Take it or leave it, Phish at a peak
jammin' brodown or no, Phish's two-DVD Walnut Creek, recorded in July
1997, stays focused on the music.digital fidelity, Phish is—by its standards—flawless.
Anastasio's brash technicality enthralls on dark fusion ("Stash"), the
band's faces unsullied by the hard partying that soon began with equal
earnestness. Shots linger on every member as they run confidently
through then-new numbers ("Vultures," "Bye Bye Foot") and execute on
the improv, swaggering into long space-psych pockets on "Down with
Disease" and later running gracefully through the Mixolydian circles of
"Simple." Filled with small moments—like keyboardist Page McConnell
singing quietly with a drum fill on "Taste" before looking up,
startled, as unseen lightning crackles in the distance—Walnut Creek
disproves nothing to civilians, but jams anyway.
Watch a clip from Phish:Walnut Creek: