Phish Celebrate Halloween With Special Set as Fake Scandinavian Band - Rolling Stone
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Phish Perform Halloween Show as Fake Scandinavian Band Kasvot Vaxt

Elaborate prank included knock-off Playbill, record review, interview

Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon of Phish perform as Kasvot Vaxt during the second set of their Halloween show in Las Vegas.

Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon of Phish perform as Kasvot Vaxt during the second set of their Halloween show in Las Vegas.

Rene Huemer

Phish performed the second set of their Halloween show in Las Vegas as a Scandinavian prog rock outfit called, Kasvot Växt. The group performed their sole album, í rokkand when translated together Kasvot Växt and í rokk means “Faceplant into rock.”

For more than a decade, Phish have typically used their Halloween shows as an opportunity to cover other artists’ albums in their entirety (the tradition began in 1994 with a full rendition of the Beatles’ “White Album”). But on Wednesday, the band pulled off an elaborate new trick that included not just the “cover set,” but an artist page on All Music and an album review on WFMU.

Per JamBase, fans entering the show were handed a fake Playbill (re-named “Phishbill”), which included an in-depth essay on Kasvot Växt, complete with laudatory quotes from the members of Phish (the program also included a fake ad of Trey Anastasio shilling for SoulCycle). “Every time the Halloween discussion comes up, we talk about Kasvot Växt,” Anastasio says in the program. “We honestly were worried we wouldn’t have the chops to pull it off or to do justice to the sound, but when it comes down to it, we just couldn’t resist any longer.”

For the actual Kasvot Växt set, JamBase said Phish delivered “an ambitious suite of original Phish music played in the style of an Eighties prog-rock band” that “still had elements of the Vermont-birthed quartet’s distinctive sound.”

After the show, fans began to piece together the impressive scope of the prank. New Jersey’s beloved independent radio station WFMU quietly published a review of í rokk, treating the record as an out-of-print holy grail for crate diggers (they even slapped a “January 14th, 2005” publish date on the post for good measure). Elsewhere, music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine penned a short biography of Kasvot Växt on, while Perfect Sound Forever published an in-depth “interview” with band member Georg Guomundrson.

On Twitter, a fan-created account for Kasvot Växt even thanked Phish for the Halloween set, writing, “There is no word in Scandinavian to describe how honoouured we are that obscure American band Pfish has chosen to share our Magnum Opus with their pfans.”

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