Funky Bitch and Stash were unfinished. During Wolfman's, the lights were turned off and Trey and Mike ducked behind the onstage speakers. When the lights were turned back on, they were hidden from the crowd. Wolfman’s also included a heavy metal style jam with Trey quoting the lyrics to Sanity and Esther. Them Changes made its Phish debut at this show.
Jam Chart Versions
Sanity and Esther quotes in Wolfman's Brother
Debut Years (Average: 1992)

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

Show Reviews

, attached to 1997-11-30

Review by TwiceBitten

TwiceBitten I'd like to chime in to say that "insufferable" and "hot garbage" are not the words I would use to describe the "heavy metal record stuck on a loop" jam in Wolfman's. I don't think we should encourage inquisitive young fans to ignore this jam. Phish is a band that is truly committed to being weird and we should applaud them for it. If you can get yourself in the right mind state when listening to this jam and imagine this happening to you live, during the third song of the first set, you'll have better results. This kind of contextual listening is one of the most rewarding things about being a fan of the band. Once you've been to a handful of shows you can listen to any show and put yourself in the building when you blast the tape in the right setting.

This show is such an odd duck and I count it among the most special gigs the band has ever played. Stash -> Free -> Jam is some of my favorite music from the whole tour
, attached to 1997-11-30

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks The kids make noise for the Wolfman's Brother jam, and it was indeed a thing to see, but the final ten minutes are just about insufferable on tape. Oh well: the twenty minutes preceding the lights-out rock riffing are majestic Fall '97 Wolfman's Bro material, and the 15-minute Funky Bitch lead-in is even better - stiff competition with 11/22/94 for best-ever status if you ask me. Page takes out some weird sexual anxieties on the keyboards, it seems; Trey tears a hole in the Centrum roof; and the outro is gorgeous wedding-reception stuff. And you've gotta love that a quartet capable of doing those terrifying math-nerdy things with their instruments can still belt out the final cadence of Love Me like every middle-aged barroom dude band in America.

The second set might not be better but it does go deep: the dark-as-the-ocean-floor Stash > Free > Piper run can stand with the rest of the winding segue sequences of Fall. 11/28 circulates as a tasty SBD and 11/29 has the once-in-your-touring-lifetime Jim Symphony, but this is the strongest Worcester show of the run. It's hard to avoid hyperbole when talking about Fall '97; it was just that deep, varied, and exciting. This isn't the marquee show of tour but it's bold material from the middle of a three-week-long minor miracle.
, attached to 1997-11-30

Review by n00b100

n00b100 This is the sort of setlist that would cause cardiac arrest if it were played today, which makes me wonder why there isn't more talk about this show - especially considering it's part of the mighty Fall 97 jaunt. I've listened to it before without much opinion on it, but it's really started growing on me recently (especially with the discovery of Stash -> Free in SBD form). Let's see how it stacks up in this finest of finest hours for the band.

The first set starts with Guyute, which is Guyute, then rolls into Funky Bitch, which (rather than end in normal fashion) slides into a typical Fall 97 groove, Mike really leading this jam by the hand, and then goes upbeat and melodic (again thanks to Mike) and builds up to a beautiful finish before hitting a dead stop. It's a Funky Bitch definitely worth hearing, and without pause the band rolls into Wolfman's. Trey's soloing is dirty and nasty from the start, and the band explores that space before (again!) going upbeat and melodic, the resulting jam something you might hear in 3.0 (which is meant as a compliment, duh). The band floats on a cloud for a few minutes, playing one of their most gorgeous jams ever (seriously, it's remarkable stuff) before, much like the 11/19/97 version, Trey grabs the jam by the neck and yanks it in another direction. At least here it's not quite as jarring - there's a full five minutes of Trey soloing before they make the switch - but then they go into the heavy metal jam, which is neat for a minute or two, and then keeps on going...and keeps on going...and keeps on going...and then they're playing Love Me and you're jolted awake. If ever you needed a reason why jam length ain't be all end all, it's this jam - a truly amazing 20 minute jam, but a reasonably good 30 minute jam when you consider a full third of it is hot garbage. The rest of the set is fine, but goddamn, two jams of that high a caliber (mostly) in Set 1 should be heard as soon as you can.

The second set starts brightly with NICU, then comes a second-set Stash (I do miss second-set Stashes), which luxuriates in the usual Stash jam for a fair bit before sliding into a relaxed funky groove (reminiscent of the 11/17 Tweezer), Mike once again taking the lead as Trey works his wah wah and Page plays some droning notes. It's a weird alternate-universe Stash, where the band would use the jam to kick back and relax instead of tunnel into the earth, and as the jam dies away Free emerges, and this Free *also* has its own super-chill funk jam, Trey playing chords instead of soloing away, the band totally in tune with each other. They go into the usual Free ending, and then fall into a lovely ambient jam, a little slice of what awaited the fans at Lemonwheel nine months later, Page taking the lead as he so often does in these ambient excursions, before a beautiful segue into Piper. Piper hadn't gotten its sea legs as a jam vehicle yet, so this is a typical slow-build old-ending Piper. Circus and Antelope close out the set, and the one and only Them Changes they ever played serves as a fine encore.

