Phish Returns: Hampton Comes Alive In March
As dramatically announced via video, Phish will reunite for a series of shows this March. The quartet’s first full performances since 2004 will take place at Hampton, VA’s Hampton Coliseum on March 6, 7 and 8, 2009. Earlier this month the band also played a surprise three-song set at the wedding of longtime road manager Brad Sands. The group is expected to announce a handful of additional dates in the near future.
Hampton Coliseum’s intimate size and general admission seating has made the venue a fan and band favorite since the group first headlined the room in 1995. Since that time Phish has filled the Coliseum on eleven additional occasions, most recently on its farewell tour in 2004.
This is not the first time the group has selected the room for a special event. After returning from hiatus in 2002, three of Phish’s first four shows took place at the spaceship shaped arena, and the group booked a last minute Hampton, VA show after announcing its breakup in 2004. Phish’s November 20 and 21, 1998 performances in the room were released as the box set Hampton Comes Alive.
Rumors of a Phish reunion have reached new heights in recent months after the four musicians accepted a lifetime achievement award at New York’s Theatre at Madison Square Garden last May. Since that time the players have appeared onstage in a number of different configurations, most recently when Mike Gordon sat in with Page McConnell at South Burlington, VT’s Higher Ground this past Saturday. Trey Anastasio has also tested out a number of new possible Phish songs onstage, most notably his co-compositions with longtime lyricist Tom Marshall ‘Alaska’ and ‘Backwards Down the Number Line.’
Anastasio announced Phish’s breakup on May 25, 2004, and the group played its final show on August 15 of that year. At the time of his original announcement, Anastasio said, ‘Last Friday night, I got together with Mike, Page and Fish to talk openly about the strong feelings I’ve been having that Phish has run its course and that we should end it now while it’s still on a high note. Once we started talking, it quickly became apparent that the other guys’ feelings, while not all the same as mine, were similar in many ways — most importantly, that we all love and respect Phish and the Phish audience far too much to stand by and allow it to drag on beyond the point of vibrancy and health. We don’t want to become caricatures of ourselves, or worse yet, a nostalgia act. By the end of the meeting, we realized that after almost twenty-one years together we were faced with the opportunity to graciously step away in unison, as a group, united in our friendship and our feelings of gratitude.’
A limited number of tickets for Phish’s upcoming shows will be available through the group’s secure online ticketing system. In addition, the group has issued the following statement regarding ticket scalping:
Phish Tickets has a zero tolerance for scalping and insists that all patrons of our service abide by our policy stated herein. Tickets made available through this site are intended only for fans who are actually planning on attending the shows requested. It is strictly prohibited to resell any tickets obtained through Phish Tickets for more than the purchase price. If you are found to be reselling, trading or brokering tickets that you purchased through our site for profit, Phish Tickets may at its discretion cancel your ticket order and all other pending orders in your name. This cancellation will result in a refund of the total price for the tickets minus a $7.00 per ticket processing fee and any shipping fees that have been incurred with respect to the order. We reserve the right to investigate all orders suspected to be in violation of this policy.
_We urge you not to purchase tickets through brokers or ‘scalpers.’ These tickets may be counterfeit in which case you will not only be overcharged but will also likely be denied entry into the show. _
Meanwhile, Anastasio will also kick off a solo tour at New York’s Roseland Ballroom on October 16.