Manteca, Sand, and The Holy Ghost

12.31.2010 (Ryan Gilbertie)

Phish delivered the most explosive set of the Holiday Run right in the wheelhouse of Madison Square Garden’s three-night stand. While January 1st may have boasted a more complete overall show, no frame matched the big city setting better than the monstrous music of New Year’s Eve centerpiece. On, arguably, the nations biggest stage on the most celebrated night of the year, Phish used their middle frame to throw down an iconic holiday set of music that featured some of the band’s most exemplary playing of their five-night run.

12.31.10 (G.Estreich)

Reigning in the entire audience with the Gamehendge, call-and-response anthem, “Wilson,” and then lighting The Garden aflame with the over-sized arena rock of “46 Days,” the pot was already boiling when Trey strummed the opening chords to “Sand.” A song that transformed from a platform for guitar bravado into an earnest whole-band conversation this fall, “Sand’s” final version of the year flooded the room with adrenaline. As Phish completed the brief lyrical section, they took a swan dive into some of their most dynamic improv of the night. The entire band played off Trey’s staccato licks —  echoing, altering, and responding to his signature patterns. And within no time at all, the band engaged in a rhythmic boxing match, bobbing and weaving like Ali and Frazier in the same building 39 years earlier. With melodies dancing around each other like prize-fighters, Trey, Mike, and Page threw down several rounds of scorching interplay within a ten minute journey, all contained by Fishman’s squared-circle. Drawing raucous mid-jam roars from the juiced onlookers, Phish took this jam to the top in the, difficult-to-dispute, version of the year.

After a mid-set interlude of “NICU,” Phish got right back to business with the defining sequence of the set, and the night. The adventure began with the opening bass rumbling of “Down With Disease,” and continued right through the song’s high-speed rock and roll into a slowed down, menacing segment of music. As Phish slid smoothly into “Ghost,” one could feel The Garden inflate with excitement and energy. And following the path of an inspiring and uplifting jam, “Ghost” drove these initial emotions into the heavens. Playing the defining rendition of the song for the modern era, Phish sculpted a start-to-finish masterpiece that peaked with seething catharsis. Mike handed the lead to Trey amidst an uber-slick groove that never hiccuped for a second while bringing the show to its undeniable peak. After passing through minutes of smooth dance music, the band hit a collective harmony and ran for the sunset, rejoicing in a final segment of guitar-led, soul-tugging victory. Taking the jam to mountaintop and bringing 20,000 participants along, Phish molded the communal energy like Play-Doh in a frozen moment that will live forever in the MSG history.

12.31.2010 (Ryan Gilbertie)

And at the highest point of the evening, the band dropped into the opening arpeggios of their seminal piece, “You Enjoy Myself.” Precisely nailing the opening half of a piece that always shines at The Garden, when Phish dropped into the funk, the room became an aquarium of liquid grooves. Tickling the initial jam with what seemed like another “Manteca” tease — a playful theme of the fall, if not the entire year — the band, instead, broke into the full-on Dizzy Guillespe groove, with lyrics, for the first time of 2010. Segueing back into “YEM,” they continuously toyed with “Manteca,” singing “Crab in My Shoemouth,” within musical breaks for the duration of the jam, further amping the crowd with a display of musical Phishiness. Punctuating the set with series of sharp and styling grooves while drenching the building with unparalleled spirit, Phish had just dropped a masterpiece, and midnight was yet to come.

Though other sets brought different qualities to the table, New Year’s Eve’s second set blew up in a white-hot showcase of arena Phish that was dotted with some of Trey’s most impressive playing of the run. With Madison Square Garden in the palm of their hand once again, the band delivered another chapter of New Year’s lore than will find its rightful place in our eternal picture book of holiday memories.


Jam of the Day:

Simple” 1.1.11 II




1.1.2011 Madison Square Garden

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

1.1.11 (AJ Masthay)

I: My Soul, Tube, Runaway Jim, Foam, Guelah Papyrus, The Divided Sky, Round Room, Walk Away, Gotta Jibboo, Reba > Walls of the Cave

II: Crosseyed and Painless, Twist, Simple, Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley, Makisupa Policeman > David Bowie

E: Fee, Frankenstein

Source: Schoeps mk41> KC5> M222> NT222> Aeta PSP-3> SD 744t (@24bit/96kHz)

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1,003 Responses to “Manteca, Sand, and The Holy Ghost”

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  1. butter Says:

    wow, love the Ali / Frazier metaphor, then you slipped into boxing mode for the rest of the paragraph….. nice type 2

  2. jdub Says:

    Early rise for me this morning. lots of snow to shovel.

    Last night I dove into 12/31 set 2 on a long car drive and felt the power again. Funny how Miner chose this subject for today. That is the monster set of the run. Best of the year versions of Sand, Ghost, and YEM while tossing in ripping version of 46 Days and DWD means one high grade set of music. And once again Miner breaks it down with some colorful wordplay.

    I felt like Sand had some similar qualities to that transendent Love is Freedom jam from TAB at the Oakdale. Not trying to stretch things here and don’t have any concrete points of comparison. Sand just reminded of that jam for some reason.

