, attached to 1997-11-13

Review by n00b100

n00b100 It almost feels like Denver is where Fall '97 actually started, such is the praise 11/17 gets and the relative lack of attention the three shows preceding it get. 11/14 has gotten more attention as of late, but it still feels like that part of the tour (3 out of 21 shows, no small percentage!) gets no love, having to live in the shadow of one of the Almighty Shows.

As the first show of the tour, especially after a great summer tour and the awesomeness of the Went, there were probably some high expectations attached to this show, and Phish delivers on the promise of the year's earlier tours (they'd shatter them 4 days later...but enough about that show!). The first set has some fine moments, including the debut of BEK, which is tentative compared to the super-sharp funk of 11/22-23's versions, but still worth hearing. SOAM delivers a really good jam (though it often does), and the YEM packs a pretty mean funky wallop (including a mellow vocal jam).

The second set is really strong, and serves as a fine trailer for the greatness of the entire tour. The opening Stash dives into the usual murky depths Stash jams tend to dive into, but the jam suddenly turns melodic and sweet for a brief moment - in fact, you can hear a lot of what Phish did so damn well in 2012 in that snippet - before entering some real uncharted waters via a really out-there ambient jam, then somehow finding its feet and returning to Stash. This is one of the jams of the tour, plain and simple, a glorious trip into the beyond. We then get a three song breather before the band launches into a superb Mike's Groove. Mike's is powerful and muscular (the Bayou tease is especially nifty since it comes out of a jam you'd expect would lead to Hydogen), Hydrogen sweet (if kinda bobbled), and an especially hot Weekapaug that somehow manages to go triple-time into its big finish. Even in a tour of nonstop highlights, this set manages to establish itself as a must-hear.

This is a heck of a show, and the AUD on the spreadsheet is of fine quality. It's a keeper in a tour full of keepers.


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