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. Aquaman Says:

    Later folks……going to daycare to get the sprat.

  2. albert walker Says:

    Hard labor / lawyer is exactly what we need SW


  3. Robear Says:

    thx. ya’ll. i figure when and if the time comes, i’ll be reaching out directly. it’s going to be tough. at this pt., though it’s about me & my kids being so far from extended family.

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    good luck rob.

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    ill spend the next few months becoming an expert on Michigan law

  6. EllJefe Says:

    Careful of NW NJ lots of toxic dumping back in the day!! Missed where your @ Robear. Out by the Delaware Watergap is really nice. New Hope, NJ is a cool town! WEEN is from there. That area spawned lots of creative types (including Trey). Close to Philly and NYC and 45mins to 1hr from the Shore.

  7. guitarpicker420! Says:

    Robear – MI may have fewer shows than Cali, but you can get to Chi-town, Indy, Cleveland, C-Bus, and P-burgh in less than 5 hours each depending on where you’re at, which could mean lots of shows that are driveable.

  8. willowed Says:

    I read this a few pages back:

    “Take a bunch of peppadews, stuff them with goat cheese, wrap them with bacon to keep the cheese inside, skewer, and grill until bacon is done. Let cool a bit, then pop one in your mouth.”

    Is it cool to get a boner after reading that?

    If yes.
    Then I am Miles Davis

  9. butter Says:

    all of ya’ll gettin pelted by the blizzards – dont be jealous of the west coast right now, don’t know about the bay down by Miner, but i’m sure Robear would attest …these winters are long, cold and wet

    i was just in Chi and NY for a couple Dec blizzards ….this suck too, just wet, dreary and depressing

  10. butter Says:

    i mean then you add the country aspect, my pipes have been frozen, a hole split in the outside water lines allowing mud to come into my 1/2″ indoor copper, clogging every faucet and shower head to the point only brown goop would come out to faucets

    good times, fixed the water thankfully

  11. butter Says:

    ^this shit never happens on Phish tour, no wonder we love it so much

  12. butter Says:

    sorry for the drive by bitching… back to your regularly scheduled program

  13. KfL Says:

    i partied with miles davis

  14. KfL Says:

    i also chicken danced with miles davis

  15. BingosBrother Says:

    “Do I even want it anymore? Is your respect akin to the town bike?”

    GRat is en fuego today.

  16. butter Says:

    its a great effin time to be a Phish kid

    should i shrink my spring training trip to AZ by two days so i can see Tryza @the Fox….it’s pretty much our sickest venue going out here now

    secret fantasy to see Phish at that Fox, Trey in the house is a a start in the right direction

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    White Sox do their spring training in AZ? I try and get to ST down in Fla. Town my folks live in host the Cardinals and Marlins. The Mets are my team though. unfortunately..

  18. willowed Says:

    I am not a pisces anymore. What the fuck????
    I just found out I am an aquarius.

    That fucks up my whole vibe.

  19. Robear Says:

    i see a great tv show in our future:

    ‘Days of Their Lives’.

    central theme is the whirling convo on this board. combined with flashbacks that relate to posts, (picture sumo and company in europe with purple velvet), flashes to current house, (picture willowed’s living room w/ pinot and child age throwdowns), then of course would be miner’s lab. peek into AW’s workplace, have a segment on butter’s pipes spewing mud.

  20. Robear Says:

    who wouldn’t want to see Mr. C and pham in Maui? posting from a lounge chair on the beach. Or el duderino, doubled over green on the couch, pretending not to lurk today.

  21. willowed Says:

    My wife went from a Gemini to a Taurus.


    Miner doesn’t post today, now I am not a Pisces and my wife is a Taurus.

    The world is coming to an end!!!!

  22. garretc Says:


    Watch out man, I used to be a Taurus, so I know what the deal is:

    Stubborn, unwilling to try new things…

    Seems like a troublesome trait for a wife (or anyone, really) to acquire…

  23. butter Says:

    yea Palmer, I’ve never done a spring training, but it seems like a great excuse to go somewhere warm and golf and chill, plus my old man is goin and we can visit. and they play the Giants that week so there will be SF folks out that week too

  24. Mitch Says:

    gdad, when robyn visits, i may have to bust out that pic.

  25. BTB Says:

    Gordon’s hotline is open now. Leave cactus a message!


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