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Link Sunday, 12/07/1997
Ervin J. Nutter Center, Wright State University, Dayton, OH

Set 1: BagAC/DC Bag -> Psycho Killer[1] -> JJLCJesus Just Left Chicago, MMGAMOIOMy Mind's Got a Mind of its Own > It's Ice -> Swept Away > Steep > It's Ice > ThemeTheme From the Bottom, Tube -> SlaveSlave to the Traffic Light

Set 2: TimberTimber (Jerry) > Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother -> Boogie OnBoogie On Reggae Woman > Reba[2], Guyute > Possum

Encore: ADITLA Day in the Life

[1] Unfinished.
[2] No whistling.

Teases:
· Rocky Mountain Way tease in Jesus Just Left Chicago
· Charge! tease in Possum

Noteworthy Jams: Jesus Just Left Chicago, It's Ice, Swept Away, Steep, It's Ice, Theme From the Bottom (highly recommended), Tube (highly recommended), Slave to the Traffic Light, Timber (Jerry), Wolfman's Brother, Boogie On Reggae Woman (highly recommended), Reba, Possum

Average Song Gap: 94.72

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

Notes: Psycho Killer was unfinished. JJLC included a Rocky Mountain Way tease. During Tube, there was a long pause before the jam out of the song began. Boogie On Reggae Woman was played for the first time since September 13, 1988 (989 shows). Reba did not have the whistling ending. Possum included "Charge!" teases. This show is available as an archival release on LivePhish.com.

Links:
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download

Song Distribution:
3 Billy Breathes
2 The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday
2 The White Tape
1 The Story of the Ghost
1 Hoist
1 Rift
1 Lawn Boy

Songs by Debut Year:

n00b100 , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
n00b100 Am I wrong in thinking that this show has actually become somewhat underrated over the years? My ever-diminishing memory tells me that this show used to be considered one of the greats of not just 1997, but all of Phish's live catalog; these days, thanks to the spreadsheet and the new Hampton/Winston-Salem box set, I imagine this show probably slides out of most peoples' top 5s. Maybe I'm wrong, I dunno.

At any rate, I still consider it one of the best 5 shows of the tour; it's definitely one of the few shows where both sets are great the whole way through. The second set reminds me of 12/11/99, in which none of the songs are "best evers", but all of them are very strong versions and the setlist flow is absurdly good (particularly the way the Wolfman's jam ever so patiently slides into Boogie On - you'd think they'd been doing that segue for *years*). The first set, on the other hand...if there was a segue that could top that Wolfman->Boogie On, it's the silky-smooth AC/DC -> Psycho Killer transition, one of the best show starters of a tour that specialized in nasty show starters. And the rest of the set keeps up with that remarkable start, peaking with the fierce funk workout of the Tube Jam.

@waxbanks referred to this show's "retro-dufus-turned-pornstar-goodtimes", a description that I just love. It's not the deepest show of Fall '97 (that's 11/22), or the one with the best set (that's 12/6, of course), but it's probably the most fun show of the tour - the Hampton Comes Alive, so to speak, only instead of goofball covers we have cow-funk sprayed all over our ear holes by a band at the peak of its powers. This show is one of the greats.
Score: 9
waxbanks , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
waxbanks Spectacular show, well deserving of SBD treatment. When 30something fans get nostalgic about the late 90's, partly they're longing for their college/grad-school freedom and irresponsibility, but mainly they're thinking of astonishing setlists like this one. Phish doesn't do first sets like this one anymore. Damn, just *lookit*: there really are four genuine segue arrows on the *first set* songlist, AND a couple of ridiculous bustouts, AND an old-fashioned Ice sandwich, AND an out-of-nowhere Tube Jam reprise that had phish.net readers excitedly/confusedly scratching their heads on 12/8/97 (I know I was). And that's just the first set. The second frame is just ridiculous. And how good was Fall '97? This superb show was just the lite'n'easy followup to the cataclysm in Michigan just 24 hours earlier.

