[Over the next three days we’ll look back on each of the shows included in the new Hampton/Winston-Salem ‘97 box set on the respective 14th anniversaries. First up: Friday, November 21, 1997, Hampton Coliseum.]
Friday, November 21, 1997
The Phish shows in Hampton, VA the weekend before Thanksgiving 1997 are ones of legend. They’re probably the most complete show experiences I’ve ever had and they probably will never be topped. I was a student at the University of Connecticut, but with one of my best friends at school in Virginia there was no way I was missing it. My friend Tim and I had made the trip a year previous (10/25/96) and the weekend was a blast. Now we had two shows, even better. We loaded up his Chevy Blazer with a bunch of tapes and a pony keg of Long Trail IPA, there wasn’t a need for much else. When we rolled into Fredericksburg late Thursday night we were greeted by plentiful smiles as the Vermont beer was nectar from the north. We spent the night and made the trek to Hampton the following morning.
Hampton was a scene, but nothing like what it became in later years. People everywhere, but it wasn’t chaotic. We stayed at the Days Inn on Coliseum Drive, but I remember a low key afternoon that made its way into the parking lots to wait for the show. When it finally came time for the show, we entered the venue early, scouting out our area on the rail of Section D. Every show I’ve seen at Hampton has been from this spot. It just feels like home.