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Link Wednesday, 07/23/1997
Lakewood Amphitheatre, Atlanta, GA

Set 1: Julius, Dirt, NICU > Dogs Stole Things > GinsengGinseng Sullivan, Water in the Sky, LxLLimb By Limb, SOAMeltSplit Open and Melt, Billy Breathes, Possum

Set 2: PYITEPunch You In the Eye, Ghost > SampleSample in a Jar, YEMYou Enjoy Myself[1] -> Rocky Mountain Way Jam > CDTChalk Dust Torture

Encore: Frankenstein

[1] No vocal jam.

Teases:
· Spooky and On Your Way Down teases in Ghost
· Theme from Jeopardy! and Scent of a Mule teases in You Enjoy Myself
· Rocky Mountain Way tease in Chalk Dust Torture

Noteworthy Jams: Julius (key version), Limb By Limb (highly recommended), Split Open and Melt, Ghost (highly recommended), You Enjoy Myself

Average Song Gap: 45.47

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: Ghost included Spooky and On Your Way Down teases. YEM included a Jeopardy! theme tease, a very unusual SOAMule-like jam segment, and did not have a vocal jam. Chalk Dust included Rocky Mountain Way teases.

Song Distribution:
3 The Story of the Ghost
3 Stash
2 Hoist
1 Farmhouse
1 Billy Breathes
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Lawn Boy
1 Junta
1 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday
1 The White Tape

Songs by Debut Year:

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

The_Good_Doctor , attached to 1997-07-23 Permalink
The_Good_Doctor This was my first show. I will never forget walking into Lakewood and hearing Trey's opening walkdown of 'Julius', which was the first Phish song I ever heard (i.e. first album = "Hoist").

There was so much stirring at this show - the punchy energy of the band tempered by weeks in Europe and Mike with his new 'attack on the bass'. They had many cards tucked up their collective sleeve to say the least. And I was a noob walking the delicate balance - trying to figure out what was going and still stay in the flow.

'Ghost' is the hallmark - absolutely neck and neck with 11/17/97 - and then there is the Julius opener (extra mustard) and don't forget the 'YEM' jam which raises the bizarro factor of this show a few notches (and the 'Rocky Mtn Way'?).

A few weeks before, my best friend from high school was killed in a tragic accident - I had a ticket for him and I gave it away in the parking lot to gal with a finger in the air. Looking back, the epic ethereal Ghost that happened this night at Lakewood was (and remains) a cathartic event. Give it a listen - Godspeed.
Score: 7
Hose_jam , attached to 1997-07-23 Permalink
Hose_jam Review of GHOST jam

