ROTHBURY, Michigan (Billboard) - Phish fans, long hoping for a reunion of the defunct jam band, got their wish — or at least a portion of it — at the inaugural Rothbury Festival in Michigan on Sunday.
Three of the band’s four members performed live together in two separate incarnations.
First, bassist Mike Gordon joined guitarist Trey Anastasio during the latter’s solo acoustic set.
Noting that “Mike and I being two people who don’t shy away from trying new things, Anastasio introduced a pair of fresh tunes — “Backwards Down the Number Line” and “Alaska” — and further teased prospects of a reunion by saying, “If we could just find a drummer and a keyboard player somewhere...” But, he added, “you gotta start with the songs, and you guys can be our test audience.”
The biggest ovation came when Anastasio and Gordon finished the set with Phish’s “Chalkdust Torture.”
Anastasio, who plays on Gordon’s upcoming album, “The Green Arrow,” (due August 5), then returned the favor during the bassist’s set with his own band.
Phish drummer Jon Fishman joined the ensemble for the Beatles’ “She Said, She Said,” sending the field into a state of dancing delirium.
All four Phish members, including keyboardist Page McConnell, have hinted at the possibility of a reunion in recent comments, but no firm details have been revealed.
The Phish follies were the unquestioned highlight on Rothbury’s closing day. Headliners at the four-day event, which took place about 200 miles west of Detroit, included the Dave Matthews Band, Widespread Panic, John Mayer (with girlfriend Jennifer Aniston in tow), and 311.
Michigan State Police listed the crowd, mostly comprised of campers, at about 35,000, with 18 reported arrests as of Sunday evening.