After one listen to this concert from this day in 1997, it’s abundantly clear that Phish needs to go back to Europe. Not to say that the band doesn’t have fun now Stateside, but this show from 2/23/97 in Cortemaggiore, Italy is some seriously silly and groovy Phish.
First off, the venue was built as a counterpart to the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco, CA, just going to show that any good idea can be universal. The Italian Fillmore still stands to this day, a testament to Bill Graham’s legacy if there ever was one.
As for the show itself, well, the band came in while the house PA was playing a version of “Carini”, so the Phish guys just jammed along with it. There’s a cover of Elvis Presley’s “Love Me” with some unbelievable lead vocals from Mike Gordon. And speaking of Gordon, this show contains a one-of-a-kind “Mike’s Song” with a bust-out cover of “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” played as a remnant from Phish’s cover of The Beatles‘ White Album from Halloween ’94. There’s also a bust-out of the traditional “Daniel Saw The Stone”, which had been shelved for four years prior.
Phish – 2/23/97 – Full-Show Audio
Can we go back to Italy again, Phish?
Setlist: Phish| Fillmore | Cortemaggiore, Italy | 2/23/97
Set one: Carini, Axilla > All Things Reconsidered, The Sloth, Love Me, Rift > Fluffhead, Frankenstein, David Bowie
Set two: Daniel Saw the Stone > Suzy Greenberg > Maze, The Horse > Silent in the Morning > Peaches en Regalia > Mike’s Song > Why Don’t We Do It in the Road? > Hold Your Head Up, Good Times Bad Times
Encore: Billy Breathes > Rocky Top
Carini started off as a pre-recorded tape playing through the P.A. system. Phish took the stage and picked up the song from where it was on the tape and continued to play. This show also featured the first Daniel Saw the Stone since August 28, 1993 (288 shows) and the first Why Don’t We Do It since June 25, 1995 (144 shows). GTBT contained a Tweezer Reprise tease.
[Originally published 2/23/18]