This show featured the Phish debut of Amoreena. Mike teased the theme to Leave It to Beaver in Wilson. The end of Wilson included a Little Drummer Boy tease. 2001 contained a Super Bad tease from Trey.

The Little Drummer Boy and Theme from Leave It to Beaver teases in Wilson, Super Bad tease in Also Sprach Zarathustra
Debut Years (Average: 1992)

This show was part of the "1997 Summer U.S. Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

As we pulled into the Star Lake Amphitheater parking lot, each pulsing beat of "Crosseyed and Painless" from the legendary 11/2/96 West Palm Beach show raised our excitement level higher and higher. This was the first of a four-night run that would lead us to the Great Went. We were all well aware of the magic ensuing on the '97 Summer Tour and couldn't wait to plug back in to the source. The three of us (Mike, Molly and myself) had been lucky enough to attend the 11/2/96 show together and therefore remain forever linked by the "Crosseyed Bond."
After pulling into our space, we hopped out of the car and frantically started making a sign. We are not the sign-making type of fans, so there had to be some unique inspiration for such an action. The simple message read "STILL WAITING." To our disappointment, we were not allowed to bring the sign into the show.
Molly rolled it up and hid it in the bushes just outside the gate. We soon forgot about it as we motored towards the seats focused only on getting the best spot possible. Phish opened the show with one of the most beautiful, unexpected "one-timers" they've ever played, Elton John's "Amorina." Page's voice was heavenly as he sang us the song full of lush imagery like "she dreams of crystal streams, days gone by, you and me...." After a "Poor Heart" , the show really began with "Stash." This is my favorite "Stash" of all time. As the jam started to unfold, Trey quickly reminds us that "this is Summer '97" and nothing is taken for granted. Big Red unleashed his noodling voodoo, the signature sound-tapestry-weaving technique that separated '97's magic moments from all others, taking this “Stash” into an ominous, yet not overly dark realm. The tension swelled through the burning lights surpassing the breaking point a few times over before setting us free with the climactic refrain.
As much as this set was about big songs, it was also about very appropriately chosen interlude songs. The next would be the old, slow version of "Water in the Sky." Six years later I am still vibrating as I prepare to mention the "Gumbo" that followed. The fifteen or so minutes of this "Gumbo" contain some of the best, most creative jamming of Phish's career. It is so representative of everything that makes '97 such a special year. The band is playing together in such a balanced way, everybody drawing from a seemingly endless source of brilliant ideas. Trey and Page have a field day, manifesting the sonic equivalent of skipping through a meadow of wildflowers while holding hands. Trey lays down some licks that end up opening huge passageways to the most uplifting melodies. He even delves into a cool variation on the "Franklin's Tower" groove, integrating yet another thematic flight in a very tasteful way. At some point when we are pretty sure this can't get any better, Page decides to load the audience into his cosmic pinball machine, boinging us from bumper to bumper with his over the top barrage of funk effects. Still only in the middle of the first set, we're a pretty happy audience at this point.
The boys can do no wrong as they segue right into the always blissful "Horse>Silent." Next was a lot of people's least favorite song, "Beauty of My Dreams." Since then I have held a place in my heart for "Beauty" because I will always associate it with being the predecessor of a truly miraculous moment. It was that silent time right before a song is about to begin. Everybody is holding their breath wondering if this could be a life-changing song or a good excuse to go to the bathroom. In the blink of an eye, we were suddenly immersed into the reality of "Crosseyed and Painless." They were playing "Crosseyed and Painless”! This was the ultimate moment of "I can't believe this is happening!" Molly and I turned and looked at each other with bug eyes and jaws on the floor. Sadly we had been separated from our partner in crime, Mike, but we would pick that part of the celebration up at set break.
The phenomenon of Phish choosing to play "Crosseyed and Painless" at Starlake on that fateful evening in '97 remains one of the wonders of my world. The fact that we made the sign, didn't get it in and they still played it leaves me shaking my head to this day. We were clearly communicating on some deeper level. I've heard people knock this version of "Crosseyed" but I don't think they've really listened. The pace is slowed down, which works well. Fishman sounds good and Trey pulls some heat out of his bag of tricks. There is one particular line during his dominant solo that kills me every time I listen to it. Continuing the dark theme, "Cross-eyed" goes into "Wilson" which at the time was still a novelty.
Needless to say I was pretty darned shell-shocked after that whopper of a set. With the power trio of "Stash", "Gumbo", and "Crosseyed", the first set of Starlake easily finds its way into the top five best first sets in my opinion. Set II had a tough act to follow. The band couldn't quite conjure up the magic flowing so freely in the first set. Nevertheless, Set II was still excellent. The song selection was great. It was the good old days of "Izabella." "Sleeping Monkey" nestled comfortably into a rare mid-set appearance. The highlight came in a joyful romp through "McGrupp" > "2001". The overall vibe was very bright and playful with blue lights flooding through the air.
A "Theme" encore sent everyone off very satisfied and amped for Darien and the Great Went. I remember people running straight to the pay phones to tell the world what they had just witnessed. One guy was shouting, "They just hosed down Starlake!" Boy did they. With the craziness about to ensue at the next three shows, they definitely set the tone right from the get-go.
Molly and I strolled back to the car floating on air. As we approached, our hearts practically stopped as we saw a sign resting on the windshield. It screamed back at us, "STILL WAITING."
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks A hidden jewel from late summer '97. The first three songs of Set II are excellent, as is the C'n'P if I remember correctly, but the Gumbo is the must-hear track: a multifaceted 19-minute journey that moves from dark funk to a proto-Meatstick feel to a soaring climax before dissolving into blissful quiet. Grab that track without hesitation, but stay for the rest.
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by johnnyd

