Soundcheck: Dog Log, AC/DC Bag, Ginseng Sullivan, Black-Eyed Katy

SET 1: Golgi Apparatus, Run Like an Antelope, Train Song > Bathtub Gin -> Foam, Sample in a Jar, Fee > Maze, Cavern

SET 2: Tweezer -> Izabella -> Twist -> Piper, Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise

ENCORE: Rocky Top

This show is available as an archival release on
Debut Years (Average: 1991)

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

Show Reviews

, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks I tend to forget that the first set of this show even exists, because the second set is - maybe, I suppose we should say 'maybe' - the finest set of the finest year of Phish. Like the 11/17 show, this one's got everything: knife-edge cow funk, classic rock homage, eerie soundscapes, that ambient-roar 'space jam,' and the whipcrack segues that would all but disappear a couple of years later. Twelve years after it went down, it's the intense focus that gets me the coherence: there are no dead spots, no throwaway moments, just continuous shared creation. Even Phish's unfortunate musical dick joke (Sleeping Monkey) can't dispel the breathless energy of the jam out of Tweezer. The suite of four tunes that opens the second set feels like an old-school Tweezerfest a la 5/7/94, though of course we don't get back to the Tweezer theme until the set-ending Reprise. It's all of a piece - Izabella is just a coalescence of the 'space jam,' Twist spills out of Izabella's stop/start funk outro without breaking that loping rhythm, and Piper feels like gathering up shattered pieces of the three songs preceding it.

Despite wandering freely between styles and tempi, the second set of this show feels like a single piece of music - certainly as cohesive as the previous week's Runaway Jam in Worcester. It doesn't have the upbeat catch-all catholicism of a show like 11/26/97, but it's not meant to: this is a single statement. And I guess there's a first set in there somewhere - probably right before the second set, now that I think of it - and if you've got an hour to spare you can probably listen to that one too. I hear the band's decent.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by n00b100

n00b100 In a way, it's kind of a shame that the first set is not a classic one (which is not to say it's bad by any means - the lovely and intense Antelope is worth hearing, as is Gin -> Foam), because if it were anywhere near as good as, say, 12/7/97 I, the debate on "best Phish show ever" would be closed, if not at least severely curtailed. Any time a new thread would start up on the forum, everyone would just go "c'mon, Auburn Hills '97" and we could move on with our lives. Sadly, it isn't, and thus we must continue to talk up 11/22/97 and Big Cypress and NYE '95 and all the rest and hope that someday Phish plays a show that settles the argument once and for all, while lamenting how close they came 15 years ago.

Obviously you can see where I'm going with this - if Set II isn't the best set Phish ever played, then it is not only in the conversation, but speaking louder than damn near everybody else. Not only are we blessed with some of the craziest, most intense, roller coaster-ride jams of all time, with the gnarly and wicked Tweezer, the super tight Izabella jam that James Brown would surely have been proud to hear come from his band, and the jawdropping Piper that closes the meat of the set, but we also get two of the all time great segues, with Izabella appearing from the mists of the Tweezer jam like some kind of fever dream and Twist smoothly arriving from the Izabella jam with an acrobat's grace. This is one of those sets that almost make all other Phish sets redundant - want boisterous rocking, pinpoint funk, scary industrial noise, or the kind of groupthink creativity that only comes with the best of the best nights? Well, look no further, 12/6/97 has you covered.

This probably isn't the best show Phish ever played - both sets count, lest we forget - but the second set is damned near good enough to make that a technicality. And we have it in pristine sound, forever and ever, to listen to again and again. If this isn't the mountaintop, it doesn't matter, because you can still see the stars from here.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by doggonedog

doggonedog until this date funk was not invented
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by markah

markah (just found the entire review...which was posted to long, long ago)

On Sat, 6 Dec 1997, Mark Hutchison wrote (in reference to Friday night's
Cleveland Show):

> Hopefully,
> tonight's show will be completely overshadowed by what's going to happen
> in Detriot. :)

And it happened. :) As I said before, Phish played a spectacular show in
Detriot last Saturday. It was pure magic. Moments like those are so hard
to put into words; the moments were an energy so intense you can feel it
all around you connects the band, the audience, you, and the music. I've
heard more than one person say "I didn't think that they could put on a
good show at The Palace..." but the 21,000 people that turned out surely
saw the error in that thinking.

I've already posted the setlist, so I'll get right to the "meat" of the

SET I: Hmmm...the preshow music selection was Bitches Brew by Miles
David. This album has a great history: it pioneered Jazz-Fusion in 1968?
and I've heard it as pre-show music at least twice before. Once was the
first night of Deer Creek this year, and the other was in Pittsburgh.
BOTH were incredible shows, so I had high hopes.

The boys came out at 8:02 to a roaring near-capacity crowd at The Palace.
It was so loud, and you could tell the band was as excited as we were.
This was probably (and I'm not sure so correct me if I'm wrong) the
biggest place they'll play on the tour, and I think they were warming up
for NYE. After letting the audience scream for a half a minute or so,
Trey counted it off and they hit the downbeat to...

GOLGI: Solid opener. Not necessarily a song I'd want to hear in the
middle of the set, but everyone was definately. This song was just lod
and spastic enough to get the energy off to a great start. Plently of
energy was built up in the rising passage before the reprise of "I saw
you, with a ticket stub in your hand" into the end of the song, and they
used this energy to feed them for...

