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

Tags: , ,

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

  1. BrandonKayda Says:


  2. stitchstash Says:

    Hi Brandon, What’s up? Are you ready to cash in the free ticket I offered you so you can go to Miami?

  3. stitchstash Says:

    @ KWL- Yes, B-lo is the city I live in. Where are you located on the map?

  4. Lycanthropist Says:

    whats goin on this evening..

    been away watching MSG1 on the youtube with the wife.

  5. butter Says:

    The Phil + Phriends shows in 99 were a dream come true. i can’t believe that was over 10 years ago. I just went back and read your write ups from the 10 year anniversary Miner. Great stuff. i found your site shortly after the those write ups.

    Man those were about as tough a tickets as it gets. i had a hooked up friend lookin out luckily. That quintet’s ability to improv without ever having been a band was jaw dropping.

  6. stitchstash Says:

    Aw, If you are still reading, I just wanted to thank you again for all of your help with the hip hop information the other night and anyone else who was involved. Everything seems to be working out for my sister’s hip hop night out in Chicago this weekend. The only thing is that my sister is flying into Milwaukee instead of O’hare and won’t get in until about 10:00 pm. Does anyone know how late Chicago stays open until? I hope it is later than 2:00.

  7. butter Says:

    its later than 2, its 3 or 4

  8. KWL Says:

    @stitch, I am currently in CO, but more permanently in Syracuse. Grew up in Buffalo and family is still there so I return semi-regularly. Will be back there for the holidays this year.

    @Lycan, very nice, I am rocking out to msg Light right now. Hands down the most impressive improv of the run, imo (that’s what I thought live at least, and still think, but I also haven’t re-listened to the whole run all that closely)

    Halfway in, Mike is still a bit low at times, but these sbds are much improved.

    Lycan, do you have plans to post that CF show with the shitty crowd? Want to hear that dissonance!

  9. stitchstash Says:

    All this talk about Phil and Friends had me look up the upcoming dates. Shea’s in B-lo and a few others near me! What a fantastic day.

  10. chefbradford Says:

    Is it weird that I’m kind of intensely attracted to the Progressive chick?

  11. stitchstash Says:

    @ KWL, I love CO! Do you snowboard? I lived in Leadville awhile back and worked at Copper. Did you go to F8 or did you get hit by that crazy storm?

  12. halcyon Says:

    @ Stitch….I am in eagle Co….not too far from leadville. High Mountian Pies are the best pizza in CO. Love that quirky mountain town. We go up there often.

  13. Lycanthropist Says:


    yeah still waiting to get the hard copy from my bass player

  14. KWL Says:

    I actually do not ski or snowboard, I know it is a travesty after 3 years in CO. I did go to F8, drove from here, & left a day earlier than planned because of the storm–glad we did!!

  15. KWL Says:

    cool, Lycan. It will be fun to hear what a ‘fuck you audience’ sounds like.

  16. Lycanthropist Says:


    for a mind fuck jam check out kerosene from TSU 12.10.09

  17. Lycanthropist Says:

    yeah that MSG video was nice..

    wife and I were definitely jamming

  18. beepaphone Says:

    @ stich I lived over on the other end of Independence Pass for a while. Leadville’s a crazy little town…love it.

  19. KWL Says:

    @hal, I have many drives scheduled b/t here in southern CO and Denver/Ft Collins during this winter, and should La Veta pass close, preventing me from going up 25, unfortunately you are just far enough west to be out of my way when I’d have to drive straight north first, before picking up I-70 & heading east to Den (would go through Leadville though). Too bad, b/c I’ll bet I’ll really want a beer in the middle of one of those drives…

  20. halcyon Says:

    KWL….I go to Denver often. Maybe we can schedule something. I am pretty sure I have your email. I am thinking of heading down to Denver this Friday for Trampled by Turtles at the Bluebird.

  21. stitchstash Says:

    Love that town too halcyon. Big changes going on there though. They now have two traffic lights instead of one. A few of my best friends still live there. I miss the hot springs in Buena Vista!

  22. KWL Says:

    hal, hmmm. I will be in Denver a bunch over the winter/spring, and passing through a bunch more. I have to go to Ft Collins on Sunday, but there is a possibility I could get out of town earlier on Fri. Shoot me an email, let me know your potential plans…

  23. beepaphone Says:

    Wow I didn’t read halcyon’s post about Leadville but I seem to have echoed it. Anywho…talk about a high town…

  24. stitchstash Says:

    A lot of love for CO here! Let’s hope for another Red Rocks this summer! Maybe this time, I’ll be able to go.

  25. halcyon Says:

    Big changes is funny for that town. That is all that town has seen. Have you ever read the book on
    Leadville: The Struggle to Revive an American Town by Gillian Klukas? The book is about the town and its people, and the federal government that is set on cleaning the rivers from mine pollution. A great glimpse into the mountain west, its characters, and Leadville.

    @ KWL…I will email you. If our paths cross this weekend, we can figure something else out on another weekend.

Leave a Reply