Saturday, June 20, 2009

Phish

Tonight @ Alpine Valley, 7 p.m.

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It’s fitting that Phish played one of their final performances in 2004 on the rooftop of the Ed Sullivan Theater in a deliberate nod to The Beatles, since over the previous decade the foursome really had become The Beatles of the jam-rock world, inspiring widespread cultish devotion and legions of young jam bands while cementing the “tours first, albums second” business model that now dominates the scene. Phish’s reputation only grew during their five-year hiatus, and by the time they returned this spring for a trio of storied shows in Hampton, Va., Phish they’d grown more popular than ever. The group is touring aggressively this summer around an upcoming studio album scheduled for late July, with the possible title Party Time!, though bassist Mike Gordon has said the band also considered christening it The Best Fucking Phish Album Ever! It’ll reunite them with producer Steve Lillywhite, who helmed their popular 1996 album Billy Breathes. (Also Sunday, June 21.)