For those who eschew the swinging teenage elbows of an actual Phish concert, this 1997 Hamburg date offers a comprehensive account of the quartet's breadth. Talking Heads' "Cities" is a perfect match for their brand of quirky funk. ZZ Top's "Jesus Just Left Chicago" receives a gritty 13-minute reading with ample room for Page McConnell's blues-heavy piano. Guitarist Trey Anastasio alternates between quiet, emotive passages and searing power licks. There's also an a cappella version of the ragtime chestnut "Hello My Baby." Their patented blend of nonsensical lyrics and intense jams is represented by "Weigh" ("I'd like to cut your head off, so I can weigh it... Five pounds? Six pounds?") and by unrecorded fan favorites including "Mike's Song" and "Weekapaug Groove." --Marc Greilsamer
This new album is the first installment of a regular series of live and experimental releases to complement their studio recordings. Recorded in an intimate club setting in Hamburg, Germany in early 1997, the album features over 78 minutes of music, including several previously unreleased songs.