On March 6th, 2009, Phish made a statement. The band had been broken up since 2004, a time when many fans thought the group would never perform again. Always full of surprises, Phish slyly announced their return on their website, and made good on it a few months later at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, VA.
— PhishatMSG (@PhishatMSG) March 6, 2020
When the band took the stage, the anticipation was at an all-time high. What would they play after five years off the road? The question was answered triumphantly, as Trey Anastasio hit the opening notes of his composition, “Fluffhead.” It was a perfect moment of retribution for Phish and their fans, one that can still give you the chills to this day.
Thanks to MKDevo, we can watch full videos from the entire performance, including the opening “Fluffhead.” Welcome to 3.0.
Setlist: Phish | Hampton Coliseum | Hampton, VA | 3/6/09
Set 1: Fluffhead, Divided Sky, Chalk Dust Torture > Sample in a Jar, Stash, I Didn’t Know, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg > Farmhouse, NICU, Horn > Rift, Train Song, Water in the Sky, The Squirming Coil > David Bowie
Set 2: Backwards Down the Number Line > Tweezer -> Taste, Possum, Theme From the Bottom, First Tube > Harry Hood, Waste > You Enjoy Myself
Encore: Grind, Bouncing Around the Room, Loving Cup
 Phish debut.
Phish’s first public performance since Coventry on August 15, 2004 started with Fluffhead, a song not played since prior to the first hiatus on September 29, 2000 (70 shows). Also of note, several large, white balloons were hung in a circle around the coliseum, lit up by an additional central lighting rig; the balloons (save for a few casualties) would remain for the entire run. Trey introduced Fish as “Dad” during I Didn’t Know. Train Song was not played since May 23, 2000 (111 shows) and Grind was not played since December 30, 1998 (181 shows). During Bouncing, some of the balloons were dripped into the crowd. This show featured the Phish debut of Backwards Down the Number Line. YEM featured a false start possibly as a nod to the January 3, 2003 restarted version.
[Originally published 3/6/18]