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)

Tags: ,

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

  1. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    ^Missing Coors Amphitheatre in San Diego

  2. butterflyeffect Says:

    wtf @gdad

  3. albert walker Says:

    my first born will be named Shuggie

  4. gavinsdad Says:

    i especially liked color coordinating my hat to my outfit when i was a pretty peacock. fix up look sharp!

  5. butterflyeffect Says:

    shit is pretty sweet @albert pooptrance, just gave it a spin

  6. KfL Says:

    only thing missing from that shit is a backpack


  7. gavinsdad Says:

    this way voopa can really come correct with his avatar.

  8. Robear Says:

    Bleach for snow removal?

    ::crosses the Carolina’s off potential list of states for relocation::

    Can I make those peppadews with moo cheese instead of goat cheese?

    ::lived with milk goats for several years::

    And finally, Robear IS looking to relocate. Looking for feedback from the board. Will have to be one of the states on this list:

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    That pic with the green shirt and matching hat was taken I’m you backyard, pre Camden. Nice try though.

  10. Aquaman Says:


    Peppadew….Pork….Cheese AND grille!?!?!?! Simply put…sounds amazing.

    Why have a never had these except on sandwiches? Bad Jimmy John’s sandwiches to be exact. Well to be fair they were okay, Jimmy John’s sandwiches.


  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ^^ in your backyard.

  12. Aquaman Says:

    From a few pages back….slow today.

  13. butterflyeffect Says:


    1) VT
    2) ME


  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Jersey welcomes you @ Robear ….

  15. gavinsdad Says:

    couple of those shots in my old backyard in Ridgewood NJ @Palms. the girl standing next to me preggers is our homegirl Robyn, and her daughter is 20 and goes to Carnegie Mellon! talk about feeling old…shit.

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Just think , 15 shows a year without ever going to the airport.

  17. Robear Says:

    word. the ex would love those choices.

    maybe @ harryhood could get me a job in VT.

    pretty cold though. would have to pack on a few pounds!

  18. Lumpyhead Says:

    The dark side!

  19. butterflyeffect Says:

    you can call me fly for short 😉

  20. KfL Says:

    i hear a big alaska tour is in the works for summer ’12

  21. Robear Says:

    Jersey’s program is up in the air. Yer right about the reduced travel though! Is there anywhere nice to live in Jersey? A bit of country, but close to city?

  22. gavinsdad Says:

    VT or CO @Rob…i think it’s pretty clear.

  23. butterflyeffect Says:

    and @bear no you just need some cu$ty patagonia outerwear

  24. SillyWilly Says:

    “i hear a big alaska tour is in the works for summer ’12”

    and wooks everywhere apply for spots on crab boats

    Moose/Veggie Burritos: 1 for 3, 2 for 5.

  25. gavinsdad Says:

    Northwestern Jerz is the best you’re gonna get @Rob. pretty populous state. crazy high prop taxes. but then you’ll be close to the city and the shore. it’s such a 180 from where you’re at tho…couldn’t see it.

Leave a Reply