Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 17:35:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Review for 11/16/97

Here is my review for 11/16/97:
I.  NICU, My Soul, Black Eyed Katy, Farmhouse, My Old Home Place, Billy
Breathes, Cars Trucks Busses, Scent of a Mule*,  Poor Heart*, Taste, Ragtime
II  Timber Ho > Simple, Wilson > Harry Hood, Isabella
E.  David Bowie
* w/ Pete Wynan on Banjo


NICU-  The NICU opener was incredible, you could tell from the openning jam
the show would be incredible

My Soul-  A nice surprise, I wasn't expecting it because it had already been
played on the tour but...

Black Eyed Katie-  I heard this song was "long, funky, without words," so
when I heard it I knew it had to be Katie.  A great song, I have the feeling
that Phish will not play it too much in the future

Farmhouse-  Incredible!  I heard it on Conana and immediately liked it.  It
was great to see the first Farmhouse of the tour.  (or ever except for
Conan).  It felt like a song where everybody should stand up and hold hands
while swaying.  Very nice!

My Old Home Place-  Nice little ditty, average version

Billly Breathes-  Very pretty.  I got my long awaited rest, until...

Scent of a Mule-  The jamming was incredible with banjo legend Pete Wynan on
the banjo.  He and Paige had a little duel and then he and Trey did.  

Poor Heart-  Wow.  Best poor heart I have heard.  Pete went crazy on his
banjo.  When he left the crowd was going absolutely crazy!

Taste-  A nice song to hear, but a slight dissapointment.  There was so much
crowd energy it seemed as though they should have done something with it.
 (Dog log, Alumni Blues)

Ragtime Gal-  Fun,  Acapello, my usualy Freebird yell was ignored.

Timber Ho!-  Long spacey intro, but you could tell from the drums in the
beginning that it would be a timber.  Good

Simple-  Always fun, average version though

Wilson-  Loud crowd chant, short song

Harry Hood-  Best version I have heard.  Incredible, they were very tight in
every section of the song.  It was esspecially ammusing to hear each member
play the first reggae-style notes of the song, each taking turns.

Isabella-  I had never heard Isabella in concert.  It was enjoyable, but I
didn't love it.

DAVID BOWIE-  What a surprise!  great version, the band seemed to really be
enjoying themselves.  I loved it!

Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 17:18:06 -0600
From: Michael_Granit/AUS/
Subject: Denver 11/16/97 Review

The weather was freezing.  I came in from Austin, TX and this weather was
real cold.  The lot scene was almost non-existent.  Everyone was trying to
just get rid of anything for a next to nothing because no one was buying.

The venue wasn't that bad.  The sound was pretty good and the crowd seemed
ready for a Phish show.  The first set opened with a nice and loud NICU.

The My Soul Jam was intense.  You knew that Trey wanted to go crazy.
Unfortunately I don't feel the rest of the band wanted to get into the
set.  The My Soul Jam was very hot.  It was slightly longer than usual and
had that hard rock intense Trey feel to the jam.

Black Eyed Katy was a great tune.  Some friends of mine at Vegas said this
tune was great and I was hoping for one.  The songs starts out as a
Ghost/Cities funk jam.  As the song progresses it becomes more of a
standard in mind blowing Phish jam.  The whole band can really get into
this song.  The jam is set up in a Cars, Trucks sort of way in that it
starts slow, speeds up, stops, starts up again, etc... (Do not 
misunderstand me, this song sounds nothing like CTB but the arrangement is
similar).  I think this song has some incredible potential and hopefully
the boys will work on it and turn this into a possible epic.

The next 5 songs will get grouped together because there is nothing to
really say about them.  Farmhouse was exactly like the Conan O'Brian
Farmhouse.  This song is allright and may one day be better.  The Billy
Breathes and CTB were standard.  The Scent and Poor Heart with Pete
Werwick were average.  The band members had a banjo dual with him and Trey
blew him away.  The sound of the banjo was very low and hard to hear at
some points

The Taste was supposed to be a relief from this downward spiral.  It
wasn't.  The summer Tastes were much bigger than this one.  The jams
started slow and Trey just didn't get that into it.  I think the band
should play this song a little less often because it has recently become
incredible and this one was very disappointing.

