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Link Saturday, 08/09/1997
Alpine Valley Music Theatre, East Troy, WI

Set 1: ThemeTheme From the Bottom, PYITEPunch You In the Eye, Ghost -> Taste, Dogs Stole Things, Reba[1], Lawn Boy > Crossroads

Set 2: Wilson > Foam, Mike'sMike's Song -> Ain't Love Funny -> Simple -> Swept Away > Steep > SOAMuleScent of a Mule[2], SlaveSlave to the Traffic Light > WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove

Encore: CircusWhen the Circus Comes, Rocky Top

[1] No whistling.
[2] Duel between Trey and Mike after Page's solo.

Teases:
· Can't You Hear Me Knocking tease in Weekapaug Groove
· The Tears of a Clown tease

Noteworthy Jams: Theme From the Bottom, Taste, Reba (highly recommended), Foam (highly recommended), Mike's Song, Scent of a Mule, Slave to the Traffic Light

Average Song Gap: 15.15

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

Notes: Tears of a Clown was teased before Theme. Reba did not have the whistling ending. Scent featured a duel between Trey and Mike after Page’s solo. Mike and Trey started their duel facing each other and wound up on the ground doing bicycle kicks while they played. Weekapaug included Can’t You Hear Me Knocking teases. Crossroads was played for the first time since December 9, 1995 (127 shows).

Song Distribution:
4 Billy Breathes
2 Lawn Boy
1 The Story of the Ghost
1 Stash
1 Hoist
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."

MiguelSanchez , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
MiguelSanchez this show is a doozey! i won't call you an idiot if you argue me here, but this is the best 2 set show of the 1997 summer tour. in my opinion, the '96 alpine show was not all that great, but from here on out, alpine valley has been a steady winner, with maybe the lone exception of '03.

anyway, they open with one of my favorite openers, theme from the bottom. this is a very sharp version. page and trey have some very nice back and forth in this one. punch you in the eye, in true '97 fashion, gets that nice dark, funk thing going. they carry that vibe over to a fantastic ghost. gordon really cuts lose, and don't miss page on this one either. after some very nice funky explorations, they dip down into a very nice taste. the playing here is similar to some of the areas they were hitting in theme, so of course, it is damn good! dogs stole things gave everyone a much needed breather. then they dive into an absolutely rediculous reba. they are all over this one. trey is immaculate on this reba. in fact, i must say, this is my favorite one since nye 95, which puts it in my top 2 of all time. lawnboy gives everyone a chance to say hello to their good friend page. then they spring a pretty hot cross roads break out to close down the set. i like the effort, but i feel phish is just a little too "white" to pull this one off, at least without some tinkering. either way, it's a shit load better than hearing another character zero!

wilson brings the crowd back into the game quickly. nothing too fancy here, but it's played well. foam works really well out of wilson. also, they toss in a nice exploratory, jammy section in the middle of foam. mike's song really soars. it may be a best of year contender; although, '97 was not an over the top year for mike's song, especially after europe. page really has some strong playing under trey on this one. they peter out into a nice little ain't love funny. i really like this odd little tune, and i wish they would pull it back out a little more often. they bring it back up into a very solid version of simple. fishman has some very strong playing throughout this one, managing and driving some very nice subtle tempo changes. eventually, it gives way to a very straight forward swept away/steep. then the fun really cranks up. this mule is insane! the middle section gets real nuts, and when they come out of the jam, they rip right back into mule. without skipping a beat, they drift into a dreamy slave. they really float through the front section of this song, but they soar through the back section. they just keep driving the ending jam before they explode into another best of the year candidates, weekapaugh. a sets worth of energy has carried over into this one song. they just bury it. it one of those great moments where they are all in sync. what a trio to close a set. phish does a nice job bringing everyone down at the end of the show. circus is probably my favorite slow songs phish does. this one is well done. rocky top is straight forward.

if you do not have this show or have not heard, aquire it asap. it is top notch from start to finish. some nights they nail the setlist, but it still never really takes off. well, this one, is actually better than it is on paper, and imo, it looks pretty goddamn good on paper.

highlights:
set 1:
theme, ghost>taste, reba

set 2:
mike's>funny as, scent>slave>weekapaugh(must hear this whole sequence)
Score: 7
JOEB7891 , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
I find it funny that when you really like something and someone else doesn't they just assume that you have never been on tour or seen very many shows.

