The European tour opener featured the debuts of Walfredo and Rock A William and the Phish debuts of Love Me, My Soul, and When the Circus Comes. Trey teased Super Bad in 2001. The jam after PYITE contained Close to the Edge (Yes) teases from Trey. Maze was unfinished.
Jam Chart Versions
Close to the Edge tease in Jam, Super Bad tease in Also Sprach Zarathustra
Debut Years (Average: 1992)

This show was part of the "1997 Winter European Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 1997-02-13

Review by LizardwithaZ

LizardwithaZ Rating: 7/10 Pounds

The energy is very high for this show! The crowd is pumped and into it!

CDT: very VERY fast version! It’s easy to forget how fast they used to play it. Blazing fast and fun!

Wolfman’s: nice version, with just a hint of the funk coming later in the year.

2001: not too long, but quite good.

Stash: the highlight to this point. A weird and noisy jam at points, and I always love the return to stash.

Walfredo: is this supposed to be good? I don’t like it. Reminds me of a bad Spock’s Brain.

Take a breath before this next series of songs...

Taste> waste > poor heart > zero > peaches is absolute grade A phish. The taste rages, waste almost loses me with a slight Trey flub early but regains it’s footing, than a lightning fast poor heart. This zero though. Man, it is great. Trey really goes and gets it with a bit of wah wah. The crowd is super in to the beginning, clapping the beat during the intro. Kind of cool!
And then the white whale appears, a song I will never get, Peaches! And it rules!

Love Me: not sure what inspired them to do this cover, but it doesn’t really fit and breaks up the flow of an unbelievable set.

Bowie: pretty good Bowie, though nothing to write home about, but it would absolutely be near the top of 3.0 Bowie’s if played today.

Set 2!
This is an on fire Julius, and a great way to start the set.

CTB seems above average with Page really bringing the heat.

My Soul is pretty standard.

This PYITE is certainly...something? It’s a sloppy mess. However, it leads into this weird Jam that is well worth it and salvages a so-so set.

The Jam is minimalist and cool and eventually goes into a gorgeous Slave > when the circus comes. An absolutely stunning 23 minutes of music between those 3.

Maze: more audience clapping! This audience is loving it! A nice rocker of a Maze that gets a little weird at the end and doesn’t finish before > RAW.

Rock-A-William. Never heard it before. This is a much better silly phish song than Walfredo.

Hood> Stein: holy damn. The jam in hood goes to the place of ethereal lightness that is just beautiful. Nice little quiet section that really lets Page shine. Then they bring it back up and all of them are just locked in and letting the universe flow into the room. Unbelievable. Just fantastic Hood!
But we aren’t content to end the set with a joyous good hood. Nope!
The fires of Hood scare Frankenstein out of his castle and he comes roaring out to end the set in fiery fashion.
And boy is that drop into Frankenstein fantastic with Page bringing the heat again. A really great set comes to a rocking end. Hot stuff!

Caspian as an encore? Eh, okay. The slow build-in to the opening of the song is nice before the song really starts. I wish they would do that more often. Fish is hitting the drums kind of hard for a Caspian though, like he doesn’t appreciate not being able to rock out for the encore right away. It’s kind of a rough version, honestly, though it does improve once it gets past the main song to the Trey solo. Nice work out of Trey there once he gets going.

JBG is a much more fitting way to end this show though. Nice and fiery for sure. Trey shred-fest!

Highlights for me were that Jam>Circus section and that unbelievable Hood.
, attached to 1997-02-13

Review by Penn42

Penn42 This show is nothing essential, but an okay listen nonetheless. Here we get the first taste of funky Phish. Though the funk hadn't fully developed, the contrast between this show and Fall '96 is striking. The grooves are deeper and, more importantly, Trey has started to back off. This is the first step of Trey's (and the band's) minimalistic journey that would culminate somewhere in the first half of 2000.

There aren't really any highlights in this show, save the Punch. The song Punch You In The Eye itself, is a little sloppy, but the post-jam out of the last big hit is quite tasty and reaches some very nice spacey places. If you include the post-jam in the timing, Punch is almost 17 minutes long. Other than that we've got just decent versions of 2001, Stash, and Bowie in the first set and five debuts sprinkled in for flavor.

In the end, the only thing you really ought to hear from this show is the Punch.
, attached to 1997-02-13

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw Damn the full star rating system!

This is an excellent tour opener. Chalk Dust just rips right from the get-go. Wolfman in the 2nd slot works well to maintain the energy. 2001 (in a bizarre slot) is also played well. Highlight of the set has to be the fantastic Stash, one of the best Stash peaks I've ever heard. It's just fantastic in every conceivable way. Walfredo is a well played debut. Bowie rips almost as hard as Stash, great finale.

Julius is it's typical set opener self. My Soul gets a solid debut. PYITE is great, as is it's (probably very unexpected) jam afterwards. It starts with some nice feedback until they find their footing that would take them into Slave. The Maze > Rock A William sequence is great, and the well played debut's continue with Rock A William. Hood is above average.

