New Live Bait Compilation Dips Into Worcester’s History

This is big. The Live Bait series–which previously consisted of two free compilations of previously-available LivePhish tracks from Summer 2010–has now expanded to include selections from Phish’s past which were previously unavailable. All of the tracks on Live Bait Vol. 3 come from shows in Worcester, MA, in the 1990s.

The biggest track here–in both its length and the excitement it should inspire–is the 11/29/97 Runaway Jim. Clocking in at just under 7 dog-hours, this jam is the longest in any 2-set Phish show in history. It includes some of everything: the funk that characterized Fall ’97; dirty grunge-rock; blissful Theme-esque playing; a long Weekapaug jam. I reviewed it as part of my ongoing Fall ’97 anniversary-review series–see all posts here.

Additionally, this compilation includes the Auld Lang Syne > Down with Disease jam > Split Open and Melt from 12/31/93. Disease had never been played to this point; the jam was taped so that the footage could be used in the music video. Trey lays down some gorgeous licks to bring in the new year before they go into a Melt that was characteristically monumental for that era.

A Llama from New Year’s ’91 rounds out the set. This version is typical of ’91 renditions, but that’s a good thing–Trey’s playing was as fluid and energetic as ever at this point in his career, and from a year that’s gotten very little LivePhish attention, it’s a treat to hear this pristine recording.

If you’ve gotten this far, you need to stop reading and get on over to livephish.com and download this free compilation. It’s a really nice gesture from archivist Kevin Shapiro and the band.