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Link Friday, 07/25/1997
Starplex Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX

Set 1: Beauty of My Dreams, Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother > Maze, Water in the Sky, GinBathtub Gin -> MakisupaMakisupa Policeman -> BagAC/DC Bag

Set 2: CDTChalk Dust Torture[1] -> Taste[2] -> Ya Mar[2] -> Drums[3] -> Ghost[2] > Character Zero[2]

Encore: ThemeTheme From the Bottom[2]

[1] Unfinished; Bob Gullotti on a second drum set.
[2] Bob Gullotti on a second drum set.
[3] Bob Gullotti on a second drum set and Page on keys.

Noteworthy Jams: Wolfman's Brother, Maze, Bathtub Gin, AC/DC Bag, Chalk Dust Torture, Ya Mar, Ghost

Average Song Gap: 21.07

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, Bob Gullotti (Guest)

Notes: The second set and encore featured Bob Gullotti on a second drum set. Chalk Dust was unfinished. The Drum Jam also featured Page on keys.

Song Distribution:
3 Billy Breathes
2 The Story of the Ghost
1 Stash
1 Hoist
1 Rift
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Lawn Boy
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."

nichobert , attached to 1997-07-25 Permalink
nichobert Do people actually not like this show? Or is that some kind of myth?

Gullotti adds so much to this show, it's probably the only show with a long guest appearance besides Halloween 1996 that could be said to be one of the defining shows of an era.

The first set is no slouch though. The Wolfman's is a great representation of the percussive funk of the early summer, with the band gliding into a fine crescendo before dropping back into a groovy jam with Trey working some pitch shifted leads. Maze drives home just how great the rock & roll was in 1997 as well. With Trey using his other favorite effect of the time, at least until the second set (More on that later)- the stutter-edit or shutterbug effect, whatever you want to call it. LSD Head Camera? I'm not sure. It makes for a great layer in Trey's solo leading up to some wicked bulky sustained runs at the end.

Gin has some moments that feel like a test run for the Went version, as if they could suddenly take off into that glorious progression at any moment, The drop into funk is sudden, but smooth as baby ass. I always wonder about these crowds in summer 97. Specifically the people who hadn't heard any of the shows before the first they saw. The first funk jam of any given night- did they think that was fulfilling the extra jammy, groove oriented tales they've heard? I always wonder, because in every summer 97, whenever that 2nd funk jam hits, you can hear the crowd get freakin AMPED. Oh yeah! This is where we're at now! All those funk oriented songs from Camel Walk to Tweezer to WashUffizi to Wolfmans, and all those funky jams have finally boiled down into something greater,
Anyway, the Gin brings some stop-start heat with Page adding some great clav and then synth layers. This is phenomenal stuff. Finally escaping into a driving chord progression that gracefully crests before coming back down, we're going back up!? Oh wait! It's the Gin ending! Listen to that crowd!

They old-school Tweezer the hell out of this Gin ending, bringing it to a staggering, lurching crawl which suddenly mutates into Makisupa. This is a Makisupa for the ages. The only real comparison is 10/29/94's Makisupa-> Rift. The mid-verse jam dabbles in some dubby textures. Page has some pitch bent sounds in here which seem to intrigue Trey, who is dabbling in loops. After the verse, they break out into a staggering rock jam that maybe could have had real legs. C'Est La Vie. This is a band on a mission, and for the second time tonight, they make a concerted effort to make a seamless segue and succeed. The Bag itself is nothing to sneeze at. The longest Bag to date, it is very reminiscent of 8/13/96 as it stretches the structure to it's breaking point without really blowing it apart. This crowd is in the palm of their hands already, the 4 or 5 times they drag it out further turns that crowd into putty. Fuck a victory lap, this is set 1! We'll see you in set 2 and 1997 the hell out of this joint.

Chalkdust is utterly explosive with Gullotti on the 2nd kit. Dual drummers that really feel each other can be such a godsend, and that's immediately apparent in this Chalkdust. Not even 6 minutes in, it's already a unique Chalkdust and the crowd is popping like crazy. Trey is making love to his effects pedals and staking the claim to Hendrix Reborn that he did the whole year (Except for at the Gorge, weirdly enough.) By 7 minutes, the jam drops back down to "Beginning of Chalkdust Jam" realms, brings it back up again over the next few minutes with some amazing rock jamming that shoots just left of center of a normal Chalkdust. By 9 minutes, we've clearly entered the first truly jammed out Chalkdust ever. A segment reminiscent of a Crosseyed or Birds jam oh so slowly downshifts itself over the next few minutes before simply gliding into the most gorgeous ->Taste that I've ever heard.

Phish is getting ovations 4 minutes into Taste. Any real reason other than the fact that his crowd has been getting straight up hosed since Wolfmans? Not that I know of. Taste is one of the perfect song for a 2nd drummer, and Gullotti takes full advantage of the polyrhythmic stew, unleashing batteries of snare & tom rolls like a drunk rebel on NYE in the Khyber pass. One of- if not THE most atypical and patient takes on the Taste jam ever, it works its way into some quiet jamming fairly reminiscent of the 7/23 YEM thanks to Trey's cartoony pitch-shifted effect. It's impossible to tell Fishman and Gullotti apart. 8 Limbs intersecting & diverging like a two man flock of funky geese. I love the way they keep things on a slow boil while Trey amps up his solo and Page deals shards of dramatic chords.

Halfway through this erstwhile Taste peak, Trey does the most awesome thing ever. Starts throwing the Ya Mar intro into the middle of the Taste peak! Good god what a spectacular left turn. Gullotti's timbali-esque snare runs makes this feel so good. The crowd seems to grasp what's going on a few hundred at a time. Summer 1997 has a couple great segues into Ya Mar, but this one takes the cake.

