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Artist: Phish

Phish

Bio

Phish is a rock band which formed in 1983 in Burlington, Vermont, United States. For most of their career, the group's lineup has consisted of Trey Anastasio (guitar, vocals), Page McConnell (keyboards, vocals), Mike Gordon (bass, vocals) and Jon Fishman (drums, vocals, vacuum cleaner). The band is known for musical improvisation, extended jams, blending of genres, and a dedicated fan base. Their music blends elements of a wide variety of genres, including funk, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, folk, country, jazz, blues, bluegrass, and pop. Phish were part of a movement of improvisational rock groups, inspired by the Grateful Dead and colloquially known as "jam bands", which gained considerable popularity as touring concert acts in the 1990s. After 15 years of performing together, Phish went on hiatus in 2000. They resumed touring in December 2002, but disbanded in 2004 after a farewell performance at their Coventry Festival in Vermont. They reunited in March 2009 for a series of three consecutive concerts played in the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, and have since resumed performing regularly. Although the group received little radio play or MTV exposure, Phish developed a large following by word of mouth during the 1990s, particularly through fan-record tapes of their concerts, which circulated for free online with the band's permission. While often compared to the Grateful Dead, Phish finds their roots in styles such as jazz, funk and alternative rock as opposed to the Dead, who were more influenced by folk, country and blues. Each Phish concert is different in terms of the songs included and the order in which they appeared, and (for many songs) in the way in which they were performed. Also unique to Phish are their large summer festivals which draw upwards of 70K people to remote areas in Maine and New York State as well as close to 100K for their epic Millennium Show in the Everglades of South Florida. Along with Bob Dylan and The Beatles, Phish were one of the first bands to have an Internet newsgroup - rec.music.phish - launched in 1991. In regards to Phish, Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed "Given their sense of community, their ambition and their challenging, generous performances, Phish have become the most important band of the Nineties." Read mor
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News

Phish: July 12, 2014 Randall’s Island – FLAC/MP3/Streaming - NYC Taper

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Follow @acidjacknyc [photos by acidjack] Phish represents a lot of things that people don’t understand. Tell those who listen to almost all of the other bands I listen to that you’re going to a Phish show, and expect rolled eyes and chuckles. At one time, Phish meant to its fans the continuation of the promise of The Grateful Dead and the beautiful movement they created; that gave way, in short order, to Phish being a juggernaut in its own right. If anything, the band’s very stylistic and and generational dissimilarity to the Dead is a key source of lament for its detractors. For others, so is the fact that they play really long songs, some of which have wincingly twee lyrical concepts. These things, I’ll concede. Some people will never be convinced, but if you’re in the mood to be, you could do worse than starting with this excellent Village Voice blog post. Maybe a Phish show is a “you have to be there” kind of thing, but I’d like not to think so. Their career was, after all, built in part by people sharing live tapes. If you listen to this recording, in particular the emotional rollercoaster of a kickoff to the second set […]

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Phish: July 11, 2014 Randall’s Island – Flac/MP3/Streaming - NYC Taper

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[photo by Scott Harris] I’ll be the first to admit that my street cred when it comes to Phish is pretty light. After all, its been almost fifteen years since I’ve actually even seen the band live. That night in the Fall of 1999 at Nassau Coliseum was a fairly famous Phish event, when lyricist Tom Marshall took the stage to sing a few covers with the band. I was also at a Madison Square Garden show during New Year’s week in 1998 when the band played a mini acoustic set in the middle of the show. But 90s memories aside, I do still have some very good friends with close connections to the band — close enough to give us the first-report exclusive of the Phish reunion way back in August of 2008, for which we took a lot of flak but which ultimately proved to be correct. So when it was announced that Phish would play three local GA shows at Randall’s Island I figured it was about time I got out and saw them again and brought to the site a recording that many of our readers have asked about over the years. The trek to Randall’s […]

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Fuego by Phish - ArtistDirect

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06/24/2014
$12.99

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Articles

Rise Of The Phishheads Mojo, Jun 1996

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ON A STARRY SUMMER NIGHT at Bearsville Studios, New York, the four members of Phish are bracing themselves for the inevitable Grateful Dead question. You see, folks have dubbed Phish "the new Grateful Dead". Some have even been tasteless enough to suggest that Jerry Garcia's death was the best thing that ever happened to them.

