside!

After, ironically, GINseng Sullivan ends, the familiar strum kicks in, amidst some triangle action from Fish and then HOLY SHIT DOES PAGE EVER WIG OUT!

Page jumps in at 0:16->0:48. He may be silent in the morning but he's BALLISTIC IN THE BATHTUB! He's found his voice that brings soap-on-a-rope to utter shame, disgrace and embarassment. "Down with dicking around!" Page advocates by immediately going into a straight derivative of Rhapsody In Blue...Page is all for deranged derivative until'...

Lyrics Segment: 0:48 Trey sounds pretty glad to be singing about Martinis and Hot Tubs...

Page Fill 1: 1:18 -> 1:35 with some hyper-ritalin.kid-ADD-through.the looking.glass takes on Rhapsody In Blue. Okay, okay, this is no longer "through the looking glass," - this is through the chillum glass, kids. And our little "derangment derivative" of Rhapsody In Blue has become a pure derailment of it...and I like it.

Fill 2: 2:05 -> 2:21 If the word SPASTIC ever held any musical value, this would be it! Page is it! Page IS spastic! (R.I.B.ing)

Warm it up Page - he's about to. Warm it up Page - cause that's what he was born to do FAUCET: 2:37 Trey plays this lick staccato, as is the norm in recent times...botched so minimally that while it isn't a studio take, it goes so smoothly it doesn't matter...

SINGING W/THE FAUCET: 3:18 And like the 4/92 versions, Trey is spicing up the scat singing, adding notes in here and there...around 3:40 I swear Trey is saying something, but then again, W-TheFuck-ATSIYEM

WATER FROM THE FAUCET: 4:29 immediately staying put in the Classic Faucet Lick Region before Trey takes a dive to the lower regions of the 'doc, and Page continues the Faucet on piano. Fish spices up the rhythm, Trey plays a note-for-note CFL around the 5 min. mark, but with a completely different phrasing and continues to splash up the rhythm of the lick. Rhythm and feel do a complete switcheroo here.

Meanwhile, in the secret corridors of the Cactus, Mike funks out some butt-bottom but ever-so-perfect bass notes. Page chimes in happily on the piano. Fish keeps it solid, changing things up a bit now and then, dropping out a little and coming back in periodically. Around 6:09 the jam drops completely, almost like a '96 YEM jam, with Trey spurting out wonderful licks straight from a water-tap-dance, fire hydrant HOSE! At 6:37 Trey hits upon something not too unlike the Bonanaza theme. Whoa there cowboy!!! Some PORNO-FUNKING at the 7:00 mark, Trey continues tinkering with the faucet and related hot-tub jet streams, as he sends us down the slipstream. PORNO-FUNK!

At 7:19 we all must laugh as Page, the joker, breaks out this THING. (He starts on it around 7:12 but at 7:19 makes it prominent) Is it a moog? Is it a clav? I don't know what they hell it is but it's fuckin schitzo, and perfect! Loud, obnoxious, uncalled-for and damned is this great! Then he switches to some other sci-fi instrument of abuse...At 7:56 it sounds like Trey is teasing something, but not really. I think he just want to be a rock star, although Stretch maybe this is the Crosstown jam you heard? I'm familiar with MMW's cover of it, but only acquaintances with the real thing, so I can't really say for sure...It sounds more like a possible LLama segue than anything, to me... but who cares, by 8:33 Trey is back in the CFL regions, 8:47 Trey is definately hitting something here...sounds VERY SIMILAR to 12/28/95 pre-Real Me jam!!!!! But somethings a little bit different this time....Somethings gonna happen, CAN YOU FEEL IT CAN YOU FEEEEEL IT? OH BOY! HERE IT IS....

By 9:17 it's an out-and-out DROWNED jam. There's no turning back now! This is the Real Thing baby! This is Drowned! They've opened up such a hose, a hose so wide, so golden, so flowing, that they're now DROWNing in it! I'm getting fuckin' soaked here, that's how golden this hose is! No pansy panty hose here boy, no no -- this is 24K! Around 10:56 the DROWNED JAM is still going strong but finally breaks out of what could actually be the song and Trey veers off by means of some awe-inspiring licks, literally flying out from the chords under them....After the 11 minute mark Page picks up the pace and continues to go completely nuts....go ahead Page, we didn't mean to interrupt...don't just stand there - BUST A MOVE!

