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4 stars Following the fact that this is NOT A PROG ALBUM, we must consider that is one of the greatest live albums ever recorded, with such "avant-gardism" that choke with our head. Is strange not to be mesmerized by the glorious cover of DAVID BYRNE "CITIES", and be amazed by the great "WOLFMAN'S BROTHER" just after that, a great long piece of determination and improvisation. So, for music lover's a peak point is the great "JESUS JUST LEAFT CHICAGO", a cover of the great ZZTOP, but the really good thing in here is the outstanding "WEEKAPAUG GROOVE", a funky-rocky-jazzy groove that let the spirits fly away. To be honest, this record reminds me more to ENO or BOWIE than GENESIS OR YES, and such compositions are truly a fusion or alternative music, but, the aura of the record is magnificent and the energy, passion and soulfulness that has been played is without a doubt a perfect example of how we must feel at a concert. A must buy for every music enthusiast around the globe.
Report this review (#33649)
Posted Monday, January 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Edited 10/03/05!

This is only one of their numerous excellent live albums and actually this band originally became famous only because of their stirring live appearances. They were formed more as a touring band and therefore did not concentrate on albums in the beginnings. So when their first eponymous album Junta was released they were existing already for five years and were famous already as legitimated successor of GRATEFUL DEAD. PHISH might not be considered as a Prog band following the usual definition (but who cares about definitions which are all the time subjective anyway). So comparisons to their music if possible at all can't include bands like GENESIS, YES and so on, rather are coming more jamming acts like LITTLE FEAT, MAN or ALLMAN BROTHERS to my mind listening to their music. For sure sometimes there are as well reminiscences to DAVID BOWIE and ENO in their more independent sounding compositions. Anyway in my view an excellent addition to the archives since their music owns influences of multiple music genres like folk, country, bluegrass, psychedelic, pop, funk, rock'n'roll and jazz. Coming back to this album actually it contains a lot of great songs like the excellent cover version of ZZ TOP's Jesus Just Left Chicago, the very long Mike's Song containing a nice homage to THE DOORS' The End which is leading into the following songs, the funky Weekapaug Groove and Taste.

Probably not to be called an essential one in Prog but I would highly recommend this one and as well their first two albums to any open-minded Prog lover and give 3 1/2 stars for it!

Report this review (#33650)
Posted Wednesday, February 9, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well, the WOLFMANS BROTHER Version is good, and it was a turning point version in Phistory, yes. But they should have waited with the realease of a 1997 Live Album till after the Fall Tour. In comparison to that, this CD is concerning setlist and song versions rather average Phish, in my view. Two Highlights: Wolfmans and Taste.
Report this review (#33651)
Posted Thursday, March 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars Phish is IMHO another borderline inclusion on this site because of their musical adventures, but what a good band nevertheless. These guys are regularly called heirs to Grateful Dead heritage and by everymeans this is correct up to the point that there are many similarities between the two bands: very loyal followers catching some 6 or 7 shows of the same tour, lenghty and superb instrumental breaks sometimes ending in a jam, very lenghty shows, same musical styles and so on...... They also pushed the similarity to releasing a phenomenal amount of live recording much like the Dead and Crimson did.

This album is alive recording but shall we say that this is an official one , released on a record label , unlike those many B & W artwork releases you see on the right hand side of your screen. If you must have only one Phish album , make it this one because itmakes one hell of a great intro to the band. Many lenghty tracks reminding you of this very 70's American style rock halfway between the Allman Brothers Band (with Duane era) and the afore-mentioned Grateful Dead. A real delight here is definitely the Jesus Just Left Chicago in all its glory and as fun as the ZZ Top version. However , the highlight here is Mike's song with superb and lenghty and fascinating guitars solos and, I suspect, joined by the KB player for a while . Wolfman's Brother is also another fave of mine.

Although purist progheads might have a problem stating this album as progressive (actually, although I am no purist , I donot call this prog either) this album is warmly recomended because it is simply superb and much worth the four prog star I give this album.

Report this review (#33652)
Posted Friday, March 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
PSIKE Team & Band Submissions
4 stars Phishing at the North Sea ...

This release was recorded in Hamburg/Germany and the four musicians were in good condition. There's no doubt - they reached their height on the stage. Every concert developed in another way and they managed to combine varied genres and styles. Also the last studio output - 'Billy Breathes' - is a very interesting one. 'Taste' is the only song which was included in this concert and a good example for combining fine songwriting and improvisations.

Other recommended tracks are: 'Wolfman's Brother' which glides into 'Jesus just left Chicago' - a classic blues song and a tribute to ZZTOP. 'Weekapaug groove' is an outstanding hightempo groover. My personal highlight is 'Mike's Song' - a great jam with breaks and tempo changes - excellent interaction between the musicians! This track also contains a reminiscence of Floyds 'Careful with that Axe Eugene' and the Doors 'The End'.

Many PHISH live recordings have been published which I dont' have heard. But IMHO it cannot be a fault to recommend this ...

Report this review (#87338)
Posted Tuesday, August 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars "I'm sittin' back here sharin' in the groove"

It's especially hard to know where to start with Phish's live catalog, since there have been about 30 releases thus far, plus a website full of archived shows. "Slip, Stitch, and Pass" makes for a good start, however, given that the sound quality of the recording is particularly high (not all live Phish albums can boast this to the same degree). Furthermore, all of Phish's most recent studio albums were represented evenly, along with some covers and some tracks that did not appear on any studio album. "Wolfman's Brother" is fun, and a good example of the band doing one of their famous transitions "jammin into" another song, in this case "Jesus Just Left Chicago" where they prove their blues proficiency, and their strong dynamic contrast. "Mike's Song" is quite the musical adventure, starting off as a mild rocker, and eventually taking a number of unpredictable and dark twists and turns (and comically paying homage to Pink Floyd and the Doors). The real gem here is "Taste" which is expanded from its studio version and really showcases the the tightness and power of the band. Phish may the archetypal jam band, but it's not just solos over a looped groove. Rather, the improvisation tells a story, and is always trying to go somewhere. One could say that a full-group spontaneous composition of complex music is about as progressive as it can get.

Report this review (#295678)
Posted Saturday, August 21, 2010 | Review Permalink

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