Drowned included a Couldn’t Stand the Weather jam. 2001 contained Super Bad teases from Trey. Page teased Smoke on the Water in YEM. Bowie was preceded by a Charge! tease, included Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Baby Elephant Walk teases, a Simpsons signal, and was unfinished. This show was released as part of the Spectrum '97 box set.

Jam Chart Versions
Couldn't Stand the Weather jam in Drowned, Take Me Out to the Ballgame and Baby Elephant Walk teases in David Bowie, Super Bad tease in Also Sprach Zarathustra, Charge! tease, Smoke on the Water tease in You Enjoy Myself
Debut Years (Average: 1990)

This show was part of the "1997 Fall Tour (a.k.a. Phish Destroys America)"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by PeopleforaClearerPhish

PeopleforaClearerPhish In all, this is my show. The One. I do love it so.

The Drowned on 12/3 is top 5 Phish jams ever for me. If the regular '97 funk (if one can even say those words convincingly) is like mid-tempo dance music, a la Mushroom Jazz, then the Drowned funk here pushes past groovy house into something more akin to breakbeat. No, not in a strict tempo-equivalent way, but y'know, by 'analogy'...yeah, it's deep. *grin*

It is the most frenetic, quick funk improv in the canon, while never losing its soft touch or getting ahead of itself. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The 2001 is short....BUT, not short like post-hiatus 2001s, which are short because the band just isn't selling the song anymore. Rather this one is short because there's a fine YEM to come and, almost as if they realized that they shouldn't have tried to squeeze it in but simultaneously wish they had time to give it they HEAT it deserved, Trey (with Mike jumping in to help with the most perfect expression of his underwaterenvelopefilter tone in my memory banks) manages to crystalize the essence of the tour's groove into one single lick -- just one lick, repeated just the minimum number of times so that that they can move on to YEM while knowing that asses were properly moved...

Yes, the lick. You'll know it when you hear it.


You hear Trey break it out now and again even nowadays. My friends and I just call it "the Lick", but its full name, in Disco-Boogie-Heaven, is probably "The Essence of Phunk Lick". By whatever name, it manages to make you not even worry that the 2001 is among the shorter of the post-Awakening era Phish (everything that happened after the Wolfman's Brother you can hear on _Slip, Stitch and Pass_).

In Set 2 the Bowie falls apart tragi-wonderfully into Possum and then you get one of those great nuggets of ambient/pure boogie which dot the Great Fall tour and the killing-machine of a tour that is the Great Summer to come. And you will lick it up off of the greasy-nasty, sweat-stained floor...if you know what is good for you.

Thanks for listening.

-Chad (who was, is and will remain as full of shit as the next guy)
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by n00b100

n00b100 I'm with the other reviews that state that the first set is better than the second one in this show; neither of them match the astounding second set from the previous night's effort, but with the bounty of quality music from this show that's hardly anything to get upset about. The first noteworthy moment comes with the Drowned, which is one of the most pleasant surprises of a tour chock-full of surprises, as the band shifts out of the usual hard-rockin' Drowned jam into a funk extravaganza that might be the purest form of the cow-funk that everyone associates with Fall '97. Trey gets in his funky licks and Mike does very fine work, but this is Page's show through and through, as he abuses his clavinet, tosses out all sorts of nifty organ stings, and takes the lead in lieu of the usual Trey riffing. This is as superb a funky jam as the band ever played, and deserves much more attention. A nice Gumbo > 2001 > YEM stretch, with Gumbo's ending dark and downbeat before transitioning into 2001 and the YEM cool if not mind-blowing, ends a high-energy set.

