Phish, the jam-happy foursome that attracted legions of touring neo-hippie fans to their concerts, is returning to the stage after a two-year hiatus.
The group announced Wednesday that it will play Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve. That will be followed by a three-date set in Hampton, Va., starting Jan. 2. More concerts are expected to be announced later.
Phish formed in Vermont in the early ’80s and labored in relative obscurity for nearly a decade, slowly building a core audience with its near-constant tours, epic shows and long, experimental jams that melded every type of music, from bluegrass to electronica. Their concerts drew fans worldwide, and they often played before tens of thousands of people.
But when the members of Phish – Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Michael Gordon and Page McConnell – wrapped up a tour in October 2000, they decided to go on a break.
Phish’s announcement Wednesday came less than two weeks after the surviving members of the Grateful Dead, the granddaddy of all jam bands, reunited in East Troy, Wis., for their first concert in seven years.
The group had called it quits in 1995 after lead singer/guitarist Jerry Garcia’s death from a heart attack. They’re now planning a 15-show fall tour under the name The Other Ones.