Using no Flash video and little fanfare, Phish announced an unprecedented five-night New Years Run with a low-key addition to their website yesterday. Comprised of two nights at “The Centrum” in Worcester, Massachusetts, and a 3-night grand finale at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Phish will not only close 2010 in style, they will open 2011 with their first-ever January 1st show! Ever since Phish began their tradition of New Year’s Runs, their shows have taken place on the last four nights of the year: December 28, 29, 30, and 31st. The band will veer from this pattern this year, playing December 27 and 28 in Worcester and then taking a day off before rocking MSG on December 30, 31, and January – 1/1/11. New Year’s Eve will still consist of three sets to ring in 2011, but Phish will also kick start the calendar with two more sets the on the first day of the year.
Left out of this New Year’s extravaganza, however, is one of the most sacred nights of the Phish calendar – December 29th. Career highlights on the 29th have become iconic in Phish lore – “The Providence Bowie” in’ 94, “The Real Gin” in ’95, a rotated “Bathtub Gin and an Oasis-laced “Harpua” in ’96, one of the defining shows of the late ’90s with a second set of “Disease >Bowie > Possum, Tube, YEM” in ’97, an immaculate MSG “YEM” in ’98, and flowing, jam-laden segue-fest in Miami highlighted by “Ghost > Free” in ’03. With this well-known and illustrious history, Phish continued their unspoken tradition last year by blowing out 12/29 in Miami with the most creative show of the run that was underlined by, perhaps, the jam of 2009 in a stunning “Tweezer.” But likely due to a desire to play on the binary date, 1/1/11, Phish will skip their magical December night this year. Despite this glaring omission, however, we’ve got five more shows on the horizon!
As the community had just about readied itself for Phish’s upcoming Fall Tour of mid-size venues, this New Year’s announcement confirmed of a rumor that had circulated for a couple of weeks. There was no surprise about New Year’s Eve at MSG, but the when the buzz began about a January 1st show, the rumor seemed hard to believe. With the new sober, family-based Phish, however, the band members likely won’t battle heavy hangovers as they retake the stage on the national holiday. So this year, the 1st is the new 29th…don’t miss it!
Continuing to saturate the Northeast with shows, the band won’t stray far from home during the holiday season, getting back to basics in two arenas that have seen many New Year’s Run epics. MSG has hosted 11 New Years Run shows and The Centrum has hosted three, and the two buildings have each housed a New Year’s Eve show to be reckoned with. Generally accepeted as the two best 12/31s (excluding Cypress), 1993 in Worcester and 1995 at MSG represent peak points in Phish’s developmental arc. So with plenty of history on their side, the band will take it back to the frigid winter of the Northeast in late-December, leaving the sunshine and beaches of Florida as distant memories.
Hitting fans’ wallets just before Fall Tour kicks off, ticket requests are open now until October 2, and then public onsales will go down on October 9th for MSG, and October 10th for Worcester – the day of the first show in Broomfield! With the announcement of the year’s final shows, Phish has 19 more before the year is up, and exactly one slated for 2011. There’s nothing quite like New Year’s Run at MSG and aside from 2002’s mediocre comeback show, it’s been 12 years since Phish made New York’s Midtown Mecca their lair for end-of-year excursions. But as 2010 continues to bring retro-trends into play, we are heading back to The Garden for New Year’s, shifting another piece back into place again in the universe of the Phish.
Type II Trivia Update: As of 12 am pacific time, I’ve received 12 entries for yesterday’s ‘type II’ identification contest. Though everyone has until 7 pm tonight, they will have a hard team taking down the leader who has 26 out of 30 possible points! Pretty… pretty… pretty… impressive! Get your entries to prove your Jedi-level Phish mastery. The winner and the answers will be posted as part of “Weekend Nuggets” tomorrow.
Jam of the Day:
“Tweezer” 11.23.94 II
A heart and face-melting version from St. Louis’ Fox Theatre during November ’94 winds up our week full of “Tweezers.” This classic nugget was recently upgraded in everyone’s collection to SBD as part of archivist, Kevin Shapiro’s radio show at Bonnaroo.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
4.13.1994 The Beacon Theatre, NYC, NY < Torrent
4.13.1994 The Beacon Theatre, NYC, NY < Megaupload
This show at New York’s famed Beacon Thatre was part of the first month of Phish’s Spring/Summer tour that would run through mid-July.
I: Buried Alive > Poor Heart, Stash, The Lizards, Julius, Ginseng Sullivan, The Divided Sky, Golgi Apparatus
II: Faht, The Curtain, Sample in a Jar, Reba, Big Ball Jam, Fee, Take the ‘A’ Train, David Bowie, Purple Rain > Hold Your Head Up, AC/DC Bag
E: Sweet Adeline, Good Times Bad Times
Source: (FOB) Schoeps CMC5/Mk4 (ORTF)-> Sonosax SX-M2-> Apogee AD-500E-> Sony D-10 @ 48KHz; Row 9Tags: 2010, New Years, Venues