2:22 Break into outro of song
3:00 Lift off, Mike slapping, Page on Clav, Trey with dirty tone
4:10 Trey on Wah, page to synth. Mike drives the jam, alternating three deep notes with accompanying slaps. Page lays the synth over the jam as Fishman is his usual backbeat.
5:35 Trey backs off wah effect a bit, Page goes back to clav.
6:10 Fishman goes to ride cymbal, switches back to hi-hat when Trey comes in with melody…>
6:25 Trey starts to jam a melody. At this point Mike has shifted his tempo but still throws in the empathetic slap.
7:21 Page comes back in with the synth, alternating with the clav. Trey finds a nice slow riff and the band builds on it.
8:08 Trey starts to two note rhythm and Mike picks up the slapping.
8:40 Trey starts jamming melody, Page has nice lick here on the grand piano. He plays some nice fills with different keyboards in this segment.
8:56 Fishman switches to hi hat. Jam builds a nice rhythm.
9:30 Trey focuses back on a melody. Page plays some nice lines on the grand piano over him. Trey sticks to a nice melody, going up an octave and laying some nice licks over it.
11:04 Fishman starts to play the bell of his ride cymbal. Trey starts a nice two note vamp, rhythm gets cranked up a notch.
11:36 Trey cranks up the effects, gets some wah and sets himself up…
11:50 Band is locked in. Trey vamps, Page plays a nice riff over Trey, Gordo goes ablaze on the beat. Fishman throws in the splash on fills before switching over to the blocks.
12:00 Fish to wood block. Yes Please.
12:22 Trey inverts his chords, 7th out funked style. At the same time Page pulls the synth out and plays some lines that just bring the fucking house down. When it explodes at 12:38 you can feel the energy through your speakers. Fishman does some nice things with his fills and beats in this segment.
13:25 Page goes to the grand piano and synth simultaneously.
13:41 Now Page goes to the organ and synth.
13:56 Trey comes off his chords vamp and switches to some a two note vamp with effect. Fishman goes to the ride cymbal and back again.
14:25 Fishman finds his way back to the wood block. Mike is doing some showing off here.
15:00 Trey flexes the wah a bit and Page once again starts to drive the jam with his lines on the grand piano, alternating them with the organ.
15:40 Page jumps an octave on the organ with the same riff. Band synchs together for a nice run at 15:50 where the band syncs.
16:24 Band brings the energy up though Trey is preferring to vamp on a few notes or chords than follow Page or Mike. As a result band kind of lulls here for some measures but they’re setting themselves up.
17:10 Trey unleashes with Fishman. The two play off each other here extremely well. Band cranks it up a few notches with great energy.
18:00 Fishman plays his snare on the 2 and 4, all while Trey builds up the melody with Page and Mike. It’s hose time.
18:40 Mega peak.
18:56 Still trying to push it. Fishman goes into that mode where he just plays so many fills that there isn’t even a beat. 19:06 Page plays a nice line on the high octave of the grand.
19:40 Band brings it down a notch. Mike plays a nice line and Fishman follows suit,
19:54 Mike and Fishman just take over, totally changing the jam.
20:00 Crowd yelling now, trying to rinse off a bit from the hosing, nice mellow groove has arrived.
20:30 Fishman mellowing out on the ride cymbal, Page, Trey and Mike just playing slow funky lines over each other.
21:00 They being this slow walkdown jam. Page on the clav, Trey with a nice funky very ’97 tone. Fishman has some great fills in this segment on the toms.
21:40 Crowd is soaking it up.
22:ish Trey playing lines high up on his guitar, nice noodly spacey but melodic lines.
22:25 Fishman puts some rimshots in his beat. Page and Trey are really playing well of each other with Gordon tastefully walking down the bassline.
23:30 Band continues walkdown jam.
23:50 Trey starts to overlay some feedback over the walkdown. Establishes a crunchier tone
24:15 Trey fully enters with a crunchier rock and roll tone and Page immediately answers, switching over to the grand piano.
25:00 Trey plays “around” the walk down for a bit, seemed like things were gonna get interesting for a bit there but they are playing it safe from here.
25:38 Trey goes into full feedback mode, everyone follows suit.
Score: 6
GVOldTimer , attached to 1997-07-23 Permalink
GVOldTimer Just had to comment that this Ghost of totally off the hook, best I ever saw live (maybe best ever...who really knows)....Bytheway I miss the older version beginning to Ghost.
Score: 4
FlaxBandit , attached to 1997-07-23 Permalink
The greatest Ghost ever played. Crazy YEM>Rocky Mountain Way. As cleanly played a show as you will ever hear.

Everyone already knows all that. The hidden gem in this show is the Split Open and Melt. Another of those jams that I like to say "turned inside out". This jam is dark and brooding and there is that magical moment where the music just turns inside out into this amazing lament for about a minute then back into the song. It isn't a huge long segment, but it is one of those perfect moments of improv where the universe aligns and is revealed to us through music. No one ever remembers this one because the Ghost from this show is so big, but I'd throw in this as a must hear for any lover of dark jams or of SOAMs. Not the greatest version ever just one of those perfect moments of music.
Score: 3
TheEmu Phish.net Staff , attached to 1997-07-23 Permalink
TheEmu I would add that this is an unusual and fantastic Julius to open the show, a real highlight for the first set.
Score: 2
Cheard , attached to 1997-07-23 Permalink
Wow; My first show turned 15 years old! I think most would agree this was a good way to start.
Score: 2
nopotatoes , attached to 1997-07-23 Permalink
This was my 3rd show and a last minute ticket purchase due to overseas travel prior to the show. Managed to score a nice pavilion ticket a couple of days before the show (which seemed to much more difficult in 98 and 99.) There was still a feeling that you were in on the secret that was finally out by summer 98. Everyone near me kept talking about the show the night before in Raleigh and the huge thunderstorm and the massive 2nd set. Also heard about the craziness of the 1st night in Va Beach and was hopeful for a strong show. This show did NOT disappoint.

