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This quintessential jam band single-handedly created a community of loyal fans with their infectious and incredibly funky jam-based rock. They are often associated with the Grateful Dead, and when you consider fan dedication, they are indeed comparable. However Phish's sound stretches well beyond psychedelic rock with a wide variety of influences, including jazz, bluegrass, folk, funk, reggae, classic rock and even barbershop quartet. With calculated tempo changes and songs that attempt to outsmart themselves, Phish are a band that either hit or miss their listener -- the same effect Steely Dan had on their listeners in the '70s. Phish have covered many artists such as Stevie Wonder, the Talking Heads, Frank Zappa and for a number of Halloween shows they wore "musical costumes" by performing classic albums -- such as the Velvet Underground's Loaded and Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon -- in their entirety. The quartet of Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon and Page McConnell played together for 15 steady years before announcing that they were putting the band on temporary hold in October 2000. This gave each member room to try various side projects. Anastasio teamed up with Les Claypool from Primus and Stewart Copeland from the Police to birth the technical wizardry of Oysterhead, and he also put together an Afrobeat ensemble under his own name during the spring of 2002. Fishman spawned two side projects: the festive Pork Tornado and the acoustic-based Jazz Mandolin Project. In addition to some keyboard work for Jack Black's Tenacious, McConnell teamed up with Oteil Burbridge (bass player for the Allman Brothers) and drummer Russell Batiste (Funky Meters) to form the explosive jam trio Vida Blue, before releasing his first self-titled album in 2007. Gordon experimented within the film industry, then did duets with Leo Kottke. All the while, many anxious Phish fans awaited the band's reunion. It finally came to pass toward the end of 2002 -- only for the band to announce a final split in the spring of 2004.
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