The second set kicks off with Bowie (I wouldn't mind them giving Bowie the 2nd set opener slot and taking it for a ride again), which has a particularly elongated intro and stays in usual Bowie territory for a good spell (with the occasional spacey excursion) before launching into an uplifting major-key groove, Trey alternating between warm Weekapaug-esque chords and elfish soloing with Page (again!) doing some lovely work on the keys and Fish playing a nicely busy beat. The band works their way back in Bowie's usual jam space, and like a particularly charming phoenix rising from Bowie's ashes Possum works its way out of the jam in a great segue. Possum is its usual fiery self (boy, imagine the outcry if Possum showed up in this spot in a Set 2 today), and the jam that they launch into right afterwards is nearly as powerful as the first set Drowned, very close to the legendary Tube Jam from the Dayton show (even more wicked clavinet work from Page here). This nasty jam slows to a crawl, gets dark and spacey...and then Trey starts up Caspian, something of a buzzkill (some things never change, I guess), and Frankenstein and a sweet Hood close out another fine set.

Final thoughts: I'd still take last night's show (that second set is an out and out masterpiece), but wouldn't blame you at all if you preferred this one. The Bowie's major-key segment is truly great, and both the post-Possum Jam and Drowned are red-hot funk jams that demand hearing.

Oh yeah, I hope @MDosque has heard the Drowned since the night of the show. Rough time to take a bathroom break, my friend.
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by kipmat

kipmat When I rate a show, I try to weigh the performance by how much of the show I enjoyed/would like to listen to again, vs. how much I didn't enjoy/would not like to listen to again. The Spectrum shows from 97 are a good example of this in practice. 12/2 has some of the best improv of the tour during Mike's Groove, but the rest of the show (except for Ghost) is meh. This show, however, is grooving right from the start, and to my ears, doesn't let up AT ALL. That's why 12/3 is IMO a 5 star show, and 12/2 is not. Not to make a big deal about it; it's just semantics, certainly not an absolute. Anyway, download the show and listen for yourself.
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by Anonymous

(Published in the second edition of The Phish Companion...)

The previous night had a smoking second set, so the bar was high for night two. This show is a stellar performance. I had a good seat: a few rows from the floor, even with Kuroda on Page's side. I had used my previous night's ticket stub to get down to the lower level instead of my nosebleed seat. “PYITE” and “My Soul” were a good team for a high-energy opener, but “Drowned” is where I first got excited. Any music fan worth his salt knows that Quadrophenia kicks the crap out of Tommy. “Drowned” is one of the best songs off this album and has the best jam potential, as Phish demonstrated. An absolutely awesome jammed-out “Gumbo” came up soon after, similar to the 11/26/97 version. This segued nicely into “Also Sprach Zarathustra”. Now, this song is really cool and funky on its own merits, but it's also a chance for Chris Kuroda to solo. If you hear “2001” at an outdoor venue, it's just not nearly as good.
On this night, Chris blew everybody away. I love to hear this song indoors; the only thing that could have made it better would have been a straight-on view of the stage. A fairly straightforward “YEM” ended the set. An incredible “David Bowie” led off Set II. This version of “Bowie” is totally different then previous ones in Philly (12/15/95, 12/29/96, and 12/10/97). If this isn't proof of the band checking out old setlists before the show, I don't know what is. It clocks in at around twenty-eight minutes and it flew by for me, always an indication of a good jam. A raging “Possum” follows, and then the real highlight for me, the start/stop funk jam. This was utter musical euphoria. Especially during the first build-up, when they all started hitting the crescendo, Page did the build on the organ, and it all cuts out and the spotlight hits Trey. Wow. Unbelievable. Still probably the best moment for me at any concert. The end of the set was good, the “Harry Hood” was fun, but the real magic was in the first forty-five minutes. A rare Clapton cover (“Crossroads”) for an encore topped off the night.
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by MDosque

MDosque For some reason, this summer I have really gotten quite nostalgic concerning Phish experiences. I went back and listened to some of my early shows and was thrilled to relive them a little bit. After seeing them for the first time ever the year before at the Spectrum on 12/29, I returned to America's Showplace the next year. It was hard to know at the time, but the fall 97 tour is now considered stuff of legend. I have no idea where our real seats were, but we were 16, stoned, and scared shitless, so we headed as far up in that arena as possible. Around the Great Went, Phish really found their inner funk and their jams often veered into 70's disco porn music. It almost seems that for better or worse, they shed a little silliness and antics of the stage for straight up jams. I would say this is better, but early-90's partisans would surely disagree. They still had that in their back pockets, but these post-Went jams were a whole new animal. So it was with this show. Since there was not a bad seat in that now-razed house, I had a good vantage point. Plus some very Kind older heads nurtured us up in the nosebleed section, took our helplessly sloppy blunt, unwrapped it, and popped it in their bubbler. Lights out and show on...

