Emotional Rescue made its Phish debut at this show and included a San-Ho-Zay tease from Trey. Rescue was subsequently quoted at the end of Melt and Lawn Boy. This humorous Lawn Boy featured an “anti-drum solo” - an intentionally boring one. The third verse of Chalk Dust Torture was omitted by Trey. The first set ended with the delay loop ending of Caspian played until after lights were brought back up. Trey teased Yours Is No Disgrace and Call to the Post prior to Guyute. This show was released as part of the Hampton/Winston-Salem '97 box set.
Emotional Rescue quote in Split Open and Melt, Emotional Rescue quote in Lawn Boy, Call to the Post and Yours Is No Disgrace teases , San-Ho-Zay tease in Emotional Rescue
Debut Years (Average: 1992)

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

Show Reviews

, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by waxbanks

waxbanks I'm an unapologetic Fall '97 booster, fanboy, partisan, evangelist, and myopic egotist -- i.e. I insist that Fall '97 is the best of all Phish tours, partly because it's my favourite...though I also insist that it's my favourite because it's the best (see above re: 'myopia' and 'egotism').

But some things are worth going crazy over.

(The following is occasioned, of course, by the long-awaited official SBD release of November 21 to 23, 1997.)

The fandom responded ecstatically to the tour at the time, as you'd expect; among other things it represented a sea change in how the band approached show structure (never mind the pornographic music itself) -- some folks were convinced that 'there [were] no first sets anymore,' and given that this show kicks off with a 20-minute funk workout, it's easy to see why. Time has been kind to the tour as well. With the benefit of hindsight we can see how Fall '97 began a darkly generative period for the band (their imaginative freedom nightblooming even as their technical command and professionalism began to falter amidst a rapidly decaying backstage/fan scene), while representing a historic peak of possibility and intensity. With only a couple of exceptions, the band was just absolutely *there* every single night, taking song after song to deep dangerous places.

It was a good time to be a Phish fan.

The best jams of 2011 -- R'n'R at the Gorge, the Tahoe Light, the brilliant 'elements' set at UIC -- seemed to draw some of the same dark energy that powered Phish's late 90s music: layered textures, intricate polyrhythms, effortless group interplay, soaring ambient passages, guitars put to unholy new uses, keyboards much abused, drums caressed and then shattered. Above all, the music flows now almost as it did then, with extraordinary patience and organic inevitability.

But what's missing from Phish 2011 is the black ice that became their premillennial music's center: cool austerity of early 'cow funk,' anxious chaotic 'space jams,' the *scary* quality it had. (Hear the way Izabella comes roaring out of 12/6/97's fog like an angry undead stowaway, or the teeth-gnashing mania of the Hartford Char0 > 2001. A lotta Hendrix in the air, then.)

For all the expansiveness and ambition of the band's Fall '97 work, the tour feels All of a Piece; it all belongs together, the maniacal Hampton/Winston-Salem stuff and the knives-in-blacklight Worcester jamming and the retro-dufus-turned-pornstar goodtimes in Dayton and the astral lullabies in Utah and, and, and oh those sorcerous goings-on and splashings-crashward in Auburn Hills (cloudpiercing peak of a deepwater volcanic island). The same can't so much be said of the new music; ironically, as the band's palette has grown to include more lived-in sounds (and whatever eerily the goddamn 'storage shed' jamming is, when it eerily ever is), they've lost the glasseyed focus of back-in-the-day. They might sound like any number of great bands these days, even Zeppelin a bit when the moon's right, but there was something harrowing and deeply pleasurable about knowing (walking into a familiar room, strangers at close quarters in the dark) that the approach was gonna be, ready set go, THE METERS AND PINK FLOYD ARE TRAPPED TOGETHER FOREVER ON A DERELICT SPACESHIP ALL ECHOES AND GHOSTS AND ALONE AND THEY ARE SAVED FROM COLD DEATH ONLY BY THE WEIRD COSMIC FAVOUR OF PLUNGING SLOWLY INTO AN OCTARINE SUN, GAINING SPEED, FALLING, HOLD ON...

To the matter at hand.

