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Phish heads descend on Hampton

 

By ZINIE CHEN SAMPSON, The Associated Press 8:11 a.m. March 6, 2009

 

aea599a4-d0a0-4793-9fd7-b5f63438888dnews In an Aug. 14, 2004, file photo, Phish performs the Phish Festival in Coventry, Vt., which the group called their final performance. Fresh off a nearly five-year break, the family reunion starts Friday, March 6, 2009. (AP Photo/Alden Pellett, File) - AP

 

 

 

HAMPTON, Va. - Phish heads are converging on Hampton for the first show since the jamband's breakup in 2004.

Guitarist Trey Anastasio, bassist Mike Gordon, keyboardist Page McConnell and drummer Jon Fishman will play three sold-out shows at the Hampton Coliseum starting Friday.

When the reunion concerts were announced last fall, the band's intensely devoted fans snapped up tickets immediately, and seats for the opening show were being resold for as high as $1,000 on Thursday. The summer tour dates have also sold out.

Jason Bishop has gone to about 80 Phish shows since he started following them in 1993. Since then, the 34-year-old Richmond man met his wife, got married and now has an 8-month-old son. He was one of the lucky fans who managed to get tickets for Friday's opener with relative ease.

"The lottery gods smiled down upon me; I paid $60 a ticket," he said. "I did purchase one StubHub ticket that ended up going to a friend, that ended up going for $300."

Area hotels were booked immediately after the October announcement of the Hampton shows. Local inn owners have reported fielding calls from Phish fans from most states and as far away as Belgium and Germany, and a campsite is being set up for the weekend at a local stadium.

Ryan Lafata, a spokesman with the Hampton Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that it's possible to have upwards of 75,000 people come to the area for the three shows at the Coliseum, which holds about 13,000 for general-admission events.

"Phish fans are a traveling community, and people who aren't going to the shows are going to be in the parking lot meeting up with old friends," he said.

The band's fans are known for setting up freewheeling open-air markets in parking lots around show venues, where people gather to sell all manner of goods, including T-shirts, posters and recordings. Phish had sought to bar the sale of unlicensed merchandise at the concerts and a federal judge said Thursday he will issue the injunction but refused to allow band representatives to seize bootleg items.

About $5 million was spent locally the last time Phish played Hampton, and though the economy's in the tank, Lafata speculated the figure might be higher this time as the youthful fans of past decades now hold real jobs, and "everybody grows up and they have more money to spend."

Hampton tourism officials say the large number off fans expected include those who didn't have concert tickets still planned to travel to Hampton, congregate outside the coliseum to take in the scene and reunite with old friends.

Phish formed at the University of Vermont in 1983. They are known for their amorphous blend of rock, jazz, bluegrass and other styles, along with intense improvisations. Often likened to the Grateful Dead, they had a lucrative touring act with an incredibly devoted fan base.

"For me it's the willingness of the band to essentially play without a script; it's an improvisational show," Bishop said. "No two shows are the same. You could have a song, but no two versions of a song are the same."

 

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If I could I would and Id take you now!!!

 

The excitement and anticipation must be off the f'ing hook right now!!

 

No doubt there is a wonderful glow hanging over Hampton.

 

tooooot toooooooooooot!!!!

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View PostFluffhead> Divided Sky> Chalkdust> Sample in a Jar> Stash

 

 

 

Phish

Hampton Coliseum

Hampton, Virginia

3/6/2009

 

Source: Schoeps CCM4V'S(din)>Lunatec V2>Benchmark AD2K>

Sound Devices 722 (24/48)

Location: FOB/DFC/KFC/ZFC/AARP 42' From Stage, 6' High

DSP: Sound Devices 722>Sound Forge 9.0>CD Wave>flac(16)

Recorded By: Z-Man

 

 

Disc I 1st Set

 

01 Crowd

02 Fluffhead

03 Divided Sky >

04 Chalkdust Torture

05 Sample In A Jar

06 Stash

07 I Didn't Know

08 Oh Kee Pa >

09 Suzy Greenberg >

10 Farmhouse

 

Disc II 1st Set Con't

 

01 NICU

02 Horn >

03 Rift

04 Train Song

05 Water In The Sky

06 Squirmin' Coil

07 David Bowie

2nd Set:

08 Backwards Down The Number Line >

09 Tweezer >

10 Taste >

11 Possum

 

Disc III 2nd Set Con't

 

01 Theme From The Bottom

02 1st Tube >

03 Harry Hood

04 Waste >

05 You Enjoy Myself (With False Start)

Encore:

06 Grind

07 Bouncin' Round The Room >

08 Lovin' Cup

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Phish dusts off deep cuts in return to stage

By JOSH L. DICKEY , 38 minutes ago

HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - The Phish has landed.

The Vermont jamband ignited the second stage of its career as a touring juggernaut Friday night at the Hampton Coliseum, rocketing deep into their past to sate fans who've been waiting years to see them play live again.

With deep cuts like "Fluffhead," "Divided Sky" and "Chalkdust Torture," the foursome built the backbone of its first set on old-school material, expertly navigating hairpin changes and showing as much spunk as they ever have in this millenium.

Fans began to materialize around the spacecraft-styled hockey arena in Virginia by early afternoon, then swelled to a hollering mob by nightfall -- a scene the band's fiercely devoted following has longed to see since Phish called it quits in 2004.

Guitarist Trey Anastasio, brisk and energetic, snapped into the crisp form he was feeling around the time of their New Years Eve show in 1999, a widely accepted zenith for the band (except the moment ABC's coverage of Y2K cut to Peter Jennings introducing them to their largest TV audience ever as "The Phish").

While the band's detail-oriented crowd has never let Jennings live that one down, they were forgiving of Phish's five-year absence, crowding the Hampton area with rental cars, "no vacancy" signs and ticket-seekers, who patrolled highway exit ramps Friday evening, offering to trade cash or tickets for stops along the band's sold-out summer tour.

Anastasio, bassist Mike Gordon, keyboardist Page McConnell and drummer Jon Fishman are playing three shows in Hampton, their first since an amicable split that turned out to be more burnout therapy than the end to their 20-year run on the road.

Fans responded. When the reunion concerts were announced last fall, seats for the opening show were being resold for as high as $1,000 - and even more nefarious tactics than scalping were at play: Inside the venue on Friday, 29-year-old Rod Stewart said he bought a fake with a happy ending.

"We bought three tickets in the parking lot for $100 each, and when the lady scanned them, they came up 'counterfeit,'" said Stewart, of Chesapeake, Va., "but she let us in anyway."

Ryan Lafata, a spokesman with the Hampton Convention and Visitors Bureau, said it's possible to have upwards of 75,000 people come to the area for the three shows at the Coliseum, which holds about 13,000 for general-admission events.

Many of those fans included those who didn't have concert tickets, but traveled to congregate outside the coliseum to take in the scene and reunite with old friends.

Brett Hinckley of Greenville, S.C., said the coliseum is a favorite venue for Phish and its fans, who call the building "the mother ship" because of its resemblance to a giant UFO.

"The energy in the building is second to none," Hinckley said before the show. "Once you experience it, you just kind of need to be back."

Phish, which formed at the University of Vermont in 1983, is known for its amorphous blend of rock, jazz, bluegrass and other styles, which often launch into intense improvisations. Often likened to the Grateful Dead, they are a moderate commercial success in terms of sales, but remain a lucrative touring act.

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