In the month of December I always like to listen to some of the best shows from the month's rich history. In 1997 Phish played some of their best music ever in the month of December, really emphasizing the swampy funk or cow funk, whatever you want to call it, in all of their jams. When I think of Fall 97 funk I instantly think of two shows: December 6 at the Palace at Auburn Hills and December 29, the first night of a 3 night run at MSG.
The Fall 97 tour is known for some fantastic shows, including 3 unbelievable shows in Hampton, VA and Winston Salem, NC. When it changed from November to December, Phish really took it up a notch, and here are 3 of my favorite examples of the rich groove funk that I dream about daily.
From time to time we hear little remnants of the 97 funk in 3.0 music. One can think of the Tube from Atlantic City this summer. It was heard all throughout different jams at Dicks. But these three bites from different songs in 97 are just so funky and down right nasty, I had to make a mix of it.
The three songs featured are Tube, from 12.29.97 (0:00-8:11), Izabella, from 12.6.97 (8:12-13:16), and Antelope from 12.29.97 (13:17-17:00). CLICK HERE TO JAM!!!!!
After an absolutely devilish Down with Disease, capping in at nearly 23.5 minutes, with features some really nice play by Page and Trey, the band segues into an amazing Bowie. The two songs show the band's fearless 97 jamming before seamlessly transitioning into what may be the best Possum ever (4.05.98 anyone?). The Possum Cant Turn You Loose is always fun, but the real meat comes next. After the three songs one would expect a cool down before a set closing YEM, but instead, the band threw down a 10 minute funk fest that will live in the hearts of Phish fans forever.
The next clip is from Izabella which is sandwiched in between an unbelievable second set opening Tweezer and a funky as fuck Twist. The Izabella features Page on organ with Trey's subtle grooves in the background before letting Mike take over. This version is more focused on the full band groove as opposed to machine gun Trey. Just pure beauty this one.
Lastly, I featured the grooves of our first set closer from 12.29.97 at MSG. This Antelope has some unbelievable Mike playing here. Another example of the funk I'm looking for.
If we can get any jams like this at this year's New Years Run I'll cry of joy. For now, let's just listen and enjoy. Feel free to share your favorite funky jams!