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. Gratefulcub Says:

    ha, I love the bobs

    Impossible to over state how on fire the Trey show was last night.

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Joggerz: The thing is, Bob, it’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care.
    The Bobs: Don’t… don’t care?
    Joggerz: It’s a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I listen my ass off and get blown away by a few more jams, I don’t get to see another show, so where’s the motivation? And here’s something else, Bob: I have eight different sources for UIC right now.
    The Bobs: I beg your pardon?
    Joggerz: Eight sources.
    The Bobs: Eight?
    Joggerz: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I listen to UIC, I have eight different sources I have to choose from. That’s my only real motivation is not to have to choose, that and the fear of losing my shit during the Dick’s Tweezer. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone listen just hard enough not to get banned.

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    From last night.. great quality

    Ooh Child – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDF0mtQp_Qs

  4. Leo Weaver Says:

    Brilliant T3!

  5. Steve P. Says:

    Id have gone with 12.30.95 as best MSG show, followed closely by 12.30.97…can’t wait to rage the garden..

  6. Selector J Says:

    I’m gonna see if i can figure out where archive radio show recordings are saved today. Can’t legally share them publicly but if anyone is interested in downloading some of those, send me an email to whenrootsattack at gmali.

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    Selector J

    I almost skipped class today to hear the internet portion of the show

    I don’t like to let school get in the way of my education

    so I think next Thursday I really have no other choice but to get another cup and groove in my apartment to the internet part

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    so funny, typeIII

  9. halcyon Says:

    Iphone 4s has Siri (Voice Regonition / speech analysis) built in to it, here are some of the responses Siri has given back after a user voiced a command


    some of them are pretty funny.

  10. halcyon Says:

    william shatner has a new album!

    Garret C you should add this to your space playlist


  11. Selector J Says:

    @silly don’t get crazy. gonna go find the archives now.

    new found motivation for finally getting the archives:
    silly’s future depends on it!!

  12. Gratefulcub Says:


  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    some old school wulf today?

  14. bob dylan Says:

    Digging iOS 5.0 over here

  15. SillyWilly Says:

    Somehow I think my expertise of personal jurisdiction in civil cases involving state long arm statutes and foreign manufacturers is irrelevant to my future as a public defender.

    I think healing Babylon is more valuable to my career.

  16. Robear Says:

    Ticket request in for you sucka’s.

  17. Robear Says:

    Media being force to cover OWS protesters that look more main stream.

    #positive development

  18. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    As the owner of foreign manufactured long arms, I may need your guidance, Silly. Please pay attention.

  19. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Huggie Bear you are not going?

  20. Robear Says:

    Planning on going @ PB. Don’t need tickets.
    #volunteerism @ waterwheelphish

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    MPP 1999
    that is all

  22. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Scared me there, hombre!

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    very funny, assuming you get the cfb references

  24. MisterChristian Says:

    I really hope I get some tix for this NYE. It will be my first NYE phish show, my 50th show, and my girlfriends birthday show. Fingers crossed!

  25. kayatosh Says:

    i love TAB.

    listening to 2.19.2011 TAB windora bug — a fun, ambient version. w/ some cleverness:
    trey: “hey, tony?”
    tony: “yes, trey”
    trey: “i don’t know if you knew this, but a bumblebee is a bug too.”
    horns then play flight of the bumblebee theme.

    sucka for these kind of antics

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