Ragtime Gal - no comment.

OK that set sucked.  I give it a 2.5.

Please make up for that first set.  "Sure!" said the band.  While this set
wasn't that long.  Only 72 minutes with encore.  This set though had some
unbelievable stuff and is a must have for any serious Hood/Bowie phan.

Timber Ho! was great.  I've seen quite a few of theses but I never get sick
 of it.  The jam was average around 7-8 minutes.  The jam was similar to
the Austin Timber Ho! from the summer, just on a much shorter scale.  The
song was unfinished as it segued into Simple.

The Simple really got the crowd back into the show.  The long jam was nice
and it was your standard Simple.  The jam was very funky and had that 97
Phish twist to it.

Now here is the show maker.  The HOOD!  It was sickening.  I heave been
listening to some of the epic Hoods lately to compare and will place this
one against any of them.
The hood jam is sickening.  Trey goes on and on and doesn't stop.  A
complete roller coaster.  It was beautiful.  The jam kept going and going.
  This Hood was longer than average and was incredible.  When you listen
to this hood, sit back and relax because you will be exhausted at the end
of this song.  It is one of the best Hoods I have ever heard in the 28
shows I've seen.

The Isabella was a welcome treat.  It kept up the intensity  of the guitar
from the Hood.  Trey was going off.  This Isabella was a little more
well played then some of the past ones I've seen.

The Bowie encore was a total call on my part.  I felt it coming and said to
 another taper right after the Isabella "Wait for the Bowie."  He was in
shock when we heard the beginning Bowie space jam.  This Bowie was once
again all Trey.  It was incredible.  Super jammed out.  A spectacular way
to end a somewhat disappointing show.  The Bowie was very funk oriented
until Trey really turned things up and returned to that old intense rock
format that we all have seen.  The Bowie and the Hood make this set worth

If they added a few more songs this show could have been much of better.
Many people complained about the short set times.  The first set was very
disappointing.  Possibly get the My Soul and Black Eyed Katy as a philler.
Other that that it's a waste.  The second set is a definite must have for
any Hood or Bowie fanatics.  Overall I give this show a 6.

Date: Fri, 21 Nov 1997 23:26:17 -0500 (EST)
Subject: McNichols Arena Denver, Colorado 11-16-97