Get this show, obviously.
Score: 7
markah , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
Oh, that Nutty Nutter Center in Dayton, OH. Along with 12/6 II, this show constitutes the best 3-sets of Phish that has ever existed on this planet. The triple punch opener of AC/DC Bag>Psycho Killer>JJLC contains some of the most inspired, coherent and mystically connected improvisation that I've ever been lucky enough to witness.

This was my 25th show, caught on a whim when fellow traders@umich member Josh Zelkowitz offered to drive me from Ann Arbor down to Dayton. The Nutter Center seemed like a a giant gymnasium -- a far cry from the Palace of Auburn Hills (home to the Detroit Pistons) that they'd played the night before.

Sometimes the band just fires on all cylinders and they're able to take each and every jam to the next level. On 12/7/97, they were doing just that and the stellar song choice (Tube!) simply enhanced the experience of seeing a band at their peak.

The Tube Jam>Slave is quite possibly as close to perfection as you will ever hear! The best moment, in my mind, is as the last chords of Slave subside, after what has just been an awe-inspiring set -- Trey says "Thanks, we're gonna take a break, and we'll be back...thank you very much." We suddenly realized that we still had a whole second set to look forward to!

Continuing to fuse the stellar song choice with inspired playing, Timber, Wolfman's>Boogie On opened the second set for a 25-minute excursion that sublimely captures the magical essence of Fall '97. As exploratory and psychedelic as Timber Ho was that night (there's a full 6.5 minutes of jamming in-between verses 1 and 2), the band did not disappoint as they utilized Wolfman's Brother (many a fan's choice for best song of Fall '97 -- it really opened up new territory and showcased their ability to bring the funk!) to get the room grooving. The segue into Boogie On Reggae Woman was one of those moments where people begin to realize that IT was happening (and not for the first time that night, either!!). One person at a time the feeling swept over the room as eyes bulged open, jaws hit the floor, and some just stopped and stared in disbelief. I, for one, did not realize the bustout of epic proportions that I was witnessing at the time, but I sure as hell knew the room was rocking.

The rest of the set, and the timely encore (12/8 happens to be the anniversary of John Lennon's murder) were really just icing. 12/7/97 Dayton lives in this fan's memory as undoubtedly the best show that had ever occurred up until that point -- and few have come close since.
Score: 5
, attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

Someone must have told the band it was my fiftieth show; they made sure to keep the setlist fresh and funky! It's hard to imagine becoming jaded with shows like this one around.
Set I: Wow! What a killer set! The "Jesus Just Left Chicago" totally brought the house down, and the "Psycho Killer" was sweet to hear. "My Mind's Got a Mind of Its Own" hasn't been around for a while - it was the first time I've heard it since `93 I believe. The "Ice" had a few problems but Page was king, and the "Swept/Steep" middle was well placed. The "Theme" included a gorgeous Trey solo. (It sounded to me like he was breathing through the guitar.) Then "Tube"! Whoo! I'd been waiting years to catch this, and then they bust out the funky version for me! The middle of "Tube" featured a cool funkified jam, which they launched back into after having wrapped the song up. (It was more or less an untitled funk instrumental, I guess) Then "Slave"! This totally made up for the Cleveland fiascothis was a momentous "Slave""...and a momentous set.
At setbreak, I told my neighbor, "They can play shorter sets if they are going to be that good!" Once again the band must have been listening.
Set II: "Timber" was nothing special, but the "Wolfman's" -> "Reggae Woman" was phenomenal! Great segue and great tunes! "Boogie On Reggae Woman" is a Stevie Wonder cover. "Reba" and "Guyute" were sweet to hear, although neither version was stellar. "Possum" included a repeated tease of a lick I didn't recognize, and in general was tasty. "A Day in the Life" was a bit of a letdown, I suppose, but even that hasn't been around for a while, and nothing could be a letdown from this fine show. Short but sweet: thirty-five minutes shorter than Cleveland but far more fun! It was especially sweet from the fourteenth row!
Score: 3
MiguelSanchez , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
MiguelSanchez this is a damn good show, from start to finish. i have friends that claim this as their all time favorite show. personally, it's not even my favorite of the tour. in fact, i think the best single set they played on this week was the second set the night before at auburn hills. also, i'm too much in love with the rochesters 2nd set, the 1st night of worcester, and the aformentioned auburn hills show for this to even be my favorite of the tour. none the less, this still an absolutely rediculous show in a tour full of stacked shows.

