Fans of Phish will fondly remember the group’s trips to Europe over the course of 1997. The band made two trips across the pond in ’97— once in the winter during February and March, and again in the summer, across June and July—totaling over 30 shows abroad. Much like the Grateful Dead’s Europe ’72 tour, Phish’s overseas excursions produced some of their best jams and saw the band experimenting with a number of new songs that have remained in rotation to this day.
However, the first of these European shows started on this day, February 13th, when Phish took the stage in the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London, England. When Phish rolled through, the first show of their winter European tour included a number of debuts of both originals and covers. The instrument-swapping tunes, “Walfredo” and “Rock A William”, made their first appearances, as did three covers: “Love Me” by Elvis Presley, “When The Circus Comes” by Los Lobos, and “My Soul” by Clifton Chenier. Of those five, the last two are still played quite often, and “Walfredo” was busted out as recently as 2014 in San Francisco, CA.
Phish – 2/13/1997 – Full Audio
[Audio: Don Wright via fromtheaquarium]
Setlist: Phish | Shepherd’s Bush Empire | London, EN | 2/13/97
Set One: Chalk Dust Torture, Wolfman’s Brother > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Stash, Walfredo, Taste > Waste > Poor Heart > Character Zero > Peaches en Regalia, Love Me, David Bowie
Set Two: Julius, Cars Trucks Buses > My Soul > Punch You In the Eye > Jam > Slave to the Traffic Light > When the Circus Comes > Maze > Rock A William, Harry Hood > Frankenstein
Encore: Prince Caspian > Johnny B. Goode
 Phish debut.
The European tour opener featured the debuts of Walfredo and Rock A William and the Phish debuts of Love Me, My Soul, and When the Circus Comes. Trey teased Super Bad in 2001. The jam after PYITE contained Close to the Edge (Yes) teases from Trey. Maze was unfinished.
[Originally published February 13, 2016]