A Tradition Like None Other

12.31.2010 - MSG (Ryan Gilbertie)

Confirming what fans had been assuming for some time, yesterday, Phish officially announced a four-night New Year’s Run at Madison Square Garden to close out 2011 in style! All other rumors had died out in recent weeks and it became a foregone conclusion that the band would return to the Big Apple, upping their career tally to 23 shows—all but 5 on holiday runs—at “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”

Historically, Phish and MSG have made quite the combustible holiday combination. In 1994, the band first stopped at 33rd St and 8th Ave on December 30th, on their way to Boston for Tropical New Year’s Eve. The following year, 1995, Phish came back to The Garden for two nights to close the year, with 12.31.95 being the peak of an era and, arguably, the best show Phish has ever played in The Garden.

12.31.10 (G.Estreich)

Come 1996, Phish stopped at MSG for a two-night stand during the opening leg of Fall tour (10/21,10/22). Though the second show contained a well-crafted setlist and a couple legitimate highlights, the tour didn’t really pick up steam until after Halloween at The Omni. The band skipped The Garden on the Holiday Run in ’96, favoring two nights in both Philadelphia and Boston, before coming back for an unprecedented three nights to close out their stellar year of 1997.

Punctuating Phish’s transformational and creative year of ’97, these three shows—the first of which is one of the outstanding shows of the late ‘90s—made the bond between Phish and Madison Square Garden permanent and inseparable. But if three shows in one building set a new standard for a New Year’s Run, the following year the band returned to The Garden a four-night Holiday Run—a spectacular stand through and through, and the most accomplished Holiday Run since 1995. All four shows popped off in 1998, with the 30th lagging only a slight bit behind. For four straight nights, Phish ran shop at Madison Square Garden, finishing with 12.31.98—the band’s most impressive New Year’s Eve performance since ’95.

Madison Square Garden

Phish, however, wouldn’t return to the building in its last two years of pre-hiatus existence. But when they came back on New Year’s Eve in 2002, there was only one place to do it—The Garden. Though the show, musically, wasn’t all that special, the mere fact that Phish chose their New York home for their return added to the venue’s already storied legacy. But in their short second go-round, their comeback show would be the only 2.0 performance in the round room.

When the band returned for this era, they chose the only other venue that made any sense for the reunion—Hampton Coliseum. But it wouldn’t be long before Phish made it back to The Garden in 2009, for three high-quality shows in the Fall of ’09. Three more at the end of 2010 brings us to now.

It seems only fitting that Phish will return to MSG to celebrate the holidays at the end of their most accomplished year of this era. With no fall tour, these shows represent a standalone oasis amidst a lot of time off. The band has said that 2012 will be a light year of touring, thus nobody knows when the following shows will come. But with four nights in New York City to end the year, nothing could be finer in the world of Phish.

The ticket request period is now open until October 24th. Best of luck in the lottery!

12.4.09 - MSG (Wendy Rogell)


Jam of the Day:

Tweezer -> Cities” 12.31.98 II

The centerpiece of set two on New Year’s Eve 1998.




12.31.1998 Madison Square Garden, NYC < FLAC Torrent (via etree)

12.31.1998 Madison Square Garden, NYC < Megaupload


I: 1999* > Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Ghost -> Ha Ha Ha > Cavern

II: NICU, Character Zero > Tweezer -> Cities > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Run Like an Antelope > Frankenstein

III: Runaway Jim -> Auld Lang Syne -> Simple, Harry Hood > Tweezer Reprise, Llama

E: While My Guitar Gently Weeps

*debut, Prince

Source: Schoeps mk41v’s(DIN)>kc5>m222>nt222>744t

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706 Responses to “A Tradition Like None Other”

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  1. garretc Says:

    The official announcement just makes me want it more…

    Oh to be standing in MSG with the lights going down right this second…

  2. ThePigSong Says:

    I hear ya garret! The thought of potentially being in any other room that night is severely depressing.

    must. make. nye. happen.

  3. Tom Says:

    Can I request tickets for each day of the run with one card?

  4. Al Says:

    Oh God I’ve been waiting for that anouncement!!!

    But still there lingers somewhat of a dissapointment in my mind about leaving out a 12-14 dates Fall Tour 2011…..

  5. Dee Gee Says:

    I attended at least one show of every MSG run the band played, with the exception of 12/31/02. Having sat in various places in the arena, I have mixed feelings. A good seat makes a great show there, and a bad seat is frustrating. The electric energy was undeniably and incomparably intense when I was on the floor for 12/30/94 and 12/31/95, and even the 100s on 12/2/09. But being in the 300s in the back for 12/29/98 and the 400s for 12/3/09, I struggled to even hear the music, let alone enjoy it. So now my biggest fear when I put in for the mail order isn’t not getting a ticket – it’s getting stuck with a ticket in a bad spot.

