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

Tags: , ,

706 Responses to “A Tradition Like None Other”

  1. Kurt from Indy Says:

    too bad its raining out

  2. stapes Says:

    What you just described sounds so familiar @ Kurt.

    Midwest falls.

  3. Kurt from Indy Says:

    hell yea stapes, love those rides, especially when you get….well i just love them all, and then come november, its nice having southern family to go spend thanksgiving wiith, georgia, ten, nc, sc….miss fall tour

  4. win butler Says:

    You remember you were in the “dirty” jerz right cub?

  5. garretc Says:

    Win is right, Cub. Jersey ain’t got none of those high-society, cultured southern belles you’re used to

  6. win butler Says:

    You oughta’ see the girls at my shows, G Cub. Barely legal.

  7. Gratefulcub Says:

    She didn’t want to be there. She thought she could offer up some drunk sex to get him to take her home. He was slow on the uptake. So she did him right there.

    that’s allright, not the first or last show I watched with my eyes closed. But, it’s jarring when you open your eyes and you forgot you were on a porn set.

  8. Kurt from Indy Says:

    if you had one neil young album in your collection, what would it be?

  9. Beantownboy Says:

    If you’re looking for a job it looks like a few are to be had in the land of Hum.

    Only the North Coast Journal would do an in-depth report on this vocation…gotta love it.


  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    On the Beach is my favorite. But i’m not a huge Neil fanboy.

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    hello. i don’t have much to say, but just poppin’ in for a hello. wish i could join in the fun for NYE. it’s Ween for me most likely.

  12. Gratefulcub Says:

    More importantly, to each his own. Last night was a celebration of life through music and dance and it was one of the most cathartic and joyous shows of my life.

    A big thanks to Tom or chris, frindofganinsdadtickethunter. Regardless of the tight quarters, his boogie gave me the go ahead to get down and stop worrying about how many people I bumped into.

    And I’m glad somebody got laid.

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    shoulda known by the smell, cub. astroglide mixed with drakkar and cheap perfume is what all of the jersey porn sets smell like. or so I’ve heard.

  14. alf Says:

    mmw 11-15-09 currently seeding: http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=530032

    took me several days to complete, but i am seeding now

    first set = improv, dracula, improv

    that’s my kind of mmw

  15. alf Says:

    on the beach

    everybody knows this is nowhere

  16. stapes Says:

    Too many good Neil albums to choose. I really don’t know if I could single out just one.

  17. kayatosh Says:

    that improv heavy tour was the bomb, alf.

  18. halcyon Says:

    MMW fans
    Set 1 is all fan request.
    Set 2 of their 20th anniversary tours features customized sets “shack party” style. Full on improv. Second sets get grooovin

  19. alf Says:

    no doubt kaya. bummed i can’t catch them this tour, notwithstanding a last minute down & back to harrisburgh.

    see your point from yesterday re: ows as too diffuse. i think ows is something different than politics as usual though. when ows becomes another campaign for a specific issue, its potential will have been lost.

  20. alf Says:

    not that i want to re-start that discussion – just driving by, don’t mind me

    later kids


  21. kayatosh Says:

    all good, alf. I appreciate ows as a forum for people to express their grievances, whatever they may be. free speech beats civil unrest and anarchy.

  22. halcyon Says:

    GCub & Mr P

    Maybe the couple at the show had this similar affliction


  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Have all of Miner’s Picks from summer, superball in a giant playlist on shuffle.

    1200 minutes of music. Thats normal right? 🙂

    PNC After Midnight- sweet sounding jam.

  24. stapes Says:

    Hoping MMW announce some west coast dates.

    I could go for a Boulder Theater stop.

  25. poop goblin Says:

    ON the BEACH

    one of my favs of any genre by any artist. so sick.

Leave a Reply