PHISH FRIDAY: A November (’97) to Remember
This, the final edition of our month-long series, highlights one of the best months in Phish history — November 1997. Phish took a break from their normal Fall routine of the last few years as there was no Halloween costume performed and no shows in the preceding month of October. The band took a break after August’s Great Went festival and didn’t play together publicly until a performance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien where the band debuted a new original, “Farmhouse.” The time off did not hamper the band creatively as four and five-song sets became common. The band even debuted an original instrumental “Black Eyed Katy” at their first show in November. BEK was the inspiration for “Moma Dance” which debuted a year later on their ’98 Summer tour. Some call the ’97 era of Phish the PEAK, although I hate to label anything the “best” when their history is still being written.
Pete (@PeteLikesPhish) and I have compiled an extensive list of the top moments from November ’97, from the entire show on 11/17/97 to the 58-minute “Runaway Jim” that just had its 15th birthday yesterday. Onto the list.
Notable Shows / Moments from November ’97:
11/13: The debut of Black Eyed Katy kicks off the fall funk and sets the tone for the tour. Standout versions of Stash & Mike’s in the 2nd set.
11/14: The first four-song second set of the tour, and it only took two shows for it to happen.
11/16: This show lives in the shadow of the next night but Timber > Simple is worth a listen. It’s a Mr. Miner favorite.
11/17: A show with legendary status amongst fans. All ‘best ever Ghost’ discussions start with this version.. Trey said the band listened to this jam afterwards as an example of a pinnacle/peak jam and full band interplay. Read an extensive breakdown of this very “Ghost” which was given a perfect 10.0 by @LawnMemo. The 1st set can’t be overlooked either. It was the best 1st set of the tour….until 12/7/97 three weeks later.
11/19: Another solid 4 song second set consisting of 2001 > Wolfmans > Makisupa > Taste.
11/21: The debut of Emotional Rescue. Ghost > Bag -> Slave all standout in the second set.
11/22: Some call it the best two-set show ever. Izabella closes the 1st set and the 2nd set of Halley’s Comet > Tweezer > Black-Eyed Katy > Piper > Run Like an Antelope makes a damn good argument.
11/23: A 31-minute top shelf Gin followed by Down with Disease > Low Rider > Disease
11/26: Zero -> 2001 -> Cities. Best Zer0 ever!
11/28: The best of the YEMs this tour, and uber funky at that. Here’s the Ghost for good measure.
11/29: The infamous 58-minute Runaway Jim (Part 1, Part 2), and a Moby Dick bustout.
11/30: A 15-minute Funky Bitch and a 30-minute Wolfmans’ with Sanity lyrics in the first set. Trey asked @ChrisCK5 to cut the lights during Wolfmans’ so they could jam in the dark. Also a killer Stash and the only ever Phishified version of “Them Changes” to close out the month.
Highlighted Video from November ’97:
DOWNLOAD: For an awesome compilation of Fall 97′, check out Ben James’s Picks on Etree.org. Now it’s onto December which holds a few memories of it’s own, and that’s an understatement. 670 hours until #YEMSG!
About the author
Aaron is originally from the east coast (Warren, MA) but currently resides on the West Side in Santa Monica, CA working as an editor for the Fox Sports Network. Besides live music (Phish, Wilco, Bill Frisell), he appreciates street art, photography, Wes Anderson films, and traveling. Follow him on twitter and instagram.
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