Moments In A Box: Night Three MSG (+1)

When the dust finally settles at the end of tour, we are left with vibrant memories and indelible inspiration that help power us through everyday. These times often take the form of exploratory musical passages, but at other times, these frozen moments are born from songs or Phishy occurrences. Today, let’s take a look back at the final two nights of fall, and four unique occurrences that continued to sow the seed within our souls.


“Scents and Subtle Sounds” – 12.4 II, MSG

12.4.09 (G.Lucas)

12.4.09 (G.Lucas)

As the band stepped on stage for their final set at MSG, one could already envision the inevitable “Rock and Roll” opener; Phish tends to highlight their most successful pieces of the year at its conclusion. The Velvet Underground cover would certainly arrive, but not before the band shocked the arena with the return of their post-hiatus opus, “Scents and Subtle Sounds.” Brought back to life without the fantasy-like narrative introduction – just as we left the song in 2004 – the band unveiled its first-ever indoor rendition. Following the previous nights’ “Light,” and “Disease > Piper,” conventional wisdom said that we were in for an extended adventure. Although the band decided to keep the song within its surreal confines, its mere reintroduction was cause for great celebration. “Scents” provided two defining jams in the post-hiatus era, both set in Camden’s E Center about a year apart, and reaching stratospheric realms of psychedelia. With their “retirement” in 2004, Phish lopped off this song’s destiny for greatness. But when the song dropped, a tsunami of dopamine flooded my brain, blissed out that we were again merging with this mystical tale. Now, back on scene, Phish is ready to continue “Scents'”cosmic flight. The prodigal song that leaped directly into the upper echelon of the band’s offerings with its debut in 2003, has finally returned for further spiritual treks. A huge win for all.



“You Enjoy Myself” – 12.4 II, MSG

(Sticker by Griggs)

(Sticker by Jiggs)

A certain symbiotic relationship exists between Madison Square Garden and “You Enjoy Myself” that always makes for a tasty treat. Tracing the song’s legacy in the building, Phish dropped all-time classic versions of “YEM” to close the third set of 1995’s legendary New Years’ Eve, and to punctuate two standout second sets on 12.29 in 1997 and 1998. All three of these versions hold a significant place in Phish lore, thus when the band opened the door to their timeless piece on 12.4 to close the MSG run, a palpable excitement bubbled to the surface of the arena. Nailing the composed half, when the band kicked into the funk, the place nearly exploded. Bouncing up and down in unison with Mike and Trey’s trampoline acrobatics, The Garden overflowed with energy by the time the jam dropped. Delving into a collaborative exercise in groove, Phish ended their three-night party with another top-notch version (though it can’t rightfully be grouped with the aforementioned triumvirate.) Trey locked into to a series of rhythm licks and delicate staccato lines, dancing his notes around Mikes swarming bass lines, Page’s piano melodies, and Fish’s swanky beats. Smoothly moving from rhythm playing to soloing, Trey transitioned the band into a fierce build, bringing the show – and stand – to a passionate peak.



“Shine A Light” 12.4 E, MSG

12.4.09 (G.Lucas)

12.4.09 (G.Lucas)

After six sets at The Garden, Phish had thrown down most all of their major songs, thus when they came out for their final encore, nobody quite knew what to expect. As Trey stepped to the mic for a final time in New York City and emotionally crooned the opening line to “Shine A Light,” it became abundantly clear that they couldn’t have selected a better song. The southern gospel that brought the band’s “Exile” set to a sublime peak in Indio unified the massive arena in a collective glow. Carrying profound lyrical weight at this stage of the game, “Shine A Light” could fit as the theme of Phish’s modern era. A glorious piece of music, “Shine A Light” will provide more than a few tear-jerking moments before all is said and done. The words speak for themselves –

May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Make every song you sing your favorite tune.
May the good Lord shine a light on you,
Warm like the evening sun.



“Antelope” – 12.5 II, Charlottesville

12.5.09 (G.Lucas)

12.5.09 (G.Lucas)

At the conclusion of Charlottesville’s smoking tour closer, Phish punctuated their final set with a classic dose of hilarity. As the band brought an intense “Antelope” to a head, Trey infused the final chorus with a humorous an allusion to a super-skilled stage-streaker that darted around the band in his birthday suit during the first set. Unable to be quickly caught, said streaker almost made the band stop “Yamar,” as Trey backed away from a naked hug, and Mike reacted with a near-halt to his thumping. Making this R-rated scene all the more absurd, this guy had a shocking ability to avoid stage security for a good while, using amps and speakers as picks while running around the stage like the Tasmanian Devil. As Trey set the gearshift to high, he spontaneously busted out the final lyrics, “You’ve got to run like a naked guy, out of control!” The band joined the comedic chorus in old-school, zany fashion, putting the finishing touch on a standout show, and tour, with collective laughter. Although the guy wasn’t around to see his ripple effect on the show, he will forever remember his night in jail with this recording.



Jam of the Day:

Rock and Roll > Ghost > If I Could” 11.21 II


This sequence provided the improvisational highlight of Phish’s final set in Cincinnati.



