Hibernating jam band Phish has selected the next six shows for release in its ongoing Live Phish series, due April 16 from Elektra. The performances, each covering three discs, are: 8/26/89 (Townshend
Hibernating jam band Phish has selected the next six shows for release in its ongoing Live Phish series, due April 16 from Elektra. The performances, each covering three discs, are: 8/26/89 (Townshend, Vt.); 8/14/93 (Tinley Park, Ill.); 6/22/94 (Columbus, Ohio); 8/13/96 (Noblesville, Ind.); 11/17/97 (Denver); and 7/10/99 (Camden, N.J.). This time, four of the titles will feature assorted "filler tracks" from concerts around the respective dates of the original shows.
As with the first batch, the shows were mastered from sound engineer Paul Languedoc's live mixes and selected by the band with input from the extensive tape-trading circles of Phish fans. The series will continue to come housed in unique packaging, with artwork by Jim Pollock and metallic slipcases holding vinyl inner sleeves. The sleeves can be displayed in a specially designed "ShowCase" binder. Fans can pre-order the new albums at Phish's official Web site.
"We got nice E-mails and we got frustrated E-mails," guitarist Trey Anastasio tells Billboard.com about fan response to the first volley in the Live Phish series. "One of the common frustrated E-mails was [that we released] too many from 2000 and not enough from [older eras]. And they would say, 'why don't you put one out from summer of such and such?' So we did. Because our theory about it, among the four of us, is that they know much more about what's good Phish and what's bad Phish than we do!"
The shows in the second batch feature multiple versions of such Phish staples as "The Divided Sky" and "David Bowie" alongside such covers as jazz organist Jimmy Smith's "Back at the Chicken Shack" and the bluegrass favorite "Rocky Top." The 1996 Indiana show boasts an unusual second set of numbers performed solo by keyboardist Page McConnell, as well as songs played by the full band on a mini-acoustic stage.
The hometown 1989 Vermont gig, held at a park in front of several thousand fans, drew what at the time was one of Phish's largest crowds. The Denver show was a further anomaly, boasting only the second time ever that the band opened with "Tweezer."
All six shows from the first edition of Live Phish hit The Billboard 200 last fall and have sold a combined 245,000 copies in the U.S. to date, according to SoundScan. As previously reported, McConnell and Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio are working on solo projects for Elektra; Anastasio's album is due April 30, while McConnell's new group, Vida Blue, will issue its debut in early summer. Both artists will tour this summer.