Emotional Rescue isn't a great choice of cover beyond its novelty/comedy value -- the jokey falsetto and sparse texture wear thin some time before the jam starts -- and the jam does feel like a show-opening warmup, which of course it is. But 17 minutes of shambolic Phish funk (climaxing in a transitional few minutes of lovely dark ambience) is a fine easygoing thing, regardless. And it leads into a very nice Split, for which we supplicants are naturally thankful.

Et cetera et cetera, and Caspian (a tune tailor-made for smoky indoor-venue AUDs, by the way) is a strange but appropriate choice for a first set closer: excellent version here, particularly Trey's digital-delay offering to Hades in lieu of those closing rock chords from the album, which...

1. ...fondly recalls the beloved 12/31/95 Mike's, and...

2. ...helpfully signals to the crowd that we are setting our course for darker night in Set II.

The show's back half kicks off seven consecutive must-hear sets (next breather: 11/28 I). During Ghost the players bail on that song's basic funk patterns in favour of a haunting spare passage typical of Fall '97: minimalist assembly, assured group rhythm work, and a patient crescendo and sighing wavebreak into a wry, spry midtempo jog at the outro. 1997 is THE year for Ghost, but this performance trades its standard snap/pop/wah funk for something moodier and more meaningful.

Then yeah, a true segue arrow before AC/DC Bag, and *get ready* for this Bag. Less decisive and authoritative than the canonical 12/30/97 version, but also less linear, the 11/21 Bag takes a few minutes for somewhat clumsy I-IV thrashing (a climax too early, it seems) before settling into a deadly take on the introductory PYITE groove. Fishman slides over to the ride cymbal, Page leaps onto piano, Trey sprinkles some space-jam fairy dust over everyone, and suddenly we're working a slightly ambivalent variation on that I-IV, posing as Triumph while whispering Collapse, Dissolve...and after a twinkling ambient passage, we return to ambivalence: minor-melancholy rock clatter and swerve, Page's piano diagonals zagging at everyone else's zig, or I guess vice versa. 25 minutes of top-shelf Phish, and another true segue into Slave.

Slave, as you'd expect after the foregoing 50 minutes of music, is devastating. Well, it's a 1997 Slave; the mycological languour of late-90s Phish was well suited to tunes like this one.

More Stones to close, of course. They've always killed on Loving Cup. And is there a better, more coherent long-form composition in Phish's catalogue than Guyute? Pure prog mayhem in the encore. Nice.


11/22 gets the press, 11/23 gets the 'underrated masterpiece' tag, and of these now-forever-conjoined triplets, 11/21 is the li'l sibling with -- hey whaddaya know -- some earth-shaking powers of its own. I think you can pass on this first set without feeling TOO bad, if you really don't think you can spare that hour of your life, but that's a swell half-hour you're missing at the opener, and a ringading Caspian to close. The second set, meanwhile, is as good as Fall 1997's usual, which is to say it's a solid hour of deadly focused improvisation, favouring eventide melancholy and dissolution, crescendi desperately imploding or exhausting themselves in gouts of terminal noise, minimalist funk with a mischievous dancing step and slow poison on its blade, visible in the right kind of dark...

Ego-costumes aside, in the end it doesn't matter whether Fall '97 is the 'best' Phish tour. (One hopes the best is yet to come, right? What kind of person *doesn't* hold that hope, or pretends not to?) Those are fun arguments to have, but it's all just circles around imaginary selves, signs that read No Trespass: there's no place for borders like those when the music begins. I'll say instead, quite confidently, that on these nights 14 years ago, Phish reached the windblown jagged top of one peak, bringing thousands along with them; several other peaks would follow, as several had come before, but this one had a Weird light, and everyone why got up there saw something extraordinary. And would you believe it: it's still there. Might I recommend heading up alone some night. Go on: follow the strange glow that won't fade. The dark will keep you warm.
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by kipmat

kipmat I love waxbanks' review of this show, but I must offer a dissenting opinion of the Emotional Rescue opener. Kicking off a two-night stand at a venue like Hampton Coleseum with a debut cover, and then extending it out past 16 minutes, indicates that this band was (justifiably) oozing with confidence in their own abilities. Maybe the NYE version was better, but the fact that they went ahead and did it on this night counts for something in my book. Anyway, although this show may not be as altogether superlative as its companions in the must-own boxed set, I could not deny the excellence of the overall performances and worthiness of a five-star rating.
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez this show is a real gem. the next night has the legendary set list with some monumental jams, but this one is almost equally as hot.