ANTELOPE: Wow. This was something I could not believe. I did not expect
to hear this tonight. This jam shredded through all the gears and was
brought to a screaming climax and held there while half of us cheered and
the others looked onto the band with disbelieving eyes. This was a fierce
Antelope, and for the second song in the first set, it was unbelievable.
Totally out of control. Then the wall-of-sound vanished, and left the
pre-marco groove in its wake. The Palace was so loud, both from the
cheering and the music, that I could not even hear the groove for about a
measure and a half. They played around a bit in here, and Ry-Ry-Rocco was
greeted warmly with a cheer. "Set the gearshift for the high gear of your
soul" evoked it's usual rapturious respomse, but it seemed to have more
life this time. I have said many times that this is our [meaning fan's]
National Anthem. This is why we go to shows, to "Set the gearshift." This
sentiment was right on tonight.

TRAINSONG: This was a perfect let-down from the raging jam that preceeded
it. The reason I like this tune over, say, If I Could or Billy Breathes
is because it's a downer, but not a slow song. It's simple, but it's not
empty. It tells a story, it's not a ballad. Trainsong rocks. ;^)

GIN: Another first-set Gin? Phish was supposed to know that we were all
at Champaign and we already heard this one! This was no monster, clocking
in at 12 minutes, but it certainly was good. Looking back, I can't really
say that it was revolutionary other than the fact that you usually don't
hear a first-set Gin after you have heard a raging Antelope. But it was
nice and funky, and featured *nice* work by Page in the beginning that
everyone cheered for. The evil that lurks in Page's soul that is always
revealed bit by bit in Gin...

FOAM: Pretty much a suprise to us, even though we'd seem the omen on the
way to Cleveland (we passed a semi with red letters stencilled on the back
reading "Foam -- Foam"). I'd heard it at Alpine this summer, so I was
able to more listen to the layers in this tune and how each part acts to
create this effect. It really is a great composition. It was definately
nice to hear.

SAMPLE: It had to happen. Oh well, at least there was only one
"whatever" in this set, and for that matter, the whole show. This isn't a
*terrible* song, though...well, yes it is. But alot of the crowd got
pumped, so I guess that's good.

FEE: Hmm...they did it again. It's really odd, we saw this one in
Champaign, too. They hadn't played it since 2/25/97, and now twice in 2
weeks? All things told, though, I really didn't mind hearing this. Since
I knew everyone would sing along with this, I was expecting it. But it
didn't happen as badly, I didn't think. One thing I was able to tune into
was Page's Piano playing in this tune. A lot of really nice runs when he
had the lead. I was excited to hear another jam out of this a-la
Champaign, and they didn't let me down. This time the jam disolved and
went into Fishman's hi-hat opening which can only mean one of two things,
both of which are good: Bowie or Maze. This time it was...

MAZE: This version had the energy of 5 typical Mazes. It was just over
the top. I love the intro of this song; the way each part falls on top of
the rest until Trey's ultra-comples line caps it all off and they nail the
double stops after "The overhead view is of me in a maze..." A nice B-3
solos from Page that seemed to go on a bit longer than usual and then Trey
took over and really began to shred on his guitar. And the energy
never let up until the wind down where they go beck into the layered
part from the intro. And I love the little ditty tha tthe song ends
with, only Phish could do something that quirky after such a serious
jam. This version came in at 16 minutes, a nice healthy Maze.

CAVERN: Yup. I knew when they started this up that the set was over.
It's just got a perfect place to say "Thanks a lot everybody, we'll be
right back" or whatever. This was another song for everyone to sing along
with, but not a weak set closer by any means. Maybe it's just me, but
everything in the set seemes to have a special energy that kept it from
getting lame (except Sample ;-p).

The Setbreak was 41 minutes long, and was filled with me basically sitting
there and going "wow." I did meet Andy Gadiel, which was a pleasure, and
got to visit with Dave and Tim in the taper's section.

SET II: At one minute after 10 the lights went down again...

TWEEZER: Ok, come se dice "INCREIBLE!" Whern they came out to open the
set, Trey teased the first few notes of Tweezer to let us all know what we
were getting, then they played around with some crazy, spacy effects for
at least a minute or two before launching into Tweezer right out. I said,
"What are they doing?" to which Josh Zelkowitz replied "Crazy shit!" It
was really funny, but I guess you had to be there :) Upon reaching the
jam section, they dove into a deeply funk-laden jam that had me grooving
_hard_. At one point they all took solos and the band dropped out for a
couple of measures. After long sections of funky jamming that they'd build
up and let settle down again, they reached a driving section with a faster
tempo. After this new groove settled in, Trey began a gloriously soaring
solo over the top of it. It was truly a beautiful moment. Up until
tonight, the Tweezer of 10/22/95 Champaign [The show where I decided I
like Tweezer] was my favorite, but not any more. This glorious, beautiful
melody morphed into a driving hard-rock anthem, and shortly thereafter I
noticed Phish had begun playing...

