When Phish broke up the first and second time, there was a large void left in my life. Yours too, otherwise you probably wouldn't be reading this article. As I've eluded to in past reviews, the nomadic nature instilled in me by that foursome from the north lead me on many a fruitless, and sometimes fruitful quest to find new, interesting, dynamic and hypnotic sounds like those that I still long for.
Fans of Phish have been excited to receive a handful of official show releases over the past year, not to mention a bunch of great downloads and even a DVD concert. Each one has given the listener a look back at the band at certain periods in their history, and reminds them just how incredible this group was back in the day.
Since it has been over four years that Phish has toured, it is easy to forget how exciting and inspiring it can be to watch them play. Though there has been a recent slew of delightful audio performances released, the emergence of the Walnut Creek DVD (recorded at the famed venue in North Carolina during their 1997 summer tour) finally gives fans another chance to have Phish illuminate their eyes as well.
There is one thing you cannot say about Phish and that would be they never evolved. From their quirky and overly energetic days in the early 90s to the deep-rhythm grooves and improvisational mastery of the late 90s, the band was always exploring new avenues to show off their craft. Those differences are apparent in the two new releases from the Live Phish series, which showcase two amazing concerts in their entirety and reflect two important time capsules from their history.
Years ago when trading cassette tapes of live Phish shows was all the rage, I remember coming across this historic performance and just being in awe of the amazing energy and enigmatic jams heard throughout this show.