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. stitchstash Says:

    I do agree chef, if you hang out here late-nite you are a loser.

  2. Robear Says:

    chef, you can click my name to check out the Phishthoughts t-shirts. They were designed by Mr. Completely, and the proceeds benefit Miner’s site.

    I just help advertise.

  3. KWL Says:

    yeah, sorry that stitch and I had to be the ones to break it to you…

  4. chefbradford Says:

    Hell, at least I have good company then. I had a good time last night until my energy abruptly departed, at which point I passed clean out. Good times dancing in my room, haven’t done that in awhile. I was worried when I found out I woke up at least one of the roomies, but he was laughing when he mentioned it, so I guess it’s all good

  5. KWL Says:

    careful, chef, Robear is a top-notch salesman. He’ll have you spending twice as much as you wanted in no time.

  6. chefbradford Says:

    Ahh, Robear, just the man I wanted to see (metaphorically). What’s your opinion on the ringer T vs. the hoodie? The hoodie sounds mighty nice, fleece and all, but what would you recommend? Or is it all good (as I would imagine is the case)?

  7. chefbradford Says:

    KWL- another time he might, unfortunately I have a spending cap on my credit card 🙂

  8. chefbradford Says:

    And by the way, stitch, best of luck on the 4.0!

  9. Robear Says:

    chef, I only have the t-shirt. It’s got an image of the guitar player, from Phish 😉

  10. stitchstash Says:

    I just saw your post about the Leadville book halcyon. It is funny because I actually know a lot about Leadville’s History. I worked at the movie theatre and my boss was part of the chamber of commerce. I ran the slideshow for them. Did you know Molly Brown (Kathy Bates) from the Titanic lived there? It is also the home of Doc Holiday. In the Silver Dollar Saloon there are original bullet holes in the ceiling still. It was a crazy town for sure. So much fun!!!

  11. gus Says:

    just thought you guys could benefit from hearing this guitarist. he’s not very well known at all, but he is a really incredible jazz guitarist. He has covered Mahavishnu Orchestra, and that’s saying something considering John Mclaughlin’s playing.

    1:30 – 2:15 for some incredible shite

  12. gus Says:

    sorry, wrong link. well, that one’s great too, but the 1:30 – 2:15 applies to this one:

  13. lot rat Says:

    split open and spring tour

    c’mon tour.

    dates for trey tour?

  14. KWL Says:

    Miner, really enjoying your reviews of the 3 phil shows w/trey & page. Know these shows intimately, but just reading your reflections on them for the first time. Top notch stuff.

  15. chefbradford Says:

    Robear, I think I’ve seen that fish guitarist before…isn’t he a ginger with a beard? I swear I’ve heard people talking about him…hmm, may have to go with the t-shirt then…if this “fish” is worth it

  16. KWL Says:

    “The level of musical communication and improvisation was stunning for a group of musicians who had practiced together for only a short time.”

    I think it’s safe to say that the music and the historical significance of the event transcended the individual musicians… a beautiful three nights, thanks for helping me revisit it and in many ways discover it anew. Stunning indeed.

  17. KWL Says:

    “The aspect of the music that was so surreal was hearing Trey and Page’s familiar styles and licks integrated seamlessly into the milieu of Grateful Dead music.”

    ^exactly… Incredibly special.

    OK I’ll stop posting Miner’s reviews line-by-line now…

  18. stitchstash Says:

    Thanks Chef, I should get back to work though. School is not over for me yet. I’m trying to be done by tomorrow night.

    I like the name link Lycan. Very helpful! Will listen soon.

  19. chefbradford Says:

    Robear- does Mr C have the ringer or hoodie shirts in stock, or is pretty much everything sold out? I’d be willing to make a purchase now, and hold out for a later delivery. Conversely, I’d be more than happy to make a basically equal contribution to this site now, and then purchase a shirt later on

  20. KWL Says:

    chef, from what I recall, cafepress is print on demand, so it’s always in stock. Also, this ‘1.0’ design is going off-line at midnight on 12-31-09, so get them while they’re still around!

  21. Robear Says:

    chef, Cafepress prints the shirts as you order them, so you can order anything, and it should be in stock.

    The t-shirts go off-line on 12/31/09, so better to order soon, if you want a shirt. I’m sure direct donations are appreciated as well, but the shirts and hoodies will get you noticed at the next show! Either way, it supports this great site.

  22. Lycanthropist Says:

    whats everyone getting down to right now..

    trying to decide what to put on

  23. chefbradford Says:

    I take it 1.0 is this fish guitarist you’ve been talking about? I think I shall make a purchase immediately

  24. Robear Says:

    nice, KWL

  25. chefbradford Says:

    Lycan, I’m moving between here and a video game (no snarky comments, please), but if there’s something you can recommend, I’ll turn the volume down happily. And I still want to dig deeper into TSU

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