ISABELLA: If you say the Tweezer ended when this song started, you still
have a 23 minute Tweezer. But Isabella was really just a topping on this
Tweezer jam sandwich (More on that later...). Isabella is a great Hendrix
tune that Phish has not been playing all that long, but it has rocked from
the start. (I believe it began in Dublin in June, and I saw it before in
Pittsburgh) Pure arena rock here. This was so so so so sooooo full of
energy and so intense; it was just great. It was placed perfectly in the
set, and perfectly in the Tweezer Jam. After this song was over it
quickly wound down and settled into more funk, which I labeled "Tweezer
Jam" when I sent out the setlist. It only lasted 3 minutes by my watch,
but there was some crazy, amazing stuff going on in those 3 minutes. My
mind was blown by whatever went on there. I cannot wait to hear it again.
Anyway, the instruments began to drop out till it was just Trey and Mike
playing very empty contrasting lines, and they were into the beginning

TWIST AROUND: If you haven't yet heard this song, you are missing out.
Check the Sugarmegs homepage or get a tape with this song on it, because
it _rocks_. I really don't think it's pop-friendly as Rob stated in his
review in the Michigan Daily this morning, because it is, really, a quite
empty song. What I love about it, though, is the way the parts overlap in
the instrumental and vocal lines...kind of like Bouncin' only not lame. ;)
It builds to a great, energetic ending, and they used that plateau and
took it into an entirely new level with...

PIPER: This had to have been the absolute high point of the show. Again,
if you have not heard Piper, _do_. If you're one of those people (and I
know you're out there) who say "all this song really does is build..."
Ecaxtly. That's exactly what Slave does, that's exactly what Hood does.
They build. And Piper takes an already energetic jam, and slams it into
the stratosphere. Or, at least, it did tonight. Great, great, great
song, and a great way to peak the evening. This went back into an
Isabella-sounding jam, which rocked very hard.

ISABELLA JAM: Yes, this deserves its own section. After rocking quite
hard for a few minutes, it began to truly sound like they were jamming
Tweezer, Isabella, Piper, and Twist Around all at once, passing
effortlessly through the funk, gloy, hard driving arena rock, and
excitation all at once. It was incredible. This all went on for about
six minutes, and then this amazing jam (do your self a favor and HEAR this
again, I know I need to...) disolved into...

SLEEPING MONKEY: "Huh?" is always your first reaction when you hear rhis
coming up, because it is completely out-of-order, no matter what had been
going on. But once you realize that performing this song is all about
having *fun,* (why else would Fish stand on his drum stool to belt the
last verse in falsetto?) you realize why it typically comes after some
amazing jams (see 11/15/96 Keil Center and 8/13/97 Pittsburgh) and why
Trey was dancing around like he was. He was incredibly active Saturday
night...never have I seen him bop around the stage like that. I mean, in
Cleveland he got down, but he was not prancing all over the stage and
doing his funky walking/dancing that he was doing in Detriot. I think he
just had a blast, as did Page, as you could tell during the Tweezer jam as
he laid back and groved to Mike's solo, as well as back in the first set
during Gin (he was _really_ feeding off the audience) and during his
little solos in Fee (after which he's creen back and smile). Fishman was
also having fun, which I first picked up during his extended "Woo!"'s in
Twist Around (Fish usually screams when he's excited...that's what makes
11/30/96 Arco Arena, Sacramento one of my favorite PYITE's). Sleeping
Monkey is just a tune to have fun on, and it was a great way to sort of
end the set...a real treat to say "thanks for coming." Although Monkey
didn't really close the set. Right on the heels of Monket's last notes
(ie, it would be a > as opposed to a ->) was...

TWEEZER RERISE: Played as usual, except with an arena full of totally
crazed energetic fans who didn't want this show to ever end screaming.
When Trey went up to the highest octave, the place (or at least I did)
erupted. And the lights at the end were just crazy.


ROCKYTOP: If you asked me on a typical day, I'd say "Eeeh," as by best
opinion of this song. But I think it was the perfect encore to the show.
plenty of energy, and a good way to send us off into the night with high
spritis. Granted, a Hood or YEM encore would have been choice, but I
almost think that's asking too much. And, yes, I do think you can ask too
muh when it comes to Phish. :)


I was completely overwhelmed by the Palace show. When it was done, I had
a similar feeling to the one I had after the Went. "What do I do now?" I
thought. Luckily, that was already answered for me...I went to Steve's
house and had a party till 4 am. After Champaign I though "Wow. I really
have to say that's the best show I've ever seen." But I have to think
long and hard about how Detriot compared. Such is the beauty of Phish
2000. It's really incredible to be at this stage right now, where I can't
decide which of 2 shows that I saw about 2 weeks apart was the best show
I've ever seen. I just with I could have been in State College tonight,
then Rodchester, then Albany...

Oh well, watch for the Dayton review later tonight!
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by Antelope

Antelope Don't sleep on the first set. The Antelope is absolutely top shelf, as are the Foam and Maze.

