This Runaway Jim is one of the longest versions of any song ever played by Phish. It ran slightly under an hour and included Beauty of My Dreams, Harry Hood, and Super Bad teases and a strong Weekapaug jam where the entire melody of Weekapaug was played. Buffalo Bill was announced as Fish’s favorite song. Moby Dick was performed for the first time since February 19, 1993 (435 shows) and featured Trey imitating Robert Plant’s intro to Moby Dick from the album The Song Remains the Same.
Jam Chart Versions
Teases
Debut Years (Average: 1990)

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

Show Reviews

, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by ColForbin

ColForbin [Posted to rec.music.phish immediately following the show, with all the hyperbole an instant review often entails]

While I'm still wired on caffeine, I figured I'd post a review. If you don't want to read the whole thing, just read the next sentence. SET II FROM TONIGHT WAS QUITE POSSIBLY THE BEST SET OF PHISH EVER IMHO. It was definitely the best I've heard live, and I've heard some nice sets (the Went, 12/29/94 II, 12/30/93 II).

As usual, the setlist comes first:

11/29/97 Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA

Set I (~80 min)
The Wedge, Foam, Simple> TMWSIY> Alvenu Malkenu> TMWSIY, Sloth, Ginseng Sullivan, I Saw It Again, Horn, Water In The Sky, David Bowie

Set II (~95 min, elapsed time after certain points)
Runaway Jim> "Type II Hose Jam" =)(48 min)> Weekapaug Jam*> Jam (58 min), Strange Design, Harry Hood> Prince Caspian, Suzie Greenberg

E: (~15 min)
Buffalo Bill> Drum Solo> Moby Dick**, Fire

*No vocals, just the main riff
**Led Zepplin Cover (1st time played?)

[My scene and security comments from last night apply here too.]

On to the review:

Set I

THE WEDGE A fun opener, nothing special.

FOAM Well played, I hadn't heard it for a while. Pretty standard, I think. Stop-start "segue" into...

SIMPLE After what became of this song at the Went, I probably will never be satisfied with a standard Simple again. And that's what this one was. A pretty normal jam that ended up as...

TMWSIY I don't think they have played this for a while, and it showed. Plenty of flubs by Trey. They got it together for the standard segue into...

ALVENU MALKENU In contrast with TMWSIY, this was played perfectly. Which isn't to say it was anything but standard.

TMWSIY The second stab at this song was played flawlessly. It's a really pretty song if there are no mistakes :-)

SLOTH This is a fun song, but pretty standard. There isn't really anywhere to go with it.

GINSENG SULLIVAN Well done, my favorite of the bluegrass tunes. So far this set is pretty standard all around.

I SAW IT AGAIN Now we're talking. The jam out of this song kicks ass, as does the lighting that accompanies it. I've only heard one other version (7/1/97), and this one seemed to have a longer jam. This is the Phish song you test your speakers with.

HORN Standard.

WATER IN THE SKY Same as the Went. Sappy as all hell, and this time I didn't have my girlfriend to put my arm around ;-)

DAVID BOWIE A little (2 min or so) spacey intro lead into Bowie. This is basically the only song worth mentioning in this set (well, I saw it again was worthwhile too). I'd put this Bowie on a level with 12/11/95, that is, kick ass and fun to hear, but nothing we haven't heard before. It saved the set from being a disappointment, IMO.

Set I rating: 4.5 (without the Bowie, I shudder to think what I would have given it)

Setbreak Music: Don't remeber, really. A woman singing to a hip-hop beat.

We had no idea that a rather mediocre set would lead to what it did in...

Set II

RUNAWAY JIM This song started off like it always does, with no hint of what was to come. The first jam was about what you would expect. But the outro - this went on for about 10 min, while still on the Jim Theme and Beat. When it wavered from the theme, I called what happened next the...

