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”

  1. Robear Says:

    @ Phoam, that sounds relatively cheap!

    Airfare alone for SLF and I looking like $630/ each.

  2. SillyWilly Says:

    I’m coming to New Year’s.

    Never been to NYC, unless you count the 3 hrs I sat on the runway at JFK pre-Bethel (ask Alf)

    very excited to see Phish in MSG, will be one of those de-n00bing exercises for me

    anyone needs an extra person to help spread costs, I’m usually too baked to say a whole lot so I won’t be too annoying

  3. Robear Says:

    Hey Ya and Clint Eastwood stay heavy in the TAB rotation. 🙄

  4. SillyWilly Says:

    also, some early morning humor:


  5. Robear Says:

    Stretch of epic weather coming. Dry and mid 70’s for the next 10 days!!!

  6. gavinsdad Says:

    life on life’s terms. the new dad’s are feeling it but that’s just part of the territory. even when the little one’s get older there is still the push and pull of logistics…it never ends.

    enjoy TAB tonite peeps. (FYI – i’d had a decent dinner at egan and sons before ZPZ last time i hit the wellmont…good stuff)

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    NorCal and Wisco traded, Robear

    we had 10 straight days of sun and 75

    the rain has arrived. Might be followed by snow in a week or so

    gotta love the upper midwest

  8. EL Duderino Says:

    Hey Ya! both sucks and blows!
    The Clint Eastwood cover doesn’t bother me like the rest of you phools.

    The Bears O-Line over the last 2 seasons could be the worst O-Line in NFL history-FACT

    Cutler needs more praise for the effort he gives.
    The guy is a talent.

    @ phoamm

    We’ll have about 6 as well

  9. gavinsdad Says:

    dec 98 tweez->cities commence

  10. phoammhead Says:

    @ robear

    yeah, here’s the breakdown

    $560 concert tix for 2 (fees and shipping including – 8 tix total if we get them all through the lottery)

    $561.90 hotel for 5 nights at a hotel near Newark airport (taxes included) – Wed, Dec 28 checking out Mon, Jan 2 – if paying in full in advance and non-refundable

    $638.80 (fees and taxes included) airfare for 2

    $1,760.70 total for 2 (taxes and fees included)


  11. phoammhead Says:

    yeah, don’t like Hey Ya . . . at all. don’t mind clint eastwood.

  12. SillyWilly Says:

    Gruden and Jawz were loving Cutler

    Gruden cracks me up. Dude just loves football

    he’s a fellow Flyer and he always makes fun of the fact that he was like 1 for 3 as a back-up quarterback at Dayton

    he’s probably kind of annoying to everyone else, but I think it’s fun

  13. Kaveh Says:

    Still spinning the compilation from yesterday that was posted here. Great, great stuff.

  14. phoammhead Says:

    @ silly

    bek and I might consider sharing hotel a room for the new year’s run . . . that’s looking like our biggest expense . . . and if we share, maybe we could stay in the city

  15. phoammhead Says:

    add at least $500 and probably $1000 for my personal spending money . . . probably double ^my basic expenses and then you have me doing new years like i want to

  16. Robear Says:

    Phoam, done and done! What Newark Hotel?

    Agreed with Duder, Cutler is a real talent. Being wasted with no receivers, tight end, or o-line. Game would have been more lopsided w/o Cutler.

    I love Gruden too, Silly. He makes up words. What’s not to love?

  17. phoammhead Says:

    . . . probably a minimum of a $2000 trip/person when all is said and done

  18. EL Duderino Says:

    Gruden is good for the Monday Night Football crew/broadcast IMO.

    Much better than Tony Kornheiser and that other fool they had 5 years back… that comedian, whatever his name is.

  19. SillyWilly Says:

    Totally, phoamm

    that would be fun to get to see some of the city during the day! I have your email, so I’ll stay in touch.

    I have a plan to pitch to my parents: “Mom, Dad, I know I’ve been a roller coaster the last year, but if you wanna just wrap a Christmas gift and Graduation gift into a little cash for the New Year’s run…Well, that’d be great.”

  20. phoammhead Says:

    hampton inn, elizabeth, nj

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    Gruden fans:


    most of the kids at this event were my teammates.

  22. ThePigSong Says:

    Think we’ll ever get Miami or a tropical destination back?

  23. sumodie Says:

    So far I’ve really enjoyed the first half of set 2 from the 10.08.11 Baltimore TAB show: (Land of Nod, Night Speaks to a Woman, Burlap Sack and Pumps, Sand, Goodbye Head, A Case of Ice and Snow)

    As reported Trey is working the horn section into the jamming more. Love the new tune, Land of Nod. Overall, no major surprises musically from what I’ve heard, but then my expectations know it’s 2011. Still pining to catch one show this tour

    Hope palmer & gcub have a blast tonight!

    and there’s nary an AUD yet for TAB’s 10.07.11 Myrtle Beach show

  24. EL Duderino Says:

    Theo Epstein to the Cubs!!!!

    This bodes well for us me thinks!

  25. ThePigSong Says:

    My sources are saying Miami NYE 2012

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