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. MrCompletely Says:

    strongest possible recommendation


    sit on the left side of the theater you see him in so you can watch his hands

    seriously…this is a bomb show

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    Neil: you should own the run from Everybody Knows This is Nowhere through Tonight’s the Night inclusive, which peaks with On The Road but is all good

  3. bob dylan Says:

    Will spin on the beach when I’m home.

    For me it’s after the gold rush.

    Cub, he wasn’t slow on the uptake. He wanted to see trey. If he got laid in the process that’s bonus.

  4. bob dylan Says:

    I saw him 2 weeks ago in AC and was blown away. Dunno if you saw my comments. Way better than I was expecting.

  5. MrCompletely Says:

    you saw the full band though right?

    the solo piano show is a million times better


    you will love on the beach. super dark. end of the world melancholy music.

  6. MrCompletely Says:

    he just improvs like a motherfucker, takes audience requests, and plays one GD cover per show which always brings the house down….the improv is super high level two handed technical but very free flowing stuff, very beautiful and natural sounding

  7. albert walker Says:

    agreed C

    Neil Young through Zuma is white rocker gold for me

    my beatles, pink floyd, or dylan the main stream artist whose work just resonates with me

    just love his whole catalog

    that On the Beach has always resonated with me though. love the dirty, aggro, psychedelic folk vibe. so good and weird but so beautiful.

  8. MrCompletely Says:

    bruce doing dead tunes is the most legit Jerry tribute there is I think

    it moves me in a way no phil or bobby show ever has for some reason

    very authentic and soulful

  9. albert walker Says:

    I gave C the heads up on this earlier

    if any of ya’ll like the singer songwriter thing. this cat Emmitt Rhodes made an album in 1971 that is really epic. 4 track recorder in his crib. plays every instrument. check it. you will love it.

    has “recorded at home” inscribed in the OG vinyl pressings

    Emmitt Rhodes – Emmitt Rhodes


    laterz ya’ll
    hitting the train

  10. bob dylan Says:

    Prob heard it, I’ve got all his music just can’t name songs on it do it’s time for a visit.

    Ya, the “noisemakers”

  11. MrCompletely Says:

    for some reason I never remember Zuma. I need to dust it off.

    that run of albums is as impeccable as any similar run of albums by any artist I can think of

    just bam, bam, bam one after another, all gold

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah the noisemakers shows are plenty fun and you do get some idea how powerful a player he really is. if you dug it, you will be blown away by the solo show, even though it’s a sit down gig and not a dance thing

    later all, just a driveby, have to go force a slacker to do their damn job…

  13. tela'smuff Says:

    had no idea that Emmitt Rhodes was classic. i’ll need to break that one out off the shelf.

  14. albert walker Says:

    You know vinyl geeks love Lo fi one man and his 4 track albums tela

    The big sound he gets on a at home 4 track is amazing

  15. tela'smuff Says:

    cool. i picked it up years ago, but just never got around to listening to it. thx.

  16. Kaveh Says:

    Saw a solo Bruce show back in 96…and we did sit on the left and it was awesome. I like seeing Bruce.

  17. garretc Says:

    Yeah, took me a little while to come around to On The Beach, for whatever reason, but now I have to listen to it at least once every couple weeks or so…

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    really weird

    im just cleaning my apartment with On the Beach playing

    come to the board, on the beach discussion

    gonna be a big weekend.

    going to see primus tonight. never got into them, but the shows about a 10 minute walk from my apartment and I’ve wanted to see what their shows are like

    Kings Go Forth tomorrow night. gotta hydrate so I don’t cramp from dancing like I did in january

  19. bob dylan Says:

    later all, just a driveby, have to go force a slacker to do their damn job…

    ^sounds like you’re being the man, brah. Quit harshing my mellow…

    Rubber soul, revolver, Sgt pepper

    ^all In a year and a half. Talk about a nice run 😯

  20. Jtran Says:

    Seeing Snarky Puppy tonight.

    Anyone see them before?

  21. MrCompletely Says:

    nah @bob I just don’t like people trying to get me to do their work for them by playing ignorant

    I mean, she is stupid, but I know she can do this, there’s a fucking point and click interface

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    TAB was smoking last night….. did i tell you guys that yet? 🙂

    Bob- you were missed.

  23. SillyWilly Says:

    2 hour class…then weekend

    i’ve got this.

    i’ve got this.

    i’ve got this.

  24. JeffieM Says:

    You got this, Silly!

    I never heard anything from anyone wanting me to put in for the lotto. Someone hit me up if they want an extra entrance. mj la ha ye @ vt dot edu

  25. DukeOfLizards Says:

    First PTBM order in.


Leave a Reply