After seeing over 50 shows I still say the first 4 songs of the first set is still some of the best ever.

The Them>Punch>Ghost>Taste is still fresh in my mind 13 years later.
Score: 4
jabberstin , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
Agreed with a previous post...Ghost -> Taste is a swirling, hypnotic haze of majestic Phish-beauty...definitely check this out.
Score: 3
nichobert , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
nichobert Ah yes, the coolest Foam ever. It was so nice finding this after phish.net and countless (ok, counted: 4 haha) PT threads told me that the only changes between one Foam and another were based on execution and that there was literally "No room for improv" - Sometimes I just feel like people are doing. it. wrong. Of course, most people also think there is no way that the Benevento/Russo/Gordon version is the best of all time, even though it's so amazing I can't even wrap my head around it. Sometimes I feel like that Foam was a response to Gordon reading some know-it-all claiming that it was physically impossible to find space for improv within the song Foam.

Now, if I could only find the slightly jammier Lizards, PYITE, Bouncin, Sample, Sparkle and etc which I've also been assured never happened. I wouldn't bat an eye if I found some super atypical version of any of them that nobody ever bothered paying attention to.
Score: 3
missblue75 , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
missblue75 8/9/97 This show had some incredibly memorable moments for me. I was 21, I was crazy, and I fell in love that day.
I don't think I have talked much about my show experiences yet, and It's probably about time.
When we got to Alpine, we started out with a general party. A car load of 4 girls drinking and smoking, wandering around. (I have a shitty memory, but I'm trying here) We ran into some people selling goo balls, we ran into some people selling mushrooms, we ran into some people selling gel caps. There was a brain mess going on, but I stayed away from the gel caps as I didn't want to mess with my mushroom buzz. I think that may have been the smartest thing I ever did.
During Reba, I remember looking up at my friend Jota and he was singing to me...for some reason that is vivid in my head. We ran into some younger girls that had pouches of glitter and they blew a handful into mine and my girl Rae Rae's faces. My eyelashes were coated and my eyes were dazzled. I think I'd have been pissed if I weren't of an alternate reality, but I totally dug it. Ran into some guy from high school and I smeared my glitter all over his face..that was funny. He looked at our general admission tickets and informed us that we had the hologram that was on the tickets for the reserved seating. We went to the gate toward the left side of the venue and flashed our tickets; they let us through. As we were running down the grassy hill toward the stage, Rae Rae tripped and did a roll down. The funny thing is she ripped her pants, the amazing thing was she didn't spill her beer. We got right up to the stage, Rage Side, during Scent of a Mule, and danced our asses off. Umm... the duel may have been a highpoint of my life, as I look back now. We got kicked out of the area toward the end, but I appreciate the free time I got in front...my love for the entity that is Phish was solidified during those moments. I wish I was a little more aware at the time. I feel like I'd appreciate the whole scene way more now. But it is an experience that I will never forget, no matter how fuzzy it may seem now.
Score: 3
markah , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
(posted 13 years ago at rec.music.phish)
IMHO, Alpine was the best show from 8-8 on. This was the most solid, well
played show of the last leg of the tour that I was on. Deer Creek set II
was incredible, but set I was simply average. As a SHOW, Alpine was much
better. Pittsburg was also above average, but not to the degree of Alpine
Valley (Mike's, SOAMule, PYITE, Crossroads (smokin'!) Reba, incredible.)

Of course, the Went was fabulous, but it not a real "show" in the 2-set 3
hour sense. It is too difficult to compare the concerts on such seperate
levels (I mean, hey...they played in the Daylight!)
Score: 2
bodyminushead , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
I've seen 25 Phish shows and this is my favorite, hands down. I'm surprised (and disappointed) that it hasn't found it's way into the LivePhish series.

