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. Guyute711 Says:

    We’ll see if TAB smokes tomorrow. This is your resident TAB basher driving by.

  2. Mr. Palmer Says:

    You going guyute?

  3. Guyute711 Says:

    Yeah, Duder, Leo, I think phoamm and BEK will all be there.

  4. Jtran Says:

    Why have I been sleeping on Two Sevens Clash for so long?

  5. EL Duderