Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Phish: Prague 07/06/98

If you were ever on the fence about joining People for a Louder Mike this show should set you straight...

Anyways, since I'm kind of a big deal, Phish sent me a copy of the Prague Ghost to post on the blog. Since I'm also kind of a lazy-ass, I neglected and eventually forgot about this gem. What a mistake! It is highly recommended that you press play before proceeding any further.

I'll allow archivist Kevin Shapiro to set the mood:

"On July 5th Phish played the first of two shows at the Lucerna Theatre, an ornate theater turned music club with a capacity of 700. It is located through an indoor mall a few flights below street level in the Nove Mesto or New Town...The show was reportedly colored by experimentation with the local absinthe as many in attendance chased the Green Fairy for the first time."

Sometimes you just know a few minutes into a show that this one is going to be special. This is definitely one of those shows. You get some machine gun Trey at the end of "Buried Alive" into an "AC/DC Bag" which seamlessly bounces back and forth between slow and authoritative guitar riffs and super funky bass lines.

Then, while the rest of the band starts playing "Ghost" I swear Mike turns the bass up and starts playing something else by himself: "I Can't Dance" by Genesis. Maybe not, but they should make a yardstick out of whatever it was and use it to measure perfection with. Three minutes in you can't help but burst out singing along. About 11 minutes in the jam goes from Tabasco to Napalm when Trey lets loose for about two minutes. You can tell that the rest of the band starts to transition away from the preceding jam and is kind of waiting for Trey to catch up when it hits: out of nowhere the band busts into the intro to "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" at the 13:25 mark and nails it. Then they go right back into the funk as if the preceding ten minutes never happened!

Some other highlights. Trey's tone on "Julius" is amazing: think of his 2003 tone minus the overpowering. "Piper" is disgusting and is further proof that this band did not peak during the Island Tour. Trey is definitely guilty of playing too many notes but that is not a complaint. Mike takes the lead again during "David Bowie" and at points it seems like he is playing the lead while the rest of the band tries to keep up with him. Maybe it was the Absinthe, but Mike played like a mad-man the entire show.

And as an added bonus we've got the video.

Stream the whole show (AUD) from phiSHows here

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