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. Lycanthropist Says:


    ha i was looking for the recs!

    although I am more than happy to make musical recs..
    depending on your mood.

    and don’t worry i often go back and forth between video games and the board too.. been replaying the God of Wars getting ready for the third one 😉

  2. Robear Says:

    @ Lycan,

    Prince Far I


  3. chefbradford Says:

    DUDE! Ok, I didn’t own a console after Super Nintendo, then I got a 360. Liked it, got the red ring of death too many times, got a PS3 last year. Had never played God of War series, got the collection recently because I wanted to catch up for #3, got stuck at a point on 1, so I just now started 2. Crazy

  4. KWL Says:

    same wavelength, Robear…

    lycan, phil & friends 4.15.99, while reading Miner’s 3 reviews of those shows… pretty tasty for a slow monday night

  5. Robear Says:

    chef, did you ever find the Shoreline ‘Scents & SS’?

  6. Lycanthropist Says:

    any links?

  7. chefbradford Says:

    Robear, unfortunately not yet. Phishows doesn’t have it, my computer doesn’t deal well with torrents these days, and I’m ignorant and stupid when it comes to everything else. My family got our first PC in 87, I did well with them for years, fell out of touch (I don’t even know how that’s possible in the last decade or two), now I’m tech-stupid

  8. chefbradford Says:

    Lycan, I believe has the Phil and Phriends shows

  9. KWL Says:

    and the following 2 posts

  10. KWL Says:

    and yes the archive has these shows; I think Miner links Charlie Miller’s sbds, which are the best of the bunch…

  11. Lycanthropist Says:

    its been a long long time since i heard those shows.

    those used to be some of my favorite music ever

  12. chefbradford Says:

    I haven’t listened to them in a long time either (the zip files I DL’d from archive were very finicky with iTunes and my iPod; as soon as I played them on my computer they disappeared; that may be my fault; as I just mentioned, I’m computer-stupid these days). I just purchased a t-shirt…within the next couple of months I hope to get a hoodie (it’ll be too hot here by then, but I don’t care) and make a direct contribution to possibly my favorite website ever

  13. KWL Says:

    ya I’m having a blast revisiting them… it has been a while

  14. KWL Says:

    it’s incredible that all 6 sets are on such a high level. As Miner pointed out, virtually every song is a highlight.

  15. Lycanthropist Says:

    downloading them now

  16. VoidBoy Says:

    Cool Link (Phil & Phriends) Read a lot about this today through the posts… I am going to check them out.

  17. chefbradford Says:

    So is my t-shirt here yet?

  18. chefbradford Says:


  19. KWL Says:

    plus they take on an added significance to me now, having just welcomed one of my closest friends, a long time deadhead who has resisted phish far too strongly for far too long, into the phish world…

  20. chefbradford Says:

    So Lycan, since you mentioned God of War i’m assuming you have a PS3. I don’t know what you play, but if you want to get together on multiplayer sometime, i’m ChefBradford, come find me. And if you haven’t played Uncharted 2 yet, you’re missing out on one of the most amazing gaming experiences ever!

  21. VoidBoy Says:

    I never saw a problem… I love the Dead & I love Phish… was there a war declared I missed getting the newsletter on? Have I been a deserter ever since…?

  22. KWL Says:

    Void, in my experience, people I know (including me) cut their teeth on one or the other, and hence hold a stronger affinity for whichever one it was. For so many people, the Dead or Phish provided such powerful, life-changing experiences, that it is hard to accept that there is another band out there, doing something just as powerful, if different.

    For me, phish changed my life. For my friend, it was the dead. I never had a problem ‘liking’ the Dead, but I also came along too late–never got to see them. The other way around I think is a little different. Mainstream media and the dominant cultural expectations say that phish are the successors to the dead. But if you cut your teeth on the dead, how could someone replace them? How could anything step in to fill the loss of Jerry? Just the suggestion… I certainly understand a certain animosity toward phish from that perspective…

  23. Lycanthropist Says:

    yeh getting my ass kicked by the final boss in GoW 1.

    have beaten the first two before.

    this time around though i put it on a harder setting.. and i cant beat the boss.

  24. KWL Says:

    that might be a big part of it too: for my friend, for the longest time, phish could never ‘replace’ the dead. And thus phish was just an imitation–trying to live up to the dead, but could never possibly succeed. And I insisted that was not the point. Phish & the Dead did different things, they were totally different. Both incredibly powerful in their own way, but very different. My friend has come to realize that now, I think…

  25. Robear Says:

    I saw the Dead and Phish for the first time in ’93. I really liked them both from day 1. I must have been part of the quiet minority, or something.

    Lycan, now I’m into 12/8/99 ‘DWD’ from Portland, Me.

Leave a Reply