johnnyd I've never heard a recording of this show, but I remember vividly the Franklin's Tower tease/quote/theme/(whatever you want to call it) mentioned above. I've never seen it referenced in a review or setlist, and have wondered over the last decade or so if I hallucinated it.

I (with 5 friends and a dog) was on the epic, circum-continental summer tour of '97. My college roomate Jake lived near Pittsburgh. He was into Phish too, not quite as much as me, but had a healthy respect and appreciation for them. (He really had no choice. In '94 - '96 our whole campus was awash in Green Day and DMB, and by that time I had accumulated dozens, perhaps a hundred tapes, which provided a necessary escape from ants marching, biting my lip, and closing my eyes.)

Anyway, Jake was pretty into the Dead - we had actually been to a couple southeast Dead shows together in '95 - (and a lot of other cool music too), but this was to be his first Phish show. So of course I was hoping for exactly the perfect show that would resonate with him, convince him beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was a band and experience like no other.

Now, recall we are only a couple days past the 2nd anniversary of Jerry's passing, a topic which surely came up as we tailgated. And as we settled into the pleasant summer's night of music, the strains of Franklin's Tower started eeking through the air, a little mysteriously at first, as many great teases evolve, but then unmistakably. We looked at each other, incredulously confirming that we were hearing the same thing, as the jam took on that viscous feel - the richness in the air that Phish creates like no other band I have ever heard. I think a warmth overcame the whole venue as they played this brief but beautiful tribute to the Fat Man, celebrating the love, community, and energy that music enables and facilitates.

At least, thats my story, and I'm sticking to it!

(I really need to update my collection of shows.)
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by ReeYees

ReeYees This was my favorite show at the time. First off let me just say that this is one of the best Page openers of all time. I’m not much of an Elton John fan but I do like this song and they killed it. Trey never lets up on Stash…enough said. The 3rd and final Gumbo of the summer and a monster version it is—over 19 minutes of heaven! C&P > Wilson (with Little Drummer Boy ending) is one for the ages. They didn’t play C&P again until Big Cypress. I’m glad this is in fairly standard rotation these days.

Once Trey shook off his vocal flub in Runaway Jim the 2nd set really took off. Ghost > Izabella should not be ignored. Izabella jumps out at you from nowhere. Every time I hear it now, it still brings a smile to my face and reminds me of the great vibes on the Phish Summer 97 tour. Everything is played well through the set but McGrupp stands out to me as being flawless and beautiful. 2001 is of course sick but it always was in 97, right?
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by shupadupa

shupadupa {NOTE: I posted this to the morning after the show. Yeah, I was a bit over-exuberant in my review, but hey, history has my back on this one!}

Subject: Trey & the Rubber Chicken (Starlake Review)

DISCLAIMER: I've only had 2 hours of sleep after driving 4 hours from
Pittsburgh to the DC area after last night's show, and am feeling kind
of loopy, so please don't flame me too bad! ;^)

