Today marks the 15th Anniversary of one of the better shows (and premiere first sets) in ’s history — December 7th, 1997 at the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio. Pretty much every December is littered top shelf moments but 12/7/97 stands out personally because it was one of the first December tapes my friends all told me I had to get my hands on (along 12/9/95) while I was in high school. Whenever I hear the “” intro, instead of thinking of and his on his film, my mind wanders to grandeur of “Tube” and “” and “Theme from the Bottom.”

was riding the momentum from the night before (12/6/97) at The Palace of Auburn Hills. That gig featured a second set of “Tweezer” -> “Izabella” that I highly recommend giving a listen.

At the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio, threw down one of the best first sets of their career. lived up to their Fall ’97 slogan of “Phish Destroys America.” December 7th also served up so many first set sandwiches even Page would be stuffed. They opened up “AC/DC Bag” then transitioned into the (at the time) second ever performance of “Psycho Killer.” The first time Phish played the classic was on 3/30/93 sandwiched between a killer “Weekapaug” segment. Towards the end of the set when the audience figured things were cooling down, the band had other ideas, taking “Tube” for arguably it’s greatest ride ever (12/29/97’s version certainly gives it a run for it’s money$).

Then to close out the set, the blends into a surreal version of “Slave to the Traffic Light.” It must be noted that during this version of “Tube” the lights went off, the band stopped, then started jamming the “Tube” theme into what labels the “Dayton Jam.”


Overshadowed by the first set, 12/7’s second set shouldn’t be forgotten. The set opens with “Timber” and featured the first “Boogie On Reggae Woman” since 9/13/88. Much different than 2012 Phish with “Boogie” being a staple these days. The band also delivered a late set “Reba” and an above-average “Possum” to close out the night. “A Day in the Life” was a poignant encore as the next day was the anniversary of John Lennon’s death.


Official soundboard from .

Mediafire Download link of 12/7/97

1997.12.07 - Ervin J. Nutter Center

Today in Phish’s History, 12/07/1997

Ervin J. Nutter Center, Wright State University, Dayton, OH

Set 1: AC/DC Bag -> Psycho Killer[1] -> Jesus Just Left [2], My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own > It’s Ice -> Swept Away > Steep > It’s Ice > Theme From the Bottom, Tube, Tube Jam -> Slave to the Traffic Light

Set 2: Timber (Jerry) > Wolfman’s Brother -> Boogie On Reggae Woman > Reba[3], Guyute > Possum[4]

Encore: A Day in the Life

[1] Unfinished.
[2] Rocky Mountain Way tease.
[3] No whistling.
[4] “Charge!” teases.

from / Header Photo from

Besides being an avid concert-goer, currently working at Fox Sports and serving as co-editor / writer for LIVE music blog, while living in Santa Monica. Tweets @phortin.