YEM featured Crosseyed and Painless teases, did not include the bass and drums segment, and ended with a shortened vocal jam that segued into I Didn’t Know.
Crosseyed and Painless tease in You Enjoy Myself
Debut Years (Average: 1991)

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

Show Reviews

, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by andrewrose

andrewrose I thought I would take the occasion of the fifteen year anniversary of this show to write a proper review, considering it was the only one I witnessed on the historic tour, and my first real venture to go see the band indoors. I was 17, and had just had my mind blown at the Great Went a couple months prior. After being initiated at 13 at a home-town show in Montreal in 94, and making my way across the border to the Clifford Ball in 96, 97 was the year I really got deep, and never went back. I had loved the band since first discovering them in 93 or so, but my youth, a relative inability to get to shows, and a general lack of exposure to what it was all about made for a more gradual descent into true fandom. I imagine that’s true for a lot of us in some capacity, especially in the early days of the internet. But it was the internet in ‘97 that really helped move things along. I still remember signing up for my first Hotmail account, and reading about these new songs the band had debuted in Europe: Ghost, Piper., Andy Gadiel’s Phish Page and RMP became daily destinations, and I was really doing my research, accumulating tapes. It was an even bigger pain for fans in Canada who didn’t have access to US stamps for B&Ps (that blanks and postage, kids!). You had to find US cash and send it instead, while sheepishly apologizing for bending the rules ever so slightly. No one seemed to mind much.

So I convinced a friend to finally come see Phish with me, who though also my age was a Deadhead holdout that insisted Phish could never be as good (even though he had never seen either band). We scored a mediocre pair of tickets from Ticketmaster, which didn’t seem easy. And we only opted for the one show, being fairly certain that weren’t going to get clearance from the family for an extended stay. Family drove us down from Montreal, through a snowstorm, and dropped us off.

What can I say? It was magic. That first indoor show where you finally feel like you’re really on the inside of something special. And a perfect Curtain opener. There’s a time in everyone’s fandom where you’re only vaguely aware of some of the rarer songs, and when they appear they just knock you off your feet. It was like that. The YEM that follows is still, to-date, one of my all-time favourites. The jam is the perfect marriage of Fall 97 funk and Trey-led YEM-solo vision. The whole stretch right up through the Crosseyed & Painless tease is flawless. It’s time-capsule-worthy Phish. The vocal jam segues right through into I Didn’t Know, leading to the first Henrietta appearance of the tour. That’s as strong and varied an opening sequence as any other show on the tour, which is certainly saying something.

The rest of the show doesn’t quite have the same caliber of flow as some the tour’s big-hitters (there’s almost no segues, for one), but there are still a ton of stellar moments. For one thing, the Black-Eyed Katy and Ghost are two of Fall 97s biggest, fattest funk-machines. (There’s even some speculation that the Ghost is the first instance of the full-on start/stop funk jam that they’d later revisit, most notably in the Dayton and MSG Tube). The whole band is incredibly locked in all night, and when they let loose and counter that with some sloppy funk it’s just perfect.

The other highlights are more of the tightly-executed in-the-box type variety: a menacing Maze and a gnarly Theme from the Bottom in the first set have their second set foils in Timber and Limb by Limb, respectively. The Timber in particular is a beautiful exercise in restraint, with Trey weaving in and out of major territory ever so slightly. And there’s the Slave.

My friend who I had brought with me still mentions it almost every time we’re at a show together. He was transfixed on Trey all night, a goner from the get-go. And when we talk about this Slave he mentions this one flailing “hippie” we was watching as the band dropped into it. Something about his enthusiasm, the moment; it stuck, it’s forever ingrained in his brain. “I’ll never forget that hippie,” he always says. It’s a great Slave, but those personal moments are really what puts it over the top in the end, aren’t they?

The moment I always remember from this show also has to do with another fan. After the show let out we were walking down those steep outdoor concrete steps of the Centrum that I’ve happily visited many times since. This slightly older guy, a little dirty but with-it and somewhat wise-seeming asked us if we had seen any other shows on this tour. “No,” I replied, “just this one.” There was nothing assuming about his tone, or condescending or anything. He just had a bit of a twinkle in his eye and kind of looked passed me and back at me and smiled and said “yeah, it’s been pretty great.”