Howdy pholks,

Once again I emerge from lurkdom to bring more good tidings from the
outstanding Summer Tour. The scene was the Starlake Ampitheatre in
Burgettstown, PA, and my friends, those who were there bore witness to yet another spectacular display of amazing jams and setlist surprises (the kind of stuff that keeps us comin' back! :^) Not being able to get off work till 2:30 thanks to my boss, I made the 4+ hour trek and got there just in time to enjoy a tasty Samuel Smith's in the lot before headin' to the show. From the short time I was there, I surmised that the security was pretty lax - I didn't see any yellow shirts walking around, and the lot seemed pretty darn lively. The venue is your standard summer concert shed, though it did seem a tad bit smaller than other mega-corporate sheds such as the Miller Lite Deer Creek Amp. or the GTE Va. Beach Amp. (FWIW, this was the Coca Cola Starlake Amp., and there were Coke ads all over w/ a picture of a frosty bottle of bev. w/ the phrase "Always a Hit!" next to it ;^) Damn, those Coke marketeers sure do their research!! Security inside seemed fairly lax as well, no cavity searches or anything to get in, and I only saw a couple of people on the aisles get hassled about their tickets. Anyhow, onto the show...

1st Set:

Amarina???*, Poor Heart, Stash, H20 in the Sky, Gumbo->JAM->Horse->SITM, Beauty of My Dreams, Crosseyed and Painless->Wilson**, Sweet Adeline

* - not sure if this is right, supposedly an Elton John cover, though I
didn't recognize it
** - w/ Little Drummer Boy ending

Again, I'm not sure who sang this song originally or if this is even the
right song title, but judging by the lyrics (something about ballerinas
- that's all I remember!). Sung by Page, a very mellow, pretty opener,
caught everyone off guard.

Poor Heart
Now were gettin' started. Great solo by Trey - I swear he even extended the solo a few bars beyond the standard solo (man, they're just jammin' out everything! ;^) Good version, got everyone pumped for...

I called this one, a fairly long version, w/ standard chaotic Stash
jamming until they brought it down a bit and Trey started on some of
that Middle-Eastern type jamming that fits so well into Stash jams. This built up for a while then just freakin' exploded w/ an incredible
extended release at the end that just wouldn't quit!! This was quite
orgasmic, to say the least.

NOTE: Somewhere early in the set (during Poor Heart?), someone chucked a rubber chicken up on stage. After the song, Trey picked it
up and pretended he was eating it like an ear of corn (?!?), then set it
down on Page's baby grand. From that point on, before each song, Trey would pick up the chicken and pretend like he was biting its head off, then set it back down on the piano and bust into the next song.
Definitely weird, but amusing as hell!

H20 in the Sky
Ok, this is a cute little country ditty as you all probably know by
now. It probably wouldn't kill me if I never heard them do this one again live, but hey - who's complainin?

After hearing about what went down in Chi-town, I was mega-psyched to hear them bust this one out. Very solid composed part, then right at the part when Trey does his solo, the jam just sorta goes off into the realm of Funk. For about 10 minutes or so, we just got a laid back funk groove a la Wolfman's Bro, with lots of noodling and effects from Trey, and Page funkin' it up on the Clav and Mellotron. Nothin' too exciting compared to the funk we've seen on tour. They started to hit the hose a little bit though, bringing it to an almost Theme-like jam... I could have sworn they were gonna bring down to the "from the bottom..from the top" lines, but alas the jam subsided in a beautiful fashion, and Trey's pretty little strumming emerges as the opening progressions to Horse. The crowd was excited to hear this (1st of tour?) as was I. Really brought the energy levels back up after the exhausting Gumbo Jam.

Beauty of My Dreams
Standard. Don't remember anything special about this.

Crosseyed and Painless >
YESSS!!! My first one live, and boy did it smoke! Played at a slightly
slower tempo than usual, it was exceptionally played with Fishman all
over those tricky vocals. Just an exuberant, hi-energy jam is all I
really remember, since my peanut sized bladder was near exploding and I had to cut out in the middle of the jam, but got back just in time for them to bring it down to a sinister, slow jam to which Trey hit the opening note to...

