Phish Friday | Stuttgart ’97

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photo by Goldberg

This week’s Phish Friday is another gem from Live Music Blog friend, Gibs, who last left us pondering the greatness of the Clifford Ball. Gibs has clearly been digging back into those crates of tapes, and this time he’s brought us some underrated Europe ’97 goodness. Enjoy!

I remember the days back in Ann Arbor, heading to InFlight to see what new shows they had in their catalog (it was kind of the Prime Cuts of the Midwest). So long as you brought in your own Maxell II blank tapes, they’d turn the shows around in about a week to enjoy. I trusted the guy behind the counter to point me in the right direction for new stuff. So when they started getting a bunch of the Europe ’97 shows, I was all ears. He said Stuttgart was where it’s at, yammering on and on about how ridiculous the setlist was. While I appreciate the rarities and randomness, to me a well-played set of standard songs is much more entertaining than novelty (can anybody say Alpine 99 as a prime example)…but I digress.


Stuttgart ’97 is filled with songs that, if played in the States in this combination, fans would be spontaneously erupting with excitement and craziness. But, it’s not just a novelty act. The actual playing holds up to the craziness as seen on paper.

Perhaps trying to compensate for the night before (which was pretty lackluster), they came out firing on all cylinders. Set one sets the tone with a “Camel Walk” opener (yes you read that right), a 4th-song 1st-set “Hood” (which soars), a rotation “Rocko William”, a “Dog Log,” and a “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” closer (nailed).

Set two has the humor of a “Ha-Ha-Ha” (with extended jam), a “YEM > Kung” (need to hear it to believe it), and then a “Scent of a Mule” that prominently features Leo. With Trey’s help, Page then brings it masterfully and beautifully into “Magilla” before wrapping it up proper. Toss in a “Slave” closer with the ever-elusive “Highway To Hell” encore and it all adds up to a solid, all-around display of their talents. If they brought this quality and rarity to the Gorge or Creek, I would have freaked instantly.

Alas, it is an unheralded show that gets overshadowed by others from this run (Hamburg), but it remains a true gem within the Phish canon.

Here’s a taste:

All tracks courtesy of the folks at MomaDance

  • gibs

    No fiber mailers! Thin felt tip black magic marker….where to cut the songs to side A and side B (posing more challenging in longer jams but could always find a “quiet” place to stop)… a pile of empty plastic cases waiting for a surprising arrival from the mailbox….the beauty and generosity of a B+P. oh those were the good old days…..

  • John

    Haven’t listened to much Phish in a while, then have been LOVING the show from Cologne, Germany from this run. Mostly standard stuff, but great energy from start to finish. The focus is on songs more than jamming, really hitting my sweet spot right now.

  • John

    Haven’t listened to much Phish in a while, then have been LOVING the show from Cologne, Germany from this run. Mostly standard stuff, but great energy from start to finish. The focus is on songs more than jamming, really hitting my sweet spot right now.

  • John

    Haven’t listened to much Phish in a while, then have been LOVING the show from Cologne, Germany from this run. Mostly standard stuff, but great energy from start to finish. The focus is on songs more than jamming, really hitting my sweet spot right now.

  • randymac88

    Agreed this is one of the most under-rated or un-heralded shows in Phish history. Wish they would release the soundboards. I have to say, there is no equal to the Theme from the Bottom played in Stuttgart on that fateful night.

    I have listened to a lot of Phish, and I just don’t think there is a better show out there.