Phish. Many people have heard the name, but not the music. They recently released a live CD, "Slip Stitch & Pass," which contains a variety of flavors from the band's repertoire of songs.
Many fans of the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, and Rusted Root are seen flocking to Phish concerts. The band consistently sells out at larger venues, like Madison Square Garden and Red Rocks in Colorado. Their songs are long, with some over 20 minutes. However, most are original with instrumental jams that change every time they are played. To capture the once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, many fans record the concert and trade the tapes with other fans.
Their live CD was recorded in Germany in early 1997. The disc is over 72 minutes long, with only nine songs. "Mike's Song" is one of the stronger tunes and stretches to 15 minutes, but the band goes through several distinct sounds during it. Other songs that go through transformations include "Weekapaug Groove," "Taste," and "Wolfman's Brother."
There are also two cover songs on "Slip Stitch and Pass." The first, "Cities," by the Talking Heads, is a pretty much straight-forward cover, with hardly any changes except a small jam at the end. However, the other cover, "Jesus Just Left Chicago," by ZZ Top, turns into a longer typical Phish jam, and is over ten minutes long.
Phish best expresses itself on-stage, so their best work is on their live albums. This is a definite must-have for all of the Phishheads out there! .
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.