Phish have lined up a twelve-date tour, their first in more than two years, to follow their previously announced New Year's Eve at New York City's Madison Square Garden and trio of shows in Hampton, Virginia. Currently the tour is scheduled to begin on February 14th in Inglewood, California, and the dates run through March 1st in Greensboro, North Carolina. Their very first gig back together, however, is scheduled for December 14th, when the group plays Saturday Night Live.
Though each member of the four-piece band has busied themselves with side projects -- guitarist Trey Anastasio with his own touring band, bassist Mike Gordon with a film about the making of the latest Gov't Mule record and an album with Leo Kottke, drummer Jon Fishman with Pork Tornado, and keyboardist Page McConnell with Vida Blue -- the dates will be their first public appearances as Phish since October 2000, when the band announced an indefinite hiatus.
In between the members' respective projects, the group got together for some writing and rehearsal sessions earlier this year. Plans were for the group to congregate at a later date and record a new album for release early next year. But within the first few days of playing together, Phish pulled together thirty songs, recording twenty and selecting a dozen for Round Room, a new studio album due December 10th.
"The idea was to record whatever new songs we had learned for a demo, so that I could go out on tour with Pork Tornado and still have them to learn while I was out here," Fishman says. "September was looked at as the incubation period to get together and brainstorm, put rough versions on tape, then come back in November, rehearse it and record it again; more refined versions, and maybe record it yet again before New Years. And then put out an album after New Year's. Well, we learned twenty new originals, and another ten we didn't have enough time to get to. The problem with Phish, if there's ever been a problem, is that we've never been able to keep up with Trey and Mike, in terms of writing. We'll probably have another album of material recorded and done before New Year's [laughs]. It's stupid. When Phish is working and fresh and feeling good, there's nothing like it."
Prior to the New York City gig, Mike Gordon and Leo Kottke are still on tour and will be until November 19th. Fishman and Pork Tornado wrap up their tour tonight in Clifton Park, New York.
Tickets for Greensboro go on sale December 13th, and for all other dates, ticket sales begin December 14th.
Phish tour dates:
12/31: New York, Madison Square Garden
1/2-4: Hampton, VA, Hampton Coliseum
2/14: Inglewood, CA, Great Western Forum
2/15-16: Las Vegas, Thomas and Mack Center
2/18: Denver, Pepsi Center
2/20: Rosemont, IL, Allstate Arena
2/21-22: Cincinnati, US Bank Arena
2/24: East Rutherford, NJ, Continental Airlines Arena
2/25: Philadelphia, First Union Spectrum
2/26: Worcester, MA, Worcester Centrum Center
2/28: Uniondale, NY, Nassau Coliseum
3/1: Greensboro, NC, Greensboro, NC