Pretty cool

Phish Members Jam Together At Rothbury Festival

Phish fans got their wish, or at least a portion of it, yesterday (July 6) at the Rothbury Festival in Michigan, as three members of the band performed live together in two separate incarnations.

First, bassist Mike Gordon joined guitarist Trey Anastasio during the latter’s solo acoustic set, which had already enthralled a substantial crowded gathered in front of the festival’s main stage, the Odeum.

Noting that “Mike and I being two people who don’t shy away from trying new things, Anastasio introduced a pair of fresh tunes — “Backwards Down the Number Line” and “Alaska” — and further teased prospects of a reunion by saying, “If we could just find a drummer and a keyboard player somewhere…” But, he added, “you gotta start with the songs, and you guys can be our test audience.”

The new material went down a storm, but the biggest ovation came when Anastasio and Gordon finished the set with Phish’s “Chalkdust Torture.”

Anastasio, who plays on Gordon’s upcoming album, “The Green Arrow,” (due Aug. 5), then returned the favor during the bassist’s set with his own band on the neighboring Sherwood Court stage. Though his guest appearance was delayed a bit when all concerned realized there wasn’t an extra guitar for him to use, Anastasio eventually made it back for a rendition of “Cruel World,” written and sung by Gordon’s guitarist Scott Murawski, followed by the Phish favorite “Meat.”

The real treat closed Gordon’s set, however, when Phish drummer Jon Fishman joined the ensemble for the Beatles’ “She Said, She Said,” sending the field into a state of dancing delirium.

All four Phish members, including keyboardist Page McConnell, have hinted at the possibility of a reunion in recent comments, but no firm details have been revealed. The Phish follies were the unquestioned highlight on Rothbury’s closing day, as the inaugural festival came to a satisfying close at the Double JJ Ranch.

July 07, 2008 , 9:50 AM ET
Gary Graff, Rothbury, Mich.
Courtesy Billboard.com
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