Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
Encore: Cinnamon Girl
· Santa Claus is Coming to Town tease in You Enjoy Myself
· Mind Left Body Jam tease in McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters
· Happy Birthday to You and Can't You Hear Me Knocking teases in Weekapaug Groove
Average Song Gap: 9.82
Notes: YEM contained strange Santa Claus is Coming to Town teases. Listen for Sweet Home Alabama teases before the start of the second set and Mind Left Body teases during McGrupp. Weekapaug included Happy Birthday teases from Trey, who later made reference to Jerry Garcia’s birthday, which was the following day. Trey noted that Phish and the rest of the music community were trying to keep Jerry’s spirit alive through music. Weekapaug ended in a Can't You Hear Me Knocking jam.
Songs by Debut Year:
This show was part of the "1997 Summer U.S. Tour."
ghost opens this up in fine form. this is one of many funkadelic jammed out versions in the summer of '97. also, this may be a slight nod to jerry. page has some very cool licks in this one. also, check out the groove estashed by fish and gordo here. very nice playing here. eventually it gives way to a very fun yamar. trey has some nice noodling here before they find their way into dogs stole things. sticking with the new song thing, they delve into a good early take of limb by limb. this one sounds a lot tighter than it did in europe, but it still not quite there yet... on more year and its money. dirt gives everyone a much needed breather before a very firey maze. trey and page will lift off on this one. glide is a fun choice, and like ghost, i saw it again might be a slight nod to jerry. then they pop off a nice funky yem set closer. once again, page flashes some very serious chops in this one.
after a mighty fine first set, they come out blazing in the second. this jim is a keeper. trey really cuts loose with some nice hendrix'esque licks in this jim jam. it's no worcester '97 but hey, what is!? they eventually slip into one of my favorite slow songs phish plays, the los lobos "when the circus comes to town." trey solos nicely here, and it sets up vultures quite nicely. they dip back into the classics with a nice eery take on mcgrupp. page buries his solo on this one. then they bring the thunder. this is a mighty fine mike's song. in fact, it is a candidate for best of the year. they ride the climaxes very hard, and fishman just plays like a monster here. they stick with the old winning formula and dip into hydrogen here. the weekapaugh that follows is loaded with fun. after complimenting page beautifully throughout this song, trey throws out some pretty sweet happy birthday licks. at first you wonder if he is going to say anything or if he is going to let the happy birthday tease stand on its own. finally, he gives the nod to jerry by saying they are trying to keep the vibe alive. this is the first on stage/public nod toward the dead that phish had made on stage since their show at shoreline in '95. at this point in their career, phish seemed to be doing everything possible to get some space from the monster that was the grateful dead. i think many were expecting/really wanting a dead song for an encore, but they got a nice take of cinnamon girl instead. who can complain about that.
Fifteen years is a long time but I'll never forget this beautiful summer afternoon in the bay area.
Like many shows from Summer '97, the peaks that end the first set carry right over to the second set, and we get an all-time, must-hear Jim to open the second set, with a beautiful, sneak-attack -> into Circus. Though the Vultures is par for the '97 course (another new song!), we get a mini bust-out in McGrupp that bumps up into one of the better Mike's Grooves of 1997 to close the second frame. You know how sometimes the start of Mike's Song can be a bit jarring? This one, out of McGrupp, is far from it -- it really works here, and instead of the usual > Hydrogen, we get a strange -> Hydrogen which is dissonant but cool. The "nod to Jerry" in Weekapaug in the house Bill Graham built for him is pretty awesome, as is the CYHMK outro (as an aside -- the aerial view of Shoreline is a Steal Your Face logo: http://i.imgur.com/PGKuyCX.jpg). And in perhaps a "nod to Neil" (yes, I realize the whole "nod to" thing is comical), whose Bridge School Benefit is hosted annually at Shoreline as well -- perhaps not a coincidence that Phish was invited to play the next year -- the show closes with Cinnamon Girl. This is a historic show -- check it out!
It was the first time in my life some of my friends in high school had gone to see Phish, and was right around the time I was getting my first exposure to the band. I didn't catch my first show until Shoreline '99... this would've been a nice first show for sure.