TYPE II HOSE JAM This jam had at least 5 distinct sections (movements, if you will). I drew the line between these sections by the changing of the drum beat, you might be able to count more. Let me just say that this jam will forever allow us to tell people what Type II jams and "the hose" are. There was a little bit of space in here, but most of the Jam was a full-out assault on your mind, with all of the band joining in. At times, Trey would let Page take the lead. Mike layed down a nice bass line the whole Jam, spanking it every now and then, and leading the rest of the band. But Trey definitely was the Star here, using plenty of effects, and layering his sound beautifully. The "movements" would be separated by a deconstruction of whatever theme they were jamming on, and then a new drum beat by Fishman. It is SO HARD to get this jam across in words; the time and awe of those in attendance should speak for itself. After the fifth movement, the drum beat changed once again to what I thought was Runaway Jim. I was wrong. (48 min to this point)

WEEKAPAUG JAM When I thought the jam would go back into Jim, I was very surprised to hear the full on beginning of Weekapaug, minus the bass solo and the words. They jammed on the Week theme for a bit, and then headed into a typical Weekapaug Jam, which then became just a regular old...

JAM All traces of Weekapaug were lost, and it was time to jam again. Thiswas rather short, and slowed down into a spacey effects-laden stew that ended the Runaway Jim to end all Runaway Jims. Grand total: 58 min. I thought that perhaps this would be the whole set. I was wrong again.

STRANGE DESIGN followed, and allowed everyone to enjoy Page's voice and cool down. Played in normal concert style, not CD single style like I wish they would do it.

HARRY HOOD A very nice Hood. But aren't they all? Again, I have trouble with comparing different Hoods, but this one got me VERY emotional, what with all that had transpired in the set so far. At the beginning of the jam segment, right after the "Thank you Mr. Hood" when the lights change, I almost broke down with joy. Isn't Phish great? After the "You can feel good" part, Trey circled his finger to get the rest of the band to keep going. They held the final note until Trey started to play the opening to...

PRINCE CASPIAN A perfect choice to close the set (or so I thought). Nothing spectacular here, but in the afterglow of the Jim, it felt real good. It was sort-of a collective smoke after the sex of the earlier Jam
;-)

SUZIE GREENBERG IIRC[1], this was one of the "retired" songs. Even if it wasn't, the opening was botched like it had been. I thought they were going to abandon it and start over, but they pulled it together. Page had a nice jam in there, and Fishman supplied the screams where necessary. Trey finished up saying something like "Thanks for coming, sorry we didn't get to Destiny Unbound" This seemed like a joke to me, because who in their right mind would have rather heard destiny than what WAS played tonight?

Encore (~15 min)

BUFFALO BILL Fishman played the opening Drum beat to this a couple times, but the rest of the band just kind of sat there. Then Trey said "Now we are going to play Fishman's favorite song" Buffalo Bill followed, and ended up in a...

DRUM SOLO Trey told Fishman to "Take it away" or something here, and he did. A little drum solo lead into...

MOBY DICK This was a real treat! Has it been played before? I think John Bonham might be a little better at the ego-stroking rock-n-roll drum solo than Fishman, but he held his own. This song was really tight, and it was obvious that they know it well.

FIRE I couldn't believe there was yet another song in the encore, but I was happily surprised. Trey was on fire (sorry :-) in this, similar to the way he played J. B. Goode on 11/28. Great encore!

Set II and E rating: 10! (I don't give this grade lightly. YMMV, however. I'm a big fan of long-ass jams. I love the Fleezer, for example. If you think the Ball is better than the Went, you won't agree with me here. And also, you are deaf ;-)

Complete Show Rating: 9 (They played a first set? Seriously, get the second set, but you'll probably have to get the 1st as well to hear the encore due to the length. So enjoy the whole thing! If you care, the average of the sets is 7.25)

Man, I need to go to bed, the coffee is wearing off.