Fuck yeah! This practically tore the roof off the place, and was the
perfect closer to a blistering first set. Right at the last chord, where
they usually close out and Trey thanks the crowd (c'mon, I need a
musical term here!), they just kept up the noise, and Trey starts
strumming Little Drummer Boy. I swear he was strumming that pick at
about 1000 rpms or so. Played almost the entire song, which must've
really annoyed Fishman since he was doing the closing "go nuts on the
drum kit" and had to extend this for at least a minute or so. Nuts I
tells ya.

Sweet Adeline
Like a cherry on top of the fattest sundae you've eaten in ages!!!

A fantastic set as far as 1st sets go, though on this tour it seems that
it just don't matta if it's 1st set or 2nd set, they're still gonna jam
the hell out of it!

Man, did anyone try those soft-baked pretzels? I've never seen a longer or slower line for PRETZELS, so after waiting about 20 min. during setbreak I bought 2 Cinnamon Sugar pretzels just for the sake of waiting, but man was it worth it. Definitely check this out if you go
back to Starlake. The Pittsburgh Brewery Co. (or something like that)
Pilsner was pretty darn good too. Anyhow,

2nd Set:
Runaway Jim, Ghost -> Izabella, Sleeping Monkey, McGrupp, Sample, ASZ, Golgi, Frankenstein E: Theme

Runaway Jim
OK. I'll be bold and say that this was the most spectacular STANDARD
(see NYE 95 or RR 96 for non-STANDARD versions) version of Jim mine ears have ever heard. No funny stuff or ->My Soul (thank God!), just the most joyous, energetic, goosebump raising jam segment I've ever heard them do in a Jim. It was only around 10 min. or so, but the jam (which was ALL Trey) didn't monkey around- it was the return of Machine Gun Trey in full force 8^) . He just went straight for the meat smoked the solo the likes of which I've never seen heard in any other version. You MUST hear this!!

Ghost >
After hearing this earlier in the tour and on the Sugar Megs page, I was psyched to hear it again. I must say, this song is already turning into a monster! I remember the one thing that kept passing through my mind during the jam was "what a thick groove!" Just totally dense, with Mike slapping out some crazy funk lines. (Note: does anyone else think that Mike's newfound prominence in the mix has anything to do w/ his new bass... he scrapped the 'doc for a sweeeet Modulus Graphite, which I think might have a big influence on his sound. Any opinions?) A great jam that got very rockin, I'm not kiddin! Then Trey started jamming the riff to...

Great segue!! An extremely rockin' version, with Trey screaming on the
'doc, and the whole band just providing a raucous backup. A great cover, especially on a night where covers seemed to be the norm. No doubt it's also a tribute to his newest daughter of the same name, which I think is cute!

Whooo! After an insane start to the set, I was ready for a cooldown.

Sleeping Monkey
YESSS!!! What perfect placement for one of my favorite corny Phish
songs! Seriously, you know it's a special set when they bust this out
for anything besides an encore. Even Fishman's voice
sounds more refined now in his solo part. Must go along w/ the new look I 'spose. I was in 7th heaven, and was ready for something special...

WooHoooo! My first one live! Not a spectacular version but very solid
and great to see live.

Lame. I mean they needed to bring the energy back up, but this was bad placement IMO. Normally I'll forgive em if Trey destroys the solo, but this was frighteningly standard, almost hitting the album version note for note.

I knew this would be a funk monster, and the boys didn't disappoint! I
love how this song has developed on its own. Also a great showcase for the lights. Chris K. must feel like a kid in a candy store when they do this song, he just hit every single light effect and color imaginable!
The lights keep getting better and better w/ each tour! Anyhow, a good ASZ, around 10-12 minutes - I suppose a standard version by '97
standards (sorry for the redundant redundancy :^)

Was lookin' for a phat Antelope or Disease to close out the set, but
instead we got...

Golgi Crapparatus
Nothin against this song, but I was expecting more to finish off such a
spectacular show. Easily the sloppiest version I've ever heard, with
the band starting off totally out of sync and Trey missing that final
lick. Still a crowd pleaser though.

I thought that would be it, but there was still one more to come...

Now THAT's more like it! An appropriately rockin closer to finish off a
rockin set. Man, it's something else to watch Trey's fingers on the
fretboard during the trilling solo part.

E: Theme
A good encore song, since it goes from quiet to loud all in the same
song (instead of the obligatory slow song then a rocker to finish).
Standard version, nothing really spectacular, but then all the Themes
nowadays seems to be good after they did away with all the spacey guitar effects from 95/96 versions.