Now if we were wiser we would have stuck around for the hour long Runaway Jim the next night, but instead we hopped on a bus to visit family in Boston for US Thanksgiving. I think we went to see Alien: Resurrection in the theatres that night. No big deal. We scored mail order tickets to all three nights at MSG a couple weeks later.
, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks In light of the 11/29 Jim and the devastating 11/30 show (never mind the midweek triumph in Hartford), this show tends to be relegated to 'little brother' status. But it's a great concert - and one of very few Fall '97 shows for which tasty SBDs circulate. The first set is full of strong performances, particularly a YEM fit for the bomb squad, but the second set is just wall-to-wall improvisatory mastery.

The songs are self-contained (save for the Ghost > Johnny pairing), but the whole band plays dynamically and creatively throughout, enjoying the freedom of a night without a 300-mile commute to the next show. Those were the days of 12-15 minute LxL's (it's an 8-minute tune now); as in the breathtaking Went versions, the boys make the most of the extra breathing room. Timber goes dark and Slave shines a light, but the real show is the climactic Ghost, an exercise in pinpoint funk that seems to capture some of the band's freewheeling practice-room energy.

11/30 is the best show of the Worcester stand, I'd say, but considering the fidelity of available recordings and the quality of this second set, you shouldn't hesitate to track down this entire show.
, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by ColForbin

ColForbin [Posted to immediately following the show]

The Scene: Downtown Worcester does not make for a great scene. A lot of fans were chilling in the shopping mall nearby; while we were eating at the food court, some girl came up to us and offered us shrooms and kind buds. Oh yeah, we were accosted several times outside by people trying to sell us fake colonge and perfume. Weird.

Security: No problem getting in, dicks during the show. Nuff said.

The Crowd: Did anyone else think the crowd was really LOUD? Not during the songs or anything, but the cheers were crazy!

Set I

THE CURTAIN: I was pretty psyched they pulled this out of retirement for me. Nothing you haven't heard before, they may have been a bit rusty with this song on the shelf for so long...

YEM: Oh boy, I was excited to hear this as the second song. It was a DAMN good version too. Pretty standard opening section, and the tramps were in full effect. Once the jam got kicking though, things got interesting. The C&P jam was amazing; my friend and I both recognized it as a song, but it took us a couple minutes to figure it out. Trey jammed on the MELODY to C&P; not sure if the teases in other shows have been like this. Trey was ON FIRE during this part, and then they went into a stop jam like the 96 Vegas Weekapaug. Man, this YEM is a must-have! The jam kind of faded away and I heard some singing; at first I though it was Kung, but as I heard it more clearly it was...

I DIDN'T KNOW: I like vocal jams and all, but I'd rather hear I Didn't Know instead. It was the "Return of Henrietta" as Trey put it, and Fishman proved that he still had the skills on the electrolux. Was this song retired too?

MAZE: This was a great Maze, definitely above average. Much better then the Went, which is the last I'd heard. The energy was REALLY high throughout. Page really ripped it up on the keys during this Maze, as usual.

FARMHOUSE: A welcome respite from the intensity of Maze. I liked this version better than the Conan version, but it wasn't anything special.

BLACK-EYED KATY: This is the song that Phish will destroy America with. I couldn't possibly do it justice without the tapes, but it contained a long funky jam at the end that sounded like it could have come straight out of YEM. Jake, who had heard the Vegas version off the web said this one KICKED ITS ASS! This song is what I have been looking for from Phish for a long time. A song that is just a jam. No stupid words screwing it up ;-)

THEME: I don't remember much about this Theme, but I do remember enjoying the jam a lot. By now you should want this set anyway, so you can hear it yourself when you get the tape.

Rocky Top: Was Rocky Top. Not much to say here...

Set I rating: 8 (and I mean it!) The YEM and Black-Eyed Katy warrant this rating, and the Maze and Theme reinforce it.

Setbreak music: Some Irish-like stuff. Setbreak lasted around 45 min.

Set II

TIMBER HO!: This may just be the best Timber Ho! ever. It actually contained an extended jam segment, with Trey taking the lead, using effects to achieve that "textural" feel of the old-school Frees, but this jam was a lot more melodic. Type I all the way. If you've heard a better Timber, let me know, because I'd love to hear it.

LIMB BY LIMB: I love this song. This had a nice jam in the middle, as usual. I liked this jam better than the Went, it had a little less of the Circus guitar effect that Trey likes (I believe this effect raises the ptich an octave...) and a little more of a full-band approach. The ending with Fishman playing by himself seemed a little odd, he may have screwed up.