  6. bob dylan Says:

    NYE @ MSG in NYC x 4

    all is right in the Phish world. YEAH IS GOOD

  7. bob dylan Says:

    Dee Gee,
    Don’t sweat the small stuff. Jedi mind trick after you’re in and dance at the back of the bowl at the 200 level if need be.

    Just get yourself inside

  8. albert walker Says:

    damn. look what happens when I re enter the real world. stopped in to see what’s shakin and this great news. didn’t even know this got announced.

    see ya in NYC bitches!

    time to finalize logistics

    have a good one kids

  9. Kaveh Says:

    Good morning BBers! Hope everyone is having a great morning.

  10. EL Duderino Says:

    just peachy

  11. stapes Says:

    Crazy moon this morning. Looked like it was sitting just a few feet above the mountains, like you could reach up and grab it!

    Don’t think I’ll be making NYC, but ya never know. I said the same thing about Miami 03 and then last minute it all came together. Sometimes those are the best trips!

    Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday morning.

  12. Jtran Says:

    Continuing fall 2000 today. 9/11/00 up now.

  13. halcyon Says:

    Mike Gordon #14


  14. butter Says:

    hell yea, see yea in the big apple AW !!

    such great news, i repeat such great news

    lookin forward to seein @bobby d, too and many others

    have a kick ass day kids

    yesterday wasnt too shabby

  15. phoammhead Says:

    i’m either torturing myself or i’m planning my nyc new years trip . . . can’t decide

    just planned a trip and ran the numbers on roundtrip nonstop airfare, hotel for 5 nights in new jersey and 8 concert tix . . . $1,760.70 total (taxes and fees included) for 2. it’s doable, for sure, and i’m thinking i’m back on for msg!

    now, it’s up to bek to be able to make it happen on her end as far as work and her family coming to town over the holidays.

  16. EL Duderino Says:

    @ phoamm

    I’m wondering when you guys are getting into town on Friday and what your pre-show plans are?

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Preparing to cram into the Wellmont with 1,999 of my closest friends tonight. Tickets have been secured , as per Gcub. Nothing like a little warmup for the big leagues at the end of the year. Sprinkle a little Furthur in for November, and all is well.

    Should be a smoker.

  18. bob dylan Says:

    We will rage for sure butter.

    Gonna try and reserve the upstairs of the blarney stone again for post 12.29 and 12.31 for spunions. gdad and I were talking and the 29 is good cause he can’t do 31 and it gives people a day to get in the mode and figure their shit out.

    When will my iPhone learn shit? Of course no autocorrect that time. Snarky phone.

  19. phoammhead Says:

    @ duder

    we’ll arrive close to 7pm to my friends on Magnolia Ave and head straight away to the venue/show . . . gotta work full day on friday and can’t leave here until 5

    we’ll either cab it to the venue or someone not going or not drinking will drive us to venue

    after show, we’ll cab it back


  20. EL Duderino Says:

    @ phoamm

    It looks like we’re all gathering here @ my house pre and post show.
    None of us want to drive either, so we’re working on those logistics.
    Was hoping to see you guys a little more than just the usual small talk pleasantries @ the Fillmore

  21. Willowed Says:

    28, 29 and 30 for this kid. No 31st for me. Need to be with the family….but you never know.
    Any BB’r have a baby sitter connection that is available on 12/31? Preferably in the CT. area.

  22. phoammhead Says:

    i’m useless over here thinking about making it to msg 😯

  23. phoammhead Says:

    @ duder

    yeah, i would like to see you guys more also

    let me know if there’s room to get it on transportation and maybe we could come over to your house beforehand although it’s sounding like it may be too tight with the timeframes

    i believe my crew is at least 5 total and maybe 6

    phoamm at gmail

  24. Robear Says:

    Top of the mornin!


    Not much chatter from Bears fans yesterday on the board…..

  25. Beantownboy Says:

    Happy for everyone making MSG plans.

    If this was a different year then I would be there right with ya. But with everything that I am dealing with on the home front I know that for the foreseeable future long-term planning is out the window.

    Basically, if it is in the cards for me to get to MSG (and I want to) then I will be there through the help of BB helping me on last minute extras . Luckily, I have friends and family in the area that I can crash with so no need to stress on hotel rez.

    Good luck to all in the lottery and keep me in the back of your mind for your extras.

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