[1]If I Recall Correctly
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by n00b100

n00b100 The following is a review for the Runaway Jim only (the rest of the show, IIRC, is fine but not must-hear the way much of Fall '97 is, although the Foam really is quite good):

Out of the usual Jim jam, Trey starts busting off some loops (with that Fall '97 tone in full effect) and switches to wah-wahed chording as Mike hits on a nice roaming bassline - Fish keeps the Jim tempo, but this is clearly something different. They more or less stay in this zone for the next 5 minutes, the temperature occasionally rising and falling, Page moving towards major key on the piano, then Trey really starts to go off. The bottom drops out and things get contemplative as a fog creeps over the music; this is probably my favorite part of the jam, as the gang go bluesy and almost R&B-ish. Trey finds a sparse guitar line as Mike steps to the forefront, with Fish rolling across his toms nicely.

Fish suddenly decides "enough of this dreamy shit" and kicks things back into gear, Page staying on major key, and Trey goes off again; it's a upbeat jam reminiscent of the latter half of the 11/17/97 Ghost. We return to the Jim tempo (Fish must have thought it was over - we ARE 26 minutes in) and things get weirder and off-kilter - I can safely say that I started to lose a bit of patience here, as this is the sort of thing they did more than once in 2.0, and I didn't care for it then, either. Trey's effects creep in again as the jam puddles into a dark, nasty morass, Mike pushing things along this time, until Trey hits upon another contemplative and sparse series of notes and we enter outer space.

But this doesn't last long - Mike finds his own sparse bassline and we get dark and nasty again, slightly adjacent to the heavy-metal that would plague the 11/30/97 Wolfman's (sorry, everyone, but that segment sucks, and is all the worse for following one of my favorite jam segments ever). They nearly give in to that temptation to just stay heavy-metal for ten damn minutes as Trey just hammers away on chords, but he gets back to firing off squalling solos as the jam lurches forward like a monster pulling itself out of a swamp. It sounds like the jam's died away at the 42 minute mark (which would already leave it one of the longest jams ever), but Fish taps on his cymbals to keep things alive, Trey and Mike have a weird mini-duet, and suddenly the Jim tempo re-emerges and the band rebuilds to a weird and atonal jam space, Page playing seemingly random notes, Mike's bassline roaming hither and thither.

And then, just when you think things haven't gotten weird enough, they suddenly snap into a combination Weekapaug/Runaway Jim jam (Trey and Page are Weekapaug, Fish and Mike are Jim), before Fish shrugs and goes to Weekapaug proper, a moment as thrilling as when Weekapaug popped out of the Murat Gin. I'd probably call it Jim -> Weekapaug Jam, too, since that's really *all that it is* - essentially what they play in Weekapaug, minus the lyrics (or whatever lyrics there are), Trey spitting hot fire over the whole thing, Page hammering away on the keys. The Weekapaug jam dies away, leaving the roar of feedback and the cheering of the crowd.

Final thoughts: A good portion of this jam is some of the best music they'd played all year (which is saying something). A lesser, but not insignificant, portion of the jam is mainly there to push it to 59 minutes. A truly classic jam, but not one I'd consider one of my favorites or anything. YMMV.
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by CaptChaos

CaptChaos I know I'm in the minority here, but I thought this show was super boring, especially after such a great night before.
1st set FULL of do-nothing tunes (accept a monster Bowie), and a long drawn out Jim, that had it's moments, but just isn't that spectacular overall. Length does not equal greatness, despite what some will tell you. The botched Suzie intro is painful, and the fun encore was too little too late, imo.

I had great seats, Page side, real close to the stage, and we noticed someone come out early 2nd set and drop something along w a solo cup on top of Trey's gear. He went back, ate whatEver it was, then washed it down w the contents of the cup. Kinda explains the super long set!
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by RunawayJim4180