11-16-97 McNichols Arena
     This is the first time I've done this so I'm not really sure how to
start.  The thing is, I feel a need to record some feelings on my 25th show
for posterity.  I did the first four shows on fall tour and this was my
favorite by far. So I figure I just kind of "borrow"  a few ideas and go from
there. Here goes.:
     We arrived inside around 7:00 and had a decent hour to wait.  Security
tried to be tight, but seemed to really kind of give up after a while.  I
went to get a beer, and my ID got rejected! I'm 24 years old! I didn't mind
too much though(bruised ego), I was fueled with anticipation for what I knew
would be the best shows I saw this year(as well as a few brownies, goo balls,
bowls, beers...)
The band came out around 8. The crowd went crazy, and Phish responded with
smiles and....
NICU- Great opener! Been quite a while since I'd heard it. Slower than what I
was used to, established a good groove for
My Soul- Eric,my touring partner, had said earlier he wouldn't mind hearing
this one repeated(Vegas). After this fiery version, I had to agree
Black Eyed Katy- Again didn't mind this repeat, how could I? It's a slick
instrumental, where Trey can really show his stuff. Building energy.
Farmhouse- OK I'm one of the few who didn't see Conan, and I really liked
this song! So it's not Fluffhead, IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE!!!!!
Ol Home Place-Not my favorite bluegrass tune, but it'll do
Billy Breathes- Now this was a personal treat for my girlfriend and I. We
have a 2 and 1/2 year old little girl, and this tune has always made me think
of her.  This was our first one, and it was really moving to see Trey lay his
heart on his sleeve  and sing a song about his daughter in front of 17,000
people.  Those who call this Billy's Cheese are really missing the point.
CTB-Average, but energetic. Page didn't go off as much as I like to hear him
do anytime I hear this.
Scent of a Mule- With Colorado Banjo legend Pete Wernick. Played a little
slower(so Pete could keep up maybe?) but not without enthusiasm and a great
dual between Pete, Page, and Trey
Poor Heart-OH GOD NOT AGAIN!!!! Sorry, I've heard this song too many times
but this was actually the best version I'd ever heard, just because it was
different!  Pete stayed with them, as well as the crowd, and Trey polished
off with a pretty nice solo
Taste- I heard a version of this in Philly last year that knocked my socks
off, and since I missed summer tour, I'd been waiting to see what they've
done to it. Pretty loose version
Ragtime Gal-I love when they do this stuff
Over all a high energy, fun first set.
Set II
A long intermission, but turned out to be worth the wait
Timber HO!!!!-Yes!!! A first timer for me and it did not dissapoint.  Hell of
a groove with some loose noodling by Trey and Page laying an atmosphere.
Wasn't sure where this one was going, until I slowly heard the familiar notes
slowly creep out that would become
Simple- Another slower version(I think I'm starting to get used to it though)
but really spacy and beautiful. A crowd pleaser, but what a crowd!
Wilson-Loud, wild, and intense, a slap in the face between the intricate
jamming between Simple and
Harry Hood-Always happy to hear this, I am a Hood phreak!!! This version was
pretty damn good. Flatlined a little toward the end, but in no way
dissapointing.  The band was on as a band in this one, more than I'd seen all
tour, with very little self indulgence(yes there were Trey and Page solos,
but they flowed very nicely together)Probably the highlite of my tour
Isabella- A rocking set closer, really like this new one .
Encore-Looking for something huge, we get Bowie! How cool, just knowing we'll
get at least ten more minutes of funky, jamming, epic Phish.  This one never
dissapoints. Again, the band surrender to the phlow, feeding off each other.
Hell of a way to end the show
So there we go. These first four shows were the first times I'd seen Phish
all year. I wasn't dissapointed.  Since it had been so long, I didn't get to
critical. Just watched, listened , and danced as this band of ours works on
it's legendary story.  As I sit and type, knowing I probably won't see them
for almost another year(I'm not missing another summer tour, dammit), all I
can do is smile and TRADE TAPES!!!!! Maybe I'll do this again sometime

Date:    Fri, 21 Nov 1997 19:03:49 GMT
From:    Mitch Goldman 
Subject: One Mile High 11/16/97

Night 1 of the McNichols Arena run reminded me
of older Phish shows, in that set 1 seemed more "song"
oriented and set 2 was more exploratory. Though even
set 2 wasn't as jammed as the previous show in SLC,
it certainly contained a lot of amazing and intuitive
music and more than made up for the modular feel
of set 1.