they come out of the gates setting the pace for the rest of the weekend. i'm not a big stones fan, but i do like this unusual ditty. phish made this one their own. they took this for an exciting '97 phish ride. the whole band is in sync as they go on a 20 minute exploration. split open and melt follows. it is not legendary but it has a really nice improvisational segment. it certainly keeps the weird, experimental vibe going. beauty of my dreams is a pleasant shift as they drop this lovely bluegrass jam on the crowd. dogs stole and punch were both good but straight forward. then they play quite the humorous lawnboy. after introducing fish, he played his "anti drum solo." gotta hear it to get it. the rest of this set is some what unexciting.

then there is a very crazy second set. there were many fine ghosts in '97 but this is one of the best. they take this one for a mighty fine funky ride. like many versions in this year, page and trey are so in sync playing over a super tight gordo/fish groove. eventually this finds its way into a very experimental ac/dc bag. there are many songs that you hear about from '97, ghost, wolfman's, etc, but bag may have been one of the unsung heroes. this song was always a classic, but they really started to experiment with it. in fact, this was the first version that they really took for a ride. this was the precursor to the shorter but super fun dayton version and the similar take from msg on the ny's run. the msg version seemed to meld the hampton and dayton versions. as for me, i think i may like this one best. it is just straigh improvisation. there are some nice funky spacey segments. eventually, they drift into a beautiful slave to the traffic light. page really lights this one up. i'm not much for loving cup, but it works well, especially since they opened the show with a stones tune. then there is another great '97 song springing up in the encore slot, a nice focused guyute. the whole band buries this one.

there are so many nice shows on this tour, so it can be easy to miss this one. either way, go ahead and get both nights of hampton, and grab the next show too...that gin might be better than anything at either hampton show.
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by papadance

papadance WOW.... Had tickets to the next night but drove from Florida to see my only "northern" shows ever. Myself and 2 other friends made it in time for the first night but had no tickets. We parked in the mothership parking lot and figured someone was selling tickets somewhere..... I got out of the truck, looked at the ground, and picked up a ticket! MIRACLE.... My 2 other friends bought tickets at face value and we made it inside during the emotional jam. Amazing how it all worked out. We were inside 15 minutes after parking.
1st set highlights.... Of course the Stones song but SOAM was great. Lawn boy was funny. Caspian was awesome. Trey's loops kept going until the lights went on.

2nd set. Jammed out everything. awesome Ghost>AC/DC transition. We were up front for this and loved it. The encore was perfect and we new the next night was gonna be on fire.
Next night....SICK. Never seen the wave at a Phish show before. Dont even know what to say except I feel lucky to have seen some of the best shows off all time.........
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by dogogbyn

dogogbyn I don't have much to add to thoughtful reviews above. However, I'd like to make a case for all phans to give multiple listens to the Emotional Rescue > SOAM which opened the first set. From roughly 12:00 onward, this Rescue covers some delightfully dark territory, and the SOAM (particularly at about 6:30) highlights the band's ability to effortlessly 'lock in' with one another in the midst of each member blazing their own path. Moreover, I find this SOAM to be more aurally pleasing than, say, the Niagara '95 Melt--a take that many fans love for its 'demented', knotty essence. Is this Melt arguably 'Type I'? Yes, but it'll bite your face off. I won't weigh in on which show is the 'best' of the 11/21-11/23 run, I'll simply conclude by positing that if you want to hear Phish shred like maniacs in the era of '97 funk, this Melt's for you.
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by Penn42

Penn42 I'm going to say something controversial: I've always felt this show doesn't live up to the hype. And I certainly think it is the weakest of the three on the release. However, it's also Fall '97, so there really isn't that much to complain about. Maybe it's because I have no real connection to Emotional Rescue as a song. I don't mind it, and I have even, after quite a few listens, learned to appreciate it's really mellow jam, but in the end it really isn't that big of a deal to me. I also initially found the Ghost to be pretty underwhelming. It's by far the most mellow of this hallowed tour and, like Emotional Rescue, I have learned to appreciate it more with a few re-listens. Bag -> Slave is by far the best part of the show, IMO, but other than that, there isn't that much else to see. Split rages pretty hard, bul ultimately fails to reach somewhere that really grabbed me, PYITE is one of my favorite set-in-stone songs, so that was nice, and that's about it.

