American rock band Phish
is one of the most successful live acts in popular music history, forging a popularity in concert far greater than their album sales, radio airplay, or music video presence would otherwise indicate.Phish tours
, at the peak of their popularity in the mid to late 1990s, consistently ranked as one of the highest-grossing concert tours
in the world.
One of the major factors of Phish's live success was the fact that every show in the band's history contained a completely different song setlist
. Throughout 21 years and over a thousand shows, the band never played the same concert setlist twice. Additionally, many Phish songs were rarely played the same way twice. This unique approach to live performance influenced Phish fans to attend multiple nights on a particular tour, much like sports fans buying season tickets
, since they were guaranteed a completely different concert on a nightly basis.Phish fans recorded the band's concerts (with permission) and circulated the music throughout the country. Therefore, fans could collect large numbers of live recordings free of charge, a practice encouraged by the taper-friendly band. Guitarist Trey Anastasio
considered it "free advertising" since it enabled the band's music to be distributed and traded all over the United States and, eventually, the rest of the world.
Phish formed in the fall of 1983 at the......