Set 1: The funk was in full effect with a great opener. You have to love a PYITE opener at any show, but inside a cozy old arena with the winter winds whipping outside, that song is just the one to set the tone. This one was excellent. I always love My Soul, but as the 90's got late and some of the 99-00 jams (think ) got spacier and longer, I feel like My Soul really found its home as a safe call to snap everyone out of a trance (see Oswego...the set break there was mindbending for most and My Soul surely rescued many). As for this show, I remember it being fun and great as always. Drowned doesn't always do it for me, but that's ok. One man's bathroom break is another's highlight--that's the beauty of a Phish show. Looking and listening back, The Old Home Place seems like a nice choice for the Spectrum. From here on, Phish put on a display that showed their continuing evolution and pure virtuosity. The Gumbo-2001-YEM that closes this set is something that every fan of every period should seek out ASAP. This is pure 97 style phunk and this run of tunes cannot be denied. They were flat out ON and for the young guns (and we all love ya) that see shows now, this is the type of jam that causes older fans to pine for the late 90's. So just let us vent once in a while during a cheesy Alaska and realize that we love the band, you love the band, and all is good. But damn...this jam is IT.

Set Break: Things got weird in that old building and being too young to really appreciate the experience, confusion set in.

Set 2:
The Bowie was fantastic, just like the Bowie that opened the second set at my first show the previous winter. Great jamming and it landed into a powerful Possum. It was here that one of my biggest Phish regrets happened and I must do a mea culpa. Listening back, the jam out of Possum is pure bliss and maybe even one for the ages. Certainly, it would be surprising to hear that type of playing post-hiatus, but at the time, who knew...and we were ripped. We left. As I was walking through the concourse, I heard the beginning of Caspian, but I was out into the cold Philly night in search of our ride before the solo. It is true, like the other reviewer here stated that the magic was in the first set, and I do agree, but looking back, it seems a shame that I took it for granted and wasn't fully locked into that second set. Oh well. You live you learn. It happens to the best of us.

To sum it up, this show is fantastic, and indicative of the highest of heights that the band would inhabit from Went through Lemonwheel. Nearly every single show is musical feast and this show (particularly the first set) is right there. If you have to narrow it down..start from Gumbo and take it through the end of the first set. Maybe do it on an extended late summer evening walk with the dog. I promise you will be strollin like Dolomite down the block.
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by westbrook

westbrook As I said in my review of the previous night's show, these Philly shows both have at least one great set in them. This show is more balanced than 12/2, but this first set sticks out to me maybe even more so than the second set. For me, the first set is near perfect. PYITE and My Soul is a high-energy opening pair, and I absolutely love the jam in Drowned. It starts out rocking, but develops into a captivating funk jam with great flow. Drowned is strong enough to carry this set on its own, but the band had other plans. I'm a big fan of Phishgrass, so I think The Old Home Place works well after Drowned. The final trio of songs in the first set is played without a break and each of the songs is jammed a good amount. Gumbo has a nice funky jam that turns dark before segueing into a solid 2001, which brings out the funk again. As the last note of 2001 rings out, YEM begins and the crowd explodes. Good YEM, but nothing crazy. Excellent first set.

