This past Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, Phish played their first shows in five years at the Hampton Coliseum (aka “the mothership”) in Hampton, Virginia. I was one of the lucky ones who saw them in their very early years, during their first forays outside of the northeast. In 1990 and 1991, Phish stopped through my college in Colorado three times, and I was introduced to the wonder and weirdness that was the live Phish experience (two of these were costume-required Halloween shows, which added to the weirdness).
Since those college years, I’ve seen a healthy pile of shows here in Arizona, Las Vegas, Alpine Valley, and London – and have watched them soar in popularity as one of the premiere live acts of our time. I was saddened when they shut down shop in 2004, possibly for good.
But this weekend, the boys returned for a much anticipated run of shows in Hampton. And what has to be a first for an act of their caliber, they are offering free high quality MP3’s of the shows, released just hours after the last notes of the encores are played. This weekend was Phish weekend, not only for those inside the coliseum, but anyone around the world with a computer, who wished to share in the experience.
I haven’t listened to anything else since I downloaded Friday’s show on Saturday morning. Each morning has been met with a good dose of music geek excitement, as I get the opportunity to listen to the previous night’s Phish show. For this long time fan, it means a lot.
Check out LivePhish.com, where you can download these shows for free (for a limited time).
Phish – Fluffhead (mp3) – their first song on Friday, 3/6.
Phish – 2001 (mp3) – from last night’s show (3/8). I love Phish’s take on Also Sprach Zarathustra. They don’t get any funkier…