SLAVE: I have a tough time distinguishing between good and great Slaves. I do know that I experienced the same teary-eyed transcendence that I usually do during Slave. Trey circled his finger in the air at the end for the band to hold the last chord and they went into...

GHOST: You saw the notation in my setlist. I'm not kidding, this is the best Ghost that I have heard (and I've heard a bunch), and probably the best of all the Ghosts I haven't heard. The jam was ALL Page for about 5 min., using the synth on top of the baby grand. Mike was spanking the bass to accompany him, and Trey was strumming nearly inaudibly. But when Trey came in, the Jam TOOK OFF. Trey soloing, then the band all joined, them back to Trey alone. They threw everything into this jam. The Stop-Start thing. Nice Type III going on in here. This Ghost is what the new Phish is all about, IMNSHO. I might even call it the Albany YEM of Ghosts. Then, they segued into:

JOHNNY B. GOODE: I've only heard a couple other versions of this song, but I have never heard the energy level this high, nor the solos this fierce.


MY SOUL: Pretty standard, nowhere near the level of the Went. Frankly, Phish had amazed me enough for one night...

Second Set Rating: 8 (Ghost and Timber Ho take the cake)

Total Show rating: 8
, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by DanceTheJig728

DanceTheJig728 Easily a top 3 Fall '97 show for me. They come out of the gates swinging with a Curtain opener that crashes right into one of the best YEM's ever played in my opinion. This jam is just explosively funky and is a poster child for the Fall '97 sound.While there was no B n' D segment, it still brings the heat. The rest of set 1 is somewhat standard but still very strong, with a fantastic Maze and BEK. Then again most BEK were pretty damn good.. Timber is an amazing set 2 opener choice in my opinion and this version does not disappoint, clocking in at around 13 minutes and getting set 2 started on the right foot. LxL is nice in this slot I think and I always enjoy hearing early versions of songs. A treat of a mid second set Slave is always welcome, and this one has a great jam as well. Next is one of my favorite jams of the tour that doesn't seem to get the love it deserves. This Ghost is incredible and the start-stop jamming will get anybody up and shakin' their booty. Sometimes I don't know what I enjoy more, the jam in Ghost or the segue into Johnny B. Goode which comes out of no where and is incredibly fitting. My Soul isn't one of my favorite Phish tunes (It actually was when I first started listening to them ironically) but I think it puts a nice cherry on top of this gem of a show.
, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by TwiceBitten

TwiceBitten Wow, really strong Slave and Ghost in the second set.
, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by CaptChaos

CaptChaos Top 5 show for me. Great stuff top to bottom, no filler tunes outside of an extraneous set closing Rocky Top.
, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by JerrysMissingFinger

JerrysMissingFinger Set One Notes:
The Curtain opens, the first Curtain in the United States in ’97. Always a great opener, Curtain immediately gives way to the opening notes of YEM, a serious 1-2 punch. Dig the placement, always impressive to get a YEM this early. The Pre-Nirvana (?) section is fucking trippy, man, alien signals penetrate the Centrum and its vulnerable passengers. YEM is a song surely suited to that relaxed, wide-open, confident, funk-forward Fall ’97 treatment. The YEM jam here certainly proves that. Liquid Meatballin’ Mike, Trey lays down the siren, Fishman 2000 powering the dance moves, Page on the clav, it’s on… this is the second song?!? Soon, Page and Trey get synthy-weird, and conspire to burrow deep inside the listener’s brain. Once inside, Trey starts letting licks out to bounce around the inside of the listener’s skull, leaving the listener getting the distinct mental taste of Xeyed. At this point, we are inside the quintessential Fall ’97 sound/space, relaxed funking with alien signaling, often pushing for neo-Hendrixian territory. The funky-groove-weirdness-syncopation-chill-dance-space goes deep in this one. I Didn’t Know serves as the vocal jam here, and I like it in that purpose. I wonder though, as this is Henrietta’s first appearance this tour, if Trey sprung a trap to lure Fishman out, a la 8/10/97. Nerdy level of over-analyzation? You’re on .net too. Maze features great patience and tasteful playing by Page, with great tone on his organ. Trey is particularly fiery as well. This has been a great start to the show. I honestly get way into these early Farmhouses, and I think that this one is in the perfect placement. A friend comments, “Trey’s tone here is spot on.” Yep. BEK has me thinking, “This set is sweet.” I’m into this call. They can play BEK in every show in this tour and I’d probably still be into it. Trey reprises that funk riff from the 11/26 2001 (also, 12/29 Tube). This is certainly an engaging BEK. Theme, I’m just going to come out and say it: I don’t really like Theme, the song. I like the jam, but the song doesn’t do much for me. This one is its soaring self in a relatively concise, straightforward version, perfectly suited for its role in this set. Rocky Top comes charging out of Theme’s big ending, a high energy closer. Great first set for me, benefitted from well-balanced and engaging song selection and placement.

