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”

  1. butterflyeffect Says:

    portland, me is an awesome town. you get most of the hip with minimal ster

  2. gavinsdad Says:


  3. Robear Says:

    g’dad, looking hard @ CO. Hearing mixed reviews. Some are raging, some can’t get a foot in the door. Haven’t spent much time in VT, but did love it.

    Might slip back to Michigan. Most of the family is there. Ann Arbor area is sweet. Some of the best laws outside of Cali and Co.

    Plus, Phish plays there less than California. So I can continue to fly around and cu$ty out the tour.

  4. butterflyeffect Says:


  5. butterflyeffect Says:

    @bear you would kill it in vermont, trust me

  6. Selector J Says:

    “Bleach for snow removal?
    ::crosses the Carolina’s off potential list of states for relocation::”

    Suit yourself. Cackalack’s got the most sanitary storm drains and parking lots on the planet. The remaining bleach slushie is brought to meth labs for recycling. Keepin’ it, Green (without the pigment)!

    As far as the relocation list goes, I’d go with Rhode Island. More bang for your US Senatorial buck. You’d have to actually live on the island part, though– not that incorporated coastal area garbage.
    Also, there’s that whole not having to travel very far to see Phish thing.

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    Rumble between NorthFace-ers and Patagonians in Moab, UT.

    winner keeps patent for hoodless grey or black zip-up fleece

    (yeah, I wear one, too)

  8. albert walker Says:

    Rob. I’m looking to get a house going in Michigan.

    I know a nearby city that needs good work

    Sounds like a plan.

  9. Robear Says:

    where to check out in Vermont? Maybe I could get a paid job with Phish!!

  10. SillyWilly Says:

    Robear accompanies Brady Hoke to Ann Arbor

    Denard Robinson gets headier.

  11. Robear Says:

    aw, was thinking about you. ever check out greater ann arbor? quick drive to the windy.

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Jtran lives in Burlington… he can hook you up.

    Stay where its warm. These winters suck out here. I want out myself.

  13. butterflyeffect Says:

    @willy i worked at a north face outlet in freeport, me back in the day


    mountaineers love vanity fair

  14. Robear Says:

    on a phishy note, my brain may be scarred for life from the endless meatstick extravaganza on NYE.

  15. butterflyeffect Says:

    @bear yeah burlington is a good place to start, that’s where the action is anyway

  16. SillyWilly Says:

    AW visits Ann Arbor

    Miles kills a frat boy.

  17. Selector J Says:

    You could buy Trey’s old house… Somebody posted the listing not too long ago… Just $500K with acres and acres of land.

  18. Robear Says:

    no doubt @ palmer. the weather out here rules, IMO for the continental US. Yeah, plenty wet in the winter, but rarely freezing cold. Kind of hot in the summer, but really dry, with cool nights.

  19. albert walker Says:

    Love Ann arbor

    College town property prices have probably stayed sticky compared to other areas but I’m up for a medical investment close to home

  20. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Robear- I went to UVM. If you can deal with the cold winter, Burlington is great. Tunes, food, Adirondacks a stones throw away, Boston and New York City aren’t too far… it is fing cold though.

  21. albert walker Says:

    Buying a summer house in Michigan that houses a green thumb is the best investment I’ve heard about all day

  22. Aquaman Says:


    Hip w/o the ster, eh?

    Having spent time at the University of New Hampshire, (Woot! Phish 1991 Outing Club fund raiser!), near many a folk from ME, I think it’s more accurate to say…

    Hick w/o the redneck.

  23. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Montreal close too.

  24. Aquaman Says:


    Think Big Fish Lake, near Paw, Paw, MI.

    Within 2 hours of D-Town, close to either 90 or 94 so depending on traffic you have your choice of routes.

    Plus, near there they have an organic Hog Farm. I have never tasted pork this good…..unless wrapped around a cheese filled peppadew.


  25. SillyWilly Says:


    you guys need hard labor?

    I specialize in shovels, spades, rakes, various forms of lifting.

    i don’t talk much either. keep my head down. do what im told.

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