the ac/dc bag>psycho killer opener really sets the tone. they explore some nice dark realms in this sequence. very nice jamming here. jesus left chicago is inspired and it keeps that darker vibe going. mmgamoio lightens the mood before a very deep ice/swept/steep/ice sequence keeps the crowd guessing. theme is nice, but it leads one to believe this set may be stabilizing a bit. that, of course, is not the case. they lay down a nice rowdy, funky tube. the middle section is nice, but the real magic comes in the extended jam on the back section. this is a nice impromptu funk jam that eventually fizzles into a very nice slave set closer.

timber ho! is one of my all time favorite phish set openers, and this one does not disappoint. in the year of the wolfman's brother, this one stands out as one of the better domestic wolfman's. plus, it goes nicely into the first boogie on since the 80's. while, this seque sounds relatively standard now, it was blowing minds in '97. keep in mind, this song had not been played since '88. out of boogie on,they pop right into a very nice reba. reba was played very nice and tight, along with the slamming guyute. finally, the cut loose on a very uppity and rowdy possum, closing this very fine show it in fine form. aditl is a nice appropriate encore.

this is a very good show, with not one dull moment. although, i don't think it fully displays phish's musical prowess in '97, it is a very nice tip of the ice berg. you really can't argue with a show with a boogie on and psycho killer break out. of course, phish would begin to work boogie on into the rotation over the next couple of years. it would take quite a bit longer for psycho killer to pop back up. a great set list and stellar playing makes this one a keeper. just don't think this is the best '97 has to offer; competition is tough in '97.

highlights:
set 1:
bag>psycho killer, tube>jam>slave

sete 2:
timber, wolf>boogie>reba
Score: 3
jeremy_g , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
I flip flop between this show, 11/7/96 (listen to the second set --- Suzy > Gin > HYHU > Bike> HYHU, YEM, E: Frankenstein ---- it is the gem of 1996) and Big Cypress as the best shows I've ever seen in person. Tonight, I'm listening to the SBDs of this show, transporting myself back to the floor of the funky old Erwin J. Nutter Center and, as an admitted Tube-head, well, I'm hooked. This is the one. "Tube, Tube Jam > Slave" is absolutely sick. I feel privileged to have seen both this Tube and the Tube from 12/28/98 in person, arguably the best two Tubes ever and I think this one takes the cake. This Tube, this entire show oozed IT....and after a mini-tour consisting of a solid show in Cleveland on 12/5/97 and AMAZING show in Detroit on 12/6/97, we thought 12/7/97 in little old Dayton might be pedestrian. Boy, were we all way wrong. WOW. If you haven't listened to this, do so now. And if you were there with us, well I'm thrilled that you were able to witness Phish live up to 100% of their potential and then take IT even further. This is the type of show you love and hate because it sets a ridiculously high benchmark for all others. Pure. Freaking. Bliss.
Score: 3
Mr_Bathtub_Gin , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
15th anniversary of our first show! (Mrs. Bathtub Gin and me). One of my geometry students got us floor seats just right of taper section. We had no clue we were at a show for the ages, but we did flip out over the crowd....participation. We had been to a hundred other concerts and had never seen this kind of audience response to a band. I had never enjoyed watching a crowd as much as I did that night. I told my wife that we had found 'our people'. It was a couple more years before we realized that we had witnessed lightning in a bottle on that cold December night in Dayton. We've seen them at just about every Midwest show since then. Thanks, Phish and Phamily.
Score: 2
JonBaker , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
This was the second time I've seen them (Phish) and they didn't dissapoint at all. Great start to the show with AC/DC Bag and a fantastic Psycho Killer. Excellent Jesus Left Chicago and it got better as the night went on. It was one of those nights where the groove was there and the crowd was into it and Phish responded. Great Theme From the Bottom, Tube, Tube Jam and a great finish with Slave to the Traffic Light to end set one. Love the start of set two also. Timber is one of my favorites. Wolfman was a bit of a let down for me only cause it doesn't do much for me. Not one of my favorites at all but the crowd really enjoyed it. Boogie on Reggae Woman really got the crowd going then along with a great Reba, Guyute, Possum finish. They ended the night with a excellent A Day in the Life. I can see why this show is rated one of the best
Score: 1
gigrant , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
This was the single best show I've ever seen in my life. Period. AC/DC Bag->Psycho Killer->Jesus Left Chicago was an incredible show opener and the transition from Bag had some tasty notes by Trey. Theme was absolutely beautiful. But the Tube->Jam was the highlight though. '97 funk throwdown Nutter style. If you can, listen to the entire tour and see this funk jam show up here and there. Fantastic stuff and Phish playing at a very high level (even for them). There were no lyric flubs or bad notes on this night. An A+ show. Everyone needs to download this gem.
Score: 1
lpenoza , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
lpenoza A comment, rather than show review (That's been *covered*): Several posters above made at least a mention that Guyute was good in this case. I personally did not ever accept the (forgive me, but "PT" type) notion that "Guyute sucks" (the top complaint being that it was played too often and didn't travel into "Type X" jamming) and I find Trey's brilliant musical composition to be a thrill when performed tightly, as classical fans often do with their favored compositions.