I don't think you can really call this a best of tour contender (you probably could if you snipped that 10 minutes off Wolfman's), but there is a host of beautiful jams, a massive helping of funkiness (easily one of the funkier shows of the tour), and some A+ segues throughout. Drop this show in many other tours, and its praises would be sung to the heavens. As it stands, it's just another reason why Fall 97 is the tour to beat.
, attached to 1997-11-30

Review by User_3390_

User_3390_ Guyute opener was totally sick at the time....this was before they decided to play the shit out of it. But in the mid 90s Guyute was special.
, attached to 1997-11-30

Review by gingerphish

gingerphish As a younger fan who avoided this Wolfman's for some time due to reviews I've read, I'd like add my opinion to the debate. After listening, I would also agree that the end of the jam is skip-able but should be listened to at least once to find out if it's for you. It very much is stuck in a loop IMO but is cool for a little bit.

That being said, I regret not listening to this jam sooner. The opening funk jam and following hose are absolutely must hear Phish. At the minimum, listen to the whole jam once and then keep coming back for the first 17 or so minutes. Overall, this show is awesome. I might like the first night's consistency better but this show stands out for the uniqueness of the jams.
, attached to 1997-11-30

Review by JerrysMissingFinger

JerrysMissingFinger Set One Notes:
Guyute is an interesting opener, never would’ve called it, a solid rendition at that. Funky Bitch keeps it rocking, another strong ’97 FB. At the expected return to the song proper the band just keeps jamming, always a good sign, and the groove sets into a low-slung, lean cowfunk, the audience clapping along to Fish 2K’s snare. The dance groove keeps flowing and shifting organically, pushing into major territory near its end, before hitting a clean stop. Wolfman’s starts up, a great call to keep the funk flowing, soon dropping into a stripped-down B&D-funk, Trey doing nothing but laying down sirens. The jam lifts into a dreamy groove, pushing towards a soaring plain. Soon, the jam starts to twist up, but the tension passes, and the band is back to soaring upon hippy, happy grooves. Soon, the heavy ascending riff gets fired up, bass and guitar growling along together, with some Sanity and Esther quotes. Man, this is straight Vermont-metal, headbanger shit, Fish cackling as CK5 drowns the audience in darkness. The riffage is endless, starting to slow, before charging back to full speed, riffing more, slowing again, riffing more, before fading in feedback oblivion. Love Me suddenly emerges, and after that Wolfman’s Ritual, it’s such a silly 180, and I’m grinning ear to ear… this is funny. Peak Phishiness, and Mike rings the bell in approval. The Squirming Coil provides another degree of contrast to the High Weirdness earlier in the set, Trey singing, “I saw Satan on the beach…” perhaps a clue regarding the origin of the earlier conjuring. After a heartfelt Coil, Loving Cup sends the set out with an uplifting close, Rockstar Guitarman waiting on the ‘doc, the rhythm pounding away below him. A truly Phishy first set, and I dig it.

Set Two Notes:
NICU is a nice opener, though it feels of the warm-up variety. When Stash hits, the promise of a big jam opens. This Stash delivers, staying in a Stashy Type-I space for a while, a great take on the jam. The rhythms start to get a little tribal, and I’m led to disturbing visions of apocalyptic scenarios. Alien visitors take a scan of the crowd at the Centrum, before Trey starts up a wah-chucking, strutting groove. The groove takes on an almost-Timber character, soon becoming pulsating galaxy-funk, true starship dance-party vibes. The jam comes down, spreads out, and the alien scanners return, spreading and pulsing above the crowd. Free emerges, a reemergence into psychological freedom after that abduction of a Stash. Things start to get funky, Mike Meatballin’ across low-key wah-chucks, pounding away at the thick low-end of this Spreadsheet AUD. Fish 2K and Page are totally locked-in, before Trey leads a charge to the peak. Free-proper returns, closing a great version, getting the classic Fall ’97 treatment. An ambient jam emerges, floating on Trey’s noodles and synth lasers, Close Encounters of the Mycological Kind. Piper arrives, burrowing out of the final swirls of the ambient jam, the aliens taking a few final brain scans for good measure before the Red Worm emerges in full. Classic slow-build Piper here, with chilled-out outro going straight into When the Circus Comes, directly addressed to Woostah after the last three nights. Run Like An Antelope closes the set, a textbook ’97-style raging, wide-open ‘lope, Trey pedaling and wah-shredding, Fish 2K absolutely pounding, building to a nutty, knotted peak. Big energy close to the last set of the three-night run. Them Changes encores, the Band of Backpackers paying their respects to the original masters. Trey’s soloing definitely has some sauce on it, before he leads the band into a funk groove, giving way to one more neo-Hendrixian wah-shred.

