Phish - 2005 - Live In Madison Square Garden-New Year’s Eve 1995 (3 CD) [VBR HQ]
Genre: Prog Related (Mix of Improvisations, Jazz, Rock, Blues, Folk and Progressive)
Country: United States
PHISH biography (at Progarchives):
PHISH, a US band, was formed in 1983 at the University of Vermont by guitarist/vocalist Trey Anastasio, rhythm guitarist Jeff Holdsworth, and drummer Jonathan Fishman, later joined by bassist Mike Gordon. Jeff soon left the band (he found religion) and Page McConnell joined on keyboards, finalizing the lineup.
PHISH began playing at local clubs in Burlington, and their live shows gained a reputation for extended improvisational jams. Their musical ethos is a playful mix of skilled improvisation, psychedelic rock, folk, bluegrass, funk, a capella/barbershop quartet, and intricate compositions. Some of their original compositions (such as "Theme from the Bottom" and "Farmhouse") tend towards a psychedelic-rock and bluegrass fusion, with more rock and funk elements than the GRATEFUL DEAD and other earlier so-called jam bands. Their more epic compositions (such as "The Divided Sky" and "You Enjoy Myself") are often said to resemble classical music in a rock setting.
They recorded their debut album, "Junta" in 1988, and began touring nationally soon after, playing 150 concerts in 1990 alone.
PHISH - Live In Madison Square Garden review (at Progarchives):
Review by Muzikman (Keith Hannaleck) - PROG REVIEWER
I have heard a lot about this legendary band but never really ‘heard’ them until now. Some folks may be appalled at the very thought of that, particularly ardent fans. I did not grow up in the 80’s or 90’s so they are not one of the bands I latched onto, although I wish that I had now.
Live In Madison Square Garden-New Year’s Eve 1995, cited by critics, the band, and fans as their premiere live event, is finally available on 3-disc set from Rhino Records. Based on what I have gleaned from various articles over the years and listening to this amazing set, a live show from Phish was definitely an event like no other.
They took the Grateful Dead improvisation route another step further by giving the nod to all of their influences like The Who for instance, by covering songs and dedicating entire live shows to their music. The Phish original material stood on its own as unique and incomparable to anything anyone else was doing and it still does. This band comes as a revelatory experience to me just as the live Dead and Garcia music I have had the pleasure to enjoy this year. I knew the music was always there but it always seemed like something else I wanted to hear was more important, like albums I had on vinyl so long ago. There are no excuses now; the door is wide open to further my explorations into musical nirvana, much more waits just around the corner.
Three CDs hold a lot of music and even so, I can honestly say that there was not a moment of monotony for me and I enjoyed all of this immensely. It left me wanting for more even after hours of listening pleasure. The rock-fusion-jazz jam band compositions I heard were simply phenomenal. I am really kicking myself now for not checking them out live before they broke up. They not only reminded me of the Dead but I heard some Frank Zappa influences, particularly with their lyrics and phrasing. This awe-inspiring set gives unequivocal proof of the genius of Phish and the awesome musicianship at their command in their prime. It’s a cryin’ shame we cannot enjoy any new material from them, and then again, there is their catalog of studio albums and amazing live shows like this that will never get old. There is always something new to discover in one of their songs. Those are the things that separate the men from the boys and the legends from the fly-by-night bands. Phish was a great band with few equals. Their following was on the same level as Garcia and friends with good reason, one listen to this and its obvious why.
1. Punch You in the Eye
4. Squirming Coil
6. Colonel Forbin's Ascent
7. Fly Famous Mockingbird
9. Fly Famous Mockingbird
11. Chalk Dust Torture
1. Audience Chess Move
4. Axilla, Pt. 2
5. Runaway Jim
6. Strange Design
7. Hello My Baby
8. Mike's Song
1. Gamehendge Time Factory
2. Auld Lang Syne
3. Weekapaug Groove
4. Sea and Sand
5. You Enjoy Myself
8. Johnny B. Goode