Phish tours

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American rock band Phish is one of the most successful live acts in popular music history, forging a popularity in concert far greater than their album sales, radio airplay, or music video presence would otherwise indicate.

Phish, at the peak of their popularity in the mid- to late 1990s, consistently ranked as one of the highest-grossing concert tours in the world.[1][2]

One of the major factors of Phish's live success was the fact that every show in the band's history contained a completely different song setlist. Throughout 30 years and over 1,600[3] shows, the band never played the same concert setlist twice. Additionally, many Phish songs were rarely played the same way twice. This approach to live performance influenced Phish fans to attend multiple nights on a particular tour, much like sports fans buying season tickets, since they were guaranteed a completely different concert on a nightly basis. Phish fans have recorded the band's concerts (with permission) and circulated the music throughout the country. Therefore, fans collect large numbers of live recordings free of charge, a practice encouraged by the taper-friendly band. Guitarist Trey Anastasio considered it "free advertising" since it enabled the band's music to be distributed and traded all over the United States and, eventually, the rest of the world.

Another notable practice is the band's Halloween tradition of "Musical Costumes", when Phish performs an entire album by a different band or artist.

1980s[edit]

1983[edit]

Phish formed in the fall of 1983 at the University of Vermont with co-founders Trey Anastasio and Jeff Holdsworth on guitars, Jon Fishman on drums, and Mike Gordon on bass.

In 1983, the band played at least two shows under the name Blackwood Convention. At this point, the band only played other artists' material, ranging from tunes by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Wilson Pickett, The Who, the Grateful Dead, and others.

1984[edit]

Phish took a brief hiatus during the first part of 1984 after Anastasio was suspended from UVM. The band continued with live performances when Anastasio returned to the university in the fall, at which point they became officially known as Phish. For many concerts, Phish was joined by Marc Daubert on percussion and, on occasion, The Dude Of Life on vocals. For years, the band's performance from 1 December 1984, was their earliest live circulated recording, though a recording of a performance at UVM's Slade Hall, from 3 November 1984 eventually surfaced. The band debuted many original songs that fall, including "Makisupa Policeman", "Slave to the Traffic Light", "Camel Walk", "Skippy the Wondermouse", and "Fluffhead." All of these songs, with the exception of "Skippy the Wondermouse" (whose music was later used for "McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters"), remained in the band's live rotation for the duration of their career.

1985[edit]

In the spring of 1985, the band met keyboardist Page McConnell, a student at Goddard College who jammed with the band for a portion of their May 3, 1985 show on the campus of the University of Vermont. By September 26, he was a member of the band.

The band's shows during this period featured lots and lots of improvisation, much of which revolved around new originals and cover songs from The Grateful Dead. Mike Gordon has often cited the band's November 23 show from Goddard College as a religious experience and the musical highlight of his career.

Trey Anastasio and Jon Fishman traveled to Europe during the summer and wrote a great deal of the band's early material on the trip.

More originals began to make their way into Phish's concert repertoire, including "McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters", "Anarchy", "Alumni Blues", "Dear Mrs. Reagan", "Dog Log", "Prep School Hippie" "Dave's Energy Guide", "Letter To Jimmy Page", and the popular classics "Harry Hood", "Run Like an Antelope", "Mike's Song", and "Possum".

1986[edit]

In May 1986, Jeff Holdsworth quit the band; he was not replaced. Holdsworth's retirement solidified the band's classic four-man lineup of Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Mike Gordon, and Jon Fishman, which remained unchanged for the rest of their career.

In October, Paul Languedoc officially joined the band as sound engineer. He remained with the band until the breakup in 2004. A luthier by trade, Languedoc built all of the electric guitars that Trey would use throughout his career, as well as a number of bass guitars for Gordon.

Later that month, the band played the first of four consecutive annual Halloween shows at Goddard College.

Phish continued to perform a greater number of concerts in 1986, debuting a wealth of new material throughout the year, including "You Enjoy Myself", "AC/DC Bag", "Golgi Apparatus", "Lushington", "Sanity", "David Bowie", "Wilson", "Icculus", "I Am Hydrogen", "Halley's Comet", and many other future Phish classics.

The band also began circulating The White Tape, their very first studio project, consisting of band performances as well as solo recordings by Anastasio and Gordon. While this recording circulated in the fan community for a number of years, it was not officially released until 1998, at which point the album became officially known as Phish.

1987[edit]

In 1987, Phish was winding down their college career and preparing to take their live performances to the next level. The band became fixtures at Nectar's during this year, playing three-night-stands, of three sets each night, on an almost monthly basis. Phish continued playing college campuses and parties during this year, and spent the majority of their down-time practicing, and honing their craft.

In the spring of 1987, Trey Anastasio submitted Phish's studio experiment, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, as his senior thesis at Goddard College. Many of these songs would make more frequent appearances in concert throughout the year. While this recording was never officially released, it is commonly traded throughout the community and many of the songs from this project, such as "Wilson", "AC/DC Bag", and "The Lizards", went on to become all-time Phish classics.

A wealth of original songs made their first known appearances in 1987, including "The Divided Sky", "Fee", "The Curtain With", "Harpua", "Flat Fee", "Big Black Furry Creature From Mars", "I Didn't Know", "The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday", "Fuck Your Face", "Suzy Greenberg", "Dinner and a Movie", "The Sloth", and a quirky tune called "Punch Me In The Eye" which, while completely unrelated and only performed once, served as inspiration for "Punch You In The Eye", which saw its debut two years later.

1988[edit]

In 1988, Phish began touring outside of the Vermont area, performing concerts in New York, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and other states throughout the year. In March, the band unveiled the first complete performance of The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday. After seeing their March 12 concert, manager John Paluska booked Phish for a concert at Amherst College in Massachusetts at The Zoo co-op house at Amherst College.[4] He would go on to manage the band until their 2004 breakup.

Musically, Phish was concentrating on large scale composition throughout most of 1988 (much of which appeared on their classic double album Junta), with multi-part suites and epics acting as centerpieces of the band's live setlists. Many of these extended pieces, including reworked older songs such as "You Enjoy Myself", "The Divided Sky" and "David Bowie", also featured lengthy improvisational excursions.

The band's original repertoire continued to grow, with complex pieces such as "Esther", "Foam", "The Lizards", "Colonel Forbin's Ascent", and "Fly Famous Mockingbird" making their debut along with future favorites "Tela", "Weekapaug Groove", "No Dogs Allowed", and "Contact."

1989[edit]

By 1989, Phish was on the road full-time after three of the band's four members had graduated from college (Mike Gordon graduated the following year)[verification needed]. The year saw Phish aggressively covering the concert circuit in the Northeast United States, especially on college campuses, where the band found their most dedicated followers. The band's fanbase kept on growing as many fans travelled from state to state and concert to concert, attending multiple nights in a row as Phish continued to change their setlists on a nightly basis.

Phish also unveiled their most ambitious piece to date, the multi-part epic "Reba", as well as other complex and intricately composed songs such as "Split Open and Melt", "Kung", "Bathtub Gin", "The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony", "My Sweet One", "In a Hole", and "The Mango Song." Improvisation seemed to take a backseat to composition for Phish in 1989, a trend that would continue for the next three years. Throughout the year, the band recorded tracks for their fourth studio project Lawn Boy.

Legendary lighting designer Chris Kuroda officially joined Phish on March 30 of the year and would remain with the band through the rest of their career, going on to pioneer new techniques and set new standards in the concert lighting industry.

1990s[edit]

1990[edit]

Phish entered the 1990s as a national touring act, performing coast to coast across the United States. The band teamed up with friends Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler, and Aquarium Rescue Unit for various concerts in an effort to spread their music to new audiences, and toured non-stop for the first six months of the year.

Following a three-set tour-closing show at Townshend Family Park (the second of three such annual events), the band visited Wendell Studios, in Boston MA, and recorded a wealth of material. None of these recordings have been officially released but they are available online and feature renditions of several Phish classics that have never otherwise been released on a studio album, including "Harry Hood", "Mike's Song", "I Am Hydrogen", "Weekapaug Groove", "Runaway Jim", and "Suzy Greenberg", as well as a couple of jazz standards, and other original songs.

Aside from a few isolated appearances, Phish did not tour in the summer of 1990 but remained busy, practicing several hours a day and performing a weekly set at a local jazz club, billed as the "Johnny B. Fishman Jazz Ensemble". Featuring the members of Phish, along with what would eventually become known as the Giant Country Horns, the band honed their playing on a number of jazz standards, many of which would become a part of the band's live show for the next few years.

Original songs debuted in 1990 include "Stash", "The Squirming Coil", "Buried Alive", "Bouncing Around the Room", "Magilla", "Destiny Unbound", "Don't Get Me Wrong" (a collaboration with John Popper), "Eliza", "Runaway Jim", "Tweezer", "Cavern", "Horn", "Tube", "The Landlady", "The Asse Festival", "Gumbo", "Llama", and the original arrangement of "Rift."

1991[edit]

Like the year before, Phish performed throughout 1991 all over the United States, visiting almost every state in the country. The band's dedicated fanbase continued to grow. With no radio, TV, or mainstream press coverage, this growth was based solely on word of mouth. Fans of the band launched the Phish.Net, one of the very first Internet websites in popular music. The site connected the band and fans from all over the country and helped spread the word about upcoming concerts, setlists, and band history. It would be a few years before the band started their official website, phish.com, but phish.net remained active throughout the band's career.

Phish made the leap into the big leagues in 1991 when they signed a deal with Elektra Records, after releasing their first two albums independently. They would remain with the label until their 2004 breakup. In the midst of their touring schedule, they found time to record their major label debut, A Picture of Nectar, at White Crow Studios, in Burlington VT. Released the following year, the album featured versions of concert staples such as "Stash", "Tweezer", and "Chalk Dust Torture", among others.

1991 also saw Phish record an album with longtime associate, The Dude Of Life, titled Crimes Of The Mind. The Dude, who had previously lent his writing skill to classic Phish songs such as "Suzy Greenberg" and "Fluffhead", wrote the songs on the album and provided vocals while Phish performed the music. The Dude Of Life would occasionally appear on stage with Phish, to perform this material, most notably at Amy's Farm (see below). Upon Phish's surge in popularity, this was released on Elektra Records in 1994.

Summer 1991 featured Phish touring with a horn section for the first and only time in their career. The Giant Country Horns, made up primarily of local Burlington musicians, featured on the majority of Phish's sets during this tour, utilizing both pre-written charts as well as factoring into the improvisational segments. This horn section, or a variation, would occasionally make one-off appearances with Phish in the years to come, and would eventually serve as the inspiration, and basis, for the horns in Anastasio's solo band.

Most notably, Phish also held their first official concert festival – Amy's Farm – held in upstate Maine at the horse farm of longtime fan Amy Skelton. It was a free show and, like many of their future festivals, was an outdoor camp out that closed the band's summer tour. Phish would go on to host three more summer festivals in Maine.

Fall 1991 saw Phish touring with great intensity, from coast to coast and back again, culminating in their third consecutive New Year's Eve show, and the first to run for three sets.

Original song debuts in 1991 included "Guelah Papyrus", "Chalk Dust Torture", "Setting Sail", "Poor Heart", "Brother", "It's Ice", "Sparkle", "All Things Reconsidered", and "Glide."

1992[edit]

1992 saw Phish continue to tour intensively, all over the United States, and even enjoy their first taste of Europe. The year's live activity kicked off on 6 March, in Portsmouth NH, with a significant amount of new material. This show also featured the band clueing the audience in on their "secret language", which is a series of musical cues and signals that the band would use to communicate with one another. While this had been happening on stage for a couple of years at this point, new signals were devised to include the audience, such as the Homer Simpson "D'oh!" signal, the "turn turn turn" signal, the "aw fuck!" signal, and several others. A handful of shows early in the tour featured Trey instructing the audience on what to look out for (with the correct assumption that tape trading would effectively spread the word), and those signals featured heavily in the various jams and song intros during this year.

Another bit of audience participation premiered this year in the form of the "Big Ball Jam", where three giant beach balls would be unleashed into the audience. Each of the melodic performers would follow one particular ball and provide musical accompaniment as it would make its journey around the venue, and back towards the stage. While this often resulted in a chaotic, discordant jam, this quickly became a popular fixture of Phish shows and remained a part of their act for a few years, before the venues got to be too big.

Phish ventured to Europe for the first time in June, touring for about two weeks as an opener for Violent Femmes as well as making appearances at the famed Roskilde Festival, and a festival appearance at Brixton Academy.

Returning Stateside, Phish spent the rest of their summer playing their own shows, headlining several dates on the H.O.R.D.E. tour, and spending a couple of months touring as an opening act for Santana.

After taking time off in September and October to record the concept album, Rift, Phish embarked on a busy November and December, touring the eastern half of the United States, along with two Canadian dates. After a brief break, Phish reconvened for their first four-night Holiday run, culminating in a legendary New Year's show in Boston that was broadcast live on WBCN. Taking advantage of this, Phish heavily utilized their "secret language", including many new signals, which were explained on flyers that were distributed to fans as they entered, the purpose being to confuse any radio listener who is not in the "know".

Original songs debuted in 1992 include "Maze", "My Friend, My Friend", "Mound", "NICU", "Sleeping Monkey", the new arrangement of "Rift", "The Horse", "Silent in the Morning", "Weigh", "Axilla", "Fast Enough for You", "Big Ball Jam", "Faht", "Catapult", "Buffalo Bill", and "Lengthwise."

1993[edit]

In February, Phish released their second concept album, Rift, and immediately hit the road for six months of nonstop touring at venues all over the United States. As the year progressed, the venues got larger, especially in the northeast, where they performed at major summer sheds such as Jones Beach, Great Woods, and Darien Lake (all of which the band continues to visit). Phish also visited a large number of college campuses, theatres, a handful of clubs in smaller markets, and headlined a select number of dates on the H.O.R.D.E. tour.