12.4.09 Madison Square Garden, NYC, NY < Megaupload



I: Heavy Things, Possum, Wilson, Kill Devil Falls, Glide, 46 Days, Bouncing Around the Room, Reba, Dinner and a Movie, Guyute, Maze, First Tube

II: Scents and Subtle Sounds, Rock and Roll > Seven Below > Twist, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, You Enjoy Myself

E: Shine a Light

Source: Sennheiser MD441U > Edirol R4Pro @ 24/88.2

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789 Responses to “Moments In A Box: Night Three MSG (+1)”

  1. butter Says:

    Albert – totally with you on the sbds. the aud work much better thru headphones. most leave much to be desired in car or home stereo.

    i grabbed a matrix of 12-5 that sounds promising

  2. VoidBoy Says:

    I’m surprised to see so much animosity (from both sides at times… Dead vs Phish… ) It’s like despising “Modernism” vs “Expressionism”… one is really “speaking” to the other.

  3. VoidBoy Says:

    Headphones are the way to go for sure… especially with mp3’s. “Hides” a lot of noise of the smaller files.

  4. albert walker Says:

    I like FLAC’s played real LOUD over big speakers

    how could you complain about Light repeats

    this MSG and VA version are just nasty
    juts screaming to be opened up in Miami
    the jam is getting deeper with every version

  5. Weekapaug Says:

    If you would stop and notice that we number every day
    But how the many moments left uncounted slip away
    You don’t have to count them, just enjoy them one by one
    And things will take a different hue and sparkle in the sun
    The winds will lift you into the sky

  6. VoidBoy Says:

    “I like FLAC’s played real LOUD over big speakers”

    All these file formats are new to me. I have been experimenting… I would love to crank this stuff up… FLAC sound like the way to go…. they get big (a gig) for a show. I’ve heard “Matrix” files talked about a lot as well.

  7. butter Says:

    ^ thats where its at

  8. butter Says:

    Matrix is a blend between aud and sbd

  9. whole tour! Says:

    speaking of numbering everyday…. only 13 days till miami!

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    ^ thats where its at

    the matrices or weekapaug’s lyricizing?

    I’d say both

  11. VoidBoy Says:

    “is a blend between aud and sbd”


    I really like the dynamic sound from the “Tapers” because I like the adiance interaction for sure… but I also like the Crystal clear sound from the SBD’s… Matrix is a blend of these two sources? Is that what you’re saying?

  12. butter Says:

    weeks lyricizing

  13. butter Says:

    yep Void

  14. VoidBoy Says:

    thanks. I’m moving to the Matrices.

  15. butter Says:

    Miner’s write up today touches on 3 treasured moments of mine from MSG. So ….So ….So stoked that “Shine a Light” is in the repertoire.

  16. m00nshake Says:

    dude i am going to see ‘fake jerry’ the pictures are hilarious… i have heard of DSO but never knew it included ‘fake jerry’, otherwise i would have seen them already

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    I think the boards have been great this tour, imo….

    Auds are good too.

    Miami extras:

    I have 4 for the 28th (2 100 level, 2 300 level)
    4 for the 29th (all 300 level)
    2 for the 30th (300 level – pending)
    2 for 31st 300 level (I think)

    and BTW, “300s” are really “200s” – they are directly above the “100s.”
    American Airlines Arena doesn’t have a “200” section.

    Let me know…1st come first serve…

  18. ma Says:

    those heading to MIA…

    check out The Purdy Lounge ( miami beach )….killer local’s bar, tasty beer seletction, and NO COVER…great music after the shows…monday reggae, tuesday CRAZY FINGERS (GRASS IS DEAD), and wednesday SUENALO…

    hop, skip and a jump from the AAA…

  19. stitchstash Says:

    I like that Skerik made the discussion today. I kind of have a cool story to share with all of you about him. My husband and I were hanging out with our friends at some festival in NY Berkfest maybe? Our friends were parked in a parking lot that was located right near the stage. Off the stage walks Les Claypool and Skerik. My husband’s friend held up this triple perc bubbler and motioned for them to come over. Les smoked with them but Skerik chose to hang out near me (pregnant) and my daughter instead. He made faces at my daughter and made her laugh. He talked about how he missed his family and that it was so awesome to see a little one right now. I knew who Les was but had no idea who he was at the time. He was very nice though!

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    The Phil and Friends run at The Warfield were three of the greatest – if not the three greatest – musical experiences of my life. C broke it down well, the symbolism was monumental, and the music absolutely held up.

  21. ma Says:

    day’s between….sweetness!!!

  22. stitchstash Says:

    I wish I could take those tickets off your hands Miner, I almost tricked my husband into going to Miami last night. I was talking to him as he was playing a video game. I thought he was following along because he kept saying uh huh. I could clearly see that he wasn’t paying any attention so I said really loudly “Right Honey?” He looked over at me with this look that said, Oh shit what did she just say. I didn’t say anything else but gave him this huge smile and a tilt of the head. He smiled back and gave me a nod up and down and said “yea, babe.” I said “REALLY!” and started jumping up and down yelling “We’re going to Miami, Thank you, Thank you! His smile quickly vanished.

  23. KWL Says:

    hm, listening to the sbd of msg 1 now & it does sound better. Not perfect by a long stretch, but my #1 complaint (the way crowd noise was abruptly faded in & out, sometimes in ridiculous fashion) seems to have improved. Guess I’ll have to give these another shot with some better audio equipment… starting with my favorite segment from the msg run, light>slave>tweezer.

  24. KWL Says:

    stitch, did you say you were in buffalo?

  25. BrandonKayda Says:


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