When I think of the date 12-7-97, I most often think "The perfect Guyute". I may be forgetting a small number of flub notes that disqualify that statement as an absolute, but when I play GUYUTE for anyone who doesn't know PHiSH, I play THIS GUYUTE.

And yes, I also think "transcends excellence" about the rest of the show :^P
Score: 1
lacesoutmike , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
lacesoutmike I love this show because of the sheer number of places in the download from the spreadsheet where an arbitrary place is picked as where the next song begins. During the segues each song seems to rise out of the previous, making it impossible to say where one ends and the next begins. Improvisation at its finest. MUST HEAR.
Score: 1
HHCCCCAA , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
I'm really into this (pretty) delicate Ice sandwich. Listening to it now while typing. It's (pretty) delicate because it retains this tense feel to it as it manages to "sandwich" (pun completely intended) its entire self in the middle of a fireball of a show. It does its part to be as soft as possible and sorrrrrrt of simmer things down, and not in an unfortunate way what so ever, especially considering the whale of a "Theme" afterward. Stellar.
Score: 0
mmbyem , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
I need to add nothing as the above reviews spell it all out. Second best show I have been to except my first 12/8/95..
Certainly full of the "Fall Funk" and a great fall it was!!
Score: 0
FlanSolo , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
Disclaimer: Wasn't there. First set is unassailable, but if I lost my recording of the second set, I probably would not bother replacing it. Based on the above reviews it would seem I am in the minority. Glad to be disabused of my opinion though. Giving it another listen on it's Sweet 16.
Score: 0
Jonleavitt521 , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
Holy Heads! Holy Ice Billy! Holy Slave! Holy Timber Tube! Holy Holy Reggae Woman! This night was truly an inspirational "religious" Phish experience. Easily my all time favorite even competing with Big Cypress and the Lemonwheel. I don't really think the magic of this show is in the selection of songs which seems to be the reason many phans choose this as a favorite. The magic was in the ambiance. In the air. Whatever channels these 4 travelers are able to open when fully connected and sharing, seemed to be blown wide open by a strong wind from the universe sending Phish on a journey I don't believe anyone, especially the band, was expecting or trying to traverse. The segues somehow seem completely composed, as if they were writing and preparing the 1st set for months. Trey and Mike kick it off playing as one single entity, birthing Psycho Killer from some deep subconscious place, and right away, everyone involved started to feel the pull. Phish could've went ahead without even beginning another song and the music would've woven new unexplored tapestries. The music was alive and creating itself, it had a will of its own. The musicians had no choice but to hold on and try to keep up. No other band alive can deliver such pure, spiritual sound. Amen.
Score: 0
hughie46 , attached to 1997-12-07 Permalink
this is shit is mind splitting goodness. one will find themselves floating out of the tube 'reprise', soaring in and out of clouds until ultimately touching down... in to a glide atop a multicolored soup, while engulfed in a funkadelic fog. then setbreak and we are on to the next chapter of this long-told journey.
Score: 0

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