EW Staff
August 04, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

80,000 Phish fans flock to the swampy Florida Everglades for a marathon midnight-to-dawn set to mark the new millennium.

When worlds collide: The band covers Pavement’s ”Gold Soundz” at a concert outside Pittsburgh. Who says hippies don’t have good taste?

At a benefit for Lake Champlain, Ben and Jerry — yep, the ice-cream dudes — join Phish on stage at Burlington’s Flynn Theater to celebrate the debut of Phish Food, a chocolate marshmallow concoction stocked with little fudge fish.

The mainstream beckons: Billy Breathes debuts in Billboard‘s top 10, smack-dab between No Doubt and LeAnn Rimes.

In the wee hours, the four guys in Phish climb aboard a flatbed truck and ride around serenading a tent city of more than 70,000 sleepy phans in upstate New York at the Clifford Ball, the first summer camp-out show.

We’ll take Manhattan: Phish play their first concert at New York’s mammoth Madison Square Garden. It sells out four hours after tickets go on sale.

A Halloween tradition is born when the band performs its first ”musical costume” — the Beatles’ entire White Album. Since then, Phish have also dressed up as the Who’s Quadrophenia, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, and the Velvet Underground’s Loaded.

At a Dallas club, the band unleashes a nearly 70-minute version of ”Tweezer,” somehow touching on Aerosmith’s ”Sweet Emotion,” the Breeders’ ”Cannonball,” and Prince’s ”Purple Rain.” The quartet at its improvisatory peak.

The band gets an early nod in the mainstream press when PEOPLE names A Picture of Nectar one of the year’s 10 worst albums.

Phish sign to Elektra, home of the Doors, AC/DC, and Better Than Ezra.

Decked out in tuxedos, Phish pop the cork with a New Year’s Eve gig at Boston’s World Trade Center, thereby establishing a tradition. New Year’s shows would grow increasingly extravagant, integrating over-the-top props like scuba gear and a giant hot dog.

Goddard College student and Love Goat keyboardist Page McConnell sits in with Phish at a UVM barbecue. He soon leaves Love Goat. (Wouldn’t you?)

The band braves its first professional show at Burlington’s Main Street club Nectar’s. The set — still widely circulated on tape — is heavy on Grateful Dead covers, but does include longtime Phish fave ”Fluffhead.”

University of Vermont freshmen Anastasio, Fishman, and Gordon play their first gig, a ROTC party. The set includes Big Chill-style chestnuts like ”I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and ”Proud Mary.” The band is eventually shut down to make way for a spinning of Michael Jackson’s ”Thriller.”

SOURCES FOR TIMELINE AND SOME LISTS: The Phish Book, by Richard Gehr & Phish; The Pharmer’s Almanac, by Andy Bernstein, Lockhart Steele, Larry Chasnoff & Brian Celentano; Phish.com and Phish.net

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