Truly one of the greatest of all nights.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by andrewrose

andrewrose Hard to argue with anyone asserting that Set II is the best set of music Phish has weaved together to-date. How they land so smoothly in that Twist I still can't figure out. Cosmic cohesion here. Equally hard to argue with the assertion that this is the best Tweezer ever; if you know of a sound that approaches the sublimity of the heavens more closely than minutes 13-19 of this jam, please let me know.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by uctweezer

uctweezer There's been nothing left unsaid about this masterpiece, especially if you've read this far down the page, but I just want to note one minutia: I love the dampened Twist-"Woooooooh!"-reprisal at the very beginning of Piper. It just makes a lot of sense to me, as if Trey (?, not sure who sings it) is saying HOOOOOOLY SHIT THIS IS HOT, let's take it down a notch for just a second -- a deep breath after a difficult-to-handle moment if you will. Of course it's only a brief reprieve during the slow build in Piper, because what comes next is another jump into excessively hot fire to cap the greatest 54 minutes in Phish history. There's one more Twisty-"Woooooooooh!" around 4:35 and another around 6:25, but each is a little more upbeat than the previous as the foam continues to thicken, especially through the Izabella infusion that bubbles up around the 8 minute mark. And I'm only referencing the Piper here... if you haven't heard this show, I honestly feel sorry for you.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by montaigne

montaigne This was a very good show. Very good. The tweezer was obviously amazing- one of the funkiest times I've ever had at a show. BUT, I've seen MANY shows that I liked a LOT better, so it makes me feel like this show, which seems to get a TON of attention, is overrated.

I would say that 7-29-98, 7-17-99, 8-2-97, 7-21-98, and 10-22-1995 were all MUCH better shows that don't seem to get a lot of attention at all.

Viva Montaigne!
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by art_vandelay

art_vandelay this show deserves its own release, period. i loved it back when i attended it many years back, and it's aged like a fine wine. i couldn't top what some of the other reviewers have said, so i'll share an unusual observation that evening....

my alma mater, the auburn tigers, were playing the tennessee volunteers in their football conference championship game the same evening as this concert. i was staying at a friend's house while in detroit, and she agreed to tape the game on the VCR so i could watch it when i got back from the show. since i was practically another world away from either school, i figured no one was even gonna care about the game, never mind tipping me off about who won. so imagine my shock when phish busted into "rocky top"--the tennessee fight song, BTW--as the encore. was it just a coincidence, or was phish making a musical statement that tennessee had won the game? the conspiracist in me thought the latter! all i know is, on the way out of the venue, i made eye contact with someone who happened to have a tennessee hat on (i was wearing an auburn hat), and he smiled & said "rocky top, baby!"....i wonder if he was thinking what i was thinking? haha....anyway, i soon found out tennessee did indeed win, and to this day i'm convinced phish spoiled the outcome for me....LOL
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by kevinAreHollo

kevinAreHollo I don't want to add any unnecessary hyperbole to what is arguably the band's funkiest night in 25 years, but if you haven't seen Trey dancing during the start-stop section of Izabella on youtube (cf. Silverchair's channel) than you haven't seen something great.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by markah

markah As of now, February 2010, the first 30 minutes of Set II is probably my favorite segments of Phish *ever* -- and that's not to downplay the rest of set II in any way....just that the first 30 mins are my absolute favorite consecutive notes the band has ever played.

(the rest of this was posted 12 years ago on
In general, most of the Pipers, esp those from this past Fall, are
incredible. I first heard this on one of the Europe tapes, and I remember
liking it. But what they have done to this song during the Fall tour is

The 12.6.97 Auburn Hills Piper occurs right in the middle of a firey set,
after a gorgeous Tweezer opener, and an energy-driven Isabella which cools
down into (in the words of DJ Saul T Nutz) a Licentous Funk Groove taking
us into Wouldn't Twist Around, which (in the words of Mark Roberts) "is
awesome." :)

The chords of Piper float up like a ship over the horizon long overdue in
its homecoming. The people on shore see it in the distance, and their
excitement begins to mount. As the ship grows nearer, the energy
dominates, propelling the audience into a new, unfervored frenzy. The
climactic arrival is so astounding it parallels few feelings I have
experienced in my short life.

Long story short: I love this set, Piper being the indisputable climax.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by MJ_Calleys

MJ_Calleys I can't add much to the genius that is here before me. Especially the perfect waxbanks treatment.

I'm posting this review only in the deep haze of the curve ball disappointment.

I decided in this moment to sink into much 96-00-phish, hopefully to regain some joy.

So I began a hap hazard run through you tube: fuji rocks 99, mpp sound check jam, drum logos, 97 Europe, then here I was -
Late on this Saturday night - (while the 2018 little league world series plays out on my tv in front of me on tv)

12/6/97 (

Everyone above has wonderfully explained the beauty of this night.

It's sixty minutes of phish perfection.

But then, there is a wonderful few moments during the tweezer reprise (and also right before the twist) when trey is doing this insane dance, while playing, that looks like he could never be holier or more fulfilled.

It's 100%, unrestrained, joy.

So here I stake my flag.

That this is the exact moment that phish peaked, the first time.

Watching this 20 years later, this was the exact phish apex. Hear! is the high point of the bell curve.

A moment in the we hours of 01/01/2000 would come very close, but only symbolically. Never in the extreme energy, happiness and glow of this moment. That second one was glorious completion.

Here's hoping that dicks 2012, bakers dozen, or some other future moment also comes close.

