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ALBUM REVIEWS

Phish: The Baker's Dozen: Live at Madison Square Garden

Read "The Baker's Dozen: Live at Madison Square Garden" reviewed by Doug Collette

Phish's The Baker's Dozen: Live at Madison Square Garden lives up to its title even if, in both design and content, it bears scant resemblance to its all-encompassing limited-edition counterpart. Containing thirteen performances specifically chosen by the members of the group from the 2017 residency at the famed venue, its only add-on is a twenty-eight page book of images mostly resplendent with the crisp hues on the covers of the clam-shell box. This three compact disc set is a companion ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Phish: St. Louis '93

Read "Phish: St. Louis '93" reviewed by Doug Collette

The pastel color scheme on the front and back covers of Phish St. Louis '93 is quietly evocative of the six CD's of music enclosed in the slim slip case, but no more or less than the deeper tones on the individual sleeves and the discs themselves that mirror the intensity of the playing at its peaks on these two shows four months apart almost twenty- five years ago. Recorded in stereo from the soundboard by Paul Languedoc ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Phish: Amsterdam

Read "Phish: Amsterdam" reviewed by Doug Collette

Delving in sequence into this eight CD set of the shows recorded in February and July of 1997, it sounds like the band really takes flight during “Timber" from the initial show. But Phish shows from throughout their history inevitably exhibit a relativity of momentum, the dynamics of which are dependent upon, but not limited by, context. Because after the good-natured and relaxed greeting the quartet offers with “Soul Shakedown Party," it's not long before they make a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Phish at Saratoga Performing Arts Center

Read "Phish at Saratoga Performing Arts Center" reviewed by Doug Collette

Phish Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, New York July 3-5, 2014 If there is one overriding impression to glean from Phish's summer 2014 run at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, it's that the band is equally proud of and inspired by the material on Fuego (Jemp/ATO, 2014). Not only was every song on the record played over the course of the three-night run (with the exception of keyboardist Page ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Phish at Madison Square Garden

Read "Phish at Madison Square Garden" reviewed by Doug Collette

Phish Madison Square Garden New York, NY December 31, 2013 Above and beyond the secret language of their community, Phish have long been masters at making statements without coming right out and saying what they mean, largely because of the mutual faith long ago instituted between the band and their fans. The recognition of their 30th anniversary together offered at the end of their 2013-14 New Year's Run at Madison Square Garden ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Phish: Niagara Falls

Read "Niagara Falls" reviewed by Doug Collette

When Phish played the Niagara Falls Convention Center on December 7th 1995, it'd be fair to say the band was hitting its stride with its art and its audience. Having played together for a dozen years at this point and cultivated a loyal and increasingly large coterie of followers, arguably as idiosyncratic as the Vermont-based group itself, the quirks that endeared Phish to their original followers--like the barbershop acapella chestnut “Hello My Baby"-- were morphing into more broad eccentricities (the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Phish: Ventura

Read "Phish: Ventura" reviewed by Doug Collette

Phish: Ventura follows its predecessor Chicago '94 (Jemp Records, 2012) by compiling shows performed at the same venue. While not such a superlative set of gigs--the comparative virtues of these 1997 and 1998 concerts are more erratic--they do illustrate how a particular venue can affect a band's performance, whether on successive nights or successive tours. The relative comfort level can inspire or relax a bit too much, and both dynamics are on display over the course of these six compact ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Phish: New York, New York, December 28-31, 2012

Read "Phish: New York, New York, December 28-31, 2012" reviewed by Doug Collette

PhishMadison Square Garden New York, New YorkDecember 28-31, 2012Phish's four-night, year-end run at Madison Square Garden was the work of a band relishing its shared experience as a group, as well an enduring bond with its audience. It was as if the desultory dissolution of 2004 had never happened, yet the triumph of the 2009 reunion continues to inspire the band.As befitting the occasion of the turn of the year, not to mention ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Phish: 12/6/97 The Palace of Auburn Hills and Star Lake '98

Read "Phish: 12/6/97 The Palace of Auburn Hills and Star Lake '98" reviewed by Doug Collette

As with other Phish archive titles such as Chicago '94 (Jemp, 2012), The Palace of Auburn Hills December 6,1997 and Star Lake '98 offer more than mere comparison and contrast of musicianship: the download/two-CD set and DVD alternately accentuate and complement the band's current activities. And while both titles boast eye-catching graphics (the former eschews generic bootleg style for downright dazzling stage photos), neither title includes historical content to put the music within into some historical perspective for those outside ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Phish: Chicago '94

Read "Chicago '94" reviewed by Doug Collette

With the exception of the deservedly lavish package of The Clifford Ball (Rhino/Jemp, 2009), Phish has allowed its music to speak for itself on virtually all the group's archive releases. Chicago '94 follows suit, as this six-CD set--like the similarly conceived Hampton/Winston-Salem '97 (Jemp, 2011)--makes its statement through the largely brilliant musicianship contained therein, with virtually no accompanying content to place it in a historical perspective.Chicago '94 evinces a continuity in the content with its sound check filler ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Phish: Saratoga Springs, New York: July, 6-8 2012

Read "Phish: Saratoga Springs, New York: July, 6-8 2012" reviewed by Doug Collette

PhishSaratoga Performing Arts CenterSaratoga Springs, New YorkJuly 6-8 2012Since their triumphant return to the stage in Hampton VA in March of 2009, the four members of Phish--guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio, bassist/vocalist Mike Gordon, keyboardist/vocalist Page McConnell and drummer/vocalist Jon Fishman--have renewed, reaffirmed and reinvented their personal and professional relationships. The climax to Phish's first leg of its Summer, 2012 tour demonstrated how far the group has come in that progression.From the very start, the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Phish: Hampton/Winston-Salem '97

Read "Hampton/Winston-Salem '97" reviewed by Doug Collette

Less than halfway through Phish's Hampton/Winston-Salem '97, it's very clear what distinguishes these shows, documented in this seven-CD box, as singular entries in the band's pantheon of concert performances. The funk pervading this music makes a consistent backdrop for lengthy improvisations, the likes of which merely sprawled earlier in the group's career. Entries like the segue from “Ghost" into “AC/DC Bag" are not so sharply defined, but nonetheless provide continuity to the performance. No loose ends dangle within ...


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