Page Trey Mike and Fish are mixing so perfectly at 11:56 that they are all four just one, simple, funky, Talking Head...with hair on fire -I swear- eyes wide, nose light...12:21 Page teases something on piano briefly, sounds like it could be the Real Me?...maybe Sea and Sand? Nah...just Drowned offshoots? Fuck - well, it's Who teasing, whatever it is. I know Who...just not What. (Craig, how could you, Who fan, miss this at the show?) There are Real Me references here, but the Drowned wasn't mere referencing - that was a full-throttle drowning, baby!

12:56 Page is on clav, Trey is funking out, Mike is appregiating scales in a funky manor....okay by 13:28 I can see how somebody would call this Real Me teasing...although I wouldn't call it that, but it could easily be a something-jam. Around 13:51 Fish yets out a "woo!" and I'm with you man, I'm with you - "woo!". ("Amen!", right Brian H.?)

This wha-hooing continues and Fish is more and more convinced that he knows James Brown and has picked up a bit of legacy...more on this soul thing later though, for now, we are in a funk ass sheick yer booty jam that has Page funking on piano, Mike going all over the place, Trey chording in a PORNO-FUNK FASHION....then STOP-ON-A-DIME pause at 15:37....at the show, Trey then held up four fingers at which time they stopped four times, bam-bam-bam-bam starting at 16:09 and then Trey held up all 14 of his fingers (I told you he has something extra going on) and which time they stop 14 times starting at 16:54 bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam-bam

and then RIGHT back in the PORNO-FUNK jam as if nothin' happened, Fishman still faintly yelling out "whoo" and "huh" and "good god"'s from behind his kit. Dogs Stole Craig Delucia but nobody stole shit from Fish...but SHH! I'm ruining the surprise.

Around 17:57 Page goes serious sci-fi sweaty-tooth mad.

At 18:08 the jam drops for a Trey narrative that goes a little something like this: "Thanks everybody, welcome to the, uh, first show of the North American Tour. It's good to be back!" Then he chants, with fists pumping- "U S A! U S A!" Nobody continues chanting....Fishman says very faintly, "You can do better than that" but the problem at the time was that nobody understood what Trey was chanting...at least no one in my section (Front section, Fish's side). The other problem is that I'm not sure anyone would *want* to be chanting this...at least not at a Phish show. BUT by the way Trey laughs while chanting, it's pure humor and come to think of it, it would have been rather funny to see 20,000 or so phans chanting "U S A U S A." This is not a political arena here, so Amrit sit back down. The mocking is of arena-rock and not patriotica.

Anyway Mike funks along underneath, as does Page and Fish, Trey chiming in chords in between sentences --

"Yes, we do have a lot of new material for you - I know most of you probably know that already - but we did start off the show tonight with four new songs. Just so you get it right, and you make sure that you know all the names and titles of the songs, I, uh, I'm gonna tell you right now.

The first song was called 'Ghost'. Um, that was that funky thing that went into the long jam.

Ah yes, the second song was called 'Dogs Stole Things' so make sure you get that right. That was the, uh, bluesy number about, um, how your pets, your dogs and your cats, you know, during the day they're sleeping and they're feeling good and everything but at night they come and they try to Steal Your Soul. So you gotta watch out for that. Obviously by the way he is playing they have not stolen Fishman's soul yet!"

{Trey turns to Mike and Fish, not directly into the mic.}- "What was after that? What'd we play? [back into the mic.] What was after that? Ah yes, song number three was called 'Piper' and that was that one that build way up, um - 'The words were the words I sailed upon' - This is the last time I'm going to say this, by the way, so those of you who are travelling from show to show make sure you remember this 'cause I'm not going to say this again. I'm only saying it 'cause it's the first show of the US tour...

And the fourth song new song you, um, which is one of my favorites, is called 'Dirt' and that was the slow one which is about 'I'd like to live beneath the dirt'. And after that you knew the names of the songs.

So we're gonna do one more....and then we're gonna take a break. So don't go away...don't do anything I wouldn't do...or you might end up on the back of the WORM! On the back of the WORM!! Okay, so after this next song we'll see you in about fifteen minutes with alot more music. Thanks."

"Popcorn" things at 20:15 or so from Fish...mocking the unability of the Dogs to Steal Things...Fish has been doing James Brown throughout this little song introduction section...after which there is another second or so of the funk and then - bam! Jam ends at 21:32. Nanosecond pause before a jammed out Character Zero starts up.

WE'RE ON BACK OF THE WORM, BABY!!!!

"BATHTUB GIN" REFRAIN: none, leaving this Gin unfinished in a way.