For the first time in their career, Phish did not tour at all in the fall, instead retreating to Los Angeles to record Hoist with producer Paul Fox and a host of special guests.

Phish capped off 1993 with a four-show New Year's run. For these shows, the band performed on a stage that was designed as an aquarium. At the turn of the new year, the band's traditional version of "Auld Lang Syne" segued into the end jam from the yet-to-be-performed "Down With Disease". Footage from this performance, utilizing the stage set, was featured in Mike Gordon's video for "Down With Disease", released the following spring.

With the intention of not road-testing the majority of material for their next album, original song debuts in 1993 were very slim, featuring only "Sample in a Jar", "Lifeboy", "The Wedge", and the short-lived instrumental, "Leprechaun."

1994[edit]

The band was now a major live touring act, accomplishing such milestones as selling out both Madison Square Garden and Boston Garden, making their national television debut on the Late Show with David Letterman, earning radio play and an MTV music video with the song "Down With Disease" from their album Hoist, and beginning their Halloween "musical costume" tradition (where the band would perform an entire album by a different band). Additionally, the band's audience was growing by huge numbers, making Phish second only to the Grateful Dead with respect to the live concert cultural phenomenon that surrounded both bands.

After performing two of their albums in concert at a show in Charleston, West Virginia on June 26 (The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday and Hoist), the band jokingly bragged backstage that they could play any album at any time. Taking the idea to the next level, the band promised to play a complete album by another band on Halloween night, taking fan votes by mail.[5] The winning album was the legendary White Album from The Beatles. Several bands would borrow this tradition in years to come, most notably Dream Theater, whose drummer, Mike Portnoy, is an admitted Phish fan.

Several of the year's highlights were compiled to form A Live One, the band's first live album, which would be released the following year.

Phish spent a week in November 1994 touring with The Rev. Jeff Mosier, who gave the band a crash course in traditional bluegrass playing. They would hone their skills on the bus and in band practice, learning several new tunes along the way, and Mosier would join the band onstage each night for a few numbers. After one such show, on 19 November in Bloomington IN, the band & Mosier gave an impromptu performance outside of their tour bus. Recordings of this have circulated in trading circles since the occasion. Home video footage of the entire crash course was edited into a documentary which circulates in the fan community as well.

1994 also featured the first home-video release by Phish. Tracking was filmed and edited by Mike Gordon and features footage of the band in the studio recording Hoist.

Once again, Phish capped off 1994 with a four-show Holiday Run, culminating in a legendary performance at Boston Garden, which featured the first appearance of the flying hot dog, in which the band rode, as it flew over the heads of the crowd before the stroke of midnight. The hot dog would go on to make two more appearances at Phish events and currently resides in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame museum.

Original song debuts in 1994 included "Scent of a Mule", "If I Could", "Wolfman's Brother", "Julius", "Demand", "Dog-Faced Boy", "Guyute", "Axilla (Part 2)", "Simple", "NO2" and "Down with Disease".

Costumes[edit]

On Halloween 1994, Phish performed The Beatles' White Album. The band played every song on the double album except "Good Night", which was played over the P.A. at the end of the set ("Birthday" was covered as an instrumental, during which Fishman presented a birthday cake to Brad Sands, the band's road manager).

Before the band took the stage for their second set, the sound technician began playing "Speak to Me" over the PA, leading the audience to believe the band was about to play Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon. However, just at the moment "Breathe" would have begun, the recording immediately cut to a sample of Ed Sullivan introducing The Beatles from their famous February 9, 1964 appearance on his show. The band promptly leapt into "Back in the U.S.S.R."

Phish returned to the stage after the White Album set, and Anastasio began by playing the opening riff to "Custard Pie", the first track on Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin, leading some concert-goers to believe that the band would be donning two musical costumes that evening. However, the riff was only a tease, and Phish proceeded to play a third set of primarily original songs.

The show included a Halloween costume contest of audience members and Jon Fishman playing on a vacuum cleaner and gracing the stage in the nude during "Revolution 9". The show reportedly ended past 3:30 a.m. on November 1, 1994.[6]

The show has been released in its entirety as Live Phish Volume 13.

1994 warm-up and support shows[edit]
Date City Country Venue
Radio Performances
April 13, 1994 New York United States WNEW Studios
April 26, 1994 Atlanta Purple Dragon Recording Studios
June 18, 1994 Chicago The Loop 97.9 Studios
Late Show with David Letterman
December 30, 1994 New York City United States Late Show with David Letterman
1994 dates[edit]
Date City Country Venue
Spring 1994
April 4, 1994 Burlington United States Flynn Theater
April 5, 1994 Montreal Canada Métropolis
April 6, 1994 Toronto The Concert Hall
April 8, 1994 University Park United States Recreational Hall
April 9, 1994 Binghamton Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena
April 10, 1994 Amherst Alumni Arena
April 11, 1994 Durham Snively Arena
April 13. 1994 New York City Beacon Theatre
April 14, 1994
April 15, 1994
April 16, 1994 Amherst William D. Mullins Memorial Center
April 17, 1994 Fairfax Patriot Center
April 18, 1994 Newark Bob Carpenter Center
April 20, 1994 Lexington Virginia Horse Center
April 21, 1994 Winston-Salem Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
April 22, 1994 Columbia Township Auditorium
April 23, 1994 Atlanta Fox Theatre
April 24, 1994 Charlotte Grady Cole Center
April 25, 1994 Knoxville Knoxville Civic Auditorium
April 28, 1994 West Palm Beach SunFest
April 29, 1994 Clearwater Boatyard Village Pavilion
April 30, 1994 Orlando The Edge Nightclub
May 2, 1994 Birmingham Five Points South Music Hall
May 3, 1994 Antioch Starwood Amphitheatre
May 4, 1994 New Orleans State Palace Theatre
May 6, 1994 Houston Tower Theater
May 7, 1994 Dallas The Bomb Factory
May 8, 1994 Bee Cave The Backyard
May 10, 1994 Santa Fe Paolo Soleri Amphitheater
May 12, 1994 Tucson Buena Vista Theater
May 13, 1994 Tempe Hayden Square Amphitheatre
May 14, 1994 San Diego Montezuma Hall
May 16, 1994 Los Angeles Wiltern Theatre
May 17, 1994 Santa Barbara Arlington Theater
May 19, 1994 Eugene Silva Concert Hall
May 20, 1994 Olympia Campus Recreation Center
May 21, 1994 Seattle Moore Theatre
May 22, 1994 Vancouver Canada Vogue Theatre
May 23, 1994 Portland United States Portland Civic Auditorium
May 25, 1994 San Francisco The Warfield
May 26, 1994
May 27, 1994
May 28, 1994 Monterey Laguna Seca Raceway
May 29, 1994
Summer 1994
June 9, 1994 Salt Lake City United States Triad Amphitheater
June 10, 1994 Morrison Red Rocks Amphitheatre
June 11, 1994
June 13, 1994 Kansas City Memorial Hall
June 14, 1994 Des Moines Civic Center of Greater Des Moines
June 16, 1994 Minneapolis State Theatre
June 17, 1994 Milwaukee Eagles Ballroom
June 18, 1994 Chicago UIC Pavilion
June 19, 1994 Kalamazoo State Theater
June 21, 1994 Cincinnati Cincinnati Music Hall
June 22, 1994 Columbus Veteran Memorial Auditorium
June 23, 1994 Pontiac Phoenix Plaza Amphitheater
June 24, 1994 Indianapolis Murat Theatre
June 25, 1994 Cleveland Nautica Stage
June 26, 1994 Charleston Charleston Municipal Auditorium
June 29, 1994 Raleigh Hardee's Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
June 30, 1994 Richmond Classic Amphitheatre at Strawberry Hill
July 1, 1994 Philadelphia Mann Center for the Performing Arts
July 2, 1994 Holmdel Garden States Arts Center
July 3, 1994 Old Orchard Beach The Ball Park
July 5, 1994 Ottawa Canada Congress Centre
July 6, 1994 Montreal Théâtre Saint-Denis
July 8, 1994 Mansfield United States Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts
July 9, 1994
July 10, 1994 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 13, 1994 Patterson Big Birch Concert Pavilion
July 14, 1994 Hopewell Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center
July 15, 1994 Wantagh Jones Beach Amphitheater
July 16, 1994 Warren Summer Stage at Sugarbush
Fall 1994
October 7, 1994 Bethlehem United States Stabler Arena
October 8, 1994 Fairfax Patriot Center
October 9, 1994 Pittsburgh Palumbo Center
October 10, 1994 Louisville The Louisville Palace
October 12, 1994 Memphis Orpheum Theatre
October 13, 1994 Oxford University of Mississippi
October 14, 1994 New Orleans McAlister Auditorium
October 15, 1994 Pelham Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
October 16, 1994 Chattanooga Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium
October 18, 1994 Nashville Memorial Gymnasium
October 20, 1994 St. Petersburg Mahaffey Theater
October 21, 1994 Sunrise Sunrise Musical Theater
October 22, 1994 Orlando The Edge Concert Field
October 23, 1994 Gainesville Band Shell
October 25, 1994 Atlanta Atlanta Civic Center
October 26, 1994 Boone Varsity Gymnasium
October 27, 1994 Charlottesville University Hall
October 28, 1994 Charleston Gaillard Auditorium
October 29, 1994 Spartanburg Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium
October 31, 1994 Glens Falls Glens Falls Civic Center
November 2, 1994 Bangor Bangor Auditorium
November 3, 1994 Amherst William D. Mullins Memorial Center
November 4, 1994 Syracuse Onondaga War Memorial Auditorium
November 12, 1994 Kent Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center
November 13, 1994 Erie Warner Theatre
November 14, 1994 Grand Rapids DeVos Place Civic Auditorium
November 16, 1994 Ann Arbor Hill Auditorium
November 17, 1994 Trotwood Hara Arena
November 18, 1994 East Lansing MSU Auditorium
November 19, 1994 Bloomington Indiana University Auditorium
November 20, 1994 Madison Dane County Coliseum
November 22, 1994 Columbia Jesse Auditorium
November 23, 1994 St. Louis Fox Theatre
November 25, 1994 Chicago UIC Pavilion
November 26, 1994 Minneapolis Orpheum Theatre
November 28, 1994 Bozeman Brick Breeden Fieldhouse
November 30, 1994 Olympia Campus Recreation Center
December 1, 1994 Salem Salem Amory
December 2, 1994 Davis Recreation Hall
December 3, 1994 San Jose Event Center Arena
December 4, 1994 Chico Acker Gym
December 6, 1994 Santa Barbara UC Santa Barbara Events Center
December 7, 1994 San Diego Spreckels Theater
December 8, 1994
December 9, 1994 Mesa Mesa Amphitheatre
December 10, 1994 Santa Monica Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
1994 New Year's Eve Run
December 28, 1994 Philadelphia United States Philadelphia Civic Center
December 29, 1994 Providence Providence Civic Center
December 30, 1994 New York City Madison Square Garden
December 31, 1994 Boston Boston Garden

1995[edit]

For the first time since 1987, the band took an extensive vacation for the first four and a half months of the year, finally returning in May for the only politically based concert of their entire career – a Voters for Choice benefit concert conceived by Gloria Steinem. The majority of that show featured debuts of brand new songs, many of which would remain in the band's rotation for the duration of their career. In spite of that, Phish received mixed reviews for participating in the concert, and never participated in partisan events again.

The band headlined amphitheaters in the summer of 1995 as their first official live album – A Live One – became the first Phish album to receive gold record status. The album, released on June 28 and featuring a number of highlights from the band's 1994 tours, became the group's most successful album to date. The band was now the premier live touring band in the United States, and the group's fall tour featured several sold-out concerts in large arenas.

That fall, Phish challenged its audience to two games of chess. Each show on the tour featured a pair of moves. The band took its turn either at the beginning of or during the first set. The audience was invited to gather at the Greenpeace table during the setbreak to determine its move. Two games were played on the tour. The audience conceded the first game on November 15 in Florida, and the band conceded the second game at its New Year's Eve concert at Madison Square Garden. These were the only two games that were played, which left the final score tied at 1-1. "What Does Chess Have to Do with Phish? at Phish.net". 

In their tradition of playing a well-known album by another band for Halloween, Phish contracted a full horn section for their performance of The Who's Quadrophenia in 1995. On New Year's Eve, the band performed what is considered one of their greatest concerts ever – a three-set marathon performance at Madison Square Garden. The show was later released in its entirety in 2005 to commemorate its tenth anniversary. The show was also named one of the greatest concerts of the 1990s by Rolling Stone magazine.

On 22 November, Phish performed their first of many legendary shows at Hampton Coliseum. This show featured the first "rotation jam", where each member of the band would take over for the player on their right, in the midst of an unbroken jam, until the entire band were performing on instruments other than their own. This rotation culminated with all four members performing simultaneously on McConnell's keyboards. While not becoming a concert staple, Phish would occasionally explore the rotation jam in years to come.

Original song debuts included "Spock's Brain", "Theme From the Bottom", "Ha Ha Ha", "Taste", "Free", "Strange Design", "Glide II", "Prince Caspian", "Acoustic Army", "Keyboard Army", "Cars Trucks Buses, and "The Fog That Surrounds", which featured the music from "Taste" with all-new lyrics, written and sung by Fishman. The two versions would eventually be merged into the final version of "Taste".

Costumes[edit]

Although the band performed The Who's Quadrophenia for Halloween 1995, the voting reportedly ended differently. Frank Zappa's album Joe's Garage got the most votes, but the album's complex overdubs, potentially offensive lyrics, and several tunes that Zappa had requested never be performed live again (such as "Watermelon in Easter Hay"), caused the band to perform Quadrophenia with a horn section instead (which reportedly came in second in the voting)[7]

Later in the night during the band's third set, "You Enjoy Myself" was performed for over forty minutes. The band ended the night with "My Generation", a song made famous by The Who but not included on their Quadrophenia album. The band destroyed their instruments at the end of the encore, just as The Who did decades before.

