The five years between 2004 and 2009 made for a rough era for Phish fans. The band was broken up, and its loyal legion of followers wasn’t sure if or when the quartet from Vermont would return to the stage. Trey AnastasioJon Fishman, Mike Gordon, and Page McConnell ultimately made up for the five-year break, however, when they made the long-awaited announcement of their return in October 2008: With a trio of reunion shows and a new studio album in tow, Phish was back.

On March 6th, 2009, Phish took the stage for the first time in five years in front of a sold-out crowd at the Hampton Coliseum. Emotions were at an all-time high, but Phish fans were able and ready to welcome the band back into action. By now, most fans know that the band opened with a song not played since 2000—well before the breakup—a song so beloved despite its having been shelved that fans were literally screaming with joy. Yes, it was, indeed, a glorious “Fluffhead”.

The rest of the comeback show that evening featured performances of more incredible tunes, as Phish mostly stuck to its older, live classics throughout the evening, with the exception of one cover—The Rolling Stones’ “Loving Cup”—played during the encore’s final number. The band also took advantage of the night’s celebrations by debuting a new song, “Backwards Down The Number Line”, which has since become the most commonly played song in the years that have followed. Phish would release the Joy album with “Number Line” in September 2009.

There are so many memorable moments to count from their 2009 comeback—the pause in “Divided Sky”, the jammed-out “Tweezer” flowing seamlessly into “Taste”, the “Waste > YEM” combo with the restart. It’s hard to believe this was 15 years ago considering the group’s exponential growth since returning. If Phish was learning how to swim again in 2009, the band is swimming at an Olympic level now.

Relive the magic of the first Phish show in five years at Hampton Coliseum on this day in 2009 with a selection of videos from the evening below.

Phish – “Fluffhead” – 3/6/09

[Video: notmkdevo]

Phish – Hampton Coliseum – Hampton, VA 3/6/09 [Full-Show Audio]

[Video: fromtheaquarium]

Setlist [via]: 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[1] > Tweezer -> Taste, Possum, Theme From the Bottom, First Tube > Harry Hood, Waste > You Enjoy Myself[2]

Encore: Grind, Bouncing Around the Room, Loving Cup