I love this band.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by RedHedTed

RedHedTed FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....this show is getting the official livephish release treatment!!!!!!....all is good with the world!!!!!
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by Cyrnix

Cyrnix This was my very first Phish show, and I can honestly say I hadn't really quite got into the band yet. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't as good as I thought it would be (imagine that lol!). When I look back and listen to it now I contribute my wishy-washiness about the whole ordeal to being young and stupid. This was an amazing show, and I'm sure few can say that their first show was as outstanding as this one. The Palace is a shitty place to see any concert really, but this one was (after seeing many more shows and falling in love with this band) very memorable, Thanks boys.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez this is one of the true gems of the fall '97 tout. this show is full of energy and sharp playing. in fact, i would take the 2nd set here over either set at dayton the next night. although, as a whole, i gotta take the dayton show.

golgi opens this one up in fine form. this would end up being the last golgi opener until burgettstown, pa in '09. as soon as golgi ends, they jump right into a surprise run like an antelope 2 songs into the show. trey really rips this one. train song slows this one down a bit before they dip into a nice exploratory bathtub gin. this has a nice funky gin jam, and they work it nicely into one of their more complex songs, foam. foam is well-played. sample and fee offer something for the newbies, and a red hot maze and a solid cavern offer something for everyone. this first set was solid with some sure-fire treats, but the real fireworks were yet to come.

tweezer kicks things off in style. they start with a spacier intro before hitting tweezer full throttle. fishman gets really funky right off the bat. you have to check out the intro to this tweezer. once they work through the song, they hit a really nice funk jam. after 10 or so minutes of funky exploration, trey and fish really shift gears into more rocking territory. trey and fishman turn the corner into izabella, and the rest of the band jumps right on it. you can hop on you tube and check out trey almost cracking up as they turn the corner into izabella. after a nice take of this old hendrix tune, they jump into another nice rock/funk jam that eventually stops right on twist around. i really like the '97 versions of this song. after they rearranged it, i lost some of my love for this one. they spend a bit of time exploring twist before dipping into a mind altering piper. there might be some band of gypsies mojo left from izabella, but they just torch this piper. page is all over this one too. sleeping monkey provides a nice breather before the 'ol rowdy tweezer reprise closer. rocky top finishes this one off in standard fashion.

this second set may not be the longest, but it has excellent flow and some really solid jams. the first set is a touch weak, but it is not bad by any means.


set 1:

set 2:
tweezer>izabella>jam>twist>piper- tweezer>izabella and piper are must hear, even on the fall '97 scale
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by Anonymous

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

Auburn Hills certainly isn't my favorite venue, but I left it the night of 12/6/97, rethinking everything I had ever thought about it (and that's saying a lot, because I was a philosophy major!). The “Tweezer” that opened the second set is one of the best I've heard. It contained a long jam, which bring you to Funk Central Station. The segue into “Isabella” is fantastic, and we are treated to an atypical jam that can only be construed as a "licentious funk groove." The segue into “Twist Around” was — once again — fantastic, and then they played the best “Piper” I have ever heard. “Piper” was technically unfinished, as the jam launched off with the power of a space shuttle from Cape Canaveral. This “Piper” took me to another world. It was so intense that Aaron, my traveling companion for the last part of tour, was worried that I would spontaneously combust.
“Sleeping Monkey” was perfectly placed, and the “Tweeprise” that closed the set threatened to bring down the house. I can't remember the encore. This entire set has no regard for accepted rules, morals, or standards. Get this tape…but be very afraid!
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Even Antelope gets the cowfunk treatment in this show! The Maze is the other standout from this first set, about which some phans have opined that if the first set from 12/7/97 was combined with the second set from this show, we'd have a consensus "best show ever." This Tweezer somehow recapitulates the previous 4 years' worth of jamming styles on display by Phish, while still further anticipating the next 3 years' worth! The segue into Izabella is pretty sloppy, IMO, and I am very much alone in believing that. Look to the aforementioned next night for at least 3 better-realized segues. The segue into Twist is almost a stop-start, but truer to form than the one into Izabella, IMO. A lot of space and funk on display, ambience and peaks both, but this is an overrated show for my money. I'd rather relisten to 12/7/97, which is saying quite a lot since this Tweezer -> Izabella -> Twist -> Piper segment might've "destroy(ed) America" in truth if it had just been more patiently put together... if the sum of the parts was greater than the idealistic whole. It's still a great show, and of course, this is just, like, my opinion, man.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by DriedupGoliath

DriedupGoliath This show really is a good as every one makes it out to be.

Golgi Apparatus is a great opener, I wish it was in this slot more often, rather than just a set closer. I remember when I first started listening to Phish that this was the first version of Antelope I ever heard. I had always heard that Antelope was a big jam song, usually featuring blistering playing. But I was absolutely blown away by this Antelope upon first listen, I hear them tinker around with the opening, and then just blast off. It starts funky and grounded, but then it just starts revving up harder and harder, and just keeps going, and going, and going- for someone who had never heard Antelope before, I was so confused. "Where's the song?" It was not until the huge peak, and the drop into Rye Rye Rocco where I realized Antelope was the rare song where the full jam preceded the lyrics. Real confusing to a noob.

Train Song cools off nicely, with a fairly normal Bathtub Gin that's most notable for the sickly sweet segue into Foam, which is nailed. The rest of the set is fine- Maze particularly rips, but nothing super out of the ordinary. I prefer Fee with the microphone, but it doesn't detract anything.

