Phish fans heading down to Hampton, Virginia, for the band’s first reunion gigs this weekend have a lot to look forward to: Trey Anastasio tells the New York Times that the band will provide “long shows of pure physical pleasure” so fans can “dance and forget their troubles. It’s like a service commitment.” But wait, there’s more: the band says they’re not just going to jam out on old tunes. Phish have demoed roughly 20 songs for a new album and one of those new tracks, “Backwards Down the Number Line,” will debut at Hampton; Anastasio played the song at solo gigs, but not with his old band. (Rolling Stone will be on the ground with the Phish nation this weekend, so check Rock Daily for reports from the scene.)
But before they take the stage in Virginia, Phish are continuing their fight against bootleg merchandisers. According to the Chicago Tribune, the group asked a judge to block the illegal sale of bootleg shirts, posters and other merchandise — which may include recordings — at their shows. In the suit, filed against John Does 1-100 and ABC Corporations 1-5 due to the anonymity of the sellers, Phish argue, “Because they are generally nomadic individuals without a business premises or other connection to the area, Bootleggers often flee the area permanently once they have sold Bootleg Merchandise.” Phish have asked for police to be permitted to seize unauthorized goods, and are also seeking unspecified damages, but the real goal here is prevent people from peddling unlicensed goods in the parking lot, so good luck getting one of those “NICU” shirts with the Nike symbol.