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European '97 Retrospective

by: @scottmik104 Hello, and welcome to Summer ‘97 European Tour! My name is Scott, and I am the current Wook of the Year. This is my recap of the 19 shows that Phish played during the summer of 1997 across 10 European countries. This being the 25th anniversary of this tour, I thought I'd write about it. Some would say this was the birthplace of “Cow Funk” for the band. Excluding the sound checks, 20 new songs would make their debut on this tour. This was a fun project for me to partake in; all opinions listed below are my own. Enjoy!

6/13/97 SFX Centre Dublin, Ireland—“Wolfman’s Brother” has it all. Funk, hard-rocking, funk again, ooo-ing, woo-ing. A pure sign of what would be to come. I’m choosing this “Wolfman’s” over a very fun, funked-out “Chalkdust Torture”->”Ghost”. “Chalkdust” gets real funky and segues perfectly into a pretty straightforward “Ghost”.

Solid versions of “Stash”, “Maze”, and “Slave To The Traffic Light”, as well as a pretty fun “Character Zero”. This encore of “Stand!”->”Izabella” is pure heat!

Nine (!) debuts at this show including seven originals and two new covers.

6/14/97 SFX Centre Dublin, Ireland

“Cavern” has a great funk jam mid-song! This is not a standard version by any means. Mike comes out strong right from the jump and a full-blown funk jam erupts at two and half minutes in. “David Bowie” is also a scorcher with a full-blown “DEG” jam.

This show features six more debuts. All originals.

6/16/97 Royal Albert Hall London, England

“Reba” is the standout track from this show. Very solid playing throughout. Solid versions of “Taste”, “Theme From The Bottom”, “Wolfman’s”, and “Ghost” as well.

The debut of “I Don’t Care” was also a treat.

6/19/97 Arena Wien Vienna, Austria

“Stash” is a monster! A trippy version for the first 15 minutes slides nicely into a “cow funk” groove which segues perfectly into “Ghost”. “Theme”, “PYITE”, and “Maze” are all first-set standouts. A very good “Prince Caspian” version stands out later in the second set.

6/20/97 Divadlo Archa Prague, Czech Republic

“David Bowie” brings the heat to open the second set here. Other standouts include “Taste”, “Jam->Cities”, “Antelope”, “Ghost”, and a solid version of “Twist”.

This show also includes the Phish debut of “Ain’t Love Funny”.

6/21/97 Hurricane Festival ScheeBel, Germany

Stellar type 1 version of “Twist”. “Taste”, “Theme”, and “Hood” are well-played versions.

The debut of “Samson Variation”.

This was a one-setter featuring performances by Ani Difranco, Bad Religion, Ben Folds Five, Elegantly Wasted, and Primus.

6/22/97 Loreley St. Goarshausen, Koblenz, Germany

This is another one set festival performance by the boys from VT. “Taste” would be the standout choice of this show. Good versions of “Stash”, “Theme”, and “Ghost” is starting to heat up!

This WDR festival featured performances by Primus, and Steve Winwood amongst many others as well.

6/24/97 La Laiterie Strasbourg, France

“Ghost” is an absolute heat seeking missile! This song has fully hit its stride here. Fishman is doing some whacky vocal jam over most of the jam akin to “Who Knows” by Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsys. Trey rips this version up! Smoke show! Stellar versions of “Jim”, “Free”, “Wolfman’s” (again), and “Reba”. Also, a very patient, beautiful version of “Wading”.

6/25/97 L’Aeronef Lille, France

Wowzers! This 2nd set is so much fun! “DWD”->”Piper”->”DWD” is killer! This is the most unique version of “McGrupp” ever. Solid versions of “Taste”, “Bag”, “Theme”, and smoking hot version of “Antelope”. The “Guyute” encore seals the deal as this is the best show of the tour so far.

“Meatstick” and “Cecilia” debuted at this show.

6/27/97 Worthy Farm Somerset, England

Solid versions of “Stash” and “Taste”. Not much else to really talk about here.

Glastonbury Festival featured other performances by Beck, David Byrne, Spearhead, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, and Stereolab.

6/29/97 Rosklide, Denmark

“YEM” brings the heat here. “Taste”, and “Theme” are well played.

This show is part of the Rosklide Festival featuring a solid lineup of various other artists.

7/1/97 Paradiso Amsterdam, Netherlands

What a scorcher of an opener as this “Ghost” soars for 20+ minutes! “Yamar”, “Limb by Limb”, “Reba”, “Gin”, “Cities”, and “Slave” are all very well played versions. Buckle up and jump on the back of the worm!

7/2/97 Paradiso Amsterdam, Netherlands

A full set “Mike’s groove” to kick this show off? Yes, please! Both Mike’s and ‘Paug are great but, the real meat of this show is the “Stash” to open the second set. “Maze”, “Llama”, and the “Wormtown Jam” are all creamy good as well.

7/3/97 Serenadenhof Nüremberg, Germany

I’m not a huge fan of this “Ghost” but, it does get out into space. Another solid version of “Taste” here as well.

7/5/97 Piazza Risorgimento Como, Italy

This was a one set free show played outdoors. “Harry Hood” is excellent as Trey asks CK5 to turn off the lights so they could see the mountains. Very good version of “Twist” with some extra wooing and a “Groove is in the Heart” jam. More “worm” banter in both Sample and “Hood”.

7/6/97 Spiaggia Di Rivoltella Desenzano, Italy

“Y.E.M.” is a real treat coming out of a solid “Free”. “Stash” is a first set scorcher as well. This soundcheck is well known for having a Fish led “MMMBop” and several other fun songs played including a limbo contest during “Day-O”.

7/9/97 Le Transbordeur Lyon/Villeurbanne, France

This “Hood” is straight fire! Glorious version that sails on to end the first set. Both “Melt” and “DWD” are heaters as well. The “YEM” is so sick with no vocal jam once again and a slew of special guests including Victor Wooten, Béla Fleck, Jeff Coffin, and “Futureman”.

7/10/97 Espace Julien Marseilles, France

This “Yamar”->”Ghost”->Take Me to the River” segment is glorious! Stupid fun second set. An excellent all around show with very solid first set offerings in “Gin” and “Llama”. The “2001” to start the second set is a monster and “Julius” brings it too! If you love to hear Phish having fun, this second set is a must hear!

7/11/97 Doctor Music Festival Escalarre, Spain

A one setter to close out the tour brings some bangers with an exceptional “Stash” and a funky ass “Wolfman’s”. This is one of the best festival sets from this tour without question. Very good “YEM” to close out the set.

This festival featured the likes of Alice Cooper, Megadeath, Smashing Pumpkins, and others.

Top five shows of the tour:

  1. 7/10

  2. 6/25

  3. 7/1

  4. 7/2

  5. 6/24

Top five jams of the tour:

  1. Ghost 7/1

  2. Stash 6/19

  3. Yamar->Ghost->Take Me To The River 7/10

  4. DWD->Piper->DWD 6/25

  5. Ghost 6/24

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