Phish is an American rock band noted for its musical improvisation, extended jams, exploration of music across genres and devoted fan base. Formed at the University of Vermont in 1983 , the band’s four members Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and Page McConnell performed together for over 20 years before breaking up in August 2004.
They reunited March 2009 at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, and have since resumed performing regularly.
Phish’s music blends elements of a wide variety of genres including rock, jazz, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, hard rock, funk, folk, bluegrass, reggae, country, blues, avant garde, barbershop quartet and classical. Each of their concerts is original in terms of the songs performed, the order they appear in, and in the way they are performed.
Although the band has received little radio play or mainstream exposure, Phish much like the band it is most often compared to, the Grateful Dead has developed a large and dedicated following by word of mouth, the exchange of live recordings by trading tapes with other fans and selling over 8 million albums and DVDs in the United States. Rolling Stone stated that the band helped to “…spawn a new wave of bands oriented around group improvisation and superextended grooves.”
In March 2010, Trey Anastasio was asked to pay tribute to Genesis, one of his favorite bands, upon being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to Anastasio’s speech, Phish appeared and performed two Genesis songs, “Watcher of the Skies” and “No Reply At All”.
Genesis did not perform. On May 13, 2010, Phish played the Rolling Stones “Loving Cup” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The band was introduced by Keith Richards. In the late Spring and Summer of 2010, the band completed a two-legged, 29-show tour. The August Alpine Valley shows has been released as a DVD and CD.
On October 8, 2010, the band played at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. They then began a Fall tour, which highlights many indoor arenas that they had played in the early years of their career. These stops include Broomfield, CO, Utica, NY, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, Manchester, NH, and Providence, RI. They concluded the Fall tour with 3 nights in Atlantic City including a Halloween show featuring the “musical costume” Waiting For Columbus originally by the band Little Feat.
For their 2010 New Years Run, the band played the DCU Center in Worcester, MA on December 27 and 28, and Madison Square Garden on December 30, December 31, and for the first time ever, performed on New Years Day, January 1, 2011.
On March 31, 2011, the band announced Super Ball IX, a 3-day festival that will be held in Watkins Glen, NY on the weekend of July 1st.
Phish’s music is an eclectic blend of rock, jazz, funk, progressive rock, new wave, ambient, bluegrass, psychedelic rock, reggae, Latin, folk, blues, country, and classical. Their more ambitious compositions (such as “You Enjoy Myself” and “Guyute”) are often said to resemble classical music in a rock setting, much related to the genre of progressive rock. The band has performed nearly 650 individual compositions.
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