Phish Friday | Stuttgart ’97

ph1.jpeg
photo by Goldberg

This week’s 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 canon.

Here’s a taste:

All tracks courtesy of the folks at MomaDance

  • http://glidemagazine.com/hiddentrack Ace Cowboy

    Love that Camel Walk…love all Camel Walks, though.

    Prime Cuts is rolling over in its figurative grave right now, Whit…your own tapes and a week’s turnaround time?! That’s not even half the store Prime Cuts was — ah Lawn Gisland’s own improvisational rock shoppe, how I truly miss thee. Even got into my first car accident in their parking lot. But I bet I got some sweet tapes that day.

    But ain’t it funny how far we’ve come from just a decade ago? We go to shows where the recordings are online by the time we wake up, ready for downloading to a disc and to a portable device. The old days seem so friggin’ long ago, no?

  • http://glidemagazine.com/hiddentrack Ace Cowboy

    Love that Camel Walk…love all Camel Walks, though.

    Prime Cuts is rolling over in its figurative grave right now, Whit…your own tapes and a week’s turnaround time?! That’s not even half the store Prime Cuts was — ah Lawn Gisland’s own improvisational rock shoppe, how I truly miss thee. Even got into my first car accident in their parking lot. But I bet I got some sweet tapes that day.

    But ain’t it funny how far we’ve come from just a decade ago? We go to shows where the recordings are online by the time we wake up, ready for downloading to a disc and to a portable device. The old days seem so friggin’ long ago, no?

  • http://glidemagazine.com/hiddentrack Ace Cowboy

    Love that Camel Walk…love all Camel Walks, though.

    Prime Cuts is rolling over in its figurative grave right now, Whit…your own tapes and a week’s turnaround time?! That’s not even half the store Prime Cuts was — ah Lawn Gisland’s own improvisational rock shoppe, how I truly miss thee. Even got into my first car accident in their parking lot. But I bet I got some sweet tapes that day.

    But ain’t it funny how far we’ve come from just a decade ago? We go to shows where the recordings are online by the time we wake up, ready for downloading to a disc and to a portable device. The old days seem so friggin’ long ago, no?

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin

    Yeah I’ll second that emotion — it’s wild to think that I started on Phish with tapes and then full circle to me downloading crispy DVD copies of the same show I had on tape….I still can’t get over that.

    Our generation is truly experiencing something special in terms of technological advancement. The Phish community is one that always embraced it. That’s probably one of the reasons I got so geeky on the band in the first place.

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin

    Yeah I’ll second that emotion — it’s wild to think that I started on Phish with tapes and then full circle to me downloading crispy DVD copies of the same show I had on tape….I still can’t get over that.

    Our generation is truly experiencing something special in terms of technological advancement. The Phish community is one that always embraced it. That’s probably one of the reasons I got so geeky on the band in the first place.

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com Justin

    Yeah I’ll second that emotion — it’s wild to think that I started on Phish with tapes and then full circle to me downloading crispy DVD copies of the same show I had on tape….I still can’t get over that.

    Our generation is truly experiencing something special in terms of technological advancement. The Phish community is one that always embraced it. That’s probably one of the reasons I got so geeky on the band in the first place.

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com whitperson

    actually, if you read the top of the post, it’s Gibs, not me, who went to this place in Ann Arbor. I just added in that reference for all the EastCoasters (like you) who would know PrimeCuts…

    PCs was one of my main sources of tapes for years (via all my NY buddies at Cornell). Then sometime in ’99 a similar store opened up in Ithaca and answered all of our needs. Of course, by then, we were already moving on to CDs.

    We hav def. witnessed a sea change in the world of taper-friendly bands (which is much bigger than just “jambands”).

    I honestly kinda miss that whole process of getting and making recordings. The instant-gratification model is almost too easy these days!

    Then again, I’m not complaining :) Being able to hear the show I went to just the night before, is pretty amazing!

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com whitperson

    actually, if you read the top of the post, it’s Gibs, not me, who went to this place in Ann Arbor. I just added in that reference for all the EastCoasters (like you) who would know PrimeCuts…

    PCs was one of my main sources of tapes for years (via all my NY buddies at Cornell). Then sometime in ’99 a similar store opened up in Ithaca and answered all of our needs. Of course, by then, we were already moving on to CDs.

    We hav def. witnessed a sea change in the world of taper-friendly bands (which is much bigger than just “jambands”).

    I honestly kinda miss that whole process of getting and making recordings. The instant-gratification model is almost too easy these days!

