Phish is an American rock band that was founded at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont in 1983. The band is known for musical improvisation, extended jams, blending of genres, and a dedicated fan base. The current line-up—guitarist and lead vocalist Trey Anastasio, bassist and vocalist Mike Gordon, drummer and vocalist Jon Fishman, and keyboardist and vocalist Page McConnell—performed together for 15 years before going on hiatus from October 7, 2000, to December 30, 2002. They resumed touring from December 31, 2002, until August 15, 2004, when they announced that the Coventry Festival would be their last show. They reunited in March 2009 for a series of three consecutive concerts played in the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, and have since resumed performing regularly.
Phish’s music blends elements of a wide variety of genres, including funk, progressive rock, psychedelic rock, folk, country, jazz, blues, bluegrass, and pop. The band was part of a movement of improvisational rock groups, inspired by the Grateful Dead and colloquially known as “jam bands”, which gained considerable popularity as touring concert acts in the 1990s.
Although the band has received little radio play or mainstream exposure, 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. In 1998, Rolling Stone described Phish as “the most important band of the ’90s.” The magazine later wrote that the band helped to “…spawn a new wave of bands oriented around group improvisation and extended instrumental grooves”.
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