Set 2 begins with a long, exploratory Bowie that reaches some very interesting musical places, some dark and some light. The jam after Possum is right up there with the Island Tour Cavern (also out of Possum) for funkiest thing Phish has ever played. Great start-stop jamming (very similar to the previous night's Ghost) and the lick Trey plays at 4:58 is one of my all-time favorites. It would be difficult for me to choose between Drowned and this jam for my favorite part of the show. The jam ends with a great slow down segue into a well-played Caspian. Frankenstein, Hood, and Crossroads wrap up a pretty damn good show in the middle of a tour filled with them.
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Another exceptional "Front to Back" show. The first set is just as good as the second which is expected from this tour.

PYITE is strong as always to start. Drowned is a random surprise in the slot it's in and has a great mucky funk jam. Gumbo is pretty strong. 2001 (also in a weird slow) is excellent and although doesn't trail far off is an excellent version.

Bowie is notable for it's long intro with several creepy "take me out to the ballgame" teases. About halfway through it breaks away from the typical Bowie structure and into a nice groove that is very rhythm driven courtesy of some great work by Fish and Mike. At the end is has an excellent pulsing segue into Possum. Possum is straight fire and has an excellent peak and is followed by a random jam that is very similar to Tube. Hood gets a little stretch and is very well played.

And the cherry on top is a great cover of Crossroads which leaves the place ablaze after.

Just another excellent show. Don't let the lack of noteworthy versions steer you away lot's of excellent stuff packed in each set!
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by thebutler

thebutler Lots of heat in this one - wasn't there but this is one of the shows I go back to most...and it's for the Caspian. One of my favorite Trey solos in any song, never gets old no matter how many times I hear it. YouTube has a great video of it as well.

If you're a sucker for a good 'ole late 90's Caspian like me, this one will do the trick!
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I've already forgotten what went down in the Drowned, and pretty much the first set at large, in this first listen to this show preceding my review, but I did enjoy the set and especially the Drowned. I didn't recognize the Couldn't Stand the Weather jam (shame on me.) Gumbo's decelerated jam kind of recalls the similar jam in the Character Zero from the night before at the same venue. But the Bowie is the star of this show, IMO. (Or, if you please, the David Bowie -> Possum > Jam!) I don't know if I had heard an unfinished Bowie very frequently before... is 12/29/94 unfinished? But this one seemed familiar to me from listening to the entirety of 3.0. It's kind of a bliss jam, but with hints of machine-gun Trey. I'd like to hear other jams in a similar style. The Jam after Possum was just good-time cowfunk, but it was very enjoyable. I liked the Hood, a lot, too. Crossroads encore makes me think of how Trey could never seem to remember and/or properly deliver the lyrics to either that cover or Izabella, but how it kind of didn't matter, because they fitted so perfectly in the Fall '97 sound and because they give him a chance to really let 'er rip. I give this show 4 stars out of 5. Maybe some recency bias is in play--LOL, on a 20-year-old show--because I've just finished listening to it, but I enjoyed yourself.
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by HighNote

HighNote Manteca tease in Gumbo....anyone??
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by JerrysMissingFinger

JerrysMissingFinger Set One Notes:
Punch provides a nice spacey groove to get the show going, Fish in the Flyers jersey, pounding away, Trey spinning yarns of kidnapping at the hands of Wilson, the crowd energy in the old Spectrum very high. My Soul hits next, yes, another My Soul in ’97. Fine song and version, just overplayed. I’ll leave it there. Drowned hitting is a turn in a really strong direction, the first version since the Flynn Theatre show that spring. Trey starts a ripping solo right out of the gate, the band continuing to build until they emerge into a true improvised jam space, Trey riffing the band into a clav-crunch-infused jam with pounding Mike and sirens. The band gets locked-in to a wide-open, punchy groove, Trey and Page bouncing all over on top of it, before wrapping up a seriously cool first set jam. Old Home Place does its job in keeping the energy up, with Trey getting in a nice short solo. Gumbo is a call to return to the funk, and drops into a low-slung groove, Fish hammering the snare, Mike ground-pounding, the jam slowly lowering itself into open space, deep and increasingly radiant, starting to sparkle and glimmer as 2001 arises. I could take a 2001 at nearly every show. “Open the pod bay doors, HAL.” Fish 2K is smashing bones with every snare hit, before the first “chorus” absolutely blasts off. Superbad Trey emerges as they drop back into the groove, while alien signals project from the Chairman’s synths into the Spectrum. CK5 is bringing the scanning tractor beams over the crowd, sometimes catching the UFO itself hovering over the stage. The drop into YEM feels perfect, really, what other intro do you want to hear starting up at that moment? Clean execution throughout the composed section, always a happy, familiar journey, a song that you can feel cover distance. Trey goes straight to the wah, Mike to the slapping and popping as the lyrics hit, and after the trampolines, the jam embarks as a solid Trey buildup, a peaking solo, before giving way to Mike laying down waves of bass to Fish’s steady cymbal tapping. The vocal jam is relatively musical, with the band members settling into vocal roles and continuing the jam, closing the set.

