Over the past six years, Phix has been to Phish what Dark Star Orchestra has been to the Grateful Dead: an absolutely amazing tribute band performing show after show of music that nearly rivals the original.
Based in Boulder, CO the band consists of Paul Murlin (guitar/vocals), Derek Berg (keys/vocals), Chris Sheldon (drums, vocals), and Brian Adams (bass/vocals). Of all the bands on the scene that cover the intricate music of jam legends Phish, nobody does it better. Close your eyes during a show and at times you can hardly tell you are listening to four guys from Boulder rather than the well-known four from Vermont.
Unfortunately after playing over 500 shows the band has called it quits, perhaps again fashioning themselves after their heroes, who many feel prematurely disbanded. However, that doesn't mean these guys are finished just yet.
The draw of playing the songs of Phish must be strong, because even since their last shows in the summer of 2007 coined Covertry (a clever take on Phish's last festival Coventry), some gigs keep popping up.
Two weeks ago at Dulcinea's 100 th Monkey in Denver the band performed an unadvertised show, much to the delight of those who caught word about this "reunion" concert. The group jammed out Phish favorites such as "David Bowie", "Possum", "The Squirming Coil", "Harry Hood", and more with excellent timing and improvisational flair.
Though the band claims it is no longer touring, there have been more Phix performances announced as of late. Perhaps the most exciting went down last weekend at the Langerado Festival in Florida, which just happened to take place at the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation, the site of Phish's historic millennium concert.
Adding relevance to the experience, the band was slated to start at 11:55pm; exactly the same time Phish took the stage for their monstrous six hour New Year's Eve celebration. Though Phix trimmed their set down to a modest three hours, it was extremely fitting nonetheless.
Poor weather did not stop the band from belting out popular covers like "Reba", "Maze", and "Divided Sky"; along with a few deeper catalogue songs like "Destiny Unbound", "Punch You in the Eye", "Moma Dance", and "The Curtain".
It now appears the band is at least willing to get together once in awhile and recreate that infectious groove that is Phish. Anyone curious about experiencing what Phix can do will have at least one more chance in the near future.
The group is now slated to perform at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, CO on April 4 th. This is actually a platform for the members of the band to show off their new musical projects, but they have apparently agreed to dedicate a portion of the evening to play as Phix.
With only one confirmed show on the horizon, fans of the music of Phish would do themselves a service by checking out this extremely fun tribute band.