  3. jdub Says:

    Weatherman got this storm right. We are buried with about a foot of snow in CT.

  4. P.S.H.S Says:

    Mr. Plow, that’s my name, that name again is Mr. Plow! 12+hrs in the old scraper truck will provide plenty of time to spin plenty o jams. First on the list 12/31 II.

  5. Matso Says:

    I think the Sand sits well in this set, but I still prefer the Utica version somehow. I think they do the staccato funk better in other places from this run (eg. Tube, Tweezer) and Trey’s solo has, to my ears, some better licks in Utica. My 2 cents anyway. I prefer both versions to any 99-00 version (sorry, not a big fan of 4 mins+ of Mike being reigned into that singular bass line while a coked out Trey fiddles with that irritating little keyboard and Page struggles to do anything interesting with the jam).

    Regarding Manteca and ’10, I have trouble hearing Manteca as a theme in Fall jams. Other than the Yemteca and the Augusta Reba (where it sort of comes out nowhere), there are no jams which inherently point to Manteca. There may be some rhythmic sympathies, but the Crab in my shoemouth melody and associated rhythm are only really apparent in these two places.

    While I think Manteca is a fun bust-out to chase, I’m more interested in hearing them bring back Caravan (not played since 12/29/96). The 12/29/96 version had, if memory serves correct, a fairly Floydian feel. On current form, I could see this tune provide a similarly dark and dangerous jam to something like Timber (albeit with a slightly longer lead in – love the fact that a minute or so after they start Timber, they’re jamming!).

  6. Gavinsdad Says:

    And ps…definitely not much of a sign guy, but that Manteca sign is tight. Heard those kids had it up the entire Fall Tour…I def saw them putting it up one nite in AC.

  7. Matso Says:

    Sorry – realised all three points in my earlier post are slightly negative! Didn’t mean to be. To make things right, I hereby confess that I am true believer in the Holy Ghost.

  8. Gavinsdad Says:

    Was gonna do the 3.0 Sand challenge later today and beyond Matso. Then go back and compare against the year(s) you mentioned. I did the same for the ’09 Tweezers and found serious merit in 4 of them (as many of us did…RR, Miami, Gorge, and for me Camden). I’ll stArt after I shovel.

  9. willowed Says:

    Just woke up. I was unable to open my back door to let my dog out. Had to open the garage and shovel the snow away from the door.

    I am measuring 23 inches in my back yard.

    My dog is looking at me like “Fuck you man, I’m not going out there.”

  10. butterflyeffect Says:

    we got slammed willowed!

  11. Matso Says:


    What years did you compare Tweezers to? The 4 ’09 versions you mention (as well as few from ’10 – Hartford, Atlanta and MSG – can hold their own with a lot of Tweezers, regardless of the era (although the King Tweezers are still in 1.0 and 2.0 imo).

    Sand has changed so much it’s hard to compare. I like Trey shredding as much as anyone, but I always thought Sand in 99 said something about the band’s state at the time that I really didn’t like.

  12. willowed Says:

    and is still comming. another 6 inches to fall.

  13. butterflyeffect Says:

    true that

  14. jdub Says:

    We “only” have 15 here Willowed. But it doesn’t seem to be letting up.

    Just spent an hour shoveling and I still have the hardest part left, the dreaded bottom of driveway mountain of compacted, plowed snow build up.

    They should’ve added Liquid Time to that Manteca sign. We could’ve gotten a “Liquid Manteca Time” at the Garden. In due time I suppose.

  15. Mike in Austin Says:

  16. willowed Says:

    They haven’t even powed my road yet. I’m not going anywhere

  17. lastwaltzer Says:

    This set is without a doubt the crowning achievement of 2010. I said it yesterday but each jam shows off a different style they’ve been focusing on.

    Sand definitely took a step up this fall. Its moved on from basically being a loop for trey to solo over and I’m loving it. Real full band funk.

  18. WIFAN Says:

    Don’t let anyone POW you willow.

  19. WIFAN Says:

    Sorry it was just sitting there… I had to take it. Enjoy the snow all.

  20. KfL Says:

    my 2 year old niece calls golf ‘powing’, or ‘going pow’, after the sound of hitting the ball

    me: what’s daddy doing?
    her: he’s going pow
    me: you’re fucking cute, you know that?
    her: did you just swear?
    me: umm… i gotta go pow, see ya later!

  21. KfL Says:

    business as usual in syracuse… probably 6-8 inches… enough to be a pain but not enough to shut anything down… i miss the sunny mountains

    have a good one kids

    nice write up miner, definitely spinning this one later

  22. WIFAN Says:

    Everytime someone says pow I think of the movie Step Brothers. Catalina wine mixer…. Pow pow!!

  23. brandofunk Says:

    My sentiments exactly, Miner!!

  24. WIFAN Says:

    Another great take miner. Will be listening to this one on the way to the slopes at Devils Head with a Blackhawks game at nite, not a bad day at all. Be safe everybody.

  25. EL Duderino Says:

    Who’s WIFAN????

    Another BBer ????

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