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 (with the current line up solidifying in 1985), 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, 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, it 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.
Phish New Year Eve concerts, although not quite as celebrated as its costumed Halloween shows, are still the stuff of jam-band legend. Rolling Stone called the show on Dec. 31, 1995, one of the best concerts of the 1990s, and the band year-end shows are responsible for at least one marriage.
But this year, dude, they are taking it to a whole other level, playing not only on New Year Eve but also, the first time, on New Year Day. As part of a string of year end shows that begin at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass., on Dec. 27 and 28, Phish will play three nights at Madison Square Garden, from Dec. 30 to Jan. 1.
The driving force behind Phish is the popularity of their concerts and the fan culture surrounding the event. Each a production unto itself, the band is known to consistently change set lists and details, as well as the addition of their own antics to ensure that no two shows are ever the same.
With fans flocking to venues hours before they open, the concert is the centerpiece of an event that includes a temporary community in the parking lot, complete with “Shakedown Street”: at times a garment district, art district, food court, or pharmacy. For many, one concert is simply a prelude to the next as the community follows the band around the country.
Because Phish’s reputation is so grounded in their live performances, concert recordings are commonly-traded commodities. Official soundboard recordings can be purchased through the Live Phish website. Legal bootlegs produced by tapers with boom microphones from the audience in compliance with Phish’s tape trading policy are frequently traded on any number of music message boards.
Although technically not allowed, live video of Phish shows are also traded by fans and is tolerated as long as it is for non-profit, personal use. Phish fans have been noted for their extensive collections of fan-taped concert recordings; owning recordings of entire tours and years is widespread.
Like the Grateful Dead before them, which had legions of loyal fans nicknamed Deadheads, fans of Phish known as phans, phriends, phamily, phiends, Phishheads, or any number of ph-substituted appellations have created over a dozen fan organizations. Maintained by fans for fans, these run the gamut of profit status, and indirectly work to the benefit of the band.
A few of the more noticeable groups are “The Phellowship”, a group that celebrates seeing shows sober together, and the “Green Crew”, who work after concerts removing trash and refuse.
People for a Louder Mike (PLM) was an informal effort to campaign for the increase of Gordon’s bass in the mix, there are organizations for gays and lesbians as well as female fans, and communities of fans on Usenet newsgroups such as rec.music.phish and on Phish.net.
The Mockingbird Foundation a fan-run charitable organization dedicated to music education for children has announced two $ 5,000 grants as a result of the Reunion fund begun in fall of 2007: one to the town of Hampton, Virginia, and the other to the town of Hampton, Nebraska.
Amanda Harrison is the author of Ticketsinventory.com . Ticketsinventory is a leader tickets market search engine that enable Ticket shoppers to easily find, compare and buy phish Tickets sports tickets, theatre tickets Concert Tickets plus other events tickets.