Members: Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, Page McConnell
Genre: Alternative rock, jam rock, jazz fusion
Hometown: Burlington, Vermont
Awards: Jammys Lifetime Achievement Award
Albums: Phish (1998); The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday (1987); Junta (1989); Lawn Boy (1990); A Picture of Nectar (1992); Rift (1993); Hoist (1994); Billy Breathes (1996); The Story of the Ghost (1998); Farmhouse (2000); The Siket Disc (2000); Round Room (2002); Undermind (2004); Joy (2009);
Hits: "Free," "Heavy Things," "The Connection"
In the world of jam bands there a few groups more iconic than Phish. The band has been performing for nearly 30 years, and employs a large and loyal following of dedicated fans. Thanks to legendary live shows, Phish has become one of the most popular music acts of the last half century despite little radio play or mainstream exposure.
Phish was formed at the University of Vermont in 1983 behind lead singer and guitarist Trey Anastasio, guitarist Jeff Holdsworth, bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman. The band began performing at local events throughout the college, and when Holdsworth graduated in 1986, he left and was replaced by keyboardist Page McConnell to solidify the final line up.
After transferring schools, Anastasio and company released a self-titled experimental album in 1986. Also referred to as The White Tape, the release features some of their most famous songs including an a capella version of "You Enjoy Myself," which has become their most frequently played song in concert. Phish's second venture into recording resulted in 1987's The Man Who Stepped in Yesterday, which was a senior project of Anastasio.
After the members of the band graduated in 1988, they began to practice more regularly. These extended jam sessions resulted in their first studio release, the double album Junta, which hit stores in 1989. Along with a more cleaned up version of "You Enjoy Myself," Junta featured a pair of live recordings, "Sanity" and "Icculus." By this point, the band's fan base had begun to grow and their shows became increasingly popular.
By 1993, Phish began performing at larger venues, and as a result their seventh studio album, 1994's Hoist, resulted in their first and only video to be aired on MTV. "Down with Disease" reached number 33 on the US Mainstream Rock charts, and is one of their most well-known tunes.
Throughout the rest of the mid-90s, Phish continually toured and recorded albums, and hosted a number of festivals for their die-hard fans. The Great Went, Lemonwheel and Camp Oswego were all weekend-long jam sessions that would become synonymous with the group.
By the late '90s, the band went on a hiatus to work on solo projects, and would eventually break up in 2004. However, by 2009 the band reunited for a series of summer concerts, and they released their fourteenth album, Joy, later that year. 2010 saw more of the same, as the band embarked on an extensive summer tour, much to the delight of fans.