40 Facts About Phish


Phish is an American rock band formed in Burlington, Vermont, in 1983.

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Phish began to perform outside of New England in the late 1980s and experienced a rise in popularity in the mid 1990s.

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Phish reunited officially in October 2008 for subsequent reunion shows in March 2009 and since then have resumed performing regularly.

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Phish has developed a large and dedicated following by word of mouth, the exchange of live recordings, and selling over 8 million albums and DVDs in the United States.

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Phish were signed to major label Elektra Records from 1991 to 2005, when the band formed their own independent label, JEMP Records, to release archival CD and DVD sets.

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Phish was formed at the University of Vermont in 1983 by guitarists Trey Anastasio and Jeff Holdsworth, bassist Mike Gordon, and drummer Jon Fishman.

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Phish began performing with the band as a guest shortly thereafter, and made his live debut during the third set of their May 3, 1985 concert at UVM's Redstone Campus.

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Phish performed with a five-piece lineup for about six months after McConnell joined, a period which ended when Holdsworth quit the group in March 1986 following a religious conversion.

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Phish distributed at least six experimental self-titled cassettes during this era, including The White Tape.

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On January 26, 1989, Phish played the Paradise Rock Club in Boston; The owners of the club had never heard of Phish and refused to book them, so the band rented the club for the night.

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In 1992, Phish introduced a collaboration between audience and band called the "Big Ball Jam" in which each band member would throw a large beach ball into the audience and play a note each time his ball was hit.

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Phish began headlining major amphitheaters in the summer of 1993.

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The "musical costume" concept subsequently became a recurring part of Phish's fall tours, with the band playing a different album whenever they had a concert scheduled for Halloween night.

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Phish recorded their sixth album Billy Breathes in the winter and spring of 1996, and the album was issued in October of that year.

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Phish ended 1997 as one of the ten highest grossing concert acts in the United States that year.

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The set marked the first time that complete recordings of Phish concerts were officially released by Elektra Records.

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Phish were nominated in two categories at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2001: Best Boxed Recording Package for Hampton Comes Alive and Best Instrumental Rock Performance for "First Tube" from Farmhouse.

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Phish provided their own voices for the episode and performed a snippet of "Run Like an Antelope".

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In 2005, Phish formed their own record label, JEMP Records, to release archival CD and DVD sets.

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Phish received the Jammys Lifetime Achievement Award on May 7, 2008, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

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At Bonnaroo, Phish was joined by Bruce Springsteen on guitar for three songs.

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In June 2012, Phish headlined Bonnaroo 2012 with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead.

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Phish ended 2013 with a New Year's Eve concert that celebrated their 30th anniversary, as they had played their first concert in December 1983.

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Phish released Fuego, their first studio album in five years, on June 24, 2014.

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In 2015, Phish performed both a summer tour and their tenth multi-day festival event, Magnaball, was held at the Watkins International Speedway in New York in August.

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Phish played a 13-night concert residency at New York City's Madison Square Garden from July 21 to August 6, 2017, dubbed "The Baker's Dozen".

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Phish planned to hold an eleventh summer festival, Curveball, in Watkins Glen, New York in 2018, but the festival was canceled by New York Department of Health officials, one day before it was scheduled to begin, due to water quality issues from flooding in the area.

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Phish released their fifteenth studio album Sigma Oasis on April 2, 2020.

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Phish performed their first concert since the start of the pandemic on July 28, 2021, having not performed since February 23, 2020.

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Phish had the fifth highest concert ticket sales in the world in 2021, with 572, 626 tickets sold.

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Phish's popularity grew in the 1990s due to fans sharing concert recordings that had been taped by audience members and distributed online for free.

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Phish were among the first musical acts to utilize the internet to grow their fanbase, with fans using file-sharing websites such as etree and BitTorrent to share concerts.

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Co-founder Rick Farman, a Phish fan, consulted Phish managers Richard Glasgow and John Paluska about festival infrastructure during the early stages of planning.

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Phish heavily contributes to music based tourism with their "traveling communities" of fans, and they have been simultaneously hailed and criticized for their near-constant tour dates, which bring with them the capital value of tourism and necessitates the increased security and community planning that come with any music festival.

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Phish has performed 64 concerts at Madison Square Garden since their debut performance there in 1994.

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Phish were often compared to the Grateful Dead during the 1990s, a comparison that the band members often resisted or distanced themselves from.

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Since Phish fans began to discuss the band's live performances on the internet in the late 1990s, they have developed a widely used framework for analyzing the varied forms of improvisation that would regularly occur during a given show.

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Phish's reputation is so grounded in their live performances, concert recordings are commonly traded commodities.

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Phish fans have been noted for their extensive collections of fan-taped concert recordings; owning recordings of entire tours and years is widespread.

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Phish continues to allow fans to tape and distribute audience recordings of their concerts after the launch of the LivePhish storefront and streaming services.

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