This show is plenty of fun, but I don't feel it's a classic like the next two nights.
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by Campster

Campster Last on my little box set review kick...the legendary Hampton/Winston-Salem run.

I've spun these discs over and over, all classics. Hard to pick a favorite as they are all fantastic.

Night 1.

Emotional Rescue to open is an amazing choice, but quickly moves beyond novelty into a nice funky '97 workout. 17 minutes of straight up awesome. That's how you open a set!

Split Open and Melt is awesome in the two spot. This is a fine version indeed. Mega jamming. What a 1-2 punch.

*If you only want to listen to the first two tunes of this set I'd forgive you, but you might as well listen to the whole set!

Beauty of My Dreams doesn't pop up to often, so it's a nice one here.

Dogs Stole Things is kind of funny, for whatever reason I always liked it, ever since spinning the Virginia beach opening summer 97 show when Trey has the funny little explanation about pets stealing your soul. "Obviously by the way he's playing they didn't steal Fishman's soul"

Punch You In the Eye is a great song. Nice placement.

-> Lawn Boy give Page the floor.

Chalkdust Torture felt a little soppy, in kind of a good way. Not super notable, but good energy following Lawn Boy.

Prince Caspian isn't usually something worth checking out, but this one is sweet with a nice DDL Jam following the song. Pretty darn cool!

Overall a pretty good set, definitely the first two songs are worth listening to.

Set II is a personal favorite, but I'll try and keep it objective.

Ghost opens up - and this one is pretty different from the typical funkified versions. It's kind of slower and less straightforward. I really like it, but I could see someone not thinking of it as a great version if you are looking for the hose jam or the wah wah funk dance grooves. I find this version both notable and enjoyable despite it not fitting the standard Ghost trope.

Great segue in the end -> Bag as well!

ACDC Bag is the shows showpiece. It's personally my favorite version of all time - go ahead give me grief 12/30/97 (and Boise Bag lovers). It's nice and peppy after the segue and then Trey kind of hammers along on a chord for a bit as the band begins to look for some ideas. They find some incredible passages, one with a beautiful spacey and serene jazzy section and another with requisite building shredding atmospheric peak. It's kind of all over the place (in a GREST way) exploring lots are different tangents. It sounds very organic, which to me makes it very magical. Go grab this one - it's about 25 minutes of awesome!

Another stupendous -> Slave as well.

Slave to the Traffic Light is tremendous. I think one reviewer said devastating and it's apt. There's a slow churning build with the whole band showing delicate patience and eventually they reach a wonderful trilling climax and release. The whole sequence from Ghost->Bag->Slave is top shelf.

Throw in a fun and rocking Loving Cup to complete a four song set and we are talking about one heck of a show people!

They encore with Guyute, which I find to be a fantastic call - as the composition side of things is probably the only aspect of Phish missing from the show. This is great if not perfectly played.

Overall easy 5/5 - classic show. Set II is a personal favorite, and I probably rate the Bag higher than most, but it's certainly worthy of its reputation. Go Get It.
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by Fallopian_Dude

Fallopian_Dude A solid show throughout, punctuated by an explosive Split Open and Melt and an exploratory, shape-shifting AC/DC Bag.
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by headyburritos

headyburritos If you weren't convinced yet that Fall 97 is Phish's best tour, then this show should start to seal the deal. This three-night run (11/21-11/23) is probably the finest in Phish's career. Maybe 11/17 isn't your bag (for whatever crazy reason), but how can anyone deny the funky-as-hell 20 minute opening Emotional Rescue?

