, attached to 1997-08-14

Review by AShipToQuebec

AShipToQuebec Trying to review this show after 16 years is impossible, although I just listened to it again on phishtracks.

This was my first show.

My big brother, Jer, a phan who saw them their previous appearances in Montreal in the nineties had made me aware of them on strange unmarked cassette tapes I dug into, the strains of which often were heard oozing out of his '76 Chevy Impala. I particularly remember listening and relistening to the album versions of Tweezer, Chalkdust, Mango, Stash and Cavern in those days. I don't think I'd ever heard a live recording before going to my first show, with the exception of A Live One.

So Ya Mar was a surprise, the whole scene was an epiphany, and better yet, we got The Merry Pranksters.

Jer, who'd bought me a ticket via TBM and drove me there with his girlfriend, had recently cofounded a theatre troupe which had staged a unique version of Kesey's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest at the Montreal Fringe Festival that very summer. We COULD NOT BELIEVE OUR EYES when we saw the magic bus and especially when the 2nd set Bozo madness began led by Ken Kesey himself...

I won't comment on their performances, technical-wise (although 2nd set closer Taste seemed absolutely transcendent to me at the time) -- I was a newbie. But I do know that the road tripping, full-of-surprises, ecstatic, tongue-in-cheek sets that night, with my only (and treasured FUNK IS TOOOO DEEP!) Camel Walk so far in 17 shows (as of today, although I somehow got tix to Glens Falls this October 23rd 2013), a gorgeous Tela, and an immaculate, super evening on the lawn is what hooked me permanently and made Phish one of my favourite lifelong hobbies.


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