With less than two months until the legendary jam band Phish returns to the stage after calling it quits over four years ago, Phish “phever” has never been hotter. The Vermont rockers will perform three nights in March at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, one of the group’s favorite venues and a site on which some of their most memorable performances took place.
But with demand for tickets vastly outnumbering the supply, many fans will not be able to attend these shows. Strange Design, a South Carolinian quartet which recreates Phish shows in their entirety, hopes to give these fans (or those too eager to wait until March) an opportunity to hear their favorite shows performed live in the coming weeks.
Much like the way in which Dark Star Orchestra performs sets from the expansive Grateful Dead catalog, Strange Design performs entire shows from the first twenty years of Phish’s career. This unique approach has helped set them apart from other Phish tribute acts and garnered them critical praise: “This is not a band that plays its fourteen favorite Phish covers – they study and re-enact full concerts from an era when the band was the most dynamic force in live improvisational music… This is a band that makes it alright to admit you were a Phish die-hard, and will probably leave you recounting your favorite tour stories to complete strangers after the encore…” (Nick Levy, The Brooklyn Revue).
Strange Design strives to reconnect the dispersed Phish community by taking show requests from fans, accurately including all the extra-musical components that made Phish unique (trampolines, vacuum solos, choreographed dances, etc), traveling with a full light show, and recreating the energy, sound, and improvisational spirit of the different eras in Phish’s career. In short, they want fans to relive the complete Phish concert experience in the intimacy of smaller clubs and music halls.
Strange Design “Highway to Hampton” Tour Dates:
Jan 28 – WorkPlay Theatre – Birmingham, AL
Jan 30 – Blue Nile – New Orleans, LA
Jan 31 – Soul Kitchen – Mobile, AL
Feb 3 – World Grotto – Knoxville, TN
Feb 4 – Rhythm & Brews – Chattanooga, TN
Feb 5 – 12th & Porter – Nashville, TN
Feb 6 – Newby’s – Memphis, TN
Feb 7 – Hanger Nine – Carbondale, IL
Feb 9 – Canopy Club – Urbana, IL
Feb 10 – Jake’s Nightclub – Bloomington, IN
Feb 11 – The Dame – Lexington, KY
Feb 13 – Mad Frog – Cincinnati, OH
Feb 17 – The Whiskey – Annapolis, MD
Feb 18 – Sante Fe Live – College Park, MD
Feb 19 – Toad’s Place – New Haven, CT
Feb 20 – Bill’s Bar – Boston, MA
Feb 25 – Sante Fe Live – College Park, MD
Feb 26 – North Star – Philadelphia, PA
Feb 27 – 8 X 10 – Baltimore, MD