There were so many highlights to the show, but to me none stand out higher than the Ghost. The funky intro, the fact that so few people knew what it was (myself included) until the words were sung, and then the jam. I'll always think of it like a train slowly building steam and chugging along. For years I've had Trey's guitar leads from this version of this song constantly playing in my head. The theme that he solidifies around the 9:30 mark and repeats a few times is gold. The music that built around that riff and then expanded from it was amazing...the perfect musical launch pad. The pacing of everything in that song was perfect and I don't know if it will ever be topped. At 26+ minutes long, it was the gravy of the show and contains a few nice peaks and valleys and then more climbs back up the mountain with a final dissolution into Sample. PYITE set the table perfectly for this version of Ghost and for my ears it's still the gold standard. It's still the thing that I can look back at that convinced me to make it to every show I could possibly attend from that point forward. (Side note - the version of this song that can be downloaded through The Leaked Soundboard Project website is pretty amazing even though KP seems to downplay it...it's a much better sound than I had ever heard before and now he's got the whole show - though I haven't heard that yet.)

Other highlights for me...the Julius opener is really nice and drawn out in a way that I've rarely heard elsewhere. Very loose with a nice build before they drop the volume down and then bring it back to a nice final peak and then close...a version that will always stand out for me as one of the best (but is there ever a bad version?) The YEM was also quite unique, as others have mentioned.

Very strong show. Very difficult to understate how good this Ghost is. Very cool to hear the voices of the guys "Yeah!" a few times during the build up of the 18th minute of Ghost. They were feeling it and loving it. Everyone was.

There are many times when I wonder if the band ever listens to stuff like this and remembers how funky they could be. I still enjoy the new stuff, but I still love the way they allowed this whole show to breathe.

Other random note during setbreak. The PA system was playing Primus' - Wynona's Big Brown Beaver and some kid was onstage with Trey's original Languedoc strumming along. He wasn't plugged in but seemed to be having a good time...may have been a family member of someone. I was jealous.
Score: 1
Larry_Hood , attached to 1997-07-23 Permalink
Emerging from Europe after unlocking the secrets of funk, Phish definitely flexed their new found muscle during Ghost. By this point Ghost had begun to emerge as a newly refined jam vehicle, with this performance elevating it to the status that it would continue to hold throughout the year. In typical Phish form the band follows up one of the best jams of the year with a YEM that features a good ole Russian folk jam!?! Its difficult to keep from cracking a smile when listening to this YEM. After bringing down the roof with Ghost, Phish brought back some old nerd-rock antics with this comical and lighthearted jam.

This another good early Summer '97 show with a Ghost for the ages and a silly, if not charming YEM. Get those two at least
Score: 0
CornFromAJar , attached to 1997-07-23 Permalink
CornFromAJar Vividly remember the SOAMule-like jam. Gotta relisten to this one. My phirst show. :)
Score: 0
art_vandelay , attached to 1997-07-23 Permalink
art_vandelay the boys ended the 1st set on a high note with a nice SOAM & a ripping "possum". during setbreak, i was filing out of the seating area & was surrounded by a relatively quiet group of folks.....i softly muttered "so, how 'bout that 'possum'?", and suddenly the group exploded in unison "hell, yeah!!!!" OK, so i DIDN'T imagine it after all...lol

the second set is beyond description. this version of "ghost" is essential listening for any self-respecting fan, period. they don't make 'em like this any more! they could've tanked the rest of the set & i still would've gotten my money's worth because of that "ghost"....but the fun was only beginning. the YEM played on this night is my favorite ever, if for no other reason than the "mule"-esque jam tacked onto it never fails to leave me in stitches. and this version of "chalkdust" is also unlike any other, alternating between quiet whispering during the verses (both lyrically AND musically) & slobberknocker guitar work during the instrumental parts. it wasn't the longest version of "chalkdust", but it definitely hammered its point home with authority. overall, one of my favorite sets to listen to.....
Score: 0

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