Phish to swim again in March concerts

Wed Oct 1, 2008 2:48pm EDT
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By Bob Margolis

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The hints came in various formats, but it's now official. After more than four years, Phish, the Vermont born quartet with a loyal fan following, will return to the concert stage this March in Virginia.

The band on Wednesday on its Web site, confirmed the reunion concerts this coming March 6, 7, and 8 in Hampton, Virginia, and posted a page addressing what is expected to be strong demand for tickets.

Phish built its reputation in the 1990s mostly for its live shows jamming in a free-form style of rock 'n' roll often compared to the Grateful Dead, which also enjoyed a strong cult-following over its history dating back to the 1960s.

The relationship between the two bands was once a sore subject for Phish but has warmed in recent years. Both Anastasio and Gordon have made numerous on stage appearances with Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh

Like the Dead, Phish proved that a band without a hit single or massive MTV exposure could consistently sell-out 20,000-seat indoor venues as well as 30,000- to 40,000-seat outdoor summer amphitheaters.

Phish, which has produced thirteen studio CDs, and seven live releases in addition to the 27 volume "Live Phish" series took a break from touring back in 2000, returning once for a high-profile New Years Eve show at New York's Madison Square Garden marking the transition from 2002-2003.

While Phish was at rest, the band members, guitarist Trey Anastasio drummer Jon Fishman, bassist Mike Gordon and keyboardist Page McConnell have been far from idle.

Anastasio has released numerous songs and premiered an orchestral work, "Time Turns Elastic" with Orchestra Nashville at the storied Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry.   Continued...