, attached to 1997-07-31

Review by ucpete

ucpete Upon relisten, I have changed my rating from four stars to five stars for this show -- though on a 10 point scale, this show's probably a 9. The show starts out blazing, with a funk-filled Ghost and an extended Ya Mar. Four of the first five songs of the set are brand new as of the preceding Europe tour, and it doesn't show at all. Saw It Again is great (also debuted the previous month) and the first set closes with maybe the best YEM of '97 -- which really says something. Funk in this YEM? Check. Psychedelic jamming on the back of the Worm? You bet. Creepy vocal jam? No prob.

Like many shows from Summer '97, the peaks that end the first set carry right over to the second set, and we get an all-time, must-hear Jim to open the second set, with a beautiful, sneak-attack -> into Circus. Though the Vultures is par for the '97 course (another new song!), we get a mini bust-out in McGrupp that bumps up into one of the better Mike's Grooves of 1997 to close the second frame. You know how sometimes the start of Mike's Song can be a bit jarring? This one, out of McGrupp, is far from it -- it really works here, and instead of the usual > Hydrogen, we get a strange -> Hydrogen which is dissonant but cool. The "nod to Jerry" in Weekapaug in the house Bill Graham built for him is pretty awesome, as is the CYHMK outro (as an aside -- the aerial view of Shoreline is a Steal Your Face logo: http://i.imgur.com/PGKuyCX.jpg). And in perhaps a "nod to Neil" (yes, I realize the whole "nod to" thing is comical), whose Bridge School Benefit is hosted annually at Shoreline as well -- perhaps not a coincidence that Phish was invited to play the next year -- the show closes with Cinnamon Girl. This is a historic show -- check it out!

It was the first time in my life some of my friends in high school had gone to see Phish, and was right around the time I was getting my first exposure to the band. I didn't catch my first show until Shoreline '99... this would've been a nice first show for sure.


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