    Then again, I’m not complaining :) Being able to hear the show I went to just the night before, is pretty amazing!

  • http://www.livemusicblog.com whitperson

    actually, if you read the top of the post, it’s Gibs, not me, who went to this place in Ann Arbor. I just added in that reference for all the EastCoasters (like you) who would know PrimeCuts…

    PCs was one of my main sources of tapes for years (via all my NY buddies at Cornell). Then sometime in ’99 a similar store opened up in Ithaca and answered all of our needs. Of course, by then, we were already moving on to CDs.

    We hav def. witnessed a sea change in the world of taper-friendly bands (which is much bigger than just “jambands”).

    I honestly kinda miss that whole process of getting and making recordings. The instant-gratification model is almost too easy these days!

    Then again, I’m not complaining :) Being able to hear the show I went to just the night before, is pretty amazing!

  • nhampshire

    I’m about to throw away all those old tapes – the customer covers, the years of collecting. I just don’t have the room or headspace to carry them with me anymore.

    I once read an anecdote about Trey making a clean break with all his music. Just getting rid of a whole collection and starting fresh. There is something extremely liberating about that.

  • nhampshire

    I’m about to throw away all those old tapes – the customer covers, the years of collecting. I just don’t have the room or headspace to carry them with me anymore.

    I once read an anecdote about Trey making a clean break with all his music. Just getting rid of a whole collection and starting fresh. There is something extremely liberating about that.

  • nhampshire

    I’m about to throw away all those old tapes – the customer covers, the years of collecting. I just don’t have the room or headspace to carry them with me anymore.

    I once read an anecdote about Trey making a clean break with all his music. Just getting rid of a whole collection and starting fresh. There is something extremely liberating about that.

  • http://glidemagazine.com/hiddentrack Ace Cowboy

    I think the whole downloading culture has spolied this generation, though. What I really mean is, when you dubbed a tape from a friend, you had to write the setlist on a tape cover and actually listen to the fucking thing as it went (high-speed dubbing is for pussies and posers). It made you LISTEN to the show. It made you stumble on the funny banter, the missed notes, the cool shit from every show.

    These days, that part of the equation is totally missing…

  • http://glidemagazine.com/hiddentrack Ace Cowboy

    I think the whole downloading culture has spolied this generation, though. What I really mean is, when you dubbed a tape from a friend, you had to write the setlist on a tape cover and actually listen to the fucking thing as it went (high-speed dubbing is for pussies and posers). It made you LISTEN to the show. It made you stumble on the funny banter, the missed notes, the cool shit from every show.

    These days, that part of the equation is totally missing…

  • http://glidemagazine.com/hiddentrack Ace Cowboy

    I think the whole downloading culture has spolied this generation, though. What I really mean is, when you dubbed a tape from a friend, you had to write the setlist on a tape cover and actually listen to the fucking thing as it went (high-speed dubbing is for pussies and posers). It made you LISTEN to the show. It made you stumble on the funny banter, the missed notes, the cool shit from every show.

    These days, that part of the equation is totally missing…

  • nhampshire

    My ipod is connected to a laptop here at work. So before leaving for the weekend it is exciting to download the Phish Friday offering with the plan to listen over the weekend.

    On that note, I am going to listen to this run while riding the T to meet friends for the Sox game on Sunday. It is similar to the anticipation while making a tape listed in a comment above.

    I’m already looking forward to being alone on that crowded train, totally engrossed by what Phish is playing with the added anticipation of drinking with friends before the game.

    Planned listening – can’t be beat.

  • nhampshire

    My ipod is connected to a laptop here at work. So before leaving for the weekend it is exciting to download the Phish Friday offering with the plan to listen over the weekend.

    On that note, I am going to listen to this run while riding the T to meet friends for the Sox game on Sunday. It is similar to the anticipation while making a tape listed in a comment above.

    I’m already looking forward to being alone on that crowded train, totally engrossed by what Phish is playing with the added anticipation of drinking with friends before the game.

    Planned listening – can’t be beat.

  • nhampshire

    My ipod is connected to a laptop here at work. So before leaving for the weekend it is exciting to download the Phish Friday offering with the plan to listen over the weekend.

    On that note, I am going to listen to this run while riding the T to meet friends for the Sox game on Sunday. It is similar to the anticipation while making a tape listed in a comment above.

    I’m already looking forward to being alone on that crowded train, totally engrossed by what Phish is playing with the added anticipation of drinking with friends before the game.

    Planned listening – can’t be beat.

  • 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…..

  • 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…..