This show is in the stratosphere from the opening notes and they never let up until the end of the weekend. Although I will say that this first set seems to dip a bit through the the middle, there are so many high intensity moments that keep things grooving all throughout. I'm personally a fan of the big hitters in this set; ER, SOAM, PYITE, and Chalkdust.

The second set follows in typical 97 fashion: two huge marquee funk jams that take up the majority of the second set and some other great music thrown in for good measure. Although I'd rank this AC/DC Bag a tad lower than the 9/14/99 Boise version, this one is a completely different beast and totally worthy in its own right.

One thing I always find interesting about this tour is how short the sets can be. Not that I would be complaining after this second set, but it is considerably shorter than second sets from other years. Hell, I suppose if the Phish is going to be bringing the fire funk heat like they did in this second set, maybe it's necessary to wrap it up a little quicker!
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I'm reviewing this show based upon the recording from the Hampton/Winston-Salem '97 box set; I was not in attendance. Emotional Rescue is a Phish debut here and is funked mightily, in a manner that might appease both George Clinton *and* the Rolling Stones, an interesting parallel that I won't elaborate on but which certainly provides food for thought. I love the contrast between Mike's falsetto and his baritone. I'm not particularly fond of the sustained "Ffff-" from 5:00 to 5:03, but Mike's just being Mike, and if he ever met me, he might find some of my embellishments a bit *ahem* pretentious, as well. For the next 13 minutes or so, Phish proceed to go entirely a camera, with the carnivalesque, not-quite-noodly leads from Trey dancing across the rhythm section before a > into SOAM. Split is delightfully dark and dank. Emotional Rescue is briefly "reprised" before the closing phrase. Beauty of My Dreams is a lovely song, one I wish would be played more often in these heady days of 3.0. Punch You in the Eye is rendered as capably and expertly as it might have been in earlier times, with the added benefit of the extended palm-mute funk intro. There is an actual -> into Lawn Boy (tempo-changing segues are one of this phan's favorite varieties of segue.) Chalkdust features some phun interplay and is in some ways reminiscent of early versions, at least with regards to energy. Caspian is notable for ending with the Digital Delay Loop Jam.

Ghost is given a more expansive reading here than the legendary version from 11/17/97, in the sense of leaving more open space in the jam, which concludes with an abrupt shift into AC/DC Bag but which could've resolved into Cities or even Weekapaug, in my opinion. Phish could simply do no wrong this tour. AC/DC Bag is one of the huge versions, 25 minutes that veer from laser-guided funk to freakout-style, coliseum-filling heroics, finally concluding with a melodic but queerly disorientating segue into Slave to cap it off. Slave is not a particular favorite among favorites of mine, but I think you can hear a premonitory moment or two of the Siket Disc and especially What's the Use? in this version. Loving Cup is nearly obligatory here, but does not fail to appoint. One of these days Phish is gonna cover Yes into little pieces, but alas, we settle here for a tease before the Guyute encore. Guyute has yet to really step outside itself and be taken for a long ride, but it's one of my favorite Phish compositional epics, and is nothing to sneeze at. You can whistle, though. Though I rate the next night at Hampton more highly, it's by a slim margin. Opening the show with 30 minutes of improvisation--and of such quality as this--is enough to merit 4 stars, to me, as long as the rest of the show is enjoyable, and this one delivers above and beyond.
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1:

Emotional Rescue: What a surprise! This jam has great length and substance. It adopts the theme of fall 97 for much of it – heavily dominated by funk with no one member stepping up to take control, a four headed beast. But, in the early minute range things start ramping up as Trey plays with a redundant theme. Trey elicits a visceral reaction from the crowd with a peak that comes in like a big wave around 12:50 – powerful. The last three minutes of the jam are filled with tons of effects that surely would have torqued the reality helmets of even the most experience psychedelic veterans >

Split Open and Melt: This jam for me, is pretty underrated. I especially appreciate all the dissonance employed starting around 10:45 – this ramps up the intensity. They really take their time with the ending – it’s a screamer.

Beauty of My Dreams: Standard.

Dogs Stole Things: Standard.

Punch You in the Eye: They had the crowd eating out of their hands during this. ->

Lawn Boy: LOL at the anti-drum solo. >

Chalk Dust Torture: The third verse of Chalk Dust Torture was omitted by Trey, oops!