I like the Slow > Fast aspect of the encore. Kind of similar to a Sleeping Monkey > Rock Top encore.

Overall a well played tour opener.
, attached to 1997-02-13

Review by zsmith0307

zsmith0307 I actually didn't enjoy the Jam out of Punch... I think it could be overrated in part because it's really the only improv the whole night.
As lame as it sounds, my highlight of the show was probably the encore. You can tell the band was excited about the Billy Breathes material and as far as I can tell songs like Prince Caspian are played their best around this time. Caspian definitely hits some great peaks, and JBG is a great way to end the show and rips.
But I definitely agree with the consensus that this show is skippable.
, attached to 1997-02-13

Review by spreaditround

spreaditround PHISH, THURSDAY 02/13/1997
London, England
SET 1:

Chalk Dust Torture: Standard.

Wolfman's Brother: Standard. >

Also Sprach Zarathustra: Standard. >

Stash: Standard.

Walfredo[1] The biggest cheer was for Malachai from Children of the Corn. Debut.

Taste: Standard. >

Waste: Standard. >

Poor Heart: Standard. >

Character Zero: Standard. >

Peaches en Regalia: Standard.

Love Me[2] Another debut.

David Bowie: Standard.

SET 2:

Julius: Standard.

Cars Trucks Buses: Standard. >

My Soul[2] Another debut >

Punch You in the Eye: Standard. >

Jam: This contains much of what I consider that unique 97 sound. This is fantastic, feels almost like a soundcheck. Would recommend. >

Slave to the Traffic Light: They try hard to take it there but just can’t quite get there. >

When the Circus Comes[2] Another debut. >

Maze[3] Unfinished, blue balls >

Rock A William[1] Another debut.

Harry Hood: This jam has some serious heart and soul. Love, love this jam. The peak – they try so hard to make it great but fall just short. Still, would recommend for the jam. >

Frankenstein: Standard.


Prince Caspian: Standard. >

Johnny B. Goode: Raucous.

Summary: Tour opener with so many debuts so it’s uneven but that is sort of expected. The PYITE > Jam > Slave segment was inspired. Hood was a lot of fun. But the show is weak in general, certainly below average. Would score it as a 3.3/5.

Replay Value: Jam, Harry Hood

[1] Debut.
[2] Phish debut.
[3] Unfinished.

The European tour opener featured the debuts of Walfredo and Rock A William and the Phish debuts of Love Me, My Soul, and When the Circus Comes. Trey teased Super Bad in 2001. The jam after PYITE contained Close to the Edge (Yes) teases from Trey. Maze was unfinished.
Jam, Harry Hood
Close to the Edge tease in Jam, Super Bad tease in Also Sprach Zarathustra
, attached to 1997-02-13

Review by kipmat

kipmat We love artists like Phish because they are constantly developing and progressing. The Phish Book and the film Bittersweet Motel are invaluable documents because they capture the band during 1997-98, a period of professional and aesthetic transition. The four members were settling new career goals for themselves, while revamping their artistic goals. This led to a notable evolution in the band's overall sound, the effect of which is still heard in the Phish of today. This contrast in styles is most evident when comparing Night 2, set 2 of the Clifford Ball with Night 2, set 2 of The Great Went. How did Phish change so much over 12 months?

In The Phish Book, Page comments on the decision to undertake the European tour: 'We didn't just say, "Let's play some clubs!" We've always enjoyed developing new audiences, and short Europe tours seemed like a natural step in that direction'. Just as Santana helped the band break into the Amphitheater circuit in 1992, opening for Santana during the Summer of 1996 allowed Phish to make career inroads in Europe. Meanwhile, the band was adjusting to playing to larger audiences in cavernous arenas, requiring a different approach to performance. That the band was making changes to their sound at this time seems like a coincidence - but maybe it wasn't. The Fall '96 tour was actually less busy than the previous two Fall tours, but the band recognized the opportunities presented by the Winter European tour. Playing shows in front of smaller audiences allowed the band to relax while developing and refining their sound for the rest of the year.

The setlist for this show bears many similarities to the 2/16/97 show that was recorded for broadcast on the German TV show Rockpalast. That broadcast is one of the better freely circulating videos of Phish in the 90s, but the Shepherds' Bush show gets the nod from me. I can hear extra swagger in songs like Wolfman's Brother, Poor Heart, and Cars Trucks Buses, and good debut performances of the meta-originals "Walfredo" and "Rocka-William". This show also features plenty of cover tunes, a strategy Phish would continue to employ during the tour, culminating with the Cities breakout on 3/1. Slave and Hood in the same set is a treat, and the Jam out of PYITE is must-hear wackiness, starting with the only confirmed spotting of the elusive "Close To The Edge" tease by Trey and taking off from there. Opinions may be divided on this show based on the previous reviews, but to my ears 2/13/97 is a winner.
, attached to 1997-02-13

Review by pauly

pauly Good tour opener:w/solid playing all around.w/one exception in the 2nd set, this Punch is an alltime favorite of mine..this is an excellent jam that gets overlooked..
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