Friday, December 07, 2012

Dayton, Funk City USA

By Pauly
Los Angeles, CA

I'm not one to dwell too much about the past and everyone knows that one of my biggest faults is living too much in the moment. With that said, if I could go back in time... or rather, if I could have one of those "Ground Hog Day" experiences, it would be fucking sensational to wake up in Dayton, Ohio on December 7th, 1997.

Wait, why 1997? And why bumble-fuck Dayton? And hey, isn't 12.7.97  exactly fifteen years today?

Yeah, today marks the anniversary of what many Phisheads consider the best live performance in 30 years of Phish. That's a bold statement considering the band spanned three decades, but that assessment is something I first heard around the millennium. As time passes, the evening in Dayton's awesomeness grows bigger and bigger. The legend has become embolden so much so that it's no longer an opinion... the majority of the community accept it as fact... Dayton 97 was the best Phish show. Ever. In Grateful Dead terms, the funk-infused Dayton 97 show is similar to a crispy copy of Barton Hall 77 tape.

Four white dudes from Vermont rolled the dice and pushed the limits of their musicianship in 1997. The result was a tsunami of funk-driven grooves and jams aka the Year of the Funk.

This version of Tube from 12.7.97 is the perfect example of how the band's heavy funk influenced affected their playing. They love their Tubified-funk groove so much, that after the song ended, they paused for a few seconds and launched back into it, but truly pulling everyone else down the rabbit hole with them.

Was it the best show ever? Hard to say, but it's up there for sure. But if there's one live show you must have in your collection, it's Phish 12.7.97.

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