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Link Friday, 12/12/1997
Pepsi Arena, Albany, NY

Set 1: Funky Bitch -> 2001Also Sprach Zarathustra > Camel Walk, Taste > Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, Tweezer > Train Song > Character Zero

Set 2: Saw It Again[1] -> Piper > Swept Away > Steep > CaspianPrince Caspian > Jam[2] -> Izabella, TweepriseTweezer Reprise

Encore: Guyute, AntelopeRun Like an Antelope

[1] Extended jam.
[2] Bears a similarity to Llama.

Teases:
· Birds of a Feather tease in Piper
· Llama tease in Jam
· Buried Alive tease in Run Like an Antelope

Noteworthy Jams: Taste, Tweezer, Saw It Again, Piper, Prince Caspian, Jam

Average Song Gap: 5.78

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

Notes: Saw It Again featured an extended jam. Piper included a distinct Birds of a Feather tease, several months before the song actually debuted. The jam after Caspian ended bore a similarity to Llama. Antelope contained a Buried Alive tease from Trey. The opening act was J. Willis Pratt & We're Bionic.

Song Distribution:
6 Billy Breathes
2 A Picture of Nectar
2 Lawn Boy
1 Farmhouse
1 The Story of the Ghost
1 Stash
1 The White Tape

Songs by Debut Year:

This show was part of the "1997 Fall Tour (a.k.a. Phish Destroys America)."

TippyBonanza , attached to 1997-12-12 Permalink
TippyBonanza This show was a very important one in my time seeing Phish. I had begun to feel quite disconnected from the band by fall '97. The increased reliance on groove-based jams and Trey's insistence on overusing his wah-wah pedal combined to leave a sour taste in my mouth. I'd nearly given up on the band during the Hartford and first Worcester shows (I even skipped Saturday's Centrum show to see Moon Boot Lover in Boston), but I thoroughly enjoyed the 11-30 show with the crazy-ass metal jam early on. So my hopes were up for these two Albany shows. This night, the 12th, was my 27th birthday, and I was excited to celebrate. The opening run of songs was outstanding and featured, as usual, superb light work. The second set, though, is pure magic. There is an intensity to the jamming that was palpable that night, especially in what is to this day my favorite Piper. Instead of concluding this version with the typical ending, they just let the jam go and go and go into a superb Swept Away>Steep. Prince Caspian, for all its simplicity, has always been a favorite of mine, so that felt a bit like a birthday gift. And it did nothing to diminish the intensity they'd begun. A ridiculously cool encore was a great cap on a terrific birthday celebration.
Score: 2
Frankster , attached to 1997-12-12 Permalink
Frankster Set 1: Funky Bitch -> 2001Also Sprach Zarathustra > Camel Walk, Taste > Bouncin'Bouncing Around the Room, Tweezer > Train Song > Character Zero

Set 2: Saw It Again[1] -> Piper[2] > Swept Away > Steep > CaspianPrince Caspian > Jam[3] -> Izabella, TweepriseTweezer Reprise

This show is easily in my top 5 of the 97 fall tour. I wasn't sure what to excpect after a solid show in Rochester that was not like any other show from fall 97. Would they get right back to the funk after a night off? Affirmative!

They start thigs off with is with out a doubt the funkiest funcky bitch ever! Next up is a long, slinky 2001 that refuses to allow you to stop shaking your money maker. Good stuff. As 2001 comes to an end Trey brings out Camel Walk much to the delight of the crowd. I caught the Darien Camel and must say the Albany version did a little more for me. Mushrooms? Problably. The rest of the set is good but nothing like the opening 3 vollies.

Set 2 is simply incredible. Not a dull moment here folks. Each song is given a full workout especially the Piper and Caspian. Monsters I tell you. Everybody rags on Caspain but I personally love it (most of the time). The jam tacked on at the end makes this my favorite of all time. Double encore done deal.

Do yourself a favor and give this one a listen. If your short on time go straight to the second set. You won't be dissappointed!
Score: 2
n00b100 , attached to 1997-12-12 Permalink
n00b100 The first set actually has some real treats, including an opening Funky Bitch -> 2001 one-two punch that gets the show off to a good start (especially the Bitch, which lives up to its name). The rest of the set can't really live up to that start, although the Tweezer has a laid-back funk jam that slows down and opens up at the end for some really nice major chord jamming (to differentiate it from all the other Tweezer laid-back funk jams, I suppose).

The second set has what looks like a really pedestrian setlist, but rises above that handicap in fine Fall '97 fashion. Saw It Again (much like Carini tends to) rumbles and snarls and then morphs into a slower jam that lets Trey abuse his guitar during the solo. The jam then cools out, almost ambient style, before Piper rises out of the ashes. And this Piper is a upper percentile version, as the Piper jam gets fast and furious (you can hear Mike's bass, somewhat muddy in the AUD version, working double time), then starts peeling off layers and goes double time for a hot minute, then shifts back into hard rocking mode, *then* cools down and lets Page drive the car, THEN rips back into another ferocious jam before finally relaxing and heading into Swept Away. There's a lot going on in this Piper, and it should be heard to be believed; it's a fine companion to the beloved 7/6/98 version. Swept Away/Steep are a nice breather for both band and audience...and then they go into Prince Caspian.

Caspian is usually not my first choice for second set jam vehicle, but (like 9/1/12) it actually works out, as Caspian's usual jam leads into a gigantic big-rock-arena freakout and a Llama-style rockfest, but with more facets than Llama tends to have; much like the previous Piper jam, the group modulates the jam's energy between Llama-esque machine gun fire and rein-back-the-stallions slow burning, before a chilled out finale that mixes guitar noise and moody space. And from this space comes a segue directly into Izabella; no, it's not 12/6's segue (what is???), but it'll do in a pinch and Izabella is as awesome as it always is (plus Trey remembers more lyrics!). And the encore brings some heat, too, especially a quicksilver Antelope that maps no new terrain but closes out the show in fine fashion. This may not be in the upper echelon of Fall '97 sets, but it has a big must-hear jam, which alone makes it worth a download.
Score: 1
quincydog420 , attached to 1997-12-12 Permalink
Birthday show for me as well, one of the better encores ever, and they continued to lay the funk the next night, we had seats behind the stage awesome perspective, I got shitfaced though, 22nd B-day, hangover the next day was brutal, next show cured that
Score: 0
phuckface , attached to 1997-12-12 Permalink
the one and only phish show i ever got shut out of, but despite the phrigid cold temperatures i managed to have phun and help a phew phriends phrom getting busted by under-covers. The police horse dephinitely kicked my phriend Dogger in the head that night and he managed to sneak into the venue and run down to the phloor phor a song or two...wasn't a total Waste; however, it made the next night that much more special when i got in!
Score: 0
Doopes , attached to 1997-12-12 Permalink
Doopes What a sick show... once they started playing they didn't stop!!!
super fun show! glad to be there!
Score: 0
broomecountyforumite , attached to 1997-12-12 Permalink
broomecountyforumite I was not at this show, nor have I ever heard it, but I'd love to give a shout-out to the severely-underrated J Willis Pratt and We're Bionic who opened this show.
Not only is Willis a good buddy of mine, to this day, from my glorious Goddard College years, but I had the distinct honor of "filling in" for Jon Fishman on drums for two We're Bionic shows. One was in the Design Center at Goddard. I was terrified, rightfully, that people would not accept me as a worthy substitute, but Willlis and the guys assured me. I did the best I could, and the people really seemed to enjoy it.
Willis has been working on his music for a long time, has poured his heart and soul into it, and is still working on it to this day. He deserves far more attention.
Score: -1

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