Improvisational rock band Phish will release Hampton Comes
Alive next month. The six-CD box set chronicles the band's
two-night stand in November at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Va.
The set — the title of which plays on British rocker Peter
Frampton's 1976 live album Frampton Comes Alive — will
mark the first time the band has released one of its live performances
uncut, according to Reyna Mastrosimone, a band spokesperson.
"The band has a strong affinity for the venue, and they had a good
feeling about the way they played there," Mastrosimone said.
The album was recorded Nov. 20 and 21 at the 14,000-seat venue, which
Phish have played annually since the mid-'90s. The album includes
unreleased concert staples, such as "Piper," "Farmhouse," "Big Black
Furry Creature From Mars," "Tube" and "Possum."
The set will come packaged in a magnetic box with photos from both
shows attached, according to Mastrosimone. Elektra Records' suggested
retail price is $69.98.
The band's previous two live albums were 1995's two-CD set A Live
One — the band's only platinum album — and 1997's
Slip, Stitch and Pass, taken from a club show in Hamburg,
Phish, who formed in Burlington, Vt., in 1983, are famous for their
onstage jams that combine funk, bluegrass, blues, acid rock and an
occasional curveball of a rock cover. The Hampton shows included
versions of Jimi Hendrix's "Bold as Love," Chumbawamba's
"Tubthumping," Will Smith's pop hit "Gettin' Jiggy wit It" (RealAudio
excerpt of original), Stevie Wonder's "Boogie on Reggae Woman"
and the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage."
Guitarist Trey Anastasio's songs often allow the band to show off its
musical muscles. Some of the more familiar long songs that appear on
Hampton Comes Alive include "Rift," "Guyute" (RealAudio
excerpt), "Bathtub Gin" "Divided Sky" and "Mike's Song."
Joe Tsao, the Hampton Coliseum's building director, attended the shows
and said he remembers them fondly, mostly because of the spirit of
Phish's audience. The band's die-hard fans often follow Phish for long
stretches on their tours and are often compared to the "Deadheads" who
did the same with the now-defunct Grateful Dead.
"People had a wonderful time, and I know that because of all the
e-mail 'thank you's I got afterward," Tsao said.
He added that bandmembers approached him three months ago to gain his
approval in case they decided to release the set, indicating that they
liked the arena's acoustics. He assented immediately.
"They have such a loyal following," he said. "I could easily [sell out]
a week's worth of shows with them without even blinking an eye."
Phish — Anastasio, bassist Mike Gordon, keyboardist Page
McConnell and drummer Jonathan Fishman — are scheduled to play
the Hampton Coliseum again Dec. 17–18. Those shows precede their
appearance at a two-day millennium festival Dec. 30–31 at the
Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in Palm Beach County, Fla.
Phish wrapped up their most recent fall tour this weekend with shows
at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., and the
Pepsi Arena in Albany, N.Y. On Friday, lyricist Tom Marshall joined
the band onstage for a rendition of the Who's "We're Not Gonna Take It."
Hampton Comes Alive track listing:
"Rock and Roll Part 2" (cover of Gary Glitter song), "Tube," "Mighty Quinn" (Bob Dylan), "Funky Bitch" (Son Seals), "Guelah Papyrus," "Rift," "Meat," "Stash"
"Train Song," "Possum," "Roggae," "Driver," "Split Open and Melt"
"Bathtub Gin," "Piper," "Axilla I," "Roses Are Free" (Ween), "Farmhouse,"
"Gettin' Jiggy wit It" (Will Smith), "Harry Hood," "Character Zero," "Cavern"
"Wilson," "Big Black Furry Creature From Mars," "Lawn Boy," "Divided Sky," "Cry Baby Cry" (Beatles), "Boogie on Reggae Woman" (Stevie Wonder), "NICU"
"Dogs Stole Things," "Nellie Kane" (Hot Rize), "Foam," "Wading in the Velvet Sea," "Guyute," "Bold as Love" (Jimi Hendrix)
"Sabotage" (Beastie Boys), "Mike's Song," "Simple," "The Wedge," "The Mango Song," "Free," "Ha Ha Ha," "Free," "Weekapaug Groove," "Tubthumping" (Chumbawamba)