Set Two Notes:
I think that Timber is an underutilized song, and that it should get (and should have gotten, throughout the band's career) more chances to go big. Here, it is given that opportunity. The groove gets tangled up, a bit thrown off center. The Timber-pounding continues outward into this jam, with the music becoming increasingly dissonant, then even Stash-esque for a few moments. The band sounds so comfortable as they approach near-meterless territory. Jerry arrives to great the listener, closing the jam, exploratory and crazy-dissonant, but still measured and relatively concise. An intriguing, if not overly deep, take on the song and opening number for the set. LxL has me thinking about the vaguely sinister absurdist lyrical content found across Phish’s music. We get raging Trey over familiar extended-LxL territory, Hendrixian-school guitar work over a stoned-Yes-groove leading a return into LxL proper. Slave arrives next, and this is truly an interesting placement. I discuss with a friend about how we each feel that we are both pretty conditioned to feel like we are at the end of a set when Slave drops. Let’s just see where this takes us, though; one should never assume any show’s progression or where they will be led. Trey runs the brain-scanner ray over the crowd during the “dark, heavy” section. Wow, this is a nice, patient, building Slave. Page’s stereophonic swirl provides pure bliss before Trey pushes to a cathartic peak. Ghost drops, a great call. It is clear that this has been cued up with the intention of being a centerpiece jam, so let’s see… Man, that Slave was nice…. Mike is slappin’ the bass like a madman, driving this lanky, stripped-down cowfunk… sirens start, beats drop-out, Trey is caught in the wah-spotlight, Mike kicks it back in with the fight bell… “Let’s get ready…” – great stop-start jamming emerges, and soon, the first peak is shredded through. The music drops down low, Mike getting sci-fi dancey, bell-ringing when it suits him. The jam continues to descend even further, soon resembling a hushed conversation in a swanky, smoky droid-speakeasy. The push back upward begins, and suddenly, like the rising Sun, fully formed dance-bliss rock and roll segment > Johnny B. Goode. JBG seems to serve here as Ghost’s second peak for me, and they definitely rage it. I do think that JBG is an interesting cover choice for the band. I’m reminded of many instances of Trey giving way to his pursuit of the Rockstar Guitarman on this tour. This era of Phish has a distinct sly confidence and swagger to it, that is for sure. JBG ends a five-song set, one that built on an interesting upward progression, placing its centerpiece jam, Ghost, at the end of its build and set, and going out on JBG’s peaking bang. My Soul continues to haunt 1997, this time in the encore slot. This is un undesirable encore pick for me. I’ll leave it at that.

Should you listen to this show? Yes. You definitely should. Is it the first Fall ’97 show I’d point someone to? No, I’d tell someone to start in Vegas and listen to them all in order. Every show is a piece of a whole, this one is no exception. It’s got a unique flavor, too. Great start to the Woostah run.
, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by headyburritos

headyburritos What a HOT show to kick off the three night Worcester run. And it just keeps getting better! By this point in the Fall Tour, they have definitely found their groove and have figured out how to deliver great shows and standout jams every single night.

The first set is kind of interesting... it doesn't seem to have a ton of the typical 97 flow to it, but still has some really great jams. The 24 minute YEM is definitely a highlight, especially so early in the show. It's a bit different than most YEMs in that it didn't really have the bass/drums part, and the vocal jam was very minor. But I think I'll take the solid 10+ minutes of funky jamming they delivered instead. The other highlight of this set is Black-Eyed Katy. Probably the best BEK of the tour so far, maybe in all of 97? Very good and funky.