The drum jam is awesome because it's easy to picture the Ya Mar progression playing over the majority of it. No wankery, just two guys in love with rhythm rocking out before the countoff into Ghost.

Now this Ghost is where history comes in. Throughout Europe and the earlier summer shows, Trey's main funk weapons were the stutter-shades and the helium voice. Everything changes 11:15 in.

After a parade through the different funk styles of summer 97. Page starts playing with his pitchbending. Trey finally gets that last hint of inspiration he needs. He depresses the volume pedal while bending the note and looping it. And the cornerstone for late 90s funk is set in stone. The super engaged crowd, of course eats these ping-ponging sirens up and the jam gets as weird as funk can get. So easy to picture Fishman sitting back with a shit eating grin, Gullotti not realizing how groundbreaking this is.

Phish goes bananas on Zero and Theme.

If you ask me, this is an A+ show. Right up there with Shoreline II and a nudge ahead of Phoenix, ATL, VA Beach & Raleigh as the class of the first jaunt of this tour before the band bottoms out at the Gorge, regroups and takes the midwest and northeast by storm.

Fans of songs with beats like Timber & Taste should love this show. Or fans of funk. Fans of Trey Hendrix. Fans of boomerangs.
Score: 3
, attached to 1997-07-25 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

This show takes some heat and I really don't get it. In the first set, Phish pulls off some stellar musical exploration in a '97 style "Wolfmans" -> "Maze" and in the monster closing trio of "Bathtub" -> "Makisupa" -> "AC/DC". I will not lie when I say that this is one of the most fun and exploratory sets I have ever witnessed from Phish. This set is a must have for anyone.
Where this show takes most of its heat is in the second set, which saw Bob Gulotti sitting in on a second drum kit. I personally find this set very interesting to go back and listen to. The entire set is practically one big segue w/Fishman and Gulotti switching tempos and exploring different rhythms, beats and grooves. Trey brings in a drums segment at the end of a very nice "Yamar", by calling for "Leo and the drummers". The drums fed into the first "Ghost" that Phish tried to use as meat for a second set. I think its great. "Zero" and "Theme" ended a different night for Phish, where the first set was amazing, and the second more exploratory. If you like Phish attempting new things, you will love this show.
Score: 1
andrewrose , attached to 1997-07-25 Permalink
andrewrose Fan of the Gullotti guest appearances or no, if you're sleeping on the first set 22 minute Bathtub Gin you're missing one of Summer 97's best jams. It picks up the disco Page-driven grooves of the Atlanta Ghost from two nights prior, but the tasteful melodic glory Trey stuff in the final 5 minutes or so puts it over the top.
Score: 1
NickSalv , attached to 1997-07-25 Permalink
NickSalv just looking at the rating here, this show should probably get more credit. early on, this 15min Wolfman's provides some patient, relaxed funk leading into Trey amping things up with a slow C&P-sounding riff. the jam slows down and eases into Maze, which Page absolutely rips as per usual, and Trey uses a few of his pedals to get some creepy effects going, another killer Maze. the real good stuff, however, starts with the 22min Bathtub Gin. Gin is very well-rounded. tons of funk, Page playing around on synths, Trey using a lot of that dark wah pedal sound, Fish throwin in some great fills every which way. the jam turns very beautiful later on with Page back on piano, somewhat foreshadowing the amazing Great Went Gin. Makisupa is a fun ride as usual and segues very smoothly into Bag. i really wish they would have kept Bag at a slower pace and maybe sped up the tempo gradually, just to change things up a bit (thinking about that crazy-slow Cities intro from Amsterdam a few week prior, oozing out of that Gin).

2nd set, Gullotti on the drums is a nice change, but at times it seems like his style just doesnt fit with the band. not compelely a bad thing, there were great moments in this set with both drums working very well together, just a few weird moments here and there.

an extended, patient, atypical CDT is a treat to hear, both drummers trying to feel things out for the set to come. Taste sounds terrible with two drummers though, and im a big fan of that song for some reason. not a huge speed bump, as things get going again, interesting year for Ya Mar, kinda cool to hear a little drums solo action.

decent set so far, but then comes GHOST. one of my favorite songs, but bias aside, why has no one mentioned much about this one yet?? incredible drop into Ghost from Ya Mar, came outa nowhere. things sound a little strange in the jam with the two drums at first, but they very quickly hop on the same page and the funk gets going. Trey injects his space loops into the mix, as usual through US-summer to fall 97. very patient jam, and they explore quite a few directions. i love these US-summer Ghosts. theyre funky and groovy and still carry that darkness that was birthed in Europe just a month prior. Page adds those creepy synth noises as Mike lays down some very groovy basslines. Mike is seriously the common denominator for all great Ghosts from summer 97. Trey is playing with the effects and using that violin-guitar tone a lot, but the best jams for Phish in 97 were those that Trey really took a step back and let the band breathe a little more, so im happy. the second half of the jam tumbles you into space (or possibly into a different dimension). you'll have no clue where you're at by the last minute of the song. of course, maybe im a little more hyped because Ghost is one of my favorites, and yes it doesnt touch 7/21 or 7/23, but its still a strong highlight from the summer tour thus far.

Character Zero is solid and i really like Theme as an encore. a very beautiful jam to close a solid show. you really shouldnt miss any show from the second half of 1997: there are some very good shows prior to July, but if you want the full-funk-darkness effect, PLEASE start at 7/1 and work forward. you wont regret the time spent listening.
Score: 0

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