tigerstrat wrote:I may be the only one that finds the Phish Halloween cover thing slightly boring (compared to Phish doing the strongest of their own material). Of them, I only attended 10/31/95 (The Who Quadrophenia), but I have heard several of them. Yes it's very impressive that they can learn and perform whole albums, but invariably a couple songs in, I find myself wishing it was over already so that Set III can drop all that great YEM/Bowie/Gamehenge/Halley's/Punch You/etc. stuff that melts minds.
I totally understand that position TS, and have many friends who feel exactly the same. However I am just the opposite. I just think it is such a totally unique and cool idea to cover classic albums. Apparently others do as well, as it seems like many bands are copying Phish's approach there (String Cheese and Umphrees come to immediate mind).
They also IMHO have been very, very tasty in their choices, and I dont think it is just about muscial taste. I think they actually use these cover albums as a way of absorbing new styles into their approach. Its no coincidence that the Quadrophenia cover led to the year or 2 of Coliseum Rock at its finest (winter 95 Phish anyone? That period is as revered in Phish circles as May 77 is in Deadland), while Talking Heads Remain in light was the gateway to the super Funk approach of 97-98. They internalize the style and then make it their own.
The only musical costume I was lucky enough to attend was the first one. The Beatles white album in Glens Falls in 94. It was mind blowing. However, I still wake up in a cold sweat sometimes reliving the viewing of Fishmans tool. He took off his mumu during Revolution number 9 and started skipping around stage.
It is interesting to hear what people think of all the different covers over the years as everyone as an opinion as what the best was. I thought Exile on Main Street last year was pretty much the top of the heap, I loved their take on the Stones tunes. It was incredibly done, but I find that many dont agree.
Waiting for Columbus is probably my personal favorite album that they have covered through the years, but I thought it may have been the least well executed from an instrumental and vocal standpoint. But I still LOVED IT and thought they did as good a job as humanly possible. However through no fault of their own, It just went and illustrated just how unique and talented the individuals in Little Feat (and even more so the band as a whole) was. Lowell George, Bill Payne and Richie Hayward were simply some of the best players at their instruments EVER. (Imho) and more than them being best at their instruments, they were so fricking unique. Nobody on this earth has the barrelhouse piano chops of Bill Payne. No one ever approached slide guitar (and songwriting) from Lowell Georges perspective. The Little Feat Polyrhythms are almost impossible to duplicate.
Trey (to his credit) did not even attempt to play slide on the cover, so right there you lose a whole overall Little Feat signature texture. Trey did great covering it anyway, but I thought he was the weakest of the 4 on this particular night with this particular material.
The MVP of this night goes to Page, who came as close as anyone could EVER expect someone to in trying to incorporate Bill Paynes style. He obviously did his homework on stuff like Dixie Chicken and Oh Atlanta.
Fishman gets a nod to really nailing the groove (Polyrhythms are a Fisman strength) and they had an excellent percussion player (cant remember his name right now) who added a lot.
Mike Gordon gets a big nod for his Vocal work on the cover. I thought his Vocal takes on the Little Feat material was top notch.
Trey had a hard time with some vocals, and also had a rough time with some changes and arrangements. Even saying all that, he was fantastic, but Trey (and Phish as a whole) has set the bar so high as to what they can do and what my expectations are, that I have to mention it, even if it is a bit unfair.
Just for info sake here are the albums covered:
1994: Beatles White Album
1995 : The Who: Quadrophenia
1996: Talking Heads Remain in Light
1998: Velvet Underground: Loaded
**Surprise costume 2 days later: Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon **
2009: Rolling Stones: Exile on Main Street
2010: Little Feat: Waiting for Columbus
.......................................................have you heard the one about the yellow dog?