Prince Caspian: The ending of this one is very anti-climactic as they delay loop the ending of Caspian played until after lights were brought back up. Kind of strange way to end the set.

SET 2:

Ghost: Extremely mellow version up until 11:55 when things get evil with a hard edge. This doesn’t last too long as they delve into some funk, some brief hose at 13:52 and about 55 seconds later this slides nicely into… >

AC/DC Bag: This jam has it all. It really was the pre-cursor to the King of all versions, 12.30.97, you can certainly hear elements of that MSG version here in the Hampton version – specifically in the late 9-minute range. Check it out and you will hear what I am talking about. Not long after this there is a beautiful ambient passage that they employ. By the fifteen-minute range Trey has seemingly grown tired of taking a backseat and ramps up into some hard charging arena rock. This gets exceptionally noisy, almost messy in the late 17’s and into the 18’s. The next 4 minutes they takes us into deep space, way out there and very sparse and ambient. The next two minutes get very intense as they rock out hard – specifically using some of those crunchy sounds that were a signature from summer 97. The last minute they basically turn it over to Page as he puts together some beautiful runs on the baby grand and then a well-crafted segue into Slave ->

Slave to the Traffic Light: Outstanding version. Trey is amazing in the 9’s and then in the early 10’s with very pretty trilling. Fishman really pushes Trey in the last minute for more. What a thing of beauty. An easy all timer.

Loving Cup: Standard.


Guyute: Standard.

Summary: The start of the first set is insane – over thirty minutes of amazing jamming. They were not looking to maintain that intensity though and the back half of the set is much more down to earth. Second set is a rare four song romp. Decent Ghost to get us going, and then an epic Bag and Slave. Wow! The current rating of 4.612/5 (489 ratings) is right on the money as far as I’m concerned. This tour just keeps delivering incredible highlights!

Replay Value: Emotional Rescue, Split Open and Melt, AC/DC Bag, Slave to the Traffic Light
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by TRob_93

TRob_93 I'm a late-to-the-party phan, who didn't discover and begin to enjoy the band until around the beginning of 3.0, in 2009 or '10 *swiftly maneuvers to dodge a flurry of rotted produce from 1.0 stans* and, having caught the bug, have gone back and spent hundreds of hours going back and listening to content from the annals of earlier, illustrious epochs of Phishtory. At this point, I've been to a few shows, but being in school, have mostly experienced Phish through recordings, both video and audio. Discretionary income is not a constant, so buying a set (like Hampton/Winton-Salem '97) is a major expenditure. But, having read about the Fall '97 tour, when the set was released - around the end of 2011, prior to the ubiquity of streaming platforms and the existence of LivePhish+ - I knew that I had to get it.

The set of CDs arrived in the mail shortly before a stretch of time that would see me driving thousands of miles over the course of a handful of roadtrips executed over the course of winter break at my university, and with hours and hours of time alone on the road, I decided to listen to these shows properly. I listened, and re-listened, to each of the three concerts, the 11/21-22 stand at the Hampton Coliseum and 11/23 on Wake Forest's basketball arena. I marinated in the fruits of this long weekend, drank them in and savored them.

If you've listened to any real volume of shows from Phish 1.0, it's easy to understand why there are so many clashes over the demarcation of the high water mark, the zenith of the era - do you go with the Summer '94 tour? Winter '95? Fall '97? The Clifford Ball in '96? It's obviously a rich area, and while I won't be weighing in on the matter of the best here, I will say that, for me, that Fall '97 tour produced my favorite stretch of shows. Of the three highlighted in the H/W-S '97 release, this show - the opener, on a cool Friday night along the Virginia coastline, inside a venerable venue packed to the rafters to experience something.

This show is rated, on this here site, as one of the top thirty Phish shows all-time, across all eras (no. 26 at the time of this writing, to be precise.) And yet, I wonder if it's possible for the show to be rated so highly and still be under-rated? With all due respect to the following evening's show, which is ranked no. 2 all-time, after the all-night NYE set at Big Cypress, this is my favorite of the two. Let me make my case, and you, O esteemed reader, decide its merits.