RunawayJim4180 Listening back, I actually liked the third night of this run the best (the one I didn't attend as it was a school night!). Highlights that stand out from memory were (of course) mostly the Runaway Jim. I had never heard that tune before either on tape or in person, as I believe I had only attended a few shows before this one (The Went, possibly another earlier that fall that I can't recall off the top). My buddy had seen a dozen or shows prior and was one of those folks who kept a setlist notebook. I remember him conferring with everyone around him about the segues/teases in and out of Jim (at one point he wrote Jim->Weekapaug then crossed it out, Jim->All Blues, then crossed that out, etc). The thing I recall the most is how the entire place exploded for the last 10-15 minutes of that epic jam after somewhat of a lull in the middle. This was one of my first indoor shows and I never looked back, the energy contained within that place was just overpowering! There were lots of "Wows!" and high fives after the jam was over, and I then realized I had seen something pretty epic. God, to be a noob again :)
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by theothr1

theothr1 revisiting this show, while exposing myself to some dreaded spring-cleaningish house chores, for the first time since about a month or so after said show occured...Dan, i absolutely LOVE your review...especially given the jet-fueled, post-show immediacy in which it was written...which also happens to be the reason (hahaha, and i realize it matters not one bit) i will forgive you for calling this a standard version of Foam*...that is all

*- without question, one of the top 3 performances of all-time
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by TwiceBitten

TwiceBitten Has anyone noticed that the first mellow jam in Jim (begining around 14 minutes in and lasting til around 19 minutes) has strong elements of "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" by Traffic?
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by cerqs

cerqs Small little review on the Runaway Jam. From the 20:00 min mark to the 24:00 min mark might be the BEST jam inside that time frame ever by Phish! Download the show and enjoy.
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by JerrysMissingFinger

JerrysMissingFinger Set One Notes:
Wedge is a solid opener, certainly a warm-up, knowing what Fall ’97 openers are capable of, good nonetheless. “Always love a Foam!”, says a friend. The song twists and snakes its way to a peak before giving way to Simple. This placement in the early first set is promising, as we get that familiar soaring lead-in to the jam, entering the Simple bliss-world, floating on audio waves until TMWSIY appears. This is an interesting take, very “improvisational” in the first half, before tightening up, providing so more since flotation in this part of the set. Avenu Malkenu gets the place moving, before we get to the classic, rocker, The Sloth, keeping the Gamehendge-thing going. Ginseng Sullivan is my favorite “bluegrass“ song to get, and Saw It Again, turns things freaky-dark and foreboding. Horn is a great cold weather, hockey arena song. Water in the Sky is nice, can’t say much else. Bowie has a nice spacey extended intro, with feedback and pulsating Mike, with an explosive drop into Bowie-proper. The jam starts out low and mood, Mike’s low notes sound like absolute thrusters, pounding away on this Spreadsheet AUD. The intensity takes my mind to some dark, harrowing places, with the build-up to the peak being truly tense. The release is cathartic, capping the biggest jam of the first set.

