Cheers to one of the greatest and most prolific jam bands today on celebrating their 30th anniversary. Over the years, Phish phans have delighted in the sweet and savory tunes of the musical quartet. From their own philosophical, rhyme winding storytelling tunes, to the numerous memorable covers they have tackled over the years, they have grown a large and committed following more impressive than any other band today.
Phish originally formed in 1983 at University of Vermont and have been playing officially since 1985 with Trey Anastasio on guitar and lead vocals, Mike Gordan on bass, Jon Fishman on drums and percussion, and Page McConnell on keyboard (all members contribute to vocals). Every show is a surprise with a unique feel and spontaneous improvisation based upon what they’re feeling. Phish has played some amazing covers, most notoriously their annual Halloween shows that have covered legends such as the Talking Heads, Neil Young, The Beatles, the Grateful Dead, the Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and many, many more. Phish rose to fame and success during the 90s, with notable feats including the appearance of “Down With Disease” on the cartoon Beavis and Butthead, their single “Free” peaking at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks and No. 11 in the Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart, and hosting several of their own multi-day festivals including the infamous New Years festival at Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in Big Cypress, FL. In the early 2000s they took a hiatus. Since 2008 we have seen the reemergence of the band and a continued impact on phans as well as American culture as a whole.
While this reunion was a sweet return for many, it was also a new beginning. With the exception of Rothbury 2008 and the Hampton Reunion show in 2009, my first Phish show was just a year and a half ago at Bonnaroo 2012. After that show we re-scheduled our summer and followed them for the following month on their summer tour. I just met my first Burlington Vermonter Phan along with many other kind loving phans. I can say I am a life long phan. However, this doesn’t compare to the many phans who have happily, proudly seen over 150 shows, have been there for the past 20 or 30 years, and the families who have generations of phans and the phamily at every show.
So, thank you Phish for your many years of music, family, care and thought! You have touched many lives and many more to come. Congratulations and Happy 30th Trey, Mike, Fish and Page!