Tweezer opens the second set in utter style, they dick around with the opening for a bit, almost like the beginning of Possum or something, and then just slam headlong into the opening riff a little less than two minutes in. The jam starts in the low intensity funk realm for a little bit, with great interplay. They hit a short stop-start section around 12 minutes or so, only one stop and start again. When they come out Fish is just banging out this really clinical and cool rhythm. The jam's not funk anymore, it's just really tight knit and deep improv. It becomes almost march-like, and then hits absolute overdrive around 18 minutes. Trey solos like a psychopathic madman over a hazy background, and you just get the image of a monster- maybe a drooling minotaur- thrashing around, trying to break out of its chains...

...out of this cacophonous haze, Izabella comes tearing through. Izabella is high energy as can be, but as usual, Trey only knows about two lines of it- how many lines can he forget and just say "I dream about you, every night!" Doesn't matter, out of the back end of Izabella the groove becomes slower and funkier, led by really cool Page vamping, and they revisit the stop-start section from 12 minutes in of the Tweezer. This little section just makes Izabella feel like another section of a monster Tweezer. Of all the similar sections from Fall '97, this is definitely one of the best stop start funk sections, supremely high energy. The jam slows, and becomes a little percussive and plunky...

...and segues really inventively into Twist, one of the better segues I've ever heard. Twist itself is fairly straightforward, they weren't really stretching Twist out that much yet, save for a few exceptions (6/20/97, 7/29/97, 11/14/97), Twist ends...

...and Piper emerges from deep within and takes off. The opening almost feels breathless, like you're feeling lifeless, and then take a huge hit of clean oxygen, and you're energized, and ready to blast off. Piper reenters a jam space that feels like it's Piper, Tweezer, and Izabella at the same. It absolutely *rages,* and again feels like part of the greater jam whole rather than an entirely separate song.

Sleeping Monkey takes all the seriousness away from the proceedings- the proceeding jam quadruplet hits the darkest ocean floors, but we still see that Phish are a bunch of jokesters. Tweezer Reprise and Rocky Top send everyone home, fist pumping away.

This is a startlingly good show. They hit upon some serious Michigan voodoo magic in this one.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by JMart

JMart So...the second set is awesome. To say it's the best set of phish ever, I mean, come on. Oh sure, you can say that. Who am I? Your dad? Well, if I were, you'd be talking about 12/11/97 set 1, 11/22/97 set 2, 11/17/97 set 1, and on and on and on. Anyway...

This Antelope, how is it not the consensus Antelope of all time? It's the second song in the first set. After they run through the initial segments, Mike and Fish start thundering cow funk. And just when you're sure Trey's going to start soloing, all of a sudden he's like "fuck all that, ima kick straight kurds for a few minutes." Which makes it all the worthwhile when he actually drops in. The (I love each and every one of you, by the way) copy is an AUD, so you can clearly hear the crowd following every single twist and turn. In retrospect, it's the ability of the band members to tolerate the dissonance that invariably occurs in each jam and the ability to guide it back to the theme that separates Fall '97 phish from all other phish. This Antelope is a prime example. Trey's effects at 12:00 are one of my favorite 5 seconds of phish ever. The whole's just top level 16 minutes of phish music.
It's probably not kosher to write this in a review, and I'd get it if you're irritated with it, but, MAN I miss this psychotically in-control-of-everything version of this band.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by 21mmer

21mmer of the many, many shows i've seen in my 17 years of seeing phish.......this one is still the best!!
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by JOEB7891

JOEB7891 Best Tweezer ever!
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by iceee

iceee This was my third Phish show following the Went and Assembly Hall - little did I know what was about to transpire. The six-minute segment in Tweezer between 13:00-19:00 is in my opinion the greatest improvisational moment the band ever produced. This new "churning" jam style had been developed over the previous few weeks and hit a peak during Tweezer that is indescribable.

The Palace became a rocket ship with all engines firing on all cylinders, as the band shape-shifted through Tweezer, culminating in the devastating descending phrases from Trey around 18:15. Interestingly, the lights remained static throughout almost the entire jam, leaving the music front and center. After 90+ shows I've never recreated the feeling those six minutes gave me.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by EducateFright

EducateFright My second show! And this one is truly significant: 15 years later, this remains one of the top 5 best Phish shows of all time according to fan ratings.
Gosh, this soundboard (from is crystal clear! The funk starts with the second song of the first set: Antelope! This Antelope features some twisted guitar from Trey, accented by the excellent use of some truly demented effects. Foam is so tight, it could have been played in '92. Later in the first set comes a KILLER Maze... Around the 5:00 minute mark, during Page's solo, Trey starts to make his guitar growl – very cool. Thanks to more heavy effects, at 10:00 Trey's playing starts to get very fractured and generally weird, and the weirdness never really lets up for the remainder of his long solo.
Set 2 is what's really made this show famous among fans. Tweezer is heavy on the funk, but Izabella sports the standout jam of the set. Piper is remarkable for Trey's relentless, fierce playing. It's a great set, but honestly I don't think it quite justifies this show being in the top 5 of all time.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by beargonefishin

beargonefishin top 10 tweezer ever or to ever be played!! Sickening Phish won't release this show along with Champaign
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by FeeMan