Rating: N/A. This Gin is more potent than Grain, perhaps more pleasing to me personally than RUPP ARENA's 11/7 and easily one of the Greats. But, as Craig Delucia said on the car ride home, "You can't rate that Gin you know." And he's right - I can't. Trey talked over the ending jam, making it essentially a background jam for his li'l "Here's the deal" stuff, and then ended without any return to the Faucet whatsoever. Instead this is more of a pure funk jam than a Gin jam, which seriously effects the Gin....where does Gin really end? Does it end in SET II when, in the WOLFMAN'S BROTHER, Page plays the Bathtub Gin riff ("the faucet") again? Does this signify a reprise? Not really, it's just a tease. Does it end before Trey even starts talking? Not really...so where does it end? Does it ever end? Or is it just unfinished? It doesn't really matter... Let's just say that if I were to rate this, it'd be somewhere above a 95 proof (A -> A+). And that ain't bad :) :) :) (fwiw, only a precious few Gins have attained a rating of this caliber....) But then again, we're BACK ON THE WORM BABY!

"And after that, you knew the names of the songs...."

Walk with light my friends,

Benjy
Score: 10
MiguelSanchez , attached to 1997-07-21 Permalink
MiguelSanchez This is a very fun show. back in the U.S. after some very hot playing across the Atlantic. rumors were swirling that they were going to either open up with a complete set of new music or even a whole show of new music. while, this rumor was not true, they did eat up the good first half of the first set with new tunes making their domestic debut.

ghost gets things off to a nice funky start. this one had a nice jam tacked on, letting all the U.S. fans know what time it was. page and trey were really strong on this opening jam. dogs stole things kept that little funk vibe going. piper, while not as explorative as it would be, comes out strong here. this is a nice loose version. eventually, it peters out into a nice version of dirt. after four straight new tunes, ginseng bops the crowd back into familiar territory. then comes a very nice, well-jammed gin. this one is a rocker, with some drowned teases tossed around here and there. also, trey cranks up a pretty funy usa chant during this one. zero ends the set in standard fashion.

while not a new song, wolfman's certainly had become something quite a bit more since their european touring. this gives the u.s. fans their first taste of the reworked funky wolfman's. after going through some bathtub teases and some other funkier realms, they find themselves in a pretty fun magilla. they eventually get moving into bowie. page has some very well defined bird land teases in the intro. once this bowie gets cranked up, they explore its spacier realms very nicely. while many people think of 97 as a very funky year, phish was also pulling off some very nice exploratory space jams in 97. they boys really loosened up on this one, with trey really leading the jam before moving back around into the bowie coda. after a very nice jamming opening sequence, the boys mellow out with velvet sea. theme from the bottom really picks things up. leroi moore comes out for the theme jam and funky bitch, and this gets everyone going on a "multi instrument jam." leroi gets rolling on two saxes, page playing with hands/feet, trey on 2 guitars, etc. i'm sure this was entertaining but it does not really carry over to tape/disc really well. the slave to the close the set sure does though. nice rollicking loving cup closes this one down.

what a summer u.s. opener. there are some nice domestic debuts, some odd moments, and some damn good playing.

highlights:

set 1:
ghost, gin

set 2:
wolf>magilla>bowie, theme, bitch, slave
Score: 3
watsonb37 , attached to 1997-07-21 Permalink
Although the tapes I have don't give the audio it's best, Gin is one to be remembered. Page is on fire. Certainly a show to have in the books.
Score: 1
oh_kee_dono , attached to 1997-07-21 Permalink
oh_kee_dono My second show. Rain followed by a huge rainbow just before the boys came out. It was cool. Good music too. 1st set Gin plus the 2nd set...and all the multiple instrument hijinx were fun.
Score: 0
waves02 , attached to 1997-07-21 Permalink
I remember talking to a girl before the show that just came back from the European Tour. She said: "Did you go to Europe?" I replied: "Europe? No way in hell could I afford that!" (I was 20 at the time). She said the tour was hot and the U.S. was in store for good summer run. After seeing 7 shows on this Summer Tour, I would have to agree.

We didn't get in that night, but I remember hearing the new songs outside and thinking we were missing a special moment. When we heard Trey's voice explaining the new songs and the excitement to be back we knew this show was going to be a good opener.

We did well in the lot that day which was pretty nice during daylight hours. Once night came along it got bad. There was a fight and some tear gas was released. We hit the road early for Walnut Creek. This was one of the first times I noticed the lot culture changing.
Score: 0

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