Phish phans, myself included, are in utter shock this morning, after reading the announcement regarding the jam band’s performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. It seems that lead guitarist Trey Anastasio broke two of his fingers while skiing, and, rather than canceling their performance, Phish has opted to replace Anastasio with legendary singer/songwriter, Bruce Springsteen.

Here’s the official statement:

Last weekend, Trey unfortunately suffered a minor skiing accident. Not to worry – he’s okay – but two of his fingers were broken in the process. Doctors estimate that the injuries will take approximately 6-8 weeks to heal, directly coinciding with the scheduled Phish performance at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. No one is more disappointed at the missed opportunity than Trey himself, as this was to be our first visit to the festival in nearly twenty years.

We spent many hours deliberating over the issue. In doing so, we realized that our fans will be coming to New Orleans from all across the country, and canceling our performance was simply out of the question. We instead reached out to our friends in the music community, and were so graciously received by a musician whom we all love and respect – Bruce Springsteen. Mr. Springsteen offered to perform a mixed set list with us, with hand-picked selections from both catalogs.

We understand that this announcement will come as a surprise to many, but we are hard at work to ensure the best possible outcome under these difficult circumstances. We appreciate your continued support, and look forward to seeing you on April 26th.


It is true that Bruce Springsteen joined Phish for a handful of tunes at Bonnaroo 2009. You can watch them playing “Glory Days” from that performance here:

Personally, I can’t help but feeling disappointed about this news. Will Springsteen be able to accompany Phish on some of the more technically-complicated numbers from the Phish repertoire, the Rebas or the Fluffheads? It just won’t feel like Phish to me without Trey, but I’m sure it’ll be a decent performance.