But I can't really complain about set 1 as it
was extremely enjoyable and started with *seven*
tunes that were all live "firsts" for me personally.
The NICU opener was *perfect* and segued into a
rocking My Soul.  My Soul has certainly grown some
legs since its February debut, and even in seven minutes
contains plenty of dynamic playing. Black-Eyed Katy followed,
and this was my first time hearing this tune ever (obviously,
since it debuted in Vegas!).  (I wrote "funk instrumental" on
my setlist, as if this modest description could do this
tune justice!)  For those of you who have yet to hear
this number, you're in for a treat.  While it contains a bit
of improv, it's mostly a fully-composed funk tune with lots
of cool synopation and groove-oriented jamming.  A quick
but enjoyable Farmhouse followed (I can't understand why
some folks don't like this vocal melodic content
alone this is a heavyweight).  Trey did a quick song
conference with Mike (now I'm thinking "here comes the Mike
bluegrass number") and My Old Home Place followed, short
but nicely segueing into Billy Breathes.  BB has some serious
intensity onstage these days, coming off not unlike a less
mythical Morning Dew (the build into the final climax segment
is just natural as hell).  Trey then did a quick song conference
with Page who started up Cars Trucks Buses.  Then Trey introduced
local Colorado banjo player Pete Wernick, who joined in on
an unusual Scent of a Mule.  No duel between Trey and Page, this
time Pete and Page did a little mini-duel, followed by Trey and
Pete doing a little Foggy Mountain Breakdown-ish piece.  It built
to a nice climax and Trey gave the nod to Mike to segue back
into Scent, which was smooth as hell until the band was scheduled
to drop down during the "he really liked it" line.  There was a split
second of hesitation, a collective smirk from the band, and they swung
back into Scent on a dime.  Poor Heart kept Pete onstage for one
more tune, and then Taste became the only heavyweight jam tune
in the entire set.  As usual it was brilliantly dynamic and lasted
14 minutes.  Hello My Baby capped the set.

Another looooong setbreak (41 minutes)  and the boys
were back onstage, playing kind of noisy jam music.  At
first I thought we were in for a DwD but Fish's drumbeat
telegraphed Timber Ho!.  This was a *spectacular* version,
and even though it was essentially unfinished (they never did
the final verse/chorus) the instrumental section that followed
just took *off*.  The jamming was intense and tight, and segued
beautifully into Simple. This relatively short Simple (8 minutes)
started to become Wilson pretty early on. Trey was teasing the
opening notes, and though I could tell clearly he was trying
to go into Wilson, for some reason the band wasn't hearing it.
Page even misconstrued the direction Trey was taking and started
to go off on a completely different musical tangent.  Trey seemed
almost annoyed and recovered by playing the Wilson intro more
authoritatively, *forcing* Page and the rhythm section to pick it
up. And pick it up they did...this was one of the most powerful
versions I've heard. The ending was intense as hell, a heavy
metal Gamehendge climax with ferocious claws ripping through
the arena.  Harry started on a dime and was a *gorgeous* and
sprawling version, lasting nearly 18 minutes.  And don't believe
the setlists you may have seen that list it as "unfinished"
was completely finished, and following the final "you can feel
good" climax, Trey hammered out the opening riff to a powerful
Isabella.  This was a fantastic set ender, crackling with energy
and intensity.  And yet, once again, another short set 2, clocking
it at 53 minutes.

While they didn't owe us anything after an amazing second set,
I guess the shortness of it necessitated a lengthy encore, and
the 18 minute Bowie was a perfect end to the show. In fact
it played like a whole other set, and while it's far from the most
epic Bowie ever, it was also way above your average great Bowie.
It was a frankly exhausting encore!

A great show overall, even if set 1 was the weakest set of
the three shows I saw on this tour.  The playing was superb,
the energy level was sustained at a consistently high standard,
and set 2 was another fully integrated suite of music that
telescoped genres and emotions in an amazingly organic
way.  When you realize this was only show three
of the fall tour, it becomes apparent just how hot Phish are
in 1997.

Below is the setlist with song times rounded to the
nearest minute.

Up next: Denver night two.


McNichols Arena, Denver, CO  11/16/97

Set 1 (7:58-9:08)

NICU (6)->
My Soul (7)
Black-Eyed Katy (8)
Farmhouse (6)
My Old Home Place (4)->
Billy Breathes (7)
Cars Trucks Buses (5)
Scent of a Mule* (9)
Poor Heart (3)
Taste (14)
Hello My Baby

Set 2 (9:49-10:42)

Jam/Timber Ho!/Jam (17)->
Simple (8)->
Wilson (5)->
Harry Hood (17)->
Isabella (6)

Encore (10:46-11:04):

David Bowie (18)

*w/ Pete Wernick on banjo