March 12, 2021

Phish: new archival release Atlanta '97

Another archival Phish release is available for streaming and download: 07/23/1997 Lakewood Amphitheatre, Atlanta, GA:

Lakewood Amphitheatre is a 19,000 seat modern outdoor shed opened in 1989 at the Lakewood Fairgrounds near downtown Atlanta. The venue has had some corporate names since then but it was still just Lakewood when Phish rolled in on July 23, 1997. This was Phish’s second Lakewood show of 11 to-date (1995-2015), reserved tickets cost $27.00 including parking, and the Wednesday night sellout crowd was fired up. The band was freshly back in the United States after their second European tour of the year with a quiver of new songs that were coming into their own. Just a couple of shows in, the U.S. tour was already formidable with the band coming off of two standout shows in Virginia Beach and Raleigh. Atlanta continued the streak.

Set I highlights included the Julius opener, Limb By Limb, Split Open And Melt and Billy Breathes. Limb By Limb, with its syncopated beat and sinuous leads, was a U.S. public debut introduced to the Hotlanta crowd along with new songs Dirt, Dogs Stole Things, and Water In The Sky. Set II’s Punch You In The Eye opener (with shoutouts to Burlington’s own Joe Moore) set up the Lakewood Ghost – a 27-minute improvisational masterwork that cemented this show’s must-hear status. A knockout combination of You Enjoy Myself > Rocky Mountain Way > Chalk Dust Torture rounded out the set, with a unique Scent Of A Mule’ish breakdown in YEM and Rocky Mountain Way woven into the Chalk Dust closer.

Setlist and notes from

SET 1: Julius, Dirt, NICU > Dogs Stole Things > Ginseng Sullivan, Water in the Sky, Limb By Limb, Split Open and Melt, Billy Breathes, Possum

SET 2: Punch You in the Eye, Ghost > Sample in a Jar, You Enjoy Myself[1] -> Rocky Mountain Way Jam > Chalk Dust Torture

ENCORE: Frankenstein

[1] No vocal jam.

Ghost included Spooky and On Your Way Down teases. YEM included a Jeopardy! theme tease, a very unusual SOAMule-like jam segment, and did not have a vocal jam. Chalk Dust included Rocky Mountain Way teases.


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