LivePhish has announced the latest addition to its official catalog: Phish‘s performance in Virginia Beach on July 21st, 1997 at Virginia Beach Amphitheatre featuring a wild guest appearance by late Dave Matthews Band saxophonist, LeRoi Moore. Fans were recently given a a look back at the band’s 1997 U.S. summer tour opener when the show was featured as the ninth episode of Phish’s ongoing archival streaming series, Dinner and a Movie. The show will be available to stream and download via the band’s streaming platform at midnight ET.
New to the LivePhish catalog: July 21, 1997 Virginia Beach, VA will be available for download and streaming via the LivePhish App tonight at midnight ET pic.twitter.com/QTLrJVzP0O
— LivePhish (@LivePhish) July 23, 2020
The 7/21/97 Phish show in Virginia Beach kicked off the band’s 19-date U.S. summer tour, which would close out with Phish’s second festival, The Great Went, on August 16th and 17th. While this “tour opener” marked Phish’s first official U.S. performance since they ended 1996 with a chorally-assisted New Year’s Eve show in Boston nearly 8 months prior, this was far from the band’s first show of the year. In fact, by the time July 21st rolled around, Phish had already played 33 shows in 1997 thanks to two separate European tours—a 14-date run in late February/early March and a 19-date June/July trek that wrapped up just ten days before they took the stage in Virginia Beach.
While 7/21/97 featured no official Phish “debuts,” it marked the U.S. crowd’s introduction to both the new material and the revitalized sound. Remember, this was 1997—way before day-of soundboards on LivePhish and the endless platform for post-show discussion now provided by the internet—so unless they made the trek to Europe, virtually all of the Virginia Beach crowd was hearing songs like “Ghost”, “Piper”, “Dogs Stole Things”, “Dirt”, and “Wading In The Velvet Sea” for the very first time.
Listen to Phish’s 7/21/97 performance at Virginia Beach Amphitheatre, available at midnight on Thursday via LivePhish.