FeeMan sEEN phish SOME 30 plus shows with some nice dead shows under the blet ! That said this was one of my first ten shows and holy shit MON !!!it's like 10/20/10 first set ! Just raw and kicking ur ass all over the place !Does anyone els remeber Trey head banging though TWEEZER FEST AND THE SROBE LIGHTS AT THE SAME TIME??,,,,,,,One for the ages here heads !LOVE that phish is on and ready to make it's phans happy as they do !
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by meatball

meatball In all honesty with mixed feelings I left that show changed forever... I went insane on Piper!!! Literally I forget what I was on but years after I've been crazy!! My name even got yelled out for a Suzy Greenberg on 9-14-00 oh what to do? What to do? You can call me geeb because some do... silently I reflect.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by jabberstin

jabberstin To put it bluntly, if you're a fan (or fanatic; either or) of the '97 'cow-funk' this is the show. Exhibit A: Set II of this monster from the depths of the Fall '97 tour. So settle in, say hello to someone, and know who's your friend.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by JerrysMissingFinger

JerrysMissingFinger Set One Notes:
Golgi kicks things off, taking a roll call of the ticket holders in the arena. Antelope hits next in an interesting set position. Where the jam would usually begin to build, Trey leads the band off into the deep end. The sirens get going, the beat dropped down low, wah-chucking in full effect. The jam starts making upshifts, gaining momentum into a more traditional Antelope-style build, heading for a melty peak, crashing into digital mayhem, with a clean drop into the Marco-section. Train Song remains the perfect interlude after a jammed out rager segment, such a calm and collected space. Gin starts with some nutty, hammering Page, the jam orbiting the Gin theme for a while, before it starts to gain in elevation, eventually soaring its way to a peak, before settling into a mellow return to the Gin-jam, emerging into a little bit of funkiness with a not-quite-Manteca flavor. This is a great placement for Foam, mid-first set, a slot in which I love to see an instrumentally complicated Type-I jam, like a Taste, Reba, Divided Sky, or, of course, Foam. This Foam has a strong peak and clean execution. Sample In A Jar keeps that energy up. I will always take a Fee, just thinking about how amazing it is that a song like this is getting played at the big Saturday night arena rock show. Clean execution. Maze gets lots of squiggly guitar/siren weirdness during its foreboding intro. Pages’s organ solo is haunted by growls that accelerate into guitar chords, before Trey’s solo builds into a swirling storm. A well-played version, for sure. Cavern serves as a strong closer to an all-around solid first set.

Set Two Notes:
Tweezer starts with a lot of messing around, Phishy for sure, “Tweezer or Possum?” a friend jokingly asks in regards to the big build-up before the Tweezer drops. The jam embarks as low-slung cowfunk, Trey yelling in approval at the sparsity of the jam, Mike laying down spot-on slap/pop to wah-chunked clav-crunch over disco ball Fish beats. This jam really pushes into top-quality, textbook Fall ’97 funkiness, sirens rolling, totally fulfilling the promise of shows built “for your dancing pleasure” made a few weeks ago in the Rockies. Gears start shifting into double time before the wah-spotlight hits Trey, the jam then beginning to ascend into galaxy-cruising music. Trey’s guitar is a comet flying through nebulous clouds, Mike and Page setting up floating chord pads on Fish’s cymbal dancing. The jam evolves into swirling three-dimensional waves of music, spiraling on the Axis, dead serious, not quite a groove, crashing over itself by design, Fish 2K manipulating the beat at will, never losing the rhythm. Trey is dripping molten guitar lines out of a coiled ball of plasma, before making the push into Izabella. The song itself is a short orbit of the gypsy sun and its rainbows, delving straight back into the cowfunk. Trey is enthused for sure, Page doing work on the organ, with a great Fish + Trey dropout, Trey gleefully re-entering the jam. This is pure, 100% organic Vermont dance music. Page transforms into Mr. Clav, wah-Trey gets the lights, then Mike and Fish get the floor as a single, locked-in unit. Page lays down some malfunctioning-alien-disco-melody-simulator music, segueing into Twist. I like the old intro, and I wish that the arrangement stayed interchangeable, using whichever lead-in works best for a smooth segue. This is a contained version, with a quiet, gentle outro into Piper. This is a classic slow-build Red Worm, but it begins to dissolve into Trey shredding, pushing outward into a jam. Soon, the jam falls into a swirling cloud, before igniting and exploding upwards into peaky shreddyness, then imploding into ankle-deep wave-space. Sleeping Monkey is a very Phishy call, after the trip of the last four songs. This is the landing pad, but the set is not over, with Tweezerprise called up to close Set Two and the Tweezer loop. This version definitely rages, very loose Trey. This band conjured a new musical world and explored it during this second set. Rocky Top is the high energy, short and sweet closer, Trey being very encouraging towards Leo’s Playing It, the band really had a good time, goodnight.