The show has been released in its entirety as Live Phish Volume 14.

1995 warm-up and support shows[edit]
Date City Country Venue
Rehearsal
May 14, 1995 Burlington United States Jon Fishman's House
Voters for Choice Benefit
May 16, 1995 Lowell United States Lowell Memorial Auditorium
Late Show with David Letterman
July 13, 1995 New York City United States Late Show with David Letterman
1995 dates[edit]
Date City Country Venue
Summer 1995
June 7, 1995 Boise United States Boise State University Pavilion
June 8, 1995 Salt Lake City Delta Center
June 9, 1995 Morrison Red Rocks Amphitheatre
June 10, 1995
June 13, 1995 Maryland Heights Riverport Amphitheater
June 14, 1995 Memphis Mud Island Amphitheater
June 15, 1995 Atlanta Lakewood Amphitheatre
June 16, 1995 Raleigh Hardee's Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
June 17, 1995 Bristow Nissan Pavilion at Stone Ridge
June 19, 1995 Noblesville Deer Creek Music Center
June 20, 1995 Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center
June 22, 1995 Hopewell Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center
June 23, 1995 Stanhope Waterloo Village
June 24, 1995 Philadelphia Mann Center for the Performing Arts
June 25, 1995
June 26, 1995 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 28, 1995 Wantagh Jones Beach Amphitheater
June 29, 1995
June 30, 1995 Mansfield Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts
July 1, 1995
July 2, 1995 Warren Summer Stage at Sugarbush
July 3, 1995
Fall 1995
September 27, 1995 Sacramento United States California Exposition Amphitheater
September 28, 1995 San Diego Embarcadero Marina Park
September 29, 1995 Los Angeles Greek Theatre
September 30, 1995 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
October 2, 1995 Seattle Seattle Event Center
October 3, 1995
October 5, 1995 Portland Memorial Coliseum
October 6, 1995 Vancouver Canada The Orpheum
October 7, 1995 Spokane United States Spokane Opera House
October 8, 1995 Missoula Adams Fieldhouse
October 11, 1995 Phoenix Compton Terrace Amphitheater
October 13, 1995 Fort Worth Will Rogers Auditorium
October 14, 1995 Austin Austin Music Hall
October 15, 1995
October 17, 1995 New Orleans State Palace Theatre
October 19, 1995 Kansas City Municipal Auditorium
October 20, 1995 Cedar Rapids Five Seasons Center
October 21, 1995 Lincoln Pershing Auditorium
October 22, 1995 Champaign Assembly Hall
October 24, 1995 Madison Dane County Coliseum
October 25, 1995 St. Paul Civic Center Arena
October 27, 1995 Kalamazoo Wings Stadium
October 28, 1995 Auburn Hills The Palace of Auburn Hills
October 29, 1995 Louisville Louisville Gardens
October 31, 1995 Rosemont Rosemont Horizon
November 9, 1995 Atlanta Fox Theatre
November 10, 1995
November 11, 1995
November 12, 1995 Gainesville O'Connell Center
November 14, 1995 Orlando UFC Arena
November 15, 1995 Tampa USF Sun Dome
November 16, 1995 West Palm Beach West Palm Beach Auditorium
November 18, 1995 North Charleston North Charleston Coliseum
November 19, 1995 Charlotte Charlotte Coliseum
November 21, 1995 Winston-Salem Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
November 22, 1995 Landover USAir Arena
November 24, 1995 Pittsburgh Civic Arena
November 25, 1995 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
November 28, 1995 Knoxville Knoxville Civic Coliseum
November 29, 1995 Nashville Nashville Municipal Auditorium
November 30, 1995 Dayton Ervin J. Nutter Center
December 1, 1995 Hershey Hersheypark Arena
December 2, 1995 New Haven New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum
December 4, 1995 Amherst William D. Mullins Memorial Center
December 5, 1995
December 7, 1995 Niagara Falls Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center
December 8, 1995 Cleveland CSU Convocation Center
December 9, 1995 Albany Knickerbocker Arena
December 11, 1995 Portland Cumberland County Civic Center
December 12, 1995 Providence Providence Civic Center
December 14, 1995 Binghamton Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena
December 15, 1995 Philadelphia CoreStates Spectrum
December 16, 1995 Lake Placid Olympic Center
December 17, 1995
1995 New Year's Eve Run
December 28, 1995 Worcester United States Worcester's Centrum Centre
December 29, 1995
December 30, 1995 New York City Madison Square Garden
December 31, 1995

1996[edit]

While taking the first half of 1996 off to begin recording a new studio album, Phish made two one-off live appearances in the spring. The first saw the band headline the 1996 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in April. The second was a surprise club appearance under the name "Third Ball" at a small club in Woodstock, New York, just miles from Bearsville Studios where Phish was finishing their new album.

That summer, the band once again toured Europe with Santana for the first time in four years. These dates would be the last time Phish toured with another act on the bill. By August, the band was finally back in the US for a brief summer tour that saw most of the shows sold out well in advance. The band also began performing multiple nights at certain venues, such as Indiana's Deer Creek Music Center (where Phish's August 13 show was released as Live Phish 12) and Colorado's Red Rocks Amphitheater. Phish's audience had grown so much that the enormous influx of Phish fans to the town of Morrison, Colorado, resulted in Phish being banned for 10 years from playing Red Rocks.

Phish was so popular that the band drew 70,000 to a decommissioned air force base in remote Plattsburgh, New York for a two-day Phish festival called The Clifford Ball. It was the largest rock concert of the year. Phish played seven sets over two days, one of which featured a jam atop a flatbed truck cruising through the campground in the middle of the night. The second day featured a symphony orchestra performing classical music in the mid-afternoon. MTV made a documentary of the experience.

In October, the band released their long-awaited, commercially successful studio album Billy Breathes. That fall, the band headlined major arenas and covered Remain in Light by the Talking Heads at their 1996 Halloween show at The Omni in Atlanta. The performance of the groove-based album, which was influenced by funk and African polyrhythms, was cited by band members as a major influence on the group's stylistic change in 1997 and beyond.

Original song debuts included "Waste", "Character Zero", "Train Song", "Talk", "Swept Away", and "Steep"

Costumes[edit]

For their third musical costume, Phish's rendition of the Talking Heads' Remain in Light lasted 62 minutes and 16 seconds (compared to the Talking Heads's original, at under 45 minutes; elsewhere reported as 54:12), and featured a horn section and Santana percussionist Karl Perazzo.

The show has been released in its entirety as Live Phish Volume 15.

1996 warm-up and support shows[edit]
Date City Country Venue
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 26, 1996 New Orleans United States New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Secret Show
June 6, 1996 Woodstock United States Joyous Lake
Opening for Santana
July 3, 1996 Trento Italy Stadio Briamasco
July 5, 1996 Rome Stadio Olimpico
July 6, 1996 Pistoia Piazza del Duomo
July 7, 1996 Milan Parco Aquaitca
July 9, 1996 Deauville France Centre International
July 10, 1996 Paris Zénith de Paris
July 17, 1996 Vienne Theatre Antique
July 18, 1996 Nice Nice Jazz Festival
July 19, 1996 Arles Les Arénes Romaines
July 22, 1996 Cologne Germany Tanzbrunnen
July 24, 1996 Hanover The Music Hall
July 25, 1996 Hamburg Stadtpark
Los Angeles Lakers game
December 5, 1996 Inglewood United States Great Western Forum
1996 dates[edit]
Date City Country Venue
Europe Summer 1996
July 11, 1996 London England Shepherd's Bush Empire
July 12, 1996 Amsterdam Netherlands Melkweg
July 13, 1996 Dour Belgium Dour Festival
July 15, 1996 Sesto Calende Italy La Marna
July 21, 1996 Nuremberg Germany The Forum
July 23, 1996 Hamburg Markthalle Hamburg
U.S. Summer 1996
August 2, 1996 Park City United States Wolf Mountain Amphitheatre
August 4, 1996 Morrison Red Rocks Amphitheatre
August 5, 1996
August 6, 1996
August 7, 1996
August 10, 1996 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre
August 12, 1996 Noblesville Deer Creek Music Center
August 13, 1996
August 14, 1997 Herhsey Hersheypark Stadium
The Clifford Ball
August 16, 1996 Plattsburgh United States Plattsburgh Air Force Base
August 17, 1996
North America Fall 1996
October 16, 1996 Lake Placid United States Olympic Center
October 17, 1996 University Park Bryce Jordan Center
October 18, 1996 Pittsburgh Civic Arena
October 19, 1996 Buffalo Marine Midland Arena
October 21, 1996 New York City Madison Square Garden
October 22, 1996
October 23, 1996 Hartford Hartford Civic Center
October 25, 1996 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
October 26, 1996 Charlotte Charlotte Coliseum
October 27, 1996 North Charleston North Charleston Coliseum
October 29, 1996 Tallahassee Leon County Civic Center
October 31, 1996 Atlanta Omni Coliseum
November 2, 1996 West Palm Beach Coral Sky Amphitheater
November 3, 1996 Gainesville O'Connell Center
November 6, 1996 Knoxville Knoxville Civic Coliseum
November 7, 1996 Lexington Rupp Arena
November 8, 1996 Champaign Assembly Hall
November 9, 1996 Auburn Hills The Palace of Auburn Hills
November 11, 1996 Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena
November 13, 1996 Minneapolis Target Center
November 14, 1996 Ames Hilton Coliseum
November 15, 1996 St. Louis Kiel Center
November 16, 1996 Omaha Omaha Civic Auditorium
November 18, 1996 Memphis Mid-South Coliseum
November 19, 1996 Kansas City Municipal Auditorium
November 22, 1996 Spokane Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena
November 23, 1996 Vancouver Canada Pacific Coliseum
November 24, 1996 Portland United States Veterans Memorial Coliseum
November 27, 1996 Seattle KeyArena
November 29, 1996 Daly City Cow Palace
November 30, 1996 Sacramento ARCO Arena
December 1, 1996 Los Angeles Pauley Pavilion
December 2, 1996 Phoenix America West Arena
December 4, 1996 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
December 6, 1996 Las Vegas The Aladdin Theatre
1996 New Year's Eve Run
December 28, 1996 Philadelphia United States CoreStates Spectrum
December 29, 1996
December 30, 1996 Boston FleetCenter
December 31, 1996

1997[edit]

1997 proved to be the band's most prolific songwriting period, as no less than 20 new originals were debuted in concert throughout the year. This year also marked a major shift in the band's sound and style, where improvisation became more prevalent than ever, focusing heavily on funk and groove, with rapid-fire guitar solos taking a back seat. It would not be uncommon to see the band's setlists feature five titles, or less, while still running 90 minutes or more. Traditional "jam" numbers were taken to new extremes while other songs that were not previously utilized as improvisational springboards, such as "Tube", "AC/DC Bag", and "Halley's Comet", were explored to great effect. The band's Worcester show on 29 November featured a version of "Runaway Jim", to kick off the second set, which lasted 58 minutes - the longest "song" performance of their career.

The band headlined a winter tour of Europe in February and March. Excerpts from the 01 March show at Markthalle in Hamburg were later released as the live album Slip Stitch and Pass. Before embarking on their summer tour of the United States, they returned to Europe in June and July for a series of concerts that focused heavily on brand-new material. Most of these shows were headlining gigs, but there were a number of festival dates including a return to Roskilde and the band's only appearance at the famed Glastonbury Festival. The band's 6 July performance in Desenzano, Italy, is notable in that the band's afternoon soundcheck was open to the public and became a performance in itself, with one-off songs and jams, audience requests, audience karaoke (with the band backing them up), and even a limbo contest on stage.

Phish returned to the United States in July for a month-long summer tour of sold out amphitheaters, culminating in another huge festival – The Great Went – held in remote Limestone, Maine in the upper northeastern corner of the US. 70,000 fans attended the festival, which once again included seven sets of music from Phish over two days (one of which was a late night "disco set" with all four members on keyboards).

During the summer tour, film director Todd Phillips began filming a documentary of the band titled Bittersweet Motel that would finally hit theaters in 2000.

On 7 November, Phish made their first appearance on Late Night With Conan O'Brien, to promote Slip Stitch And Pass, with all four members of the band sporting beards. Rather than performing a track from the album, or another well known tune, they unveiled a brand new song called "Farmhouse". It would be quite some time before this song made it into the band's regular rotation, making this performance a relative anomaly[8].

Following their Conan appearance, Phish embarked on a November/December tour that saw them further exploring dark, groove-based improvisation (dubbed by fans as "cow funk"), with songs stretched out to previously unheard lengths. This tour culminated in a four-show holiday run, including three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden.

Original song debuts in 1997 included "Walfredo", "Rock-a-William", "Dogs Stole Things", "Carini", "Twist", "Limb by Limb", "Piper", "Vultures", "Ghost", "Olivia's Pool", "Water in the Sky", "Wading in the Velvet Sea", "I Don't Care", "Saw it Again", "Bye Bye Foot", "Dirt", "Meatstick", "Black-Eyed Katy", "Waking Up", and "Farmhouse."

1997 warmup and support shows[edit]

Date City Country Venue
German Radio Performance
February 26, 1997 Baden-Baden Germany SWF3 Studios
Late Show with David Letterman
March 5, 1997 New York City United States Late Show with David Letterman
Phish Food Launch Benefit for the Waterwheel Foundation
March 18, 1997 Burlington United States Flynn Theater
Philadelphia Flyers game
May 18, 1997 Philadelphia United States CoreStates Spectrum
Private concert
June 6, 1997 Charlotte United States Brad Sands's and Pete Carini's House
Late Night with Conan O'Brien
November 7, 1996 New York City United States Late Night with Conan O'Brien
Philadelphia Flyers game
December 1, 1997 Philadelphia United States CoreStates Spectrum

1997 dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
Europe Winter 1997
February 13, 1997 London England Shepherd's Bush Empire
February 14, 1997 Brussels Belgium Le Botanique
February 16, 1997 Cologne Germany Alter Wartesaal
February 17, 1997 Amsterdam Netherlands Paradiso
February 18, 1997 Paris France Bataclan
February 20, 1997 Milan Italy Teatro Smeraldo
February 21, 1997 Florence Tenax
February 22, 1997 Rome Teatro Olimpico
February 23, 1997 Cortemaggiore Fillmore
February 25, 1997 Munich Germany Incognito
February 26, 1997 Stuttgart Longhorn
February 28, 1997 Berlin Huxley's Neue Welt
March 1, 1997 Hamburg Markthalle
March 2, 1997 Copenhagen Denmark Pumpehuset
Europe Summer 1997
June 13, 1997 Dublin Ireland SFX Centre
June 14, 1997
June 16, 1997 London England Royal Albert Hall
June 19, 1997 Vienna Austria Vienna Arena
June 20, 1997 Prague Czech Republic Archa Theatre
June 21, 1997 Scheeßel Germany Hurricane Festival
June 22, 1997 Sankt Goarshausen WDR Festival
June 24, 1997 Strasbourg France La Laiterie
June 25, 1997 Lille L'Aeronef
June 27, 1997 Pilton England Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts
June 29, 1997 Roskilde Denmark Roskilde Festival
July 1, 1997 Amsterdam Netherlands Paradiso
July 2, 1997
July 3, 1997 Nuremberg Germany Serenadenhof
July 5, 1997 Como Italy Piazza Risorgimento
July 6, 1997 Desenzano del Garda Spiaggia di Rivoltella
July 9, 1997 Lyon France Le Transbordeur
July 10, 1997 Marseille Espace Julien
July 11, 1997 Escalarre Spain Doctor Music Festival
U.S. Summer 1997
July 21, 1997 Virginia Beach United States GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheatre
July 22, 1997 Raleigh Hardee's Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
July 23, 1997 Atlanta Coca-Cola Lakewood Amphitheatre
July 25, 1997 Dallas Coca-Cola Starplex Amphitheatre
July 26, 1997 Austin Southpark Meadows
July 29, 1997 Phoenix Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion
July 30, 1997 Ventura Ventura County Fairgrounds
July 31, 1997 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
August 2, 1997 George The Gorge Amphitheatre
August 3, 1997
August 6, 1997 Maryland Heights Riverport Amphitheatre
August 8, 1997 Tinley Park First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
August 9, 1997 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre
August 10, 1997 Noblesville Deer Creek Music Center
August 11, 1997
August 13, 1997 Burgettstown Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheatre
August 14, 1997 Corfu Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
The Great Went
August 16, 1997 Limestone United States Loring Air Force Base
August 17, 1997
U.S. Fall 1997 (Phish Destroys America)
November 13, 1997 Las Vegas United States Thomas & Mack Center
November 14, 1997 West Valley City E Center
November 16, 1997 Denver McNichols Sports Arena
November 17, 1997
November 19, 1997 Champaign Assembly Hall
"November 21, 1997 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
November 22, 1997
November 23, 1997 Winston-Salem Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
November 26, 1997 Hartford Hartford Civic Center
November 28, 1997 Worcester Worcester Centrum Centre
November 29, 1997
November 30, 1997
December 2, 1997 Philadelphia CoreStates Spectrum
December 3, 1997
December 5, 1997 Cleveland CSU Convocation Center
December 6, 1997 Auburn Hills The Palace of Auburn Hills
December 7, 1997 Dayton Ervin J. Nutter Center
December 9, 1997 State College Bryce Jordan Center
December 11, 1997 Rochester Rochester Community War Memorial
December 12, 1997 Albany Pepsi Arena
December 13, 1997
NYE Run 1997
December 28, 1997 Landover United States USAir Arena
December 29, 1997 New York City Madison Square Garden
December 30, 1997
December 31, 1997

1998[edit]

Whenever Phish was off the road in 1997, the group worked on a new studio project that continued into the early months of 1998. Feeling a bit restless, the band took a few days off in April to play The Island Tour. The tour consisted of two shows on Long Island, New York, and two shows in Providence, Rhode Island. These shows continued the "cow funk" vibe of the previous year, featuring long, spaced-out funk jams and a number of new-song debuts, including the soon-to-be-classic, "Birds Of A Feather". All four shows were released as live albums.

Phish briefly toured Europe in July before returning to the United States for another month-long summer tour. The dark grooves of the previous year and the Island Tour, had somewhat subsided by this point, and Phish had begin to settle into a new style that, while still relying heavily on improvisation, was far less murky.

On August 1, Phish began debuting a brand new cover song at nearly every show, starting with "Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin at a show at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin. Covers by Cole Porter, Smashing Pumpkins, Van Halen, the Velvet Underground, Allen Toussaint and the Beastie Boys, followed by a rendition of the Grateful Dead's Terrapin Station as the band stopped in Virginia Beach on August 9, the third anniversary of the death of Jerry Garcia. These were in addition to covers by Ween, Corneille, 2Pac, Los Lobos, Johnny Winter, Dry Bread, ZZ Top (x2), The Who (x2), Marvin Gaye, Son Seals, the Blues Brothers, the Rolling Stones (x2), Edgar Winter, Led Zeppelin (not Ramble On), Jimi Hendrix (x2), Neil Young, Robert Palmer, Steve Earle, Talking Heads (x2), Jane's Addiction, Richard Strauss, Stevie Wonder, Syd Barrett, Neil Diamond, Bob Marley, Little Feat, B.B. King, Blues Image and Henry Mancini at points throughout the tour as well. Phish had been relentlessly compared to the Dead throughout their career and often cited as the apparent heir to the Dead's throne, resulting in Phish making a strong effort to distance themselves from the Dead. The band had not performed a Grateful Dead song in concert since April 1, 1986 – twelve years earlier – when they were a five-man college band that had yet to play outside of Vermont. For the encore in Virginia Beach, Phish performed the Dead's multi-part suite "Terrapin Station". Former members of the Grateful Dead extended a "thank you" to Phish in their quarterly newsletter. A few months later, Dead bassist Phil Lesh reached out to Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell to join him, former Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux and others to perform three nights of Dead and Phish music in April 1999. Members of Phish and the Dead now have a strong relationship, with Trey having played guitar in the Dead's 50th anniversary "Fare Thee Well" lineup, and bands such as Rhythm Devils and SerialPod containing members of both bands.

The band finished their summer tour with another huge festival in Maine called The Lemonwheel. 60,000 people attended[9] and the band played seven sets over two nights, including an instrumental set of ambient music surrounded by candles made by fans throughout the weekend.

In October, Phish performed at the annual Farm Aid festival, jamming onstage with Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Paul Shaffer, and others. After an unannounced show at The Fillmore, in San Francisco, Phish appeared at Neil Young's annual Bridge School Benefit, performing two nights in a rare acoustic setting, featuring several debuts, stripped-down versions of Phish classics, and onstage collaborations with Neil Young, Sarah McLachlan, and Kevin Hearn. Two days later, Phish appeared on the PBS program, Sessions At West 54th, conversing with host David Byrne and performing a set that drew heavily from their soon-to-be-released seventh studio album.

Capping off their busy-but-non-traditional October was the release of The Story of the Ghost. A relatively accurate studio representation of the "cow funk" period, much of the album was culled from hours of improvisation that took place in the studio throughout 1997 and 1998, and combined with several of the songs that had been debuted in Europe the previous year. They marked the occasion by performing "Birds Of A Feather" on Late Show With David Letterman on the day of release, before embarking on their fall tour, two days later.

On Halloween night in Las Vegas, the group performed Loaded by the Velvet Underground as their annual musical costume. Two days later, the band surprised fans by performing an unannounced rendition of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon at a show in West Valley City, Utah. Phish continued touring throughout November, including two nights at Hampton Coliseum, which were later released as the boxed set, Hampton Comes Alive, and they capped off the year with a four-night stand at Madison Square Garden, the band's first extended run at their beloved second home.

Original song debuts in 1998 included "Birds of a Feather", "Frankie Says", "Roggae", "Shafty", "Meat", "Fikus", "Brian and Robert", "Bittersweet Motel", "The Moma Dance", "Never", "Sleep", and "Driver".

Costumes[edit]

On the second night of a two-night run in Las Vegas, including the previous night's celebration of the band's fifteenth anniversary, the band performed The Velvet Underground's Loaded.

Though many fans were unfamiliar with the album, some songs including "Rock and Roll" became concert staples and fan favorites.

The show has been released in its entirety as Live Phish Volume 16.

Fans in West Valley, Utah were treated to a surprise performance of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon sandwiched between the banter of "Harpua" on November 2, 1998.[10]

It is widely believed that the impetus for Phish to cover Dark Side two days after the Vegas Halloween show was that the Utah venue was relatively empty with thousands of unsold tickets while just two days prior in the neighboring state, the venue was filled to the brim with many attendees having paid well above face value and spillover fans without tickets remaining outside.

Unlike the Halloween extravaganzas, the performance has not been officially released but is currently being circulated through fan tape trading websites.

1998 warm-up and support shows[edit]
Date City Country Venue
Farm Aid
October 3, 1998 Tinley Park United States Farm Aid '98
Secret Show
October 15, 1998 San Francisco United States The Fillmore
Bridge School Benefit
October 17, 1998 Mountain View United States Shoreline Amphitheatre
October 18, 1998
TV Tapings
October 20, 1998 New York City United States Sessions at West 54th
October 27, 1998 Late Show with David Letterman
Radio performance
November 3, 1998 Boulder United States KBCO Studios
1998 dates[edit]
Date City Country Venue
Island Tour 1998
April 2, 1998 Uniondale United States Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
April 3, 1998
April 4, 1998 Providence Providence Civic Center
April 5, 1998
Europe Summer 1998
June 30, 1998 Copenhagen Denmark The Grey Hall
July 1, 1998
July 2, 1998
July 3, 1998 Ringe Dyrskuepladsen
July 5, 1998 Prague Czech Republic Lucerna Hall
July 6, 1998
July 8, 1998 Barcelona Spain Zeleste
July 9, 1998
July 10, 1998
U.S. Summer 1998
July 15, 1998 Portland United States Portland Meadows
July 16, 1998 George The Gorge Amphitheatre
July 17, 1998
July 19, 1998 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
July 20, 1998 Ventura Ventura County Fairgrounds
July 21, 1998 Phoenix Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion
July 24, 1998 The Woodlands Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
July 25, 1998 Austin Southpark Meadows
July 26, 1998 Dallas Starplex Amphitheatre
July 28, 1998 Bonner Springs Sandstone Amphitheater
July 29, 1998 Maryland Heights Riverport Amphitheater
July 31, 1998 Columbus Polaris Amphitheater
August 1, 1998 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre
August 2, 1998 Noblesville Deer Creek Music Center
August 3, 1998
August 6, 1998 Atlanta Coca-Cola Lakewood Amphitheatre
August 7, 1998 Raleigh Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
August 8, 1998 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
August 9, 1998 Virginia Beach Virginia Beach Amphitheater
August 11, 1998 Burgettstown Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater
August 12, 1998 Vernon Vernon Downs Raceway
Lemonwheel
August 15, 1998 Limestone United States Loring Air Force Base
August 16, 1998
U.S. Fall 1998
October 29, 1998 Berkeley United States William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre
October 30, 1998 Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Center
October 31, 1998
November 2, 1998 West Valley City E Center
November 4, 1998 Denver McNichols Sports Arena
November 6, 1998 Madison Kohl Center
November 7, 1998 Chicago UIC Pavilion
November 8, 1998
November 9, 1998
November 11, 1998 Grand Rapids Van Andel Arena
November 13, 1998 Cleveland CSU Convocation Center
November 14, 1998 Cincinnati The Crown
November 15, 1998 Murfreesboro Monte Hale Arena
November 18, 1998 Greenville BI-LO Center
November 19, 1998 Winston-Salem Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum
November 20, 1998 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
November 21, 1998
November 24, 1998 New Haven New Haven Veterans Memorial Coliseum
November 25, 1998 Albany Pepsi Arena
November 27, 1998 Worcester Worcester's Centrum Centre
November 28, 1998
November 29, 1998
1998 New Year's Eve Run
December 28, 1998 New York City United States Madison Square Garden
December 29, 1998
December 30, 1998
December 31, 1998

1999[edit]

Phish took the first half of 1999 off from touring and recording. Trey Anastasio embarked on his first ever solo tour in the spring, and Page McConnell compiled tracks from Phish's 1997 and 1998 recording sessions to produce The Siket Disc, an instrumental album that was released online in June (the disc would be available in stores the following year).

The band finally hit the road in the summer, embarking on another annual summer tour of the United States. Phish performed their first of two Fourth of July celebrations with a two-night stand in Atlanta. The first night featured the unveiling of "The Meatstick Dance", which would be performed by band and audience throughout the year. Instead of throwing another huge summer festival to close out the tour, the band decided to focus all festival activities to the Millennium New Year's Eve celebration. However, at the eleventh hour, Camp Oswego took place at an airport in upstate New York. 65,000 people attended and Phish played five sets of music over two days. A number of other groups such as Ozomatli, the Del McCoury Band, and Son Seals performed on a side stage throughout the weekend. The festival took place a week before Woodstock 1999, which was being held just miles away, with the violence and rioting at Woodstock being reported all over the news but without mention of the incident-free peacefulness of Camp Oswego (even though the success of the Phish event was mentioned on television by New York governor George Pataki).

The end of the summer tour saw Phish make their first journey to Japan, to perform four shows at the Fuji Rock Festival.

During the summer and fall, the band adopted a number of songs performed by Trey Anastasio just months earlier on his solo tour. Many of these songs contained repetitive bass lines and techno & electronica themed improvisational excursions (with Anastasio and McConnell using a series of electronic effects), a sound that Phish would hone throughout 1999 and 2000.

On December 30 and December 31, Phish held the largest Millennium New Year's Eve concert in the entire world, eclipsing attendance numbers at other concerts from performers such as Barbra Streisand, KISS, Elton John, Billy Joel, Sting, and others. It was the largest Phish concert ever and also the longest, and was voted the greatest Phish show of all time by readers of The Pharmer's Almanac. 85,000 people made the trek to the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in the Florida Everglades. Once again, the band turned the concert area into a makeshift city with food, clothing, a post office, an arcade, carnival games, and areas incorporating the various wildlife of the Everglades. Phish played three sets the first night, and began New Year's Eve with a two-hour set at 7 PM before returning at midnight to play a marathon seamless seven-and-a-half-hour second set that ended at sunrise.

Original song debuts in 1999 included "My Left Toe", "Mountains in the Mist", "What's the Use?", "Bug", "The Happy Whip and Dung Song", "Mozambique", "The Inlaw Josie Wales", "First Tube", "Gotta Jibboo", "Sand", "Quadrophonic Toppling", "Heavy Things", "Windora Bug", and "Jennifer Dances."

1999 dates[edit]

Date City Country Venue
Early U.S. Summer 1999
June 30, 1999 Bonner Springs United States Sandstone Amphitheater
July 1, 1999 Antioch First American Music Center
July 3, 1999 Atlanta Lakewood Amphitheatre
July 4, 1999
July 7, 1999 Charlotte Blockbuster Pavilion
July 8, 1999 Virginia Beach GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheater
July 9, 1999 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 10, 1999 Camden Blockbuster-Sony Music Entertainment Centre
July 12, 1999 Mansfield Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts
July 13, 1999
July 15, 1999 Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center
July 16, 1999
Camp Oswego
July 17, 1999 Volney United States Oswego County Airport
July 18, 1999
Late North America Summer 1999
July 20, 1999 Toronto Canada Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
July 21, 1999 Burgettstown United States Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater
July 23, 1999 Columbus Polaris Amphitheater
July 24, 1999 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theater
July 25, 1999 Noblesville Deer Creek Music Center
July 26, 1999
Japan Summer 1999
July 30, 1999 Yuzawa, Niigata Japan Fuji Rock Festival
July 30, 1999
July 31, 1999
August 1, 1999
North America Fall 1999
September 9, 1999 Vancouver Canada General Motors Place
September 10, 1999 George United States The Gorge Amphitheatre
September 11, 1999
September 12, 1999 Portland Portland Meadows
September 14, 1999 Boise Boise State University Pavilion
September 16, 1999 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
September 17, 1999
September 18, 1999 Chula Vista Coors Amphitheatre
September 19, 1999 Irvine Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
September 21, 1999 Tucson Pima County Fairgrounds
September 22, 1999 Las Cruces Pan American Center
September 24, 1999 Austin Southpark Meadows
September 25, 1999 The Woodlands Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
September 26, 1999 New Orleans Senator Nat G. Kiefer University of New Orleans Lakefront Arena
September 28, 1999 Pelham Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
September 29, 1999 Memphis Pyramid Arena
October 1, 1999 Ames James H. Hilton Coliseum
October 2. 1999 Minneapolis Target Center
October 3, 1999 Rosemont Allstate Arena
October 4, 1999 Normal Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena
October 7, 1999 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
October 8, 1999
October 9, 1999 Albany Pepsi Arena
October 10, 1999
U.S. Winter 1999
December 2, 1999 Auburn Hills United States The Palace of Auburn Hills
December 3, 1999 Cincinnati Firstar Center
December 4, 1999
December 5, 1999 Rochester The Blue Cross Arena at War Memorial
December 7, 1999 Portland Cumberland County Civic Center
December 8, 1999
December 10, 1999 Philadelphia First Union Spectrum
December 11, 1999
December 12, 1999 Hartford Hartford Civic Center
December 13, 1999 Providence Providence Civic Center
December 15, 1999 Washington, D.C. MCI Center
December 16, 1999 Raleigh William Neal Reynolds Coliseum
December 17, 1999 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
December 18, 1999
Big Cypress
December 30, 1999 Big Cypress Indian Reservation United States Big Cypress Indian Reservation
December 31, 1999

2000s[edit]

2000[edit]

In the spring of 2000, the band finished up recording the new studio album Farmhouse, which featured mostly songs that had been performed onstage as far back as 1997. Anastasio was responsible for most of the album's writing and direction. In mid-May, Phish performed their first concerts at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The band underwent their most intensive promo tour, on release of Farmhouse, recording several short sets for various radio and TV programs[11].

In June, the band visited Japan for the second time in two years, performing a number of headlining and festival shows. By the end of the month, Phish was back in the United States for another month-long summer tour, kicking off with a star-studded opening night in Nashville featuring appearances by Wynonna Judd, Ricky Skaggs, and the Del McCoury Band. In mid-July, Phish performed on the long-running series Austin City Limits. For the first time since 1995, the band did not hold an annual end-of-summer festival. Additionally, for the second year in a row, Phish did not perform their annual Halloween music costume.

Towards the end of their fall tour at a webcast show that would be released on DVD as Phish: Live in Vegas, Trey Anastasio announced that the band was taking an indefinite break following the tour's end. Therefore, for the first time since 1988, there would be no Phish New Year's Eve concert. On October 6 & 7, the band played a two-night stand at the Shoreline Amphitheater just outside San Francisco, which would be the band's final concerts before their indefinite hiatus. The band went their separate ways following the shows.

Phish debuted no new material in 2000, with the exception of "Guy Forget" (a song played in soundcheck since 1993).

Date City Country Venue
2000 New York City Run
May 21, 2000 New York City United States Radio City Music Hall
May 22, 2000
May 23, 2000 Roseland Ballroom
Japan Summer 2000
June 9, 2000 Tokyo Japan On Air East
June 10, 2000 Zepp
June 11, 2000 Hibiya Outdoor Theatre
June 13, 2000 Nagoya Club Quattro
June 14, 2000 Fukuoka Drum Logos
June 15, 2000 Osaka Big Cat
June 16, 2000 Zepp
North America Summer 2000
June 22, 2000 Antioch United States AmSouth Amphitheatre
June 23, 2000 Atlanta Lakewood Amphitheatre
June 24, 2000
June 25, 2000 Raleigh Alltel Pavilion
June 28, 2000 Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center
June 29, 2000
June 30, 2000 Hartford Meadows Music Theatre
July 1, 2000
July 3, 2000 Camden Blockbuster-Sony Music Entertainment Centre
July 4, 2000
July 6, 2000 Toronto Canada Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
July 7, 2000 Burgettstown United States Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheater
July 8, 2000 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre
July 10, 2000 Noblesville Deer Creek Music Center
July 11, 2000
July 12, 2000
July 14, 2000 Columbus Polaris Amphitheater
July 15, 2000
U.S. Fall 2000
September 8, 2000 Albany United States Pepsi Arena
September 9, 2000
September 11, 2000 Mansfield Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts
September 12, 2000
September 14, 2000 Corfu Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
September 15, 2000 Hershey Hersheypark Stadium
September 17, 2000 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
September 18, 2000 Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center
September 20, 2000 Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center
September 22, 2000 Rosemont Allstate Arena
September 23, 2000
September 24, 2000 Minneapolis Target Center
September 25, 2000 Bonner Springs Sandstone Amphitheater
September 27, 2000 Greenwood Village Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
September 29, 2000 Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Center
September 30, 2000
October 1, 2000 Phoenix Blockbuster Desert Sky Pavilion
October 4, 2000 Chula Vista Coors Amphitheatre
October 5, 2000 Irvine Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre
October 6, 2000 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
October 7, 2000

2002[edit]

Phish regrouped in late 2002 with the surprise release of their ninth studio album, Round Room While two of the songs had been previously performed by the Trey Anastasio Band, the remainder of the material was brand new. This occasion was marked by the announcement of a four-show holiday run as well as performances on Saturday Night Live and Late Show with David Letterman, each appearance featuring a performance of a different song from the album ("46 Days" and "All Of These Dreams", respectively). Additionally, the members of Phish appeared with Jimmy Fallon, Horatio Sanz, and Al Gore in a "Jerrod's Room" sketch, performing a snippet of "Contact".

The only show played this year was a New Year's Eve concert in Madison Square Garden on December 31, followed by three shows at the Hampton Coliseum in Virginia on January 2, 3, and 4.

Including their TV debuts, five songs made their first appearances this year - "46 Days", "All Of These Dreams", "Waves", "Seven Below", and "Walls Of The Cave".

Date City Country Venue
2002/2003 New Year's Eve Run
December 31, 2002 New York City United States Madison Square Garden
January 2, 2003 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
January 3, 2003
January 4, 2003

2003[edit]

For two years, the members of Phish concentrated on outside projects and other musical endeavors. Trey Anastasio worked with the Vermont Youth Orchestra and formed the supergroup Oysterhead, but spent most of 2001 and 2002 working on his solo career. Mike Gordon made two films and an album with guitar legend Leo Kottke. Jon Fishman toured with both the Jazz Mandolin Project and Pork Tornado. Page McConnell formed the electronic trio Vida Blue.

In late 2002, Phish reunited in the Vermont mountains and recorded a brand new studio album, Round Room, the first Phish album since Lawn Boy in 1990 to feature a number of extended jams. The band soon announced that their hiatus was over and that they would be returning to the road in 2003, starting with a New Year's Eve concert on December 31, 2002, at Madison Square Garden. The New Year's run was a three night stand at the Hampton Coliseum in early January.

After appearing on the front cover of Rolling Stone, the band launched their first winter tour of the US since 1993. The brief tour was only two weeks long. The band launched a US summer tour in July that culminated in another festival in upstate Maine. 60,000 people attended[12] the It festival which featured seven sets of Phish music over two nights, including a set performed live from the very top of an air traffic control tower. A DVD film and PBS special was made to document the festival.

Phish played only sporadically after the summer tour, including a brief four night run in late November/early December to celebrate their 20th anniversary. The third night of the celebration featured an appearance from founding Phish guitarist Jeff Holdsworth, who had not played onstage with Phish in over 17 years. The group closed out the year with a four night New Year's Eve run in Miami, featuring a surprise appearance from Parliament/Funkadelic.

Original song debuts in 2003 included "Round Room", "Thunderhead", "Mexican Cousin", "Pebbles and Marbles", "Anything But Me", "Seven Below", "Mock Song", "Friday", "Spices", "Scents and Subtle Sounds", "Discern", "Secret Smile", "Two Versions of Me", "Army of One", "Spread it Round", and "Crowd Control."

Date City Country Venue
Winter 2003
February 14, 2003 Inglewood United States Great Western Forum
February 15, 2003 Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Center
February 16, 2003
February 18, 2003 Denver Pepsi Center
February 20, 2003 Rosemont Allstate Arena
February 21, 2003 Cincinnati U.S. Bank Arena
February 22, 2003
February 24, 2003 East Rutherford Continental Airlines Arena
February 25, 2003 Philadelphia First Union Spectrum
February 26, 2003 Worcester Worcester's Centrum Centre
February 28, 2003 Uniondale Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
March 1, 2003 Greensboro Greensboro Coliseum
Summer 2003
July 7, 2003 Phoenix United States Cricket Wireless Pavilion
July 8, 2003 Chula Vista Coors Amphitheatre
July 9, 2003 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
July 10, 2003
July 12, 2003 George The Gorge Amphitheatre
July 13, 2003
July 15, 2003 West Valley City USANA Amphitheatre
July 17, 2003 Bonner Springs Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
July 18, 2003 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre
July 19, 2003
July 21, 2003 Noblesville Verizon Wireless Music Center
July 22, 2003
July 23, 2003
July 25, 2003 Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
July 26, 2003 Atlanta HiFi Buys Amphitheatre
July 27, 2003 Raleigh Alltel Pavilion
July 29, 2003 Burgettstown Post-Gazette Pavilion
July 30, 2003 Camden Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
July 31, 2003
It
August 2, 2003 Limestone United States Loring Air Force Base
August 3, 2003
2003 20th Anniversary Run
November 28, 2003 Uniondale United States Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
November 29, 2003 Philadelphia Wachovia Spectrum
December 1, 2003 Albany Pepsi Arena
December 2, 2003 Boston FleetCenter
2003 New Year's Eve Run
December 28, 2003 Miami United States American Airlines Arena
December 29, 2003
December 30, 2003
December 31, 2003

2004[edit]

After a three-night stand in Las Vegas in mid-April, Trey Anastasio announced on the band's website that Phish was officially breaking up for good following a brief summer tour. However, the band continued to debut new material throughout the year, opening their farewell tour with a new song titled "A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing" from their final album Undermind, which was released shortly after the breakup announcement. The tour's opening night was also broadcast in movie theaters across the country and eventually released on DVD and CD as Phish: Live in Brooklyn. The band also debuted another original in Brooklyn titled "Nothing", and the band's final original debut, "Access Me", was unveiled on June 26 at a show in Wisconsin.

On 21 June, Phish appeared on Late Show With David Letterman, performing atop the outside marquee. For the broadcast, Phish performed "Scents And Subtle Sounds" (sans intro) and then they went on to play a short set, featuring truncated versions of several of their songs, for the few hundred fans gathered below.

After a brief run of shows in June (June 18 included an appearance from Jay-Z), the band took most of the summer off before returning for a final week of concerts in August. While the June performances featured an inspired band, eager to put an exclamation point on their career, the August leg of the tour was marred by major crowd control issues, high emotions, and notoriously sloppy performances.

Their final show, at least at that point, was also to be the last Phish summer festival – Coventry – named for the town in Vermont that hosted the event. 100,000 people were expected to attend, and it was simulcast to thousands more in movie theaters across America. After a week of rain that prompted rumors of a sinking stage, Mike Gordon announced on the local radio station that attendees should turn around, no more cars were being allowed in. As only about 20,000 people had been admitted, many concert-goers abandoned their vehicles on highway roadsides, shoulders and medians and hiked to the site, some as far as thirty miles. With the number of people that walked in, the crowd grew to an estimated 65,000 in attendance. Phish played six sets over two nights to officially close out their touring career....for the time being.

Original song debuts in 2004 included "A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing", "Access Me", and "Nothing".

Date City Country Venue
2004 Vegas Run
April 15, 2004 Las Vegas United States Thomas & Mack Center
April 16, 2004
April 17, 2004
Early Summer 2004
June 17, 2004 Brooklyn United States KeySpan Park
June 18, 2004
June 19, 2004 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 20, 2004
June 23, 2004 Noblesville Verizon Wireless Music Center
June 24, 2004
June 25, 2004 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre
June 26, 2004
Late Summer 2004
August 9, 2004 Hampton United States Hampton Coliseum
August 10, 2004 Mansfield Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts
August 11, 2004
August 12, 2004 Camden Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
Coventry
August 13, 2004 Coventry United States Newport State Airport
August 14, 2004
August 15, 2004

2009[edit]

On October 1, 2008, Phish announced a three-show reunion concert at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. The shows took place 6-8 March 2009. During the second phase of the band's career, their lack of practice had made it impossible for them to perform the complicated "Fluffhead", much to the chagrin of fans. Fittingly, the first song Phish played upon their return was "Fluffhead", which was met with thunderous applause.

Proving that the Hampton shows were not a one-off, Phish went on to perform fifteen concerts in June 2009, including two days at Bonnaroo Music Festival. The shows kicked off with the band's first ever performance at Boston's Fenway Park and wrapped up at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin on June 20–21. During these dates, several new songs were debuted, as the band was working on their eleventh album, Joy. These shows marked a return to song-based performance, as the band initially steered away from extended improvisation. The result would be some of the band's longest setlists since the early 90's.

On March 17, 2009, Phish announced another dozen dates as a late summer tour, with a four-night stand in Red Rocks, Colorado (their first shows there since being banned in 1996), and ending at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in New York on August 16.

In September, Phish's reunion album, Joy, was released on the band's own label, JEMP Records. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, the album featured the songs that the band had premiered over the course of the summer. A limited edition boxed set version of Joy was packaged with a bonus album called Party Time which featured several outtakes from Joy as well as a some older rarities and solo recordings. Several of the songs from this set made it to the Phish stage and eventually this was released as its own vinyl set.

Phish played three nights, October 30 and 31 and November 1, in Indio, California, for their eighth festival, aptly named Festival 8.[needs update] The Halloween weekend featured Phish's normal tradition of covering a different artist's entire album[13], with a performance of The Rolling Stones classic, Exile On Main St. Festival 8 also featured, on Sunday morning, the first fully acoustic performance to ever occur during one of Phish's own functions. Video footage from Festival 8 was filmed in 3D and formed the basis for the 2010 theatrical release, Phish 3D.

On October 9, 2009, Phish announced they would embark on a Fall tour (their first since 2000, just prior to the first hiatus) beginning on November 18 in Detroit, Michigan and concluding on December 5 in Charlottesville, Virginia. This 13 show tour included two-night stands at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Times Union Center in Albany, New York as well as a three night stand and return to Madison Square Garden (their first shows there since the New Year's Eve 2002 show that ended the first hiatus).

On December 28, 2009, Phish once again returned to Miami, Florida after six years for four days of music, culminating with New Year's Eve on December 31.

Original songs debuted in 2009 include "Backwards Down the Number Line", "Beauty of a Broken Heart", "Undermind", "Ocelot", "Light", "Time Turns Elastic", "Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan", "Kill Devil Falls", "Twenty Years Later", "Let Me Lie", "Sugar Shack", "Joy", "Alaska", "The Connection", "Windy City", "Party Time", "I Been Around", "Invisible", "Sleep Again", "Tomorrow's Song", and "Gone."

Costumes[edit]

Leading up to Festival 8, the band's festival which took place over the weekend of Halloween, the band's website featured a gallery of various albums which were narrowed down to twelve by the week before the festival.

The entire gallery of costume choices can be accessed here: Festival 8 Countdown

These final eight albums' titles provided the names of the eight campsites on the festival grounds:[14]

On October 31, the only album cover that did not have an axe or a knife through it in the gallery on the website was Exile on Main St., which the band played in its entirety later that night

Date City Country Venue
2009 Hampton Reunion Run
March 6, 2009 Hampton United States Hampton Coliseum
March 7, 2009
March 8, 2009
Early Summer 2009
May 31, 2009 Boston United States Fenway Park
June 2, 2009 Wantagh Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
June 4, 2009
June 5, 2009
June 6, 2009 Mansfield Comcast Center
June 7, 2009 Camden Susquehanna Bank Center
June 9, 2009 Asheville Asheville Civic Center
June 10, 2009 Knoxville Thompson–Boling Arena
June 12, 2009 Manchester Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
June 14, 2009
June 16, 2009 St. Louis Fox Theatre
June 18, 2009 Burgettstown Post-Gazette Pavilion
June 19, 2009 Noblesville Verizon Wireless Music Center
June 20, 2009 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre
June 21, 2009
Late Summer 2009
July 30, 2009 Morrison United States Red Rocks Amphitheatre
July 31, 2009
August 1, 2009
August 2, 2009
August 5, 2009 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
August 7, 2009 George The Gorge Amphitheatre
August 8, 2009
August 11, 2009 Bridgeview Toyota Park
August 13, 2009 Corfu Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
August 14, 2009 Hartford Comcast Theatre
August 15, 2009 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
August 16, 2009 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Festival 8
October 30, 2009 Indio United States Empire Polo Grounds
October 31, 2009
November 1, 2009
Fall 2009
November 18, 2009 Detroit United States Cobo Arena
November 20, 2009 Cincinnati U.S. Bank Arena
November 21, 2009
November 22, 2009 Syracuse War Memorial at Oncenter
November 24, 2009 Philadelphia Wachovia Center
November 25, 2009
November 27, 2009 Albany Times Union Center
November 28, 2009
November 29, 2009 Portland Cumberland County Civic Center
December 2, 2009 New York City Madison Square Garden
December 3, 2009
December 4, 2009
December 5, 2009 Charlottesville John Paul Jones Arena
2009 New Year's Eve Run
December 28, 2009 Miami United States American Airlines Arena
December 29, 2009
December 30, 2009
December 31, 2009

2010s[edit]

2010[edit]

On 15 March, Trey Anastasio inducted Genesis into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Genesis did not perform, so Phish played in their honor, taking on "Watcher Of The Skies" and "No Reply At All", the latter featuring a horn section. This occasion was the only instance of Phish performing these songs.

On 13 May, Phish appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, who was devoting a week to artists covering songs from Exile On Main Street. Phish performed "Loving Cup" as well as their own "Kill Devil Falls".

Spring 2010, Phish announced a 29-date summer tour. It consisted of a return to Chicago, Hartford, Saratoga, Columbia, Noblesville, East Troy, Jones Beach, and Mansfield. They also played 2 shows at Town Park in Telluride, Colorado. That followed a 3 night run at The Greek Theater in Berkeley, California. It was Phish's first time back there since 1993.

Phish played a 2-hour set at the Austin City Limits festival in Austin, Texas this October.

In the fall, Phish played a 14 date tour. The tour started with a 3 night run in Broomfield, Colorado. Followed by 2 shows in North Charlestown, South Carolina. On the release date of Mike Gordon new solo album "Moss", Phish played The Augusta Civic Center in Maine. The smallest venue played on the tour was The Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York. Then for the first time since 1999 they made a return to Providence, Rhode Island. Then north to Amherst, Massachusetts, the band played 2 nights at the UMASS Mullins Center, which was the first time back since 1995. Then to finish the tour was one show in Manchester NH, first time back since 1994 and then a sold out 3-night Halloween Run at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

The New Year's run was announced as a 5-date tour starting with two shows in Worcester, Massachusetts. Then a 3-night sold-out run at Madison Square Garden on 12/30, 12/31, 1/1/11.

Songs debuted this year include "Show Of Life", "Idea", "Summer Of '89", "Halfway To The Moon", "Dr. Gabel", "Pigtail", "The Birdwatcher", and "Burn That Bridge".

Costumes[edit]

On Halloween night 2010, Phish chose Little Feat's 1978 live album Waiting for Columbus.

Date City Country Venue
Early Summer 2010
June 11, 2010 Bridgeview United States Toyota Park
June 12, 2010 Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center
June 13, 2010 Hershey Hersheypark Stadium
June 15, 2010 Portsmouth nTelos Wireless Pavilion
June 17, 2010 Hartford Comcast Theatre
June 18, 2010
June 19, 2010 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center
June 20, 2010
June 22, 2010 Mansfield Comcast Center
June 24, 2010 Camden Susquehanna Bank Center
June 25, 2010
June 26, 2010 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
June 27, 2010
June 29, 2010 Hopewell Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
July 1, 2010 Raleigh Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek
July 2, 2010 Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
July 3, 2010 Alpharetta Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
July 4, 2010
Late Summer 2010
August 5, 2010 Berkeley United States William Randolph Hearst Greek Theatre
August 6, 2010
August 7, 2010
August 9, 2010 Telluride Telluride Town Park
August 10, 2010
August 12, 2010 Noblesville Verizon Wireless Music Center
August 13, 2010
August 14, 2010 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre
August 15, 2010
August 17, 2010 Wantagh Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
August 18, 2010
Fall 2010
October 8, 2010 Austin United States Austin City Limits Music Festival
October 10, 2010 Broomfield 1stBank Center
October 11, 2010
October 12, 2010
October 15, 2010 North Charleston North Charleston Coliseum
October 16, 2010
October 19, 2010 Augusta Augusta Civic Center
October 20, 2010 Utica Utica Memorial Auditorium
October 22, 2010 Providence Dunkin' Donuts Center
October 23, 2010 Amherst William D. Mullins Memorial Center
October 24, 2010
October 26, 2010 Manchester Verizon Wireless Arena
October 29, 2010 Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
October 30, 2010
October 31, 2010
2010/2011 New Year's Eve Run
December 27, 2010 Worcester United States DCU Center
December 28, 2010
December 30, 2010 New York City Madison Square Garden
December 31, 2010
January 1, 2011

2011[edit]

The first leg of the Summer 2011 tour was announced in February with more dates announced in April. It began in late May with a three-night run in Bethel and moved on to visit Holmdel for two nights, Clarkston, Cuyahoga Falls, Cincinnati, Mansfield, Corfu, Camden, 2 nights in Columbia, 2 nights in Alpharetta, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Portsmouth.

The ninth festival held by Phish was held after the first summer leg over the Fourth of July weekend. Super Ball IX was a three-day festival in Watkins Glen, New York at the Watkins Glen International which featured many themed sets such as a beach ball set.

The second leg of the 2011 Summer tour was centered around the west coast. Its shows included a two night run in at the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Phish's first show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, and a two night run at Harveys Outdoor Arena in Stateline.

Phish played 2 sets at the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

The band went on to close the summer with 3 night runs at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, and Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City over Labor Day Weekend, the latter of which would become a longstanding tradition. Another tradition regarding the Dick's shows, at least for the first few years, was the band's playfulness with at least one of the setlists during the run. In this particular case, every song the band performed on 2 September began with the letter "S". [15]

Phish's home state of Vermont suffered much destruction from flooding after Hurricane Irene made landfall in the northeast. Phish paid tribute by performing a special show on 14 September, in Essex Junction at the Champlain Valley Exposition. All of the money raised from the event went to relief efforts for the state. The show featured a special appearance from Vermont's Governor, Peter Shumlin.

The year for the band closed with a four night New Year's run at Madison Square Garden on December 28, 29, 30, and 31.

Songs debuted this year include "Steam", "Susskind Hotel", and "Babylon Baby".

Date City Country Venue
Early Summer 2011
May 27, 2011 Bethel United States Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
May 28, 2011
May 29, 2011
May 31, 2011 Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center
June 1, 2011
June 3, 2011 Clarkston DTE Energy Music Theatre
June 4, 2011 Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center
June 5, 2011 Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center
June 7, 2011 Mansfield Comcast Center
June 8, 2011 Corfu Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
June 10, 2011 Camden Susquehanna Bank Center
June 11, 2011 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
June 12, 2011
June 14, 2011 Alpharetta Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
June 15, 2011
June 17, 2011 Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
June 18, 2011 Raleigh Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek
June 19, 2011 Portsmouth nTelos Wireless Pavilion
Super Ball IX
July 1, 2011 Watkins Glen United States Watkins Glen International
July 2, 2011
July 3, 2011
Late Summer 2011
August 5, 2011 George United States The Gorge Amphitheatre
August 6, 2011
August 8, 2011 Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl
August 9, 2011 Stateline Harveys Outdoor Arena
August 10, 2011
August 12, 2011 San Francisco Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival
August 15, 2011 Chicago UIC Pavilion
August 16, 2011
August 17, 2011
September 2, 2011 Commerce City Dick's Sporting Goods Park
September 3, 2011
September 4, 2011
Benefit for Vermont flood recovery
September 14, 2011 Essex Junction United States Champlain Valley Exposition
2011 New Year's Eve Run
December 28, 2011 New York City United States Madison Square Garden
December 29, 2011
December 30, 2011
December 31, 2011

2012[edit]

Phish took most of 2012 to focus on other activities and limited the band's touring to two summer legs and a New Year's run.

The first summer leg ran from early June through early July and focused on the east coast, including stops at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and three nights at Bader Field, in Atlantic City. Other dates include two nights in Portsmouth, Cincinnati, Burgettstown, Cuyahoga Falls, 2 dates in Noblesville, 2 nights in East Troy, a 2 night Fourth of July run in Wantagh, and 3 nights in Saratoga Springs.

