Soundcheck: Funky Bitch, Ginseng Sullivan
SET 1: Julius, Bouncing Around the Room > Uncle Pen, Sample in a Jar, Theme From the Bottom, Prince Caspian -> Twist > Piper, Harry Hood > Love You > Hold Your Head Up > Poor Heart > Character Zero > Good Times Bad Times
ENCORE: The Squirming Coil
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Review by andrewrose
There weren't many bad stretches of music anywhere in 1997, and you could argue that July was as strong a month as November or December. Summer 97 was definitely Phish at their most playful--and funky. Though Fall 97 often gets given the funk-throne, I think that's a bit erroneous. Not that there wasn't a ton of funk in the fall, but by November Trey was also channeling Hendrix more and more, and the band was doing much more group oriented spacey stuff as well. You were just as likely to hear a space-rock jam as you were a funk one. No if you really want the funky shit, your odds are just as good to pick a show from July.
And this one is maybe where things really got going in earnest. The Stash from the Paradiso a few days prior is one of the band's best otherworldy melodic expeditions of 97, foreshadowing the glorious 8/10 Cities. But this Twist is one of the first examples of their funky throwdowns that would also become a big summer touchstone. The Groove is in the Heart jam is no token throwaway tease, it's a proper 'groove' that's pure dance. Page shines, and you can feel their collective momentum just swell up in it--the sound of a band really starting to hit their party stride. Just so much fun. This vibe would return again through the fantastic YEM->Ghost>Poor Heart sequence with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones a few days later in Lyon (7/9), the standout Ghost in Atlanta (7/23), and basically every Gin they played that summer up through to the Great Went.
It was a good summer.