All-time Set Two, all-time show, all-time tour. Hear it if you like Phish.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by ilostmypebblesandmarbles

ilostmypebblesandmarbles Everyone has pretty much covered the bulk of why this show is fantastic and I agree on all counts!!! Now, how's about that Rocky Top. Seriously ! Played at the speed of light. Page's hands could've destroyed the space time continuum and life as we know it could've unraveled but......they finished the tune and saved the universe. Good 'ol Rocky Top.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by Feel_The_Bern

Feel_The_Bern the piano on bathtub gin is absolutely MINDBLOWING
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by SconyMack

SconyMack goddamn! love this maze!
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by DaytonDetes

DaytonDetes Detroit Rock show. the Maze put my college roomate back in his seat for 3 or 4 min..spun.
, attached to 1997-12-06

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1:

Golgi Apparatus: Standard, but a tone setter all the same. They were telling us this would be a night to remember.

Run Like an Antelope: Love the first three minutes of the jam, all loopy and synthed up. Really cool stuff. Turns into a very long Antelope jam that gets very intense with cool effects from Trey at the climax. Nasty Antelope and very long. Highly recommended.

Train Song: Standard. >

Bathtub Gin: Really good version, has this sort of swirling effect to it in the midst of the jam, recommended for sure. ->

Foam: Incredible segue out of Gin, absolutely exceptional. We were talking about this on the drive up from Bowling Green. I was hoping to hear it and my buddy was meh on it. Big smiles upon the intro. Pages solo is off the chain. Trey takes his down almost to a silent jam and then explodes. Mike goes off during the ending section. Top notch, highly recommended.

Sample in a Jar: Standard.

Fee: Standard, but I love the creepy little space they create that allows them to sneak in the back door of Maze, it’s awesome. Little things like this compound and egg the fans on and energize the band too. It’s a neat synergy. >

Maze: Tons of loops and weird effects in the intro, creepy and sinister. I love it. Stuff like this is what 3.0 is sorely missing. Bring back the evil. Another example, Trey’s playing that leads into Page’s solo. Just straight up nasty with so much hateful edge. 4:16 to 4:46. He crushes this effect that he leaves on for about 7 seconds into Page’s solo, is super sick. Again, listen to Trey starting around 5:07 through 5:46 - he creates this ugly/awesome wall of sound in the background that is unique to Maze. If you are a fan of this song and haven’t heard it or haven’t heard it in a while you really should relisten to this one. More cool stuff from Trey at 7:45 and for about 5 seconds from there. Trey’s solo actually starts with slowing this one down a little bit. He catches a cool, brief little theme in the late 8’s. Here come more nasty effects around 9:18, sounds almost like that reverse reverb that was prominent starting with Fall 98. More of that starting at 10:38, man this is extremely intense. Tons of note bending and creepy stuff. Mind bending for sure. We were six rows back DFC just losing our marbles. Back to regular Trey/Maze stuff at 11:38. Briefly back into the effects at 12:00. Jimi Hendrix on stage at 12:23. Climax starts at 12:49. Good enough peak. But the body of work is what makes this one so highly recommended. Incredible Maze!

Cavern: Standard.

SET 2:

Tweezer: Greatest Tweezer intro ever and it’s not close. They start messing with the timing in a big way at :49. Fish on the wood blocks. Then the crazy effects employed as they come back to the theme are awesome. The huge, huge build up and then actually starting the song proper ramp up so much energy. Hard core Frankenstein effects after the Uncle Ebeneezer. From here it just descends into the deepest, ickiest pornofunk you have ever heard from this band. Just dirty as hell. Trey strumming it out, geeked as hell and keeps raising his pick hand in the air occasionally for emphasis. At one point he stops playing and just starts grooving to Mike dropping bombs. Then he creates these searing loops, dear God I am in heaven. The licks that he lays down at 11:02 and carries forward into a brief theme is great. This goes back into the pornofunk and some stop start stuff. They come out of that, and they collectively create this serene sort of space that gradually builds and then Trey hits THE lick that I have chased ever since – that one moment that of all the Phish I have consumed over these years has been my favorite – 13:54 on the Live Phish recording. What happens from here is pure Phish magic and some of the best pieces of music the band has ever created. Right after THE note Trey points over at Mike and gestures back at himself almost as if to say, you and me here man, let’s go! Hold on to your hat, the next 8 minutes or so are crazy. Incredible Tweezer, highly recommended. 22:06 Trey starts to bring it down and then seriously out of left field comes Izabella. Incredible, incredible segue. ->

Izabella: This one has it all – the face melting AND the funk and a great segue into Twist. Would recommend! ->

Twist: Standard but another great segue into Piper ->

Piper: That segue ruled, so patient. Love that final Twist ‘woooo’ 0:06 into Piper. The first truly jammed Piper! Rager up through the late 10’s. Takes a deep dive into the murky depths. Great interplay on the baby grand from Page with Trey. Beautifully done. This lasts for only about a minute or so and then they ramp it back up, Page adding some dissonance. Would recommend!

Sleeping Monkey: Fishman stood up to deliver the last section of his lyrics. Good stuff. >

Tweezer Reprise: Trey rocks out hard on this one, doing his goofy rock star dance, hair flying all around. Raging. Great ending to an all time set.


Rocky Top: Standard.

Summary: One of the best shows I have ever seen. Seared in my memory from the best seats I ever had at a Phish show. Incredible night! Current rating of 4.597/5 (687 ratings) is right on the money.

Replay Value: Run Like an Antelope, Bathtub Gin, Foam, Maze, Tweezer, Izabella, Piper
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