In the 1st set, loved PYITE, the new (at the time) Ghost, and the rare Crossroads.

But... 2nd set is where the boys LIT IT UP! All the way from Mike's to Weekapaug is some of the best Phish I've ever heard. Favorite parts were the off-the-hook Scent with crazier-than-usual jam and Slave.

Nothing I would see after this would even come close.
Score: 2
JOEB7891 , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
The first 4 songs of the set are just amazing.
The Ghost>Taste is my favorite part of the whole 97 summer tour.
Score: 1
CreatureoftheNight , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
CreatureoftheNight After the Rupp Arena show, I decided that I couldn't avoid going on tour any longer. This was also my first journey to Wisconsin and it turned out to be the best show of the run. From Theme to Rocky Top, there wasn't a single song that lacked energy or flow. The band was hot all night long. The band totally wore me out! I had to sit from ALF to Weekapaug because I raged it so hard earlier. I learned a lot about how to pace one's self during a multi-show run.
Many people have already discussed the musical highlights, but I was also blown away by the crowd. Huge, raucous and probably the most musically educated group of people outside of my music school that I had met up to that point. This was the first time I started meeting large numbers of wonderful people who wanted to talk about music instead of how to get wasted. Go figure.
This was the biggest Shakedown I had ever seen. Remember, this was back in the day before Alpine turned into a police state. Things were wide open. After the experience of 8-9-97, I knew Alpine was THE midwestern venue for me and summer tour was a permanent fixture of my life.
Score: 1
flatbottomfrank , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
flatbottomfrank Anyone stay at the Hoppe Homestead after this show? Those people are awesome stayed there 4 times seeing Phish at Alpine. So much fun! Yes it was a great show!
Score: 0
markhood , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
markhood This was my first show (I had chances to see them at the Rave in Milwaukee - OJ Show, and at Dane County in 94 and 95 but decided not to. Dont ask me why). I remember going to Alpine and being overwhelmed by the lot scene, in a good way. We ate some Fungi before the show and it started kicking in as we were walking to the venue. I remember walking down the steep hill to our seats, 12th row center, during Theme and the lyric, "But all along the bottom, is Blue, Gray and Black" is still so vivid in my mind. I just remember feeling so Happy. Anyways, after the show, I ended up going to Deer Creek with another friend the next two nights after this show even though I hadn't planned on it because of the experience I had at Alpine. I have seen over 60 shows since then but there is always something special about the first time you experience IT!
Score: 0
dave78 , attached to 1997-08-09 Permalink
To the previous poster who claimed this show is no way special. What this show has that many (most?) of the summer '97 shows lack, at least in spots, is flow.

While there isn't a single song that can lay claim to being an all time great, the yang is that every song is played somewhere between well and great. It's not like anyone's off at all. There are no flubs here.

Ghost>Taste, Reba, Foam, and Slave were all closer to great. PYITE, Crossroads, Wilson, Mike's, Simple were just good.

Scent was incredible from up close, pungent from afar.

Slave was perfectly placed. It managed to capture the energy of the whole night, then build it back up into an excited, celebratory Weekapaug. (during which Trey took the time to point out how much fun the place is, 2nd time playing there)

But back to flow: The opening song of each set was a perfect stage setter. The goodness of Wilson as a second set opener requires no explanation. (breaking into a surprising Foam makes it all the better)

Theme on the other hand has always struck me as a strange, low energy opener. But at Alpine Valley? It was perfect. 40,000 very happy fans piled high, kinda sunk into the show just before the sun went down. The mellow opening, complete with pauses practically begs you to look around and smile while acclimating to beat. There was that x10,000 in the pavilion. The song itself was played very well. The people were happy.

So was it the greatest show ever? Of course not. But it's certainly special amongst many good and some mediocre summer '97 Phishing.
Score: 0

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