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. angryjoggerz Says:

    lol, AW
    no comment

  2. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

  3. neemor Says:

    Thanks, Palmer…
    I’ll see what I can find.
    Cuz if there’s anything I REALLY need, it’s a closeup of me and willowed and 3PO getting down.

  4. garretc Says:


    Hmmm… I am, shall we say, skeptical, of that idea…

  5. garretc Says:

    I’m also skeptical of that last comma in my previous post… He seems mighty out of place…

    Sometimes I get carried away with the punctuation!

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    what do you think the realistic Meatstick to Mound ratio is at a show, on average?

    60/40 advantage Meat?

  7. Lumpyhead Says:

    On average, sometimes it’s much worse.

  8. lastwaltzer Says:


  9. sumodie Says:

    my phish listening just caught up to 1111 -mmmm, good. swanky sally is mighty fine, perhaps my fav of the set on replay. only problem is I want to play it louder, and louder, and louder…

  10. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    mr p, gotta be worse than that. im willing to guess 3:1 on an average night, 4:1 on a bad

  11. ThePigSong Says:

    any BBers live in Memphish?

  12. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    sumo, i also just finally played back 1/1 set 2 for the first time two nights ago (except crosseyed. that was one thing i let myself have early)

    but the whole set re-experience after intentionally making myself forget what much of the jams sounded like worked really well. i found myself totally shocked at some of the things they pulled off… very delicate work from trey in every.single.track. twist was a delight, such a treat compared to some 09 twists… and the simple…

    the simple…


  13. sumodie Says:

    M&M ratio definitely higher than 60/40 in the NE, sadly

  14. sumodie Says:

    yeah, that ending to simple is stunning

    had to stop at Maki dub -till tomorrow

  15. ThePigSong Says:

    Meat/Mound = 34%

  16. Gavinsdad Says:

    I switched over to ’00 and ’03 recently. Really made me just how tasty and unique many elements of ’10 and ’11 are.

  17. garretc Says:


    Great collection of photos you posted back there! Sometime I’ll look back at pictures from my youth and wish that I looked as cool in them as you look in yours!

  18. garretc Says:

    “Sometime”? Why the heck did I say “sometime”?

    “SomeDAY I’ll look back…”

  19. KfL Says:

    finally getting in to sand tonight, miami to msg

    thankfully only 1 version was played in the whale era

  20. butter Says:

    Trey’s guitar work during the shred peak of MSG Tweez at about 10 minutes has a flavor of the Ghost peak

    they could have lopped off that tweez after that peak and it probably would have fit right in with most 3.0 tweezers

  21. halcyon Says:

    Good Evening Peeps. Hope all is well in BB land. Participating in a 36 hour fast tomorrow, its part of a yoga program my slf and I joined to start the year off right. 6 weeks of yoga, a detox, and a fast. It has been really amazing so far, and extremely helpful after a disastrous fall in my world. Part of a process to move onward and upward!

    Diving in the catalog tomorrow listening to music, relaxing, meditating, and fasting.

    Oh, and apparently I went from a Virgo to a Leo?!? WTF is that!

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    Gathering of the Juggalos 2011
    AUGUST 11th – 14th
    Hatchet Landings
    Cave-in-Rock, IL

    This is what you’ve been waitin’ for, Juggalos! It’s the down low info about the BIGGEST FUCKIN’ EVENT of Psychopathic Records. This is where you’ll get to see the Insane Clown Posse, Twiztid, Blaze, ABK, Boondox, AMB, The Dayton Family, DJ Clay, Mike E. Clark and a SHITLOAD of other bands all joining together to knock your fuckin’ wigs off!

    After all the madness you heard went down at last years Gathering you just fuckin’ KNOW that shit is going to be devastating in 2011! Every year just gets bigger and more off the chain as the super Psychopathic ninjas perfect the art of throwing the largest underground music festival in the whole damn world!

    This is it, Juggalos. The countdown has begun. Prepare yourselves…

  23. Gavinsdad Says:

    Sands of time.

  24. ThePigSong Says:

    I just found out I’m not a taurus? are they allowed to do that?

    I’ve probably spun the MSGhost nine times today. I feel very thankful to have that live experience etched into my brain so thoroughly. I’m usually not so good at deciphering what I hear live, other than ‘me likey/no likey’.

    all hail the Holy Ghost!

  25. Jtran Says:


    Reading a while back you may relocate at some point. E-mail me if you wanna talk Burlington/VT sometime. I think there’s a lot of towns within 30/40 minutes of the “city” that would be right up your alley if you want to keep that rural lifestyle but access that cosmopolitan VT nightlife.

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