The second portion of the tour ventured away from the northeast with dates in Long Beach, 3 nights in San Francisco, Kansas City, Pelham, Atlanta, Charlotte, St. Louis, Oklahoma City (Phish's first performance in Oklahoma,) and another 3 night run over Labor Day Weekend at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City. In keeping with the playful setlist tradition, the first letter of each song played at the 31 August show spelled out "Fuck Your Face", before the band ended the second set with the song of the same name.

There were no Phish shows played in the fall, so the next shows were a four-night New Year's run at Madison Square Garden, the culmination of which involved a golf theme (in honor of Page's impending 50th birthday, the joke being that he would retire to the golf course, as ya do), including an onstage driving range (where the band and crew would launch commemorative golf balls into the crowd), a live runaway golf cart marathon on stage, and several songs in the third set that utilize golf terminology, such as "Iron Man", "Fly Like An Eagle", "Sand", "The Wedge", and "Driver", among others.

This year is uncharacteristic in that no new original material was debuted on stage.

Date City Country Venue
Early Summer 2012
June 7, 2012 Worcester United States DCU Center
June 8, 2012
June 10, 2012 Manchester Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
June 15, 2012 Atlantic City Bader Field
June 16, 2012
June 17, 2012
June 19, 2012 Portsmouth nTelos Wireless Pavilion
June 20, 2012
June 22, 2012 Cincinnati Riverbend Music Center
June 23, 2012 Burgettstown First Niagara Pavilion
June 24, 2012 Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center
June 28, 2012 Noblesville Klipsch Music Center
June 29, 2012
June 30, 2012 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre
July 1, 2012
July 3, 2012 Wantagh Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
July 4, 2012
July 6, 2012 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 7, 2012
July 8, 2012
Late Summer 2012
August 15, 2012 Long Beach United States Long Beach Arena
August 17, 2012 San Francisco Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
August 18, 2012
August 19, 2012
August 22, 2012 Kansas City Starlight Theatre
August 24, 2012 Pelham Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
August 25, 2012 Atlanta Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood
August 26, 2012 Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
August 28, 2012 St. Louis Chaifetz Arena
August 29, 2012 Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre
August 31, 2012 Commerce City Dick's Sporting Goods Park
September 1, 2012
September 2, 2012
2012 New Year's Eve Run
December 28, 2012 New York City United States Madison Square Garden
December 29, 2012
December 30, 2012
December 31, 2012

2013[edit]

2013 featured no touring until July, as the band was in the studio writing and rehearsing the material that would eventually become their next album. The entire tour routing of Summer 2013 was announced in March. The first show of the year featured the band's first performance at the Waterfront Pavilion in Bangor, Maine. On the heels of this opening show was a three-night run at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. The tour was scheduled to continue with the band's first performance in Canada in thirteen years, at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in Toronto, however an abnormal amount of rainfall the day prior to the show forced the band to postpone, citing lack of power and public access to the venue. The routing continued onto Holmdel, New Jersey, Wantagh, New York, two performances in Columbia, Maryland, two performances in Alpharetta, Georgia, three performances at the Charter One Pavilion in Chicago, two performances at The Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington, two shows in Stateline, Nevada along Lake Tahoe, three shows in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California, and a show at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

After the show in Los Angeles, the band took a monthlong break before returning to the stage for their third annual three-night run at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado over Labor Day Weekend. Continuing with the playful setlists, the first night at Dick's featured a setlist where the first letter of each song, when read in reverse order, spelled "Most Shows Say Something".

Phish returned to the road for a Fall tour that kicked off with three shows at Hampton Coliseum and then moved its way up the east coast before settling in Atlantic City for a three-night affair at Boardwalk Hall that included the band's 7th Halloween show to feature a musical costume.

Rather than covering another band on Halloween, however, Phish chose to perform the entirety of its own forthcoming album (at the time it was known as Wingsuit) before going into the studio to record it in November. None of this material had been performed by Phish prior to this date, with only "Winterqueen" having been played by Trey's solo band. Most of this material, along with other songs, became the band's Bob Ezrin-produced 12th studio album, Fuego, released in 2014.

Phish capped off 2013 with a four-show run at Madison Square Garden that led up to a New Year's Eve performance that celebrated the band's 30th anniversary. The second set featured the band performing on top of a replica of their first van, adorned with the JEMP logo, which was driven into the middle of the venue floor. Using hockey sticks for mic stands (a nod to their first-ever show), Phish performed a set of songs that dated from their early touring years (no songs newer than 1991 were played in this set). Video montages were screened during the evening and, at one point, cake was served.

Songs debuted this year include "Yarmouth Road", "Architect", "Frost", "Say Something", "Wingsuit", "Fuego", "The Line", "Sing Monica", "Waiting All Night", "Wombat", "Snow", "Devotion To A Dream", "555", "Winterqueen", "Amidst The Peals Of Laughter", and "You Never Know".

Date City Country Venue
Summer 2013
July 3, 2013 Bangor United States Darling's Waterfront Pavilion
July 5, 2013 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 6, 2013
July 7, 2013
July 10, 2013 Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center
July 12, 2013 Wantagh Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
July 13, 2013 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 14, 2013
July 16, 2013 Alpharetta Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
July 17, 2013
July 19, 2013 Chicago Charter One Pavilion
July 20, 2013
July 21, 2013
July 22, 2013 Toronto Canada Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
July 26, 2013 George United States The Gorge Amphitheatre
July 27, 2013
July 30, 2013 Stateline Harveys Outdoor Arena
July 31, 2013
August 2, 2013 San Francisco Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
August 3, 2013
August 4, 2013
August 5, 2013 Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl
August 30, 2013 Commerce City Dick's Sporting Goods Park
August 31, 2013
September 1, 2013
Fall 2013
October 18, 2013 Hampton United States Hampton Coliseum
October 19, 2013
October 20, 2013
October 22, 2013 Rochester The Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial
October 23, 2013 Glen Falls Glens Falls Civic Center
October 25, 2013 Worcester DCU Center
October 26, 2013
October 27, 2013 Hartford XL Center
October 29, 2013 Reading Santander Arena
October 31, 2013 Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall
November 1, 2013
November 2, 2013
2013 New Year's Eve Run
December 28, 2013 New York City United States Madison Square Garden
December 29, 2013
December 30, 2013
December 31, 2013

2014[edit]

April 2014 saw Phish return to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for a headlining performance.

Phish's 12th studio album, Fuego, was released on 24 June. That same day, the band appeared on Late Show with David Letterman where they performed "The Line" as well as an additional full set of songs that was later broadcast on the web series, Live on Letterman.

The majority of July and August found the band on the road, performing multi-night stops in Saratoga Springs, Philadelphia, Columbia MD, Portsmouth VA, New York's Randalls Island, and Northerly Island in Chicago, as well as several single-night stops, before winding it all up at their annual three-night stand at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, in Commerce City CO.

Continuing their tradition of performing a crafty setlist at the Dick's shows, the first ten songs of the first night's set spelled out "Lushington", which is a title of a very short-lived Phish song from the 80's, one that has not been played since, and one that has gained almost mythical status. Earlier that year, Rolling Stone conducted a reader's poll to rank the Phish songs in order and there was a fan campaign to stuff the ballot box for "Lushington", in hopes that perhaps the band would play it. The campaign worked and the song appeared in the #1 slot, despite it being one of the most obscure songs in their catalogue. Upon the setlist spelling out the song title, it was expected that the band would perform the song, however, they continued on with "Ha Ha Ha" instead. To date, "Lushington" remains on the shelf.

Phish returned to the road in October, playing a series of shows that concluded with a three-night Halloween run in Las Vegas. For their musical costume this year, Phish utilized the 1964 Disney sound effects album, Chilling, Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House, as the basis for an elaborate stage show that featured several brand-new instrumental songs, a graveyard-themed stage set, dancing zombies, a narrating crypt-keeper named "Esther", and a haunted house, inside of which the performed several numbers before "exploding" to reveal the four members of Phish in white tuxedoes and zombie makeup. That this all occurred in between two otherwise normal Phish sets, in their normal clothes and without the stage props or even a word of acknowledgement, made this set even more of a shock and this is routinely considered one of the band's greatest achievements. Several of the instrumentals from this show went on to become fixtures of the band's live rotation, most notably "Martian Monster", "Your Pet Cat", and "The Dogs".

The Vegas run concluded on 2 November, which was also the last date of the fall tour. The band capped off 2014 with a New Year's run in Miami, this time commencing on New Year's Eve.

Songs debuted this year include "Plasma", "The Haunted House", "The Very Long Fuse", "The Dogs", "Timber", "Your Pet Cat", "Shipwreck", "Chinese Water Torture", "The Birds", and "Martian Monster".

Date City Country Venue
Spring 2014
April 26, 2014 New Orelans United States New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
Summer 2014
July 1, 2014 Mansfield United States Xfinity Center
July 3, 2014 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 4, 2014
July 5, 2014
July 8, 2014 Philadelphia Mann Center for the Performing Arts
July 9, 2014
July 11, 2014 New York City Randall's Island
July 12, 2014
July 13, 2014
July 15, 2014 Hopewell Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center
July 16, 2014 Clarkston DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 18, 2014 Chicago FirstMerit Bank Pavilion
July 19, 2014
July 20, 2014
July 25, 2014 Charlotte PNC Music Pavilion
July 26, 2014 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 27, 2014
July 29, 2014 Portsmouth nTelos Wireless Pavilion
July 30, 2014
August 1, 2014 Orange Beach The Amphitheater at the Wharf
August 2, 2014 Pelham Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
August 3, 2014 Alpharetta Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
August 29, 2014 Commerce City Dick's Sporting Goods Park
August 30, 2014
August 31, 2014
Fall 2014
October 17, 2014 Eugene United States Matthew Knight Arena
October 18, 2014 Seattle KeyArena at Seattle Center
October 21. 2014 Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Bowl
October 22, 2014
October 24, 2014 Inglewood The Forum
October 25, 2014 Chula Vista Sleep Train Amphitheatre
October 27, 2014 San Francisco Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
October 28, 2014
October 29, 2014
October 31, 2014 Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena
November 1, 2014
November 2, 2014
New Year's Eve 2014
December 31, 2014 Miami United States AmericanAirlines Arena
January 1, 2015
January 2, 2015
January 3, 2015

2015[edit]

2015 kicked off with the last three shows of a four-show New Year's run in Miami.

The summer tour kicked off on 21 July, in Bend OR, winding its way across the country for a month before the band ended up in Watkins Glen NY, and its tenth big festival, Magnaball. Their first such festival since 2011 featured eight sets over three days including a late night set on the second night, performed an hour-long improvisation behind a drive-in-theatre screen.

For the fifth year in a row, Phish returned to Dick's Sporting Goods Park, in Commerce City CO, for a three-night Labor Day run. Continuing the tradition of performing a clever setlist, the songs from the extended encore on the third night spelled out "Thank You". While the band would continue their Dick's run in the years that followed, this was the last occurrence of the setlist tradition.

After taking the autumn off, Phish reconvened at Madison Square Garden for a four-night Holiday Run that began on 30 December and concluded on 2 January 2016.

Songs debuted this year include "Shade", "No Men In No Man's Land", "Blaze On", "How Many People Are You", "Scabbard", "Heavy Rotation", "Mercury", "The Last Step", and "Can't Always Listen".

List of concerts, showing date, city, country, venue, opening act, tickets sold, amount of available tickets and gross revenue
Date City Country Venue Attendance Revenue
Summer 2015 Tour
July 21, 2015 Bend United States Les Schwab Amphitheater 15,999 / 15,999 $1,039,935
July 22, 2015
July 24, 2015 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre 15,173 / 22,000 $805,845
July 25, 2015 Inglewood The Forum 12,388 / 14,550 $715,185
July 28, 2015 Austin Austin360 Amphitheater 10,170 / 13,164 $601,710
July 29, 2015 Grand Prairie Verizon Theatre 6,455 / 6,631 $419,575
July 31, 2015 Atlanta Aaron's Amphitheatre at Lakewood 26,451 / 37,736 $1,449,755
August 1, 2015
August 2, 2015 Tuscaloosa Tuscaloosa Amphitheater
August 4, 2015 Nashville Ascend Amphitheater 6,778 / 6,778 $352,670
August 5, 2015 Kansas City Starlight Theatre 6,847 / 7,538 $445,055
August 7, 2015 Cuyahoga Falls Blossom Music Center 14,062 / 20,451 $745,752
August 8, 2015 East Troy Alpine Valley Music Theatre 34,716 / 71,010 $1,859,160
August 9, 2015
August 11, 2015 Philadelphia Mann Center for the Performing Arts
August 12, 2015
August 14, 2015 Raleigh Walnut Creek Amphitheatre 12,175 / 19,980 $669,755
August 15, 2015 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion 36,760 / 38,000 $1,877,760
August 16, 2015
August 21, 2015 Watkins Glen Watkins Glen International
August 22, 2015
August 23, 2015
September 4, 2015 Commerce City Dick's Sporting Goods Park 69,907 / 75,156 $3,851,213
September 5, 2015
September 6, 2015
New Year's Eve 2015 Run
December 30, 2015 New York City United States Madison Square Garden
December 31, 2015
January 1, 2016
January 2, 2016
Total 267,881 / 348,993 $14,833,370

2016[edit]

Phish began 2016 right where the previous year had left off....with two shows at Madison Square Garden. Two weeks later, Phish performed their first-ever shows in Mexico, with a three-night destination performance at the Riviera Maya resort. As the band were performing right by the water, several nautical-themed songs made appearances throughout the run, including "A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing", "Prince Caspian", "Free", "Theme From The Bottom", "Drowned", "Sand", "Wading In The Velvet Sea", and others, while the third night's encore was a cover of Led Zeppelin's "The Ocean".

Phish's summer tour began in St. Paul MN on 22 June and continued towards the east coast, including two nights at Wrigley Field, before heading west and wrapping up in Chula Vista CA on 23 July. In August, the band made their first appearance at Lockn' Festival, headlining on the 26th and 28th, before making their way out to their annual Labor Day run at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, in Commerce City CO. For the first time since they began this run, in 2011, the band did not incorporate a cleverly-written setlist into one of the shows.

