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Phish Plan New Stage Setup for Summer Tour

'The four of us are texting each other 30 times a day,' says Trey Anastasio

Trey Anastasio of Phish performs in San Francisco.
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
July 3, 2013 9:05 AM ET

Phish haven't played a show since New Years Eve, and Trey Anastasio is getting antsy. "I feel bottled up," he says, checking in from a family vacation in Bar Harbor, Maine (he just took an ocean kayak expedition). "It's like I've been sleeping on a pile of laundry in the corner of the room with a plug that isn't plugged into the wall. And we're finally about to plug the plug into the wall."

The band will kick off their summer tour tonight – a 25-date run including multi-night stands in Saratoga Springs, New York and Chicago and San Francisco – at an outdoor show in Bangor, Maine. "It's our 30th year, too, so it's just really indescribable," Anastasio says. "Right after I hang up with you we're going to go to a tech rehearsal today. We're really excited. We're talking a lot. The four of us are texting each other on a group text thing, talking 30 times a day."

The New Immortals: Phish

For the first night of the tour, expect a new configuration. "This tour, we're going with a new stage setup," says Anastasio. "At least where I stand, we won't need to put any of the other instruments in monitors. We moved the drums into the middle because I had drums coming through the monitors. The idea was to get a clear-as-possible sound of the other three guys, because when we're playing, I listen to them as much as possible. The other 50 percent of the time, I'm listening to the room."

After returning in 2009 from a long hiatus, Phish are in one of the best grooves of their career. Anastasio wishes other bands  – especially the Talking Heads – would reunite too."I was just going for a walk and really excited about the fact that the four of us were trying to get back together, and the thought that popped through my head was, I wish I could talk David Byrne and Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison and Chris Frantz to be going out for one tour with just the four of them because of how good this feels. It made me think – just drop the arguing and go out on tour quick, before something happens like it did to Pink Floyd. Don't wait too long. Bands are chemistry. They're nothing but chemistry, in my opinion. I don't think it would go away, you know. And I think they could [do it]. I know that from personal experience."

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