It starts out with a Phish debut, a raging cover of the Stones' "Emotional Rescue" that is funky and exploratory in its jams, yet (in the best possible sense) raw and unrefined, putting a premium on transmuting the visceral energy present in the Coliseum into kinetic form. While one could argue this rawness was the result of a new entry into the repertoire, I like to think that the choice was made to maintain the ethos of the original artists - something that could fill the air of a dive or a honky-tonk and not feel invasive or out of place. This Stones cover segues straight into a robust "Split Open and Melt" - delivered, one notes, almost like a command (to which those present fully complied.)

This rollicking one-two opening salvo was cooled slightly, in my humble opinion, by the selections "Beauty of My Dreams" and "Dogs Stole Things." Nothing wrong with the pieces, or with their performances here, but I think there is a reason these numbers have been largely set aside in post-1.0 setlists. Things quickly heated back up with an absolutely nasty PYitE > Lawn Boy > Chalk Dust stream, hitting all the right notes (literally and figuratively) before ending on a top-ten Prince Caspian to close the set.

Now, if the second set merely matched the tone and energy of the first, this would be an incredible show, and a gem of an example of what makes Phish special in live contexts. That's all they had to do - just match the energy of the first set, play it reasonably safe, and call it a job well done.

Instead, they told us The Story of the Ghost™.

This - this moment - kicked this show up into the exosphere for me. A 16-minute "Ghost" that is still, for my money, the definitive version: spooky, funky, and creative, with its sophisticated, dark chocolate ethos flowing over into a raucous 26-minute "AC/DC Bag" adventure. These funky, jammy specimens have Mike unconscious, outside of his own body, injecting bass lines so bouncy it felt like the whole building would sway, foundations and all. Heck, it felt like my truck should be swaying (which is not, one must admit, desirable whilst traveling 75 mph down the interstate.) Fish, too, was maxing out - as per usual, his contributions were arguably the subtlest of the four, but his gentle nudges here and there to push the jams forward in whatever direction necessary are absolutely breathtaking when you isolate them, and utterly indispensable to the integrity of the whole.

From "Bag" they progressed to a top-rate SttTL that was nevertheless a bit overshadowed by the previous 42 minutes of madness, yet which more than holds its own as one of the best iterations of a classic that has become standard fare. They ended, finally, right back where they began - covering the Rolling Stones, this time with a "Loving Cup" that epitomizes the era and the show, with funkiness that you could cut with a knife. By the time the last chords of the second set ceased their reverberation, it was time for a break - perhaps a cigarette, or a cold shower.

The encore - a "Guyute" that, again, has come to be, for me, the definitive version - was just the cherry on top of a delicious, multifaceted sundae. The chronicle of the old, ugly pig has long been one of my favorites, and to have it chosen to cap the night... well, let's just say I could not have asked for more.

I can respect any number of opinions, differences of taste and preference, etc., and maybe the Fall '97 iteration of 1.0 just isn't your bag (pun intended.) But, if you haven't listened to this show, you are missing a spectacle that is simultaneously one of the highest-rated performances ever put together by Messrs. Trey, Page, Cactus, and Fish, and, somehow, criminally under-rated. Don't breeze past this show for its more famous 11/22/97 companion. I've got nothing bad to say about 11/22, obviously - and even on those rare occasions when Phish is bad, they're still better than 97% of all bands out there playing live material - but this show will always hold a special place in my heart. I'm truly envious of the folks who were able to be present, to experience in realtime the magic that must have been so readily apparent.
, attached to 1997-11-21