Out of the three Worcester nights, this one might be my overall favorite. Night One has a unique flavor, especially in the first set, Night Two has the Runaway Jam that rightly overshadows the whole weekend, but I think that overall, this is the most balanced show of the run. Give it a listen, as you listen through the whole tour, of course.
, attached to 1997-11-30

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1:

Guyute: Typical version, but the crowd goes crazy for it.

Funky Bitch: Unfinished. Not your average version! Instead of ending it as they typically would, Trey lays back in the cut just funkily strumming while Mike runs wild and amok. It’s great and I would highly recommend!

Wolfman's Brother: During Wolfman's, the lights were turned off and Trey and Mike ducked behind the onstage speakers. When the lights were turned back on, they were hidden from the crowd. Wolfman’s also included a heavy metal style jam with Trey quoting the lyrics to Sanity and Esther. Man, when this jam hits – it’s just a beautiful thing. Like the Funky Bitch before it, Trey hangs way back in the beginning and let’s Mike take the lead. So mellow and so funky. Absolutely delicious. Please listen to the section in the 9’s and beyond. This is sublime, some of the best Phish music they have offered in their career. When folks talk about the band being in the pocket – this is IT. Doesn’t really get better. It is subdued, but that is the whole point. True perfection. This section goes through about the 14 even minute mark when Trey starts to cycle up the pace. The crunch factor enters the chat around 15:45. 18:55 – the hard core theme enters the chat. You know the one I am talking about. The one that goes on forever. If I ever get to meet Trey, this will be the question I lead with – what was the motivation for this excruciating section? Who were you pissed at? How high were you guys? What were you on? 26:25 people whistling, begging for mercy. None was granted. I know this deserves flames, but I will recommend this version. From roughly 9 through 19 is Phish at their career best. What comes next? Hard to put into words. Would recommend. ->

Love Me: Of all things they could have gone into, lol. Mike’s vocals are quite on point here. He must have practiced a lot for this.

The Squirming Coil: Great Page solo and the incredible dovetail into Loving Cup. This was the first time this combo was matched up in this order, plus 9.19.99, 10.2.99, 12.17.99.

Loving Cup: Perfect way to end this set. Smokes!

SET 2:

NICU: Standard.

Stash: Unfinished. Very intense Type I jam that takes a left turn into Type II territory around 11:55. 13:13 shift into porno funk mode. The eventual staccato playing from Trey is exceptional and driving. In the 16 minute range, the only way I can describe this is ‘coming in and out’ – I am certain this is a very poor description for this section so please listen to it but it’s like the band is dunking you under water and then letting you come up for air – albeit briefly. It’s incredible! By 19:45 this amazing section closes out. Big time, psychedelic effects follow but no finish and then into Free. ->

Free: First and last of the tour. Left off at 1:59, pick up the song at 1:59. This one is pretty funky. But in the mid 7’s it starts taking on elements of that heavy metal jam from Wolfman’s. Folks probably had PTSD already from that but this time, it was very brief, only a few measures. From there it goes into the ending theme. Really good Free and nicely jammed, would recommend! >

Jam: Super heady jam, ethereal. This melts exceptionally well into Piper. Very psychedelic stuff right there! ->

Piper: Page absolutely crushes on this one, banging on that baby grand! >

When the Circus Comes: Very nicely played. Who said this band doesn’t have soul?

Run Like an Antelope: Red hot Antelope! Absolutely smokes, great set closer. Had to have left most a puddle on the floor in the Centrum. They really rip this one.


Them Changes: Debut. Thought Page sounded great with his vocals, very strong. Trey has a ripping solo. This was the only time they played this. Fishman also crushes on this.

Summary: Show absolutely smokes and is the best of the three night run, which is saying A LOT. That Funky Bitch is awesome, and half of the Wolfman’s is incredible Phish. The Stash, Free, Piper run in the second set is amazing and the Antelope and Them Changes just smokes!! The rating of 4.391/5 (192 ratings) doesn’t quite do this show justice. I would give it a 4.5/5.

Replay Value: Funky Bitch, Wolfman's Brother, Stash, Free, Jam, Run Like an Antelope
, attached to 1997-11-30

Review by mancubism

mancubism Love for Stash -> Free >Jam -> Piper

Rocking Stash through 13:00 - reminds us it doesn’t take them long to go deep in a set. Anchors the Q3 through Manteca teases around 8:00, with consistently strong syncopation & collaboration, ultimately rock star domination.

Sharp smooth, buttery tone shift by Trey at 13:00, passes the mic to Mike, Fish keeping it afloat into sublime bliss at 20:00, inevitably and unavoidably into the only Free for Fall 97.

They don’t wast time getting back into the groovy (moo-vy) funk that we heard in set 1 Funky Bitch & pre-darkout Wolfman’s. Strong finish to Free - showing us their ability to just kill even a rare song that tour -> lush coda giving us breath & pause after that workout.

Delicate into Trey & Page on point opening up a lovely Piper. Perfect ending, another lush coda. What a fun romp all around.
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