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"Everyone was saying, 'God, you guys are really gonna go over the top now!" says drummer Jon 'Fish' Fishman. 'And I kept saying, I really don't think that's going to happen – there is no next Garcia."

In fact, Phish are united in agreement that Deadheads have not defected en masse to the Phish cause. They concede that the same sort of people are addicted to the "nomadic lifestyle" of following a band around on tour, and if pressed will even admit that the Dead were "hugely influential on us". But they believe their music to be considerably more eclectic than that of Captain Trips and his pals.

A brief acquaintance with their output to date confirms that the Dead are merely one of several tributaries that flow into Phish's river. Zappa and Steely Dan are just as evident in their sound, while a fixation with the late great Sun Ra (which saw Arkestra veterans Michael Ray and Marshall Allen guesting on singer/guitarist Trey Anastasio's recent solo project Surrender To The Air) remains a potent inspira-tion. More to the point, there is something uniquely Phishy illustrated admirably on the new "sampler" album Stash, a highly agreeable tour through their jazz-funk-rock, banjo-driven bluegrass and ethereal balladry. 'Fast Enough For You' and 'If I Could' (graced by the pellucid harmonising of a pre-famous Alison Krauss) are two of the loveliest songs I've heard in a long while, and 'Scent Of A Mule' is a jubilant country-rock classic.

The band's journey began some 13 years ago at the University of Vermont in Burlington. Situated on the shores of Lake
Champlain just 50 miles from the Canadian border, the town proved the perfect place for a young group to hone their sound. "It was like a womb for bands," says Fishman, who answered Anastasio's on-campus ad looking for like-minded musos in late 1983. "There was nothing to keep up with so there was no point where any of us was really concerned with being part of a scene."

"Vermont was just longhairs who lived out in the country and grew pot and hiked a lot," adds Anastasio, who also recruited bassist Mike Gordon and, two years later, keyboard prodigy Page McConnell. Umpteen gigs at a Burlington bar called Nectar's – homage to which was paid on 1992's Elektra debut A Picture Of Nectar – led to the band's venturing further afield in New England and New York. When Elektra A&R scout Sue Drew stumbled on them playing in Manhattan in 1990, the band already commanded a loyal following of blissed-out Phishheads.

Six years on from that fateful evening, Phish are one of the biggest live draws in America, co-partners in a multi-million-dollar corporation whose success, by their own admission, sits uneasily alongside their singular lack of interest in stardom. Last December, the band sold out two nights at Madison Square Garden, the second a New Year's Eve spectacular boasting plenty of the "antics, gags and practical jokes" for which their live shows have become renowned. (At successive Halloween gigs they've performed The White Album and Quadrophenia in their entirety; for their upcoming festival at an Air Force base in Plattsburg, New York, they're planning to suffuse their fans with perfumes.)

As we repair from the band's Bearsville guest house to the studio where Steve Lillywhite is producing their next album, Fishman tells me he attributes their success less to their consider-able musical talent than to the work they've put into their personal relationships. "Everybody puts a lot of effort into their parts and stuff," he says "But I think it's the effort we've made over the years to get along as people that's really made the difference. After all, you can't have sex with people you don't like..."

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Top Albums

The Story of the Ghost cover art

The Story of the Ghost

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Farmhouse cover art

Farmhouse

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Billy Breathes cover art

Billy Breathes

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A Picture of Nectar cover art

A Picture of Nectar

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Hoist cover art

Hoist

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Top Songs

Farmhouse cover art

Farmhouse

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Birds of a Feather cover art

Birds of a Feather

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Ghost cover art

Ghost

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Wading in the Velvet Sea cover art

Wading in the Velvet Sea

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You Enjoy Myself cover art

You Enjoy Myself

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Limb by Limb cover art

Limb by Limb

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First Tube cover art

First Tube

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