So, sounds like a good show, huh? Well, it was!! Wow, you're good! After my lofty ratings I gave for the Va. Beach show (see Dan Schar's
excellent reviews page ), I
feel like a fool for giving it the lofty ratings that I did, cuz overall
this show smoked Va. Beach. Both sets are definitely worth seeking
out. First set highlights - Stash, C&P>Wilson!. Oh yeah the Gumbo was pretty tasty as well! Based on the average, standard 1st set, this set gets a 7.5 . Well above average w/ lots of jams that could pass it off for a good 2nd set. Second set, though shorter than the first, had the INCREDIBLE Jim followed by the scorching Ghost>Izabella, Sl. Monkey and McGrupp. After that they could've played goddamned Greensleeves all night and I would've been in 7th heaven. So I forgive the lame Craparratus and give the 2nd set a 7.5 (would've been well over an 8 had
it not sputtered after ASZ).

So there you have it. A 7.5 - i.e. GET THIS SHOW ON TAPE, DAMMIT! I think I gave the same rating to Va. Beach, but that was a bunch of overinflated bullhonkey compared to Starlake.

Have fun at the Went, y'all, I'll be at the rmp gathering in spirit!
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez I'm a day early, but i've got a show that's got me a bit fired up. i don't know how i've missed this gem for so many years, but 8/13/97 burgettstown, pa has some freaking amazing jams.

first and foremost, i just pulled down the remastered aud off the phish spread sheet- sounds fantastic!

things start off nicely with a great cover of elton john's "amoreena." page does a fantastic job on this one, both on keys and vocally. poor heart picks up the pace, getting the boys a bit loose. stash is solid, but it doesn't quite "get there." it is always nice to see the boys try to open things up early though. a snappy version of water in the sky gives everyone a breather before phish buries the funk. gumbo is extended into slow funk oblivion. the whole band locks in. with a nice loose funk groove layed down by fish and gordo, page and trey are given ample room to explore. page has some hot clav licks, while trey alternates between some nice leads and some funky rhythm guitar. eventually, this jam gives way to a well-placed horse>silent. beauty of my dreams is one of my favorite bluegrass songs they do, and this version is played well. then we get our second big treat of the first set. for only the 3rd time in the u.s., phish belts out cross eyed and painless. this version is much slower than how they approach it now. it's not cities slow, but it's slower none the less. this is very much given the '97 treatment. i think part of the reasoning for the slower playing is a slight lack of confidence playing this song, at this point. they are not quite as forceful with it, but once they hit the jam, trey really takes control with some nice leads. after a hefty dose of some good 'ol '97 funk, they hit a slower, darker, murkier jam. if this was a '99 show, i would definitely expect them to hit "what's the use," but it's not... anyway, trey brings everybody out of this dark realm with the opening to wilson. they hit a home run with this one, bringing the crowd back to a rowdy frenzy. trey tacks on a little drummer boy tease at the end, and it sounds like fish wanted to crank up harry hood. i'm guessing some members of the band may have started to get up/remove instruments, because all you hear of hood is that opening drum roll. none the less, adeline sends everyone into set break happy.

now, there's the second set. run away jim kicks things off properly with. there's a slight lyric flub by trey.. kind of funny. once they hit the jam, trey just takes off and never looks back. by the time this jam hits its peak, trey is just firing off a cosmic flurry of notes. after bringing this one back into jim, trey thanks the crowd, and then they embark on what is possibly a dark horse candidate for ghost of the tour. while the whole band plays well, gordon really shines here. fishman is at his '97 best, trey and page are both hotter than hell on this jam, but gordon just gets locked into a slap frenzy, driving this band to a very funky peak. eventually, they head into the land of izabella. this transition pales in comparision to the tweezer>izabella from auburn hills in the fall, but hell, i'll take my izabella's where i can get them. this one is well played, but unlike auburn hills, they decided not to take this one for a ride. after a red-hot start, the boys slow it down for a rare midset sleeping monkey. mcgrupp works well out of monkey, as the boys really bring this set back to life. as usual, page really makes this song a highlight. from here though, this show starts to lose a little traction. 2001 feels slightly forced out of a rocking but typical sample. they didn't appear to have much of a game plan, so page steered them toward good 'ol also sprach. golgi and frankenstein are high octane but nothing out of the ordinary. i do really like theme from the bottom in the enc slot and could go for more of that in the future. i would say the back half of this 2nd set, while still being rock-solid, keeps this show from being considered one of the top tier '97 shows, but there are some very serious highlights here that should not be missed.

