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. BTB Says:

    212 330 9092

  2. William H. Bonney Says:

    Spring Training is awesome. Always try to catch some games with my dad, be down in St. Luice/Jupiter area end of March for some games.

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    william h. – my folks are in Jupiter. be down there 1st week in April.

  4. BTB Says:

    Got bottom page’d

    Mikes hoteline is open… 212 330 9092

  5. William H. Bonney Says:

    I think last games of spring for the boys our right around then. I have plans to catch 25-27 kind of back and forth between the sites Jupiter/St. Luice. Maybe we can catch up, see how things work out…

  6. William H. Bonney Says:

    Just finishing up second set of NYE again, and add my adulation to the chorus..some of the finest playing ever..Ghost is top shelf moment of any era.

  7. guitarpicker420! Says:

    I was on the cross-trainer this morning while listening to the Ghost, and I think I almost had an orgasm. Probably freaked out the hottie working out next to me. Wow!

  8. Gavinsdad Says:

    @palmer – my folks are in palm beach gardens at PGA Naional. Spent lots of time in Jupiter.

  9. Gavinsdad Says:

    Bill Bonney – missed u in NYC man…howd those seats treat you? Even if I have decent seats I can’t deal cause I go where the dancing is. I gave Purple a nice stub one nite. He was down there with Neems.

  10. William H. Bonney Says:

    @GD Had best time at shows..mainly ended up my old favorite spot, dank aisle. I don’t something about the garden always calls me back to it…at least you know were to find me 🙂

  11. dognamedwilson Says:

    That message from Mike is pretty funny.

    He’s such a goof.


    So this is what its like to be bored as shit at work. Wasn’t that bad till the board died. Maybe I’ll just read a book.

  12. Gavinsdad Says:

    Nice Bill B. I’m a serious creature of habit in that building since around 87. Great place. Hope we never lose her.

  13. William H. Bonney Says:

    I think I have seen every show at same section except for Cream show in 05. My first garden trip was 94 Phish. Garden has to be favorite place to see show, for me other than the home town of course. Have to see how the renovation goes,

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    my next week is going to be fucking nutso

  15. Mr. Palmer Says:

    traveling aj?

    I’ve been trying to get away from Phish for a bit or just away from 2010 phish for a bit but its proving to be quite difficult. I keep coming back to the last 5 shows. So much goodness. Each show has something that i keep going back to, again and again. Signs of a successful run IMO.

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    no, just a shit ton of work coming my way, hosting a guest from abroad and all that. should be fun, something different.

  17. garretc Says:

    @Mr. P

    Signs of addicition, more like! The first step is admitting you have a problem!

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    …or what garret said. As i watch the video rip of 1/1 set I again….junkie!

  19. garretc Says:

    @Mr. P

    It’s especially inconvenient when your fix is completely free, huh? Makes it hard to justify quitting…

  20. albert walker Says:

    if you and President Hu are chilling AJ come by and pull some tubes at the crib

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    haha.. on the video rip of 1/1 set I. 7:43 seconds in is the greatest closeup shot of Willowed, Neemor, and T3. Willowed is, of course, doing the funky chicken. It is Tube after all…..

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    T3 is going into a bag of sorts….hahahah

  23. neemor Says:

    Mike is a nut.

    Listened again to the Tweezer from the Garden (12/30).
    The dance session at the end is, as some folks would describe it, $$$$.
    I enjoyed the Garden immensely.
    Thanks for the good times, blackboard.

    Still digging out of the snow.

  24. neemor Says:

    Palmer, is that from the HarpuaFSB vids?

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Neems, no, its from the actual stream that night. Better, albeit shorter, than your stint on HarpuaFSB. I mean, its a real close up of you guys. you should try and get your hands on a copy. If i wasn’t such a tech. noob i’d send it your way.

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