7 October 2016 saw the release of Phish's 13th studio album, Big Boat. Produced by Bob Ezrin, this album featured several songs that had been debuted in the prior two years and included writing and vocal contributions from all four members of the band. The occasion of this release was marked with an appearance on the Tonight Show, on 10 October, where the band performed "Breath And Burning" and "Blaze On". Four days later, the band embarked on a 12 date fall tour that began in Charleston SC and landed in Las Vegas, for a four-night Halloween run. Between those stops, the band performed in Jacksonville FL, two nights in Nashville TN (the first of which featured Bob Weir on most of the second set), two nights in Alpharetta GA, and two nights in Grand Prairie TX.

The band's musical costume at this year's Halloween show was The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, by the late David Bowie (who had passed away earlier that year). Augmented by horns and a string sextet, the band ably paid tribute to their fallen hero. "Rock And Roll Suicide" was performed with Trey on lead vocals, crooner style, with no guitar - the only time in his career that he has performed in such a way.

Phish capped off 2016 with four shows at Madison Square Garden, culminating in a New Year's Eve third set that featured the horns from the Trey Anastasio Band for the duration of the set, as well as stage dancers for the New Year's gag, which was based on the song, "Petrichor", and its "rain" theme.

Songs debuted this year include "Miss You", "Breath And Burning", "Things People Do", "Waking Up Dead", "Friends", "Let's Go", "Ass Handed", "Petrichor", "Home", "More", "I Always Wanted It This Way", and "Running Out Of Time".

Date City Country Venue
Riviera Maya 2016
January 15, 2016 Riviera Maya Mexico Barceló Maya Beach
January 16, 2016
January 17, 2016
Summer 2016
June 22, 2016 St. Paul United States Xcel Energy Center
June 24, 2016 Chicago Wrigley Field
June 25, 2016
June 26, 2016 Noblesville Klipsch Music Center
June 28, 2016 Philadelphia Mann Center for the Performing Arts
June 29, 2016
July 1, 2016 Saratoga Springs Saratoga Performing Arts Center
July 2, 2016
July 3, 2016
July 6, 2016 Portland Cross Insurance Arena
July 8, 2016 Mansfield Xfinity Center
July 9, 2016 Hartford Xfinity Theatre
July 10, 2016 Syracuse Lakeview Amphitheater
July 15, 2016 George The Gorge Amphitheatre
July 16, 2016
July 18, 2016 San Francisco Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
July 19, 2016
July 20, 2016
July 22, 2016 Inglewood The Forum
July 23, 2016 Chula Vista Sleep Train Amphitheatre
September 2, 2016 Commerce City Dick's Sporting Goods Park
September 3, 2016
September 4, 2016
Fall 2016
October 14, 2016 North Charleston United States North Charleston Coliseum
October 15, 2016
October 16, 2016 Jacksonville Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
October 18, 2016 Nashville Ascend Amphitheater
October 19, 2016
October 21, 2016 Alpharetta Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
October 22, 2016
October 24, 2016 Grand Prairie Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
October 25, 2016
October 28, 2016 Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena
October 29, 2016
October 30, 2016
October 31, 2016
2016 New Year's Run
December 28, 2016 New York City United States Madison Square Garden
December 29, 2016
December 30, 2016
December 31, 2016

2017[edit]

Phish began 2017 with a three-night destination show at the Riviera Maya resort, in Quintana Roo, Mexico, which ran from 13-15 January.

Phish's summer tour in 2017 was a rather unconventional one and began with three nights at Chicago's Northerly Island, followed by isolated one-night performances in Dayton and Pittsburgh, before the band got down to business.

Keen to stay off the road as much as possible, Phish instead booked thirteen consecutive shows at Madison Square Garden. Known as the "Baker's Dozen", the shows ran from 21 July through 6 August. Partnering with Philadelphia's independent Federal Donuts, the band created a different theme for each night's show, based on the various flavors of donuts, and those who got in the door early were treated to a sample of that night's flavor. The shows' themes were as follows: Coconut, Strawberry, Red Velvet, Jam-Filled, Powdered, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Jimmies, Maple, Donut Holes, Lemon, Boston Cream, and Pink Glazed. Each night's setlist would tie in to the flavor somewhat, with both existing and newly-learned songs making appearances (for example, the band performed Shuggie Otis' "Strawberry Letter 23" on "strawberry" night). Many of the shows would begin with a cover song performed acappella, and it became a guessing game as to what songs may appear in a given night. Another feature of the Baker's Dozen was that, over the course of thirteen shows, Phish did not repeat a single song, performing 237 unique songs over the course of 26 sets of music, and they performed without any special guests.

For their efforts, and because of the sheer number of times Phish has sold out the venue, Madison Square Garden installed a banner that commemorates the Baker's Dozen, which hangs in the arena with the other championship banners.

For the seventh consecutive year, Phish returned to Dick's Sporting Goods Park, in Commerce City CO, for their annual Labor Day run. Once again foregoing the clever setlist game, the shows were heavy on improvisation and the result of a band still riding the momentum of the Baker's Dozen.

Phish concluded 2017 with a "long-awaited triumphant return" to Madison Square Garden for a four-show run that concluded on New Year's Eve. The gag this year was based on an aquatic theme, laid out in the song, "Soul Planet" (which was debuted that evening). The stage was transformed into a pirate ship, with sails, cannons, and a Phish-themed jolly roger flag. Audience members were given glowing bracelets that made the venue look like the sea. The remainder of the show contained songs that feature nautical themes.

Songs debuted this year include "Everything's Right", "Leaves", "Love Is What We Are", "Corona", "Thread", "Tuesday", "Crazy Sometimes", "Marissa", "Rise/Come Together", "End Of Session", "Sunshine Of Your Feeling", "Most Events Aren't Planned", and "Soul Planet".

Date City Country Venue
Riviera Maya 2017
January 13, 2017 Riviera Maya Mexico Barceló Maya Beach
January 14, 2017
January 15, 2017
Summer 2017
July 14, 2017 Chicago United States Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island
July 15, 2017
July 16, 2017
July 18, 2017 Dayton United States Wright State University Nutter Center
July 19, 2017 Pittsburgh United States Peterson Events Center
The Baker's Dozen
July 21, 2017 New York City United States Madison Square Garden
July 22, 2017
July 23, 2017
July 25, 2017
July 26, 2017
July 28, 2017
July 29, 2017
July 30, 2017
August 1, 2017
August 2, 2017
August 4, 2017
August 5, 2017
August 6, 2017 227,385 /236,278 $$15,041,405
Labor Day Weekend 2017
September 1, 2017 Commerce City United States Dick's Sporting Goods Park
September 2, 2017
September 3, 2017
2017 New Year's Run
December 28, 2017 New York City United States Madison Square Garden
December 29, 2017
December 30, 2017
December 31, 2017

2018[edit]

Date City Country Venue
Summer 2018
July 17, 2018 Stateline United States Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena
July 18, 2018
July 20, 2018 George The Gorge Amphitheatre
July 21, 2018
July 22, 2018
July 24, 2018 San Francisco Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
July 25, 2018
July 27, 2018 Inglewood The Forum
July 28, 2018
July 31, 2018 Austin Austin360 Amphitheater
August 3, 2018 Alpharetta Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
August 4, 2018
August 5, 2018
August 7, 2018 Camden BB&T Pavilion
August 8, 2018
August 10, 2018 Raleigh Coastal Credit Union Music Park
August 11, 2018 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
August 12, 2018
August 17, 2018 Watkins Glen Watkins Glen International
August 18, 2018
August 19, 2018
August 31, 2018 Commerce City Dick's Sporting Goods Park
September 1, 2018
September 2, 2018
Fall 2018
October 16, 2018 Albany United States Times Union Center
October 17, 2018
October 19, 2018 Hampton Hampton Coliseum
October 20, 2018
October 21, 2018
October 23, 2018 Nashville Ascend Amphitheater
October 24, 2018
October 26, 2018 Rosemont Allstate Arena
October 27, 2018
October 28, 2018
October 31, 2018 Las Vegas MGM Grand Garden Arena
November 1, 2018
November 2, 2018
November 3, 2018

Musical Costumes[edit]

Musical costume is a term for the band Phish's elaborate Halloween concerts that involved the band performing an entire album by another artist[16] and including it as the second of three sets. For the 1994 and 1995 Halloween shows, Phish fans were able to vote via newsletter for their choice in which album was to be played.[7] Fans were invited to wear Halloween costumes and take part in costume contests and were given a "Phishbill" which identify the album and the band's relationship to it.[17] Seven official musical costumes have been played by Phish to-date, plus one surprise performance of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon on November 2, 1998—just two days after the band performed the music of The Velvet Underground. The band has played a total of fourteen times on Halloween night: 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016 with special audience participation costume contests being a part of the 1990, 1994, and 2010 shows.

During their comeback year of 2009, Phish performed the Rolling Stones' album Exile on Main Street as part of Phish Festival 8 at Indio, California. In 2010, they covered Little Feat's album "Waiting For Columbus" in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[18] Four of the Halloween shows have been released in their entirety as a part of the Live Phish Series; 1994's Live Phish Volume 13, which included the cover of The Beatles' White Album; Live Phish 14, which included the 1995 cover of The Who's Quadrophenia; Live Phish 15, which included the 1996 cover of Talking Heads' Remain in Light, and Live Phish 16, which included the 1998 cover of The Velvet Underground's Loaded.[19] Phish has also released the Halloween shows from 1991, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, and 2016 separately via their Livephish website.

Tickets by Mail[edit]

Phish Tickets By Mail (or PTBM) was a service that sold tickets to performances by Phish before their general on-sale date through Ticketmaster and other traditional ticketing outlets. The service exists today in a limited form for concerts involving Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell and Jon Fishman. Beginning in the mid-1990s, the Phish ticket presale was done through mail order. For each Phish tour (starting with "taper only" tickets for the December 1994 New Years Run, and both taper and regular tickets for Summer Tour 1995) specific instructions for mail order were listed in the band's newsletter, "Doniac Schvice" (and, later, Phish.com), usually involving envelopes of a specified size, postcards and return postage in the event the ticket order was not fulfilled. There were very specific details that needed to be done, in an effort to deter scalpers and ticket brokers. The ticket orders were then outsourced to a business to fulfill the orders. In the final years of the mail order process, ticket orders were processed by the staff at the Flynn Theatre in Burlington, Vermont. The order in which ticket requests were fulfilled was random, and no seniority or special treatment was given to any fan. These tickets were printed in limited amounts on colored paper with foil and some sort of design, and only issued through mail order.

In 2001, while Phish was on a hiatus, Trey Anastasio booked a tour of amphitheatres and major venues. It was his largest tour, at the time, without Phish. With Phish's management, Dionysian Productions scaled down during the hiatus, Anastasio and Dionysian used an internet-based ticket presale service run by Musictoday, who has been running a similar service for Dave Matthews Band's Warehouse Fan Association since 1999. Instead of fans filling out postcards, they went to a website, requested shows and put in credit card information. For this tour, the orders were still processed at the Flynn Theatre. This would be the last tour where PTBM would run from Vermont.

When Trey Anastasio went on tour in 2002, he used the Musictoday service again. However, unlike the 2001 tour, the final processing process took place at Musictoday's home base in Charlottesville, Virginia. Later that year, when Phish announced their return tour, PTBM used that service as well. All ticket presales for Phish and side projects, from that point on, used Musictoday's online service.

As Phish side project tours have become smaller following Phish's 2004 disbandment, most presales have been real time sales, with a first-come-first-served approach in place of the lotteries employed in Phish's touring heyday. With Phish's return to the stage in 2009, the band is once again using Musictoday's online service.

Commercial Reputation[edit]

Phish's 2015 tour prices ranged from US$40.00 – $70.00. Shows with special events attached to them tend to run towards the higher end of the spectrum given that they typically have an extra set of music included in the show.

Sources[edit]

The first Phish concert setlist archive was "The Helping Phriendly Book", a section of the fan-based Phish.net website unveiled on the Internet in 1991. Two books, The Pharmer's Almanac and The Phish Companion, contained detailed collections of Phish setlists, the first appearing in six volumes between 1995 and 2000 and the latter prepared to release a third volume in 2016.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 135,267 fans go Phish-ing at air base Archived 2006-10-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ The jam-band scene improvises Archived 2006-10-27 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ ZZYZX's Phish stats – totals
  4. ^ http://phish.com/band/march-1988/
  5. ^ Phish Hotline update announcing mail-in vote
  6. ^ What happened for Halloween '94?
  7. ^ a b "Halloween vote". Phish.net. Retrieved 6/8/2006.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  8. ^ http://phish.net/song/farmhouse
  9. ^ "Phish Fest Nets $81,000 In Drugs; 1,200 Arrests". SonicNet News. sonicnet.com. 1998-09-02. Archived from the original on April 30, 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  10. ^ "Phish setlist, November 2, 1998". Archived from the original on March 25, 2009. 
  11. ^ http://phish.net/setlists/?year=2000
  12. ^ "Phish Festival Falls Short, but Still 'It'". Phish Archive. Reuters/Billboard. 2003-08-18. Archived from the original on 2008-12-03. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-10. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  14. ^ Del Signore, John (2009-10-31). "Phish Pick Fans Up at 8 in Indio". LAist. Archived from the original on 4 November 2009. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  15. ^ http://phish.net/setlists/phish-september-02-2011-dicks-sporting-goods-park-commerce-city-co-usa.html
  16. ^ Ayers, Michael D. (2009-07-24). "Phish staging Halloween festival at Coachella site". Billboard. Reuters. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  17. ^ "Phishbill". New Jersey Traders Alliance. Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. 
  18. ^ ({http://phish.net/setlists/2010.html#2010-10-31})
  19. ^ Margolis, Robert (2002-10-22). "Phish Dress Up for Halloween". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 July 2011.