get on the spread sheet's remastered section and pull this one down. gumbo is '97 funktastic, cross eyed>wilson is a very interesting listen, and the opening sequence of run away jim, ghost>izabella in the 2nd set will just blow you away. they just don't make 'em like that anymore....
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by RagingMobOfJoggers

RagingMobOfJoggers From />
On a tour with a lot of standout shows, August 13th, 1997 often gets overlooked. Star Lake Amphitheater (now called the First Niagara Pavilion as of last month) in the tiny town of Burgettstown, Pennsylvania is an average size outdoor musical venue, holding approximately 23,000 fans. It is 25 miles west of Pittsburgh, nestled aside Raccoon State Park and just across the bridge from West Virginia. It has a very small and unassuming sign at the one entrance, often times not even with the name of the band playing there that night. There is
plenty of camping available nearby. If fans choose to get a hotel, they have about three small motels directly nearby, otherwise they will need to venture west to northern West Virginia or north eastern Ohio.

Fans knew the show would be special from the get-go when Phish took the stage and opened with Elton John's rock ballad "Amoreena" with Page singing the lyrics. This would be the first and only time Phish covered the song (I wish they had kept it in the song rotation). After an upbeat interlude of Poor Heart, the opening guitar licks to Stash begin. Being one of a number of musical gems from this particular evening, I hail this Stash as one of the most intense examples of Phish's tension-release style improvisation. In a year when many jams ventured into their newfound patented funk, this Stash exploded with extreme tension being built by all the band member, eventually letting way to Trey to come to an explosive peak leading to an even higher peak about a minute later accented by Fish pounding on the high-toms. Being in an elite group of face-melting Stashes, this one takes the cake for me because of it's intense explosions after gorgeous build-up and the fact it's in a year when funk started to dominate and with Stash musically on it's way downhill this one was sprinting up the Appalachian Mountains.

Allowing the fans to catch their breath after seeing the monster that showed it's face in Stash, Phish played a nice and slow version of Water in the Sky. This came only minutes before thumping out the beginning of Gumbo. You can count the number of Gumbos that explore past it's safe Type I territory jamming on one hand. Three of these occurred within a month of each other, this one being the 3rd. The twenty minute juggernaut goes all over the place after the gates open up the the jam then eventually start rolling along, letting way to "funky" Trey for a bit before Mike starts becoming more prominent, and eventually, around the 12 minute mark, Fishman locks on when he pops over to the ride...this is when they really start rolling along, hosing everyone in attendance. By the 15 minute mark Trey is soaring in a more noodley than rocking way, eventually settling down to go into The Horse. There is no other jam like it, arguably the best Gumbo ever (and I am often hesitant to make claims like that).

As the first set moves along, Phish plays Crosseyed & Painless for the fourth time since Halloween 1996. Being the third improvisational gem in the first set, it was apparent Phish didn't wait until the second set to play these treats under the cover of nightfall, and Kuroda or course. This psychedelic trip sounds very different from the other two highlights thus-far in the show, taking you into their Phishy rhythmic space.

The second set opens with a standard Runaway Jim with the 1997 Summer Tour standard, Ghost, on deck. There are not many bad 1997 Ghosts, and this one isn't any different. At about fifteen minutes, it clocks in as a modest length version, but the whole song is a Mike Gordon driven dance party. While the band is still bumping out the jam, Trey goes into the licks for Jimi Hendrix's "Izabella", after the drums awkwardly catch on, the dance party turns into a rock-n-rage party. With other musical goodies like McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Sample in a Jar and 2001 > Golgi Apparatus > Frankenstein, the rest of the show certainly doesn't let down. Phish keeps a full head of steam from the Page's piano opening Amoreena to the end of Theme From the Bottom.

This show is a must have in any serious listener's collection.

, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by zepphead

zepphead Ahh, my first show! I was 17. By this time I was already hooked, from the first time my buddy played me Fee in his car on the way to hockey practice 3 years earlier, but my live experience up to this point was limited to A Live One and the live tracks off of Junta. I had all of their studio releases at this point and listened to them religiously. This show set the hook like a harpoon.