Set Two Notes:
The Bowie beat starts up, with Page laying down an alien-infused teasefest in the intro. Noises from a digital jungle arise, Mike laying down ankle-level buzz saw bass, before Bowie-proper bursts forward. The jam begins low-key and wide open to possibility, starting a measured build, tension continuing to brew. Soon, the jam mellows into rolling waves of chording and open beats, before pushing upwards and coalescing as a raging Bowie jam, only to fall back out of the jam, with Possum then emerging from the unfinished Bowie. These ’97 Possums absolutely rage, this one totally exploding as its peak hits. Immediately, the Funk Jam gets started up by Trey, who is obviously in the mood for some cowfunk, cutting to the chase. Trey is head bobbing and hunching like a funk-hermit as he is caught in the wah-spotlight, soon leading Mike into a synchronized dance as the bass pounds. More stop-start, Page wah-chucking the clav, Fish 2K laying down straight disco-ball dance beats, a rhythm machine, through and through. We get more totally locked-in stop-start and synchro-dancing action, Page caught in the clav-spotlight, Mike ringing the fight bell in approval. Trey starts strutting with his guitar lines, pushing forward into upbeat territory, getting the sirens going. Mike starts levitating his bass lines over the pulsing groove before a sudden telepathically-conjured full-band stop hits. Right on cue, the band launches back into the groove, Page conducting a full audience abduction procedure with his synths as the groove starts to slow and crawl, winding down into Caspian. This is a grounding song, very Earthly, a contrast with what was just witnessed. Chord waves wash over the crowd, Trey laying into a satisfyingly sharp and somewhat slushy wah-affected solo. Mike is pounding and bumping real low-like, Fish hammering the cymbals and snare, baby grand coming alive on the opposite side of the stage. Trey is hyped, jumping around before hitting the big rock ending that I really like and wish that they kept. Frankenstein serves as a great late-set proggy rager, musically locked-in and tight, sending the Spectrum into a round of Kuroda-assisted crazy pulsating before giving way to Hood. Hood focuses the energy down and forward towards a strong finish, CK5’s beautiful greens and blues illuminating the space. Mike hurls lumps of plasma-bass out into the crowd as they thank Mr. Miner, before the jam builds into soaring ecstasy. Twisting and winding up, the jam finally peaks, and as Hood wraps up, Trey walks over to Mike and gives him a message, presumably to keep his bass on as they leave the stage, as Trey and Mike both take their instruments with them as they walk off. I speculate that they wanted to give the upcoming encore a bit of practice or review, as it hadn’t been played since that summer at Alpine. Crossroads, as the encore turns out to be, gets to raging very quickly, a really solid version, even considering that it was likely a spur of the moment call.

Another great show to wrap up a truly all-time two-night stand in Philly, deserving as much acclaim as probably any other two nights along the Fall tour that year. I really mean that. I will boost Philly ’97 until we get the box set with the 12/11/99 tie-in.
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1:

Punch You in the Eye: Coming in hot out of the gate. >

My Soul: Many aren’t huge fans myself included but this does manage to keep energy levels high.

