Acclaimed Phish tribute band, Phix, will once again break out of its Colorado base for a small run of shows throughout the Southeast, highlighted by two nights at Charlotte, North Carolina's Visulite Theatre for a Halloween Costume Celebration. On Monday, October 30th, Phix will be playing their 5-year Anniversary show – 5 years to the day since the first Phix show back in 2001. On Halloween night, Tuesday, October 31st, the band will play three sets, the second of which they will be donning their version of the musical costume – something Phish made famous at their Halloween shows. That's right – you'll see a tribute band paying tribute to a band by playing a third band's music. Of course there will still be two sets of Phish favorites and fans can submit their Phantasy Setlist (which the band may play) for that night and all other upcoming shows on the tour dates page at www.phixband.com.
Upcoming Phix dates:
10.26 | George's Majestic Lounge | Fayetteville, AR
10.27 | Newbys | Memphis, TN
10.28 | Midtown Music Hall | Chattanooga, TN
10.30 | Visulite Theatre | Charlotte, NC
10.31 | Visulite Theatre | Charlotte, NC
11.02 | Smith's Olde Bar | Atlanta, GA
11.03 | Base Camp | Birmingham, AL
11.04 | Private Event | MS
11.22 | RIBCO | Rock Island, IL
11.24 | Club Infinity | Buffalo, NY
11.25 | Private Event | NY
11.26 | Milestones | Rochester, NY (Last Northeast show until April ''07)
More about Phix:
Although the jamband Phish has officially broken up, they are clearly still a hot topic with their fans. More than two years after their farewell concert (to which 70,000 fans traveled to northern Vermont to be a part of), Phish-related websites and internet forums still bustle with activity. The rumor mill regularly churns out talk of an impending reunion tour, but so far the breakup seems permanent. Meanwhile, the jamband scene flourishes with many talented and diverse bands, but none whose popularity even approaches that of Phish.
In a music scene where creativity and originality are of the highest value to the fans, a tribute band might seem out of place. But the Boulder, Colorado-based Phix has proven to be an exception to the rule. Formed in the summer of 2001, while Phish was on "hiatus," Phix started off small but quickly developed a good reputation among Phish fans. They were "discovered" by the management at Boulder's Fox Theater, and by the summer of 2002 were touring the U.S. to bigger and bigger crowds. Although Phish returned from their hiatus in 2003, they announced their official breakup in the summer of 2004, and Phix has continued to grow ever since.
The key, ironically, was to not try to be Phish. "It was obvious to us that we couldn't mirror the talents of the guys in Phish," says Phix guitarist Paul Murin. "But we could play the compositions, and we all had our own musical backgrounds to draw from. After playing together for a while, we started building our own chemistry. I think we share a lot of the same influences as the guys in Phish, which is why we are able to achieve that 'Phishy feel,' but we definitely have our own sound and unique take on the jams."
"I think that's why it works," adds Phix drummer Chris Sheldon. "The fans expect the songs to be fresh every night, and they want to see the band take chances and take songs in new directions. That has always been important to us as a band, too, and it's what makes it fun for us - there's space built into the music for our own creativity."
Breaking through to Phish's fanbase has been a tough nut to crack. People who love Phish love the unbridled creativity that the band exudes. Many of them consider the idea of a tribute band as the antithesis of what Phish stood for. "That's the paradox of the situation we are in," says Phix bassist, Brian Adams. "From our standpoint, as musicians, it's an easy decision – it's amazing music that is open to our interpretation, and a lot of people seem to get it and understand what we are doing. We don't dress up as them and act like them as is the case with a typical tribute act - this is a true tribute to the actual music and the guys who wrote it. The fact that Phish fans will come out and see what we can do with it is a tribute to how great it is."
The word is getting out - Phish bassist Mike Gordon and Phish keyboardist Page McConnell have attended Phix shows and talked with the band about the project, both expressing flattery. JamBase.com founder and former Phish fan site operator, Andy Gadiel, had this to say about Phix on his blog (gadiel.com) after catching the band in San Francisco earlier this year: "Appropriately, the evening allowed me to appreciate how special of a band Phish truly was, and I'm pretty sure that was the whole point. Phix doesn't hide their intentions. They are there to honor the legacy and give people a taste of the vibe of what those songs are all about. And they do it well. I've never heard a band cover Phish before and for the most part - these guys nail it. I especially appreciated when they improvised, took a song out there in their own special way, but with that looptidy bouncity Phish flavor."