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Phish 

Monday, September 18, at Blossom.

During its live shows, which vary radically, depending upon the extent to which the band decides to tear its musical structures down for a few minutes of free-form improvisation, Phish displays an unending fascination and appreciation for the melodies and rhythms it has developed over the course of its 17-year existence. The Burlington, Vermont quartet relies on diverse arrangements that touch upon every genre of music imaginable. While it's often compared to the Grateful Dead, the band's influences run the gamut -- live, it's been known to cover everyone from Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan to Pavement and the Beastie Boys. On its latest studio release, Farmhouse, guitarist Trey Anastasio, bassist Mike Gordon, drummer Jon Fishman, and keyboardist Page McConnell play each number as if it were part of an extended musical journey that includes effervescent pop ("Heavy Things"), easygoing funk ("Gotta Jibboo"), and acoustic instrumentation ("The Inlaw Josie Wales"). The experimentation continues on a nightly basis in concert, which is what compels its audience to attend multiple shows each tour. Even the band's greeting of the new millennium -- a 10-hour show held last New Year's Eve at Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation in the Florida Everglades -- was saturated with its special brand of instrumental prowess and desire to make the show offbeat and different. Just before dawn broke, Phish had treated its audience to every possible bit of improvisation and tomfoolery that the members were able to create -- at least for that night. This show at Blossom -- while shorter in length -- should be no different.

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