Drowned: included a Couldn’t Stand the Weather by Stevie Ray Vaughn jam. Nice bustout, 52 show gap – LTP 3.18.97. Awesome placement too. This one of course goes to funk town. Loops get it all started. Page has an awesome solo that is lengthy with Trey in particular very energetic in strumming behind him. The last two minutes of this version are spacey – especially the last 45 seconds. Would recommend this Drowned for sure.

The Old Home Place: Standard.

Gumbo: This jam is very minimalistic. Trey finally breaks that up at the 6 minute mark. As .net mentions, this one definitely has a sinister edge to it. It dissolves into Page plinking away at the baby grand and it almost sounds like he is hedging for Rock A William. I would recommend this version of Gumbo. >

Also Sprach Zarathustra: contained Super Bad teases from Trey at 8:17. Trey just killing that Super Bad theme while Page supports him with some super sick effects and then it slides into the second peak while Trey keeps Super Badding – this is ridiculously good. So much fun!!! Would recommend! >

You Enjoy Myself: Page teased Smoke on the Water in YEM. Trey crushes both runs at the Note, and the crowd is going absolutely nuts during the second one. This is one seriously locked in crowd. Check out that weird scratching effect at 9:20 as they hop onto the tramps. I have heard this before in YEM but cannot currently place it. Anyway, this turns out to be a pretty run of the mill version and short too. Still, it’s a great way to end a great set! The band and the crowd are completely locked in.

SET 2:

David Bowie: Bowie was preceded by a Charge! tease, included Take Me Out to the Ball Game by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer at 0:05 and Baby Elephant Walk by Henrry Mancini at 0:33 teases, a Simpsons signal, and was unfinished. The extended intro is all kinds of crazy. Intense Bowie jam through and through – what you would expect of a high velocity version. But at 17:50 or so this one takes a sharp turn into major chord bliss jam, very rare back then. Would recommend. ->

Possum: Good enough version with a solid peak for the era. >

Jam: Oh, what’s this now? Woooooo! Lots of energy that piggybacks right out of the typical Possum ending. Trey strumming along quickly here. This goes along much like it starts for the majority of its seven or eight minutes until it suddenly slows down with about 50 seconds left. ->

Prince Caspian: Patient intro out of the segue. Strong solo from Trey. Not good enough to necessarily assign it as a replay value type of version though. This version is noted as a jamcharts version though. >

Frankenstein: Standard. >

Harry Hood: Solid Hood, nothing that stood out for me though.


Crossroads: Shredded.

Summary: Not nearly as high on that funk jam after Possum as many seem to have been over the years. In general, I am just not as high on this show as the current ratings reflect and what I have read over the past couple of decades. I loved the Drowned and 2001. Gumbo is good and Bowie is really good. But for me, the rest of the show does not match up to the prior night. I understand I am likely in the minority here but it’s my hill and I will take a stand there. I think this show should be in that 4.3 range, current rating on .net is 4.539/5.

Replay Value: Drowned, Gumbo, Also Sprach Zarathustra, David Bowie
, attached to 1997-12-03

Review by radiator9987

radiator9987 This may be a perfect show for me. The lot was buzzing after the night before, tickets were on sale at the box office, and we were ready to throw down. PYITE is how you start a party and then 3 great covers, ending with the meth-funk Drowned jam, didn't let us catch a breath. Next up was another fantastic run of Gumbo> 2001> YEM that put a huge exclamation point on the set.

As good as it was, the second set is a masterpiece, sneaky candidate for top 3 show of the tour. The Bowie is fantastic with over 5 minutes letting the intro breath before hitting the song proper. Bowie was a tough one to break free of it's form and this one did in spectacular fashion, so much so it ended up in Possum. Possum, not to be out down, gets lost in a funk jam that resolves into the first 'slow song' of the night Caspian. With some mustard left over from the massive version earlier in the tour it allowed the end to blossom into Frankenstein. The Hood is always welcomed and competent, but I think by that point they had left it all on the table. A solid Crossroads left us spilling into the Philadelphia night
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