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Having formed in 1983 at the University of Vermont, Phish has consistently focused on extended improvisations, eclectic musical stylings that sometimes veer into jazz territory and its ardently adoring fan base, even throughout its on-again, off-again relationship. Phish's grassroots approach of nearly constantly touring throughout college towns across the United States – not unlike their predecessors The Grateful Dead – won them a faithful following that is on par with that of The Grateful Dead's own loyal fan base. Those who ardently follow the band are always eager and waiting to find out when the band will tour again and how they can quickly find a way to purchase Phish tickets to enjoy the unique experience once again.
Though the jam band's fan appeal is often compared to that of the Grateful Dead, their musical style is as much indebted to such eclectic and eccentric artists as Frank Zappa and the legendarily out of this world Sun Ra. Both of these artists unleashed a jazz and rock combination of esoteric music and lyrics that touched the members of Phish, igniting an exciting fusion of sound from Phish that is unlike any of their predecessors, individually. Phish's unique twist on the Grateful Dead's pioneering spirit along with the whimsically jazz, bluegrass, country, rock and pretty much any other genre of musical meanderings have kept faithful fans clamoring for Phish tickets for nearly three decades and going strong.
Phish's musical talent is only the part of this band's somewhat cult-like appeal. Even without mainstream radio airplay, the band has legions of fans. Once these fans become enamored of the band, there is no turning back. The fact that followers feel like they're an integral part of the band experience by transmitting information via word-of-mouth; sharing bootleg cassettes, mixed CDs and videos, creating their own T-shirts, and much more has given rise to a feeling of the fans being one with the band itself. The fans feel a sense of commitment to the band and await a reunion whenever the band parts ways, knowing it will be a matter of time before they regroup and rekindle the same experience that they and their fans can't seem to resist.
Fans can, and do, celebrate with fellow Phish Heads or Phish Phriends each time the band chooses to reunite for a tour by using their own brand of networking tactics to remind fellow fans to buy their Phish tickets in plenty of time. These reunion tours occur fairly often, so devoted fans usually don't have to wait too long before their favorite band is ready to make the rounds again.