Set two is also a bit mellow to start, but still brings some serious heat. Definitely strong versions of Timber and LxL to get things going. Slave is an interesting mid-set choice as it kind of feels like the song that usually wraps things up late in a show. However, in typical Phish fashion, they mix it up and go hard in the final stretch of the second set. This Ghost is a keeper. You know the drill; solid funky grooves with the usual stop/start jams, and then raging guitar god Trey bringing it to a peak as they fly into Johnny B. Goode to wrap up the second set. Hot hot heat on night one!
, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Personally to me the 1st set is far superior to the 2nd in this show. The Curtain is a completely out of left field type opener. The YEM that follows is superb and includes a very clever vocal segue into I Didn't Know which is finally polished. Maze is always welcome and this one is complete and total fire. Farmhouse is still very young in this show but Trey plays it completely inspired I really like this version. It also has one of the better Black Eyed Katy's, Trey chops his guitar with nice funky licks. And as expected Theme is fantastic like every other version from '97.

The 2nd set is pretty meaty Timber and Limb by Limb have a nice little stretch to it but I feel like they don't go anywhere interesting really. Slave is pretty decent but not a top version from this year. Ghost is the highlight of the set it has some nice experimentation but is completely outshine by the majority of the version from this year.

Encore is straight forward.

Overall not a standout from this tour, but still worth checking out for the 1st set.
, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by TheDividedSky87

TheDividedSky87 One of my favorite shows! A terrific 1st set opener! :)
, attached to 1997-11-28

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1:

The Curtain: First since 2.20.97, a 57 show gap. Intro is a little rusty. >

You Enjoy Myself: Killer placement. You would have to go back to 2.14.97 and then 12.2.96 to see similar placement in a two set show. Crowd is first shocked then goes bananas upon the opening notes. Great nirvana section with some cool yet brief Page effects. Crosseyed And Painless by Talking Heads at 14:40. Love the loops when the jam hits. Super funky and then eventually turns into a rager and then turns back into a funky space. Would recommend this version. ->

I Didn't Know: Standard.

Maze: Page’s solo seems a little out of sync. Pretty average version here.

Farmhouse: Standard.

Black-Eyed Katy: Not quite as good as Winston Salem, but not too far off that level. Would recommend.

Theme From the Bottom: Super solid. >

Rocky Top: Standard.

SET 2:

Timber (Jerry the Mule) - Nasty, dark, and evil. Intense version for sure. Would recommend. >

Limb By Limb: Two fabulous peaks. Trey puts on a clinic. Would recommend.

Slave to the Traffic Light: I LOVE the loops in the intense part of the composed section. Adds so much tension. The crowd is downright unruly during the quiet part of the jam. There is one false peak that is pretty good. They weren’t satisfied with that, so they go for it again not long after. This climax is a little bit frantic but strong, nonetheless. Would recommend. >

Ghost: Lots of spirited goofing around during the lyrics from Trey and Fish. Mike leading the charge in the beginning of the jam with Fish and Trey still goofing off vocally. Big time loops in the late 4’s set the stage. Things settle a bit at 7 and a half. Trey yells something to Mike. They basically do a stop start thing a few times that was so typical during this tour. We are deep down the funk rabbit hole. Mike puts on a clinic in the mid 9’s and from there Trey comes charging over the top. It’s on now. Not so fast my friend. By the 12 minute mark things have gone quiet again with Mike stomping on his bell and Page and Trey taking the jam in a bluesy direction. Around 14:40 the jam is starting to take on that klezmer sound you would expect out of SOAMule. By 16:20, Trey comes charging over the top in a blaze of glory intent on setting fire to the Centrum. Awesome last couple of minutes to this one, all time version and would highly recommend. >

Johnny B. Goode: Ripped it up.


My Soul: Typical hard rocking version, no surprises here. Fishman eggs Trey on during his solo – and he delivers, he kills it. Two straight ahead rockers to close out this show.

Summary: First set comes charging out of the gate with that The Curtain bust out and then a surprise YEM in the two hole. From there, the set is pretty much standard fare. The second set though, they really open it up and put on a show for the fans. An absolutely great set of music during one of their best tours. Awesome stuff. Tons of highlights. I would concur with the current rating of 4.493/5 (286 ratings).

Replay Value: You Enjoy Myself, Black-Eyed Katy, Timber (Jerry the Mule), Limb By Limb, Slave to the Traffic Light, Ghost
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