Amoreena was cool, more in retrospect though, cos at the time I had no idea what it was or the importance of a "debut" in general. And never again played to this day. That's the shit that gets me off about this band - stats. (2nd to the tunes, of course, duh.) Oh, to be a noob again!

This Gumbo is one I go back to again and again, long and experimental, just the way I like it. The Sweet Adeline was great in person cos I really had no idea they did the a cappella thing. I was impressed.

Izabella is another rare one, so I dig that I caught that live. And who doesn't want to hear a Jimi cover at their first show? When I heard Also Sprach, I was like, "Shit, I know this!" I still love a good 2001 to this day. I was also psyched for Frankenstein, cos I was familiar with the Edgar Winter version.

So, I left feeling like I was finally a part of it all, ya know. A live show under the's just too funny to look back and realize that it was the covers sticking out more than the rest for me. Yah, I was definitely a noob one time, long ago.

I MUST give my first show 5 stars. It wasn't a bad one, and hey, it's personal!
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by pauly

pauly First Show/Run (had a 12-31-96 tix,but ate it) for me..Drove from CT. 8 and 1/2 took me to get to my 1st show..the show was as good as I could have hoped.

SetI:Some Elton to open up,but it was the gumbo that had me grooving for the very 1st time,the Horse/Silent was liking to my young ears,Crosseyed had me bouncin all over the lawn like some dumb-ass noob..This wild Wilson didnt help either, as I was yelling W-I-L-S-O-N at the top of my lungs and prob,bothering folks around me.

SetII:Runaway was short but rocking(w/a oops from Trey towards the end)Ghost was new,but turned into my fav,new song...monkey seemed out of place,Mcgrupp was strong. I had my other sing along w/Sample.late set 2001 (also out of place) had the place ragin'.and a Golgi to close.
enc:Theme,nothing to special but fitting..

fwiw,the drive from Darien->Went was much worse
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by headyburritos

headyburritos This show is for sure all about the first set, but don't sleep on the second set either.

Fantastic versions of Stash, Gumbo, and Crosseyed in the first set. And to think that at this time, Crosseyed was still a rather rare song and had only been played a handful of times since the Halloween 96 debut. I really like where this Stash jam goes so early in the set. The Gumbo is must-hear Phish. Maybe the next best jam to the Went Gin from this summer tour? You be the judge and you don't have to pick a favorite.. they can be co-favorites!

I was surprised to see that this version of Ghost was not on the Jam Charts. I really liked this version, more than a few others on this tour. Great segue into Izabella, too. Kind of a funny mid-set Sleeping Monkey.. definitely more of an encore song nowadays. McGrupp>Sample is a bit of a slower segment, but that funky 2001 picks things right back up, and the Golgi>Frankenstein closes things strong.

Overall one of the best shows of Summer 97, with one of the marquee jams of the tour in Gumbo
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by jvman

jvman Ah, my first Phish show. The traffic jam was legendary, and as a result, my friends and I missed Amoreena and Poor Heart. We walked up to an empty spot at the back of the lawn just as Stash began, and it was immediately like magic. I didn't realize at the time how special that Stash was, since I had no frame of reference - I just assumed it was always that electrifying.

Since I was a serious newbie (barely 18, heard only official releases prior to this show) there was a lot of music that I didn't recognize at all, but no one could miss the level of musicianship on display all night. I left the concert feeling in love with this band, and it looks like history has really validated that feeling, since everyone seems to agree that this show was a real gem.

I've listened to it several times since then, of course, and I feel that Golgi is really the only low point. I loved that song so much that I thought it was awesome at the time, not caring about Trey missing that last riff. That's the one thing that's changed in hindsight - they just didn't have it together on that song. Hey, it'd be great if Phish could be 100% on all night every night, but they put on hours of music at every show, in constant communication with one another. There's going to be a moment or two, or a song here and there, that doesn't quite work. Listen all the same, appreciate the contrast that those moments give you, and then before you know it you're lost again in the next moment, wondering how they pull it off.
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1: Amoreena: Fairly confident no one call this, lol. Page sounds great. Nice little jam to it as well. >

Poor Heart: Standard.

Stash: Guess this one is underrated. Think it sounds great. Nice jam to it. Big time peak in the early 12’s.