Review by JerrysMissingFinger

JerrysMissingFinger Set One Notes:
Emotional Rescue, hell yeah Mike, I dig it, smiling at the goofiness. We get a low-key groove to get things going, wah and a little funk siren kicking in for full effect. Page comes in with the synths, running diagnostics on the old mothership and the minds of its passengers. It’s nice, no one is in any hurry to do anything but groove, and why not for a while? The further in we get, the weirder thoughts are getting. This feels like the intro sequence of Phish’s bizarro late-70s sci-fi disco-craze B-movie. The tagline: “They just wanted to dance on a Friday night… but these extraterrestrial visitors had other plans… ITS HAMPTON 11/21”. The band breaks it down, some proto-post-’98-Ghost-intro-style jamming with Full 3D Laser Action. This becomes a true space jam, reaching the Singularity, and being Split Open and Melt. As a friend once said, “Straight butter transition” out of ER. Mike is bumping that low 5th string to start the jamming, a low-key jam at that, building as it follows clean and deliberate Trey. Mike and Fish are totally locked-in, Page dodging falling rocks on the mountainside they are climbing with hard piano hits as they reach peak territory, before we are emotionally rescued to a close. Beauty of My Dreams hits, I sense a thread through Emotional Rescue with the sentiment here. As another friend has said, “get you a band that can do both.”. By Dogs Stole Things, the set is firmly on Earth. I’m neutral on this song here. I’ll leave it at that. Punch? That intro groove gets me every time, swirling stereo Page is a thing of beauty of my dreams. The mid-set placement is cool, works well in this set. It’s the right energy, adds color back to the palette. The intro into Lawn Boy is super spacey, I had no idea where it was leading, but I would not have guessed Lawn Boy. Somehow this connects to the Emotional Rescue thread as well, this caricature-rock goofiness. Chalkdust is a great call to get things bouncing and bobbing again, with more clean and deliberate Trey. It becomes very pretty and major-key for a minute, before getting right back to business. Trey loves dropping into Caspian. The song just floats on rolling waves. We get a cool, very trippy looped fade-out, one that gets truly weird as Trey announces, “15 minutes”.

Set Two Notes:
Ghost drops, telling a low-key, hazy story for a while, but don’t confuse low-key with not-engaging. Quite the opposite. Exactly where you want to be when you are feeling the same way. The groove drops down low, Trey sending out signals to The Others, somewhere out there… The jam builds up into a really wide, upward coasting groove, before Trey takes it underwater with his wah. Page guides auditory searchlights across the depths, bass and drums pounding from below. Page drops the ballasts and lets his synths pull the band to the surface, Trey in tow. Here, we get a sudden but smooth drop straight into AC/DC Bag. Bag is a nice song to surface to, it’s all good vibes, man. Fish is a machine in the Type-I section, practically dancing on the drums. The further we get into the jam, the more I am drawn to Fish’s playing. Trey may be the captain of the mothership, but Fish is the pilot. No one has to work the heavy maneuvers, hard shifts, and hyper-extended grooves the way Fish does. The jam gets pretty DWD-jam-like to me. Soon, the band settles the ship down on a quiet moon, Trey wandering around the surface, Page floating above, Mike and Fish keeping the thrusters on a low burn for now. Trey signals for a departure, and Page shines as the band builds steam. Trey steps forward, using the guitar to carry the band ever upwards. I could write an essay on the deep importance of Fish’s drumming in the band, how crucial he is to the core of the sound we all recognize when we reach that certain place that many of us get to out there in the middle of a jam. The band builds to some manic peaking, with great Mike as we start to descend the other side, coming down into low-slung bounce funk. Soon, this is allowed to dissipate out into the stars. We soon approach a cyrstalline-disco-ball deep-space quasar, picking up strange radio signals, before we fly through an angry meteor cloud. Slave serves as a very nice landing pad, really, really nice. Slave is often a safe space, a place to internally regroup after some Far Out Weirdness. The sirens go off, but the disturbance of the chill vibe is soon resolved with soft swirling stereo Page hues. There is no hurry, no need to leave this sweet musical space, and the triumphant peak arrives in due course. Loving Cup is a nice touch, completing a Stones sandwich. Good Mike holding down the low end, dropping bombs on Treys peaking. I am initially skeptical of the Guyute encore call, but the further I get into it, the more I am digging it. “These guys know what they are doing.”, a friend remarks.

It’s one of the Hampton ’97 shows. Get it, and throw it on!
Add a Review
Setlist Filter
By year:

By month:

By day:

By weekday:

By artist:

Filter Reset Filters
Support Phish.net & Mbird
Fun with Setlists
Check our Phish setlists and sideshow setlists!


Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal | DMCA

© 1990-2024  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by Linode