Tonight (Wednesday, September 30th), Phish will air their November 22nd, 1997 show at Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA as the 28th episode of their ongoing archival webcast/cooking series, Dinner and a Movie. Tune in below at 8:30 p.m. ET and scroll down to follow along with our 11/22/97 Stream Companion.
Phish Dinner and a Movie Episode 28: 11/22/97, Hampton Coliseum
Episode 28 of Dinner and a Movie follows last month’s Halloween Triple Feature, which featured a trio of the band’s Halloween costume sets from years past. Browse through all the past Dinner and a Movie episodes and Stream Companions below.
Phish Dinner and a Movie – Past Episodes
Episode 28: 11/22/97, Hampton Coliseum
The 11/22/97 Dinner and a Movie comes one night after guitarist Trey Anastasio wraps up The Beacon Jams, his eight-week virtual residency at New York’s Beacon Theatre. With the phenomenal weekly engagement coming to a close, fans now face a winter with no live Phish on the menu (that we know of). To ease that longing, the band selected an all-time great performance for Episode 28—the red-hot second night at the revered Hampton Coliseum from the band’s Fall 1997 trek, affectionately known as “Phish Destroys America.” While we’ve gotten one 1997 show on Dinner and a Movie before (7/21/97 for Episode 9 back in May), this marks the first time the band has served up a performance from their most celebrated tour.
It would have been genuinely difficult to pick an underwhelming Fall ’97 show for Dinner and a Movie—they’re all that good—but this one is particularly exciting. It’s also a show with which many fans new and old are intimately familiar, as it was officially released along with the band’s other two performances from that weekend as Hampton/Winston-Salem ’97 back in 2011.
1997 was a pivotal year for the band and their sound, and all the newer elements—from minimalist “cow funk” to spacey, effortless improvisation to near-telepathic, intra-band communication—were on display on this night.
This show began to make its argument as an all-timer from its very first notes, as an opening “Mike’s Song” > “I Am Hydrogen” > “Weekapaug Groove” stretched over more than 35 minutes, with plenty of improv to go around. Maintaining the momentum, the band dropped into a rare, early-show “Harry Hood” that pushed past 18 minutes in length as it patiently built to a blissful peak.
With three top-notch jams to kick off the set, the rest of the frame was a bonus. Even so, Phish made the last few songs count. After a “Train Song”/”Billy Breathes” breather, the band capped set one with a pair of fan-favorite covers: Edgar Winter‘s “Frankenstein” and Jimi Hendrix‘s “Izabella”. The Hendrix cover, in particular, is a hallmark of 1997 Phish. While the Trey-does-Jimi guitar onslaught was played frequently throughout the year—and was featured in several of the lauded shows from the Fall ’97 tour—it dropped out of the rotation entirely by the summer of 1998 and did not return until the final night of the Baker’s Dozen nearly 20 years later.
The second set on 11/22/97 was no less thrilling. The crowd energy was palpable as the band took the stage for set two. Those in attendance tried to make a case for a bust-out of the Mike Gordon-penned rarity, “Destiny Unbound”, but the chants were lost in the frenzy of the audience roar. “That just sounds like a horrible, cannibalistic chant for people who want blood,” Trey said, trying to understand the crowd’s hollers. “I don’t know what you’re saying. … Is it the human sacrifice part of the show? Alright, bring ’em up here!”
Fans would have to wait another six years for the return of “Destiny Unbound”, but the band didn’t wait to deliver the goods as they launched into a “Halley’s Comet” for the ages. Though its 26-minute runtime ranks this version among the longest the band has ever played, it’s not famous merely for its length. This multi-section, improvisational epic highlighted everything that made Fall ’97 Phish the stuff of legends. If you haven’t heard it before, you’re in for one Hell of a treat. Buckle up.
As “Halley’s” finally fizzled out, the band dropped into an always-welcome “Tweezer”. Though this funky “Tweezer” wasn’t extended as far as the jams that came before it on this night, it served to shift the set two dance party into high gear, with help from some prominent teases of “Black-Eyed Katy”. Those teases foretold the next transition, as the “Tweezer” jam eventually moved into the instrumental groove in earnest.
For those newer fans wondering about “Black-Eyed Katy”, you’ve likely heard it before. The funky instrumental was eventually reworked with lyrics as “The Moma Dance”, which remains a staple of Phish setlists to this day. “Black-Eyed Katy” is yet another characteristically Fall ’97 element we see in this show. The song was played as an instrumental just seven times—all during this tour—before re-emerging with lyrics as “The Moma Dance” on June 30th, 1998.
The relatively short but searing “Katy” eventually gave way to a patient “Piper”, which in turn moved into a roaring “Run Like An Antelope”—with a slight lyrical tweak (“Michael Esquandolas”) to close out a five-song second set. A “Bouncing Around The Room” encore opener set the table for a triumphant “Tweezer Reprise” to tie a bow on the impressive performance.
Past Dinner and a Movies have been highlighted by banter, by themes, by the storylines they illustrate in the context of Phish history. This time around, the narrative is much more straightforward and, as such, much more exciting: Dinner and a Movie Episode 28 is, plain and simple, peak Phish in all its glory—arguably the best show from arguably the best tour in the band’s decades-long career. Tune in Saturday at 8:30 p.m. ET when ’97 Phish destroys Hampton Coliseum on Dinner and a Movie.
Setlist: Phish | Hampton Coliseum | Hampton, VA | 11/22/97
Set One: Mike’s Song -> I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Harry Hood > Train Song, Billy Breathes, Frankenstein > Izabella
Set Two: Halley’s Comet > Tweezer > Black-Eyed Katy > Piper > Run Like an Antelope
Encore: Bouncing Around the Room > Tweezer Reprise
 Lyric changed to “Michael Esquandolas.”
Mike’s Song and Tweezer both contained BEK teases, with the ones in Tweezer taking place well before the segue into BEK. Fans of stage banter will want to seek out the second set for Trey’s humorous response to the crowd’s Destiny Unbound chant before Halley’s. The “Marco Esquandolas” lyric in Antelope was changed to “Michael Esquandolas.” This show was released as part of the Hampton/Winston-Salem ’97 box set.
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