Water in the Sky: Standard.

Gumbo: Mike and Fish just dominate in the early going, crushing it and leading the way. Trey takes the lead in the mid 9’s taking this one straight to Funkytown, USA. They stay in this pocket for a good, long time – it’s great. Eventually this ramps into a blissful, major chord jam that just crushes. Mike sounds AMAZING in here. Trey keeps that going and then layers these great lines on top starting around 15:41 – it is incredibly cool. An all timer for sure, one of the very best. ->

The Horse: Standard. >

Silent in the Morning: LOL at the ending on this one. I guess Trey just didn’t want it to end.

Beauty of My Dreams: Standard.

Crosseyed and Painless: Composed section seems a little slower than most but once they get well into the jam this turns into a hard charging version until the last few minutes that awash with heavy effects >

Wilson: Little drummer boy stuff is cool. This didn’t technically close out the first set but basically it does considering what came next. Wilson to close out the first set is exceptionally rare.

Sweet Adeline: Standard.

SET 2: Runaway Jim: LOL at Trey’s vocal gaffe and then his audible whoops when he belts one to many “Whoaaaaa”. Strong, straight ahead version really rocks.

Ghost: Love this version, the funk is fantastic and eventually it turns into more of a hard edged, aggressive nature with Mike snapping off some of the nastiest bombs you will ever hear. Love this Ghost. ->

Izabella: Fair segue out of Ghost, Trey set it up about 20 seconds before they executed, and it was still a little choppy but oh well. They predictably smoke this one as you would expect.

Sleeping Monkey: Standard. >

McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters: Standard. >

Sample in a Jar: Standard. >

Also Sprach Zarathustra: Seems kind of forced and like the band was shooting darts at the wall to see what would stick but this turns out to be a very strong version. Love it. >

Golgi Apparatus: Sloppy. Very sloppy. >

Frankenstein: Standard.

ENCORE: Theme From the Bottom – Strong as any from 97 seem to be.

Replay Value: Stash, Gumbo, Crosseyed and Painless, Runaway Jim, Also Sprach Zarathustra. The second set seems choppy to me once you get through Izabella.

Summary: The rating of 4.435/5 (193 ratings) seems quite generous to me. I think this show is definitely a 4 out of 5 but not much more than that. I will settle in with a 4.1 out of five.
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by zepphead

zepphead Oh, shit. The above was my first (and apparently second) post to this site. Ever. I didn't realize that editing my post would end up in a double-post!

So here's a Triple! (Nipple!?!)!! Ha Ha, won't happen again, my friends!

Peace and love and the Phish.
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by zepphead

zepphead Ahh, my first show! I was 17, have always lived south of Pittsburgh. By this time I was already hooked, from the first time my buddy played me Fee in his car on the way to hockey practice 3 years earlier, but my live experience up to this point was limited to A Live One and the live tracks off of Junta. I had all of the Phish studio releases at this point and listened to them religiously. This show set the hook like a harpoon.

Amoreena was cool, more in retrospect though, cos at the time I was not very into Elton John and definitely didn't understand the importance of a "debut" in general. And never again played to this day. That's the shit that gets me off about this band - stats. (2nd to the tunes, of course, duh.) Oh, to be a noob again!

This Gumbo is one I go back to again and again, long and experimental, just the way I like it. The Sweet Adeline was great in person cos I really had no idea they did the a cappella thing. I was impressed.

Izabella is another rare one, so I dig that I caught that live. And who doesn't want to hear a Jimi cover at their first show? When I heard Also Sprach, I was like, "Shit, I know this!" I still love a good 2001 to this day. I was also psyched for Frankenstein, cos I was familiar with the Edgar Winter version.

So, I left feeling like I was finally a part of it all, ya know. A live show under the's just too funny to look back and realize that it was the covers sticking out more than the rest for me. Yah, I was definitely a noob one time, long ago.

Writing this has just made one thing apparent, for sure: Phish is so one of a kind that even after 3 years of "religious" listening, after finally seeing them live, that's when you realize you are now finally and only "just a noob". For me, at least.

I MUST give my first show 5 stars. It wasn't a bad one, and hey, it's personal!
, attached to 1997-08-13

Review by Esquandolas76

Esquandolas76 Loved it! Except Theme encore. A little disappointing for me
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