, attached to 1997-08-11

Review by Miguelito

Miguelito I was at both of the Deer Creek ‘97 shows. That summer Phish debuted many new tunes, some of which would go on to become setlist staples (e.g., Ghost, LxL, Piper), and this run was the first time I was hearing many of them. There is no denying the strength of the previous evening. It was and remains one of my favorite live experiences. That being said, the second night of this run shouldn’t be overlooked as there are numerous highlights, including a top notch Maze. I’d even venture to say this show is underrated, a rarity in this pretty fantastic year.

Makisupa is a welcome way to open and this is a great, fun version, which transitions nicely into Maze. This Maze is a monster and is not one to be missed! It’s one of the longest versions, and an intense one that just keeps building and building. If you’re a Maze fan, check this one out.

There are a few other gems in this set, including a well-played Guyute and the always-welcome Guelah. The Summer ‘97 LxLs were some of my favorite versions and this one doesn’t disappoint. Patient and exploratory, I really miss the way they played this tune back then.

After a quick Horn, the band closes out the set with an smoldering Antelope. This is an intense version that is a bit more extended than typical and sends us into set break in a fiery way.

Set II opens with Timber. I like this spot for this tune, which was a common placement during this era. While not as interesting or exceptional as some of the other versions for this year (e.g., 11.16.97), this one is solid. Piper too is solid, and it’s over quickly, leading to Vultures. I love this song, and I love this version. There are a few hoots from the crowd during the ending jam but if this version were played today it would be a full-on woo-fest. I’m not a fan of My Soul but the transition from Vultures into it was nice.

This brings us to YEM, which is another highlight. The jam stays in type I territory for the majority of the song and the band really plays around nicely within the confines of that territory. There’s a slow build towards what would usually be the Mike-led portion of the jam but instead the band goes into an interesting noise jam, followed by a brief vocal jam. Mike is particularly fun to listen to on this version, and he’s a beast. Overall, this is an excellent and unusual YEM, which I really enjoyed and clearly the band was having fun. With Character Zero and a Squirming Coil encore, the show is done and we all moved onward to Star Lake.

While I admit to having a bit of attendance bias, I do believe this show has a lot of merit with a couple of standout tunes, including Maze, Antelope, Vultures and YEM. The Maze in particular warrants numerous listens as it’s a fantastic version.
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