Set Two Notes:
Runaway Jam drops. Trey makes some comment about Talking Heads last night. Things cool down, stays low key for a bit, searching, Fish picks up on Trey’s wah-chunks, builds up steam to get Neo-Hendrixian, pounding rhythm section and piano, before cooling off into jazzy low-key flow-funk. Page starts swirling, Mike introducing notes of melody and passing the melody to an octave-strumming Trey. The jam makes a bluesy turn, starting to build on a moody ascending riff that Trey starts to drive outwards. Huge note waves are laid over the crowd, the pace quickening as the hose is opened, a rocking peak section is reached with shreddy Trey, before the jam drops down into choppy wah-funk. Soon, things get tangled and tense, evoking ’94-’95-style weirdness. The moment soon passes, open waters reached. Audio-aurora borealis fills the Centrum, weightless, floating and twisting overhead waves. A center of light appears, drawing the listener upward, floating into peaceful serenity. Tension begins to creep in. Foreboding, pitched-down riffing, demented cosmic arpeggios, the feeling of bad-trip late night radio. The groove is stuck in mud, Fishman 2000 dragging the groove through the haze with forceful pounding on the open hi-hat. Soon, the big rock and roll catharsis starts, Mike hurling balls of bass-plasma out into the Centrum. This is just fantastic jamming, moody rock and roll release, nothing but guitar, bass, piano, and drums producing a wall of heavy, soaring sound. The jam fades into swirling oblivion, becoming strange, AI-fever dream jazz renderings, pushing ahead to twist-up around Fish’s cowbell. The jam is soon very knotted and volatile, bursting with tangled energy, becoming a rolling, confused creation, Page jumping along Trey and Mike’s musical stalactites and stalagmites. Trey pushes for Weekapaug, and the whole band locks on. This soon melts into classic lean cowfunk, Superbad Trey, pushing toward a neo-Hendrixian peak. We get a return to the Weekapaug jam, hitting yet another peak. Jim fades out into glitched guitar feedback, Strange Design emerges. SD is a great landing pad, having just traversed such a strange and disorienting musical landscape for the last hour. “Just relax, you’re doing fine.”, Page assures the listener. By the time Hood drops, I’m thinking, “Wow, what a show, man… Hood, after all of this?” Mike is pounding away in the intro, the Modulus going full earth-mover on this AUD. The intro section settles into hypnotism until “Harry!” bursts through. The jam is very relaxed on this Hood, which is soothing, allowing calm contemplations and considerations of possibilities in an uncertain future with minimal anxiety. What a great contrast to sooth any latent tension from the weirdness that may have been encountered during that Jim. I have to imagine that that Jim caused a freak-out or two, or at least an especially- “What is going on right now?!”-type experience for a few. Caspian follows, just icing at this point. It's Fall ’97, so Caspian rages. Suzy’s start is botched, Fish thought Trey said Golgi. Mike lays down the slap-and-pop funk for Page’s clav, Trey scratches the shit out of the rhythm before Page takes an extended solo, Trey on wah-guitar, Mike slamming the rock bottom of the frequency range. Fish gets his “favorite song” for the encore in Buffalo Bill. What a truly strange song, man, and yet I always am down for one. Fish takes a drum solo, leading to some Moby Dick riffing, which soon turns into a full on take on Moby Dick. These guys are definitely having fun tonight. Fire prompts a “Fucking rage!” comment from a friend, Rockstar Guitarman burns the place down one more time to close the night.

You already know the story of this show, it’s all about the Jim. No one would fault you if you skipped to the Jim. Get situated and prepare to settle in if you really want to get the most out of this one. Might as well listen to the whole S2 and Encore while you’re at it. Every Phish fan should probably take a listen at some point.
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by Abe_Froman

Abe_Froman I listened to this one (again) last night, and...it's a challenge to review it. Because you've got THE Jim, and then a decent show around it. The first set is good, maybe not great, but shoot, The Wedge, Foam to open is very nice, I really liked Simple>TMWSIY, and that's a solid David Bowie set closer.

How does one review a nearly hour long jam? It has stretches of pure flame throwing, where Phish is the best band on the planet, out for blood, and moments where they're trying to get on the same page. You do have to hand it to them though, it's a monstrous thing. Excellent Harry Hood, thrashing Prince Caspian, and I really enjoyed "I thought you said Golgi!" I love little mistakes like that.

So, yeah. Runaway Jim. And a good amount of fine, but not must hear tunes.
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by GrantBrown

GrantBrown These three nights in Worcester have become some of my most favorite performances by this great band. After exploring every tour from every year of 1.0, I have to say there's absolutely nothing like the Northeast in the Winter. It's almost like these guys go into a trance & its just absolutely sick what comes outta those loudspeakers. This show - and the night before and after - is Phish on their own terms & with no filter. And that - is a good thing!
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by WkapgGruvr

WkapgGruvr Just a quick footnote to Dan's review. At the end of Suzy, Trey said "Don't do anything we wouldn't do tonight, and we'll see you tomorrow."
, attached to 1997-11-29

Review by dmacgil1123

dmacgil1123 Probably the best Phish show I've ever been to... Can't wait to go to 6/7 and 6/8 2012, but as they get older and Trey becomes more serious with his guitar, his lyrics, and the shows in general, I don't EVER believe I'll hear them play like this again. This was quite possibly the best year Phish had on tour musically and I doubt 2012 will match it... maybe CK evolved for the better while Phish was on hiatus, but as far as I'm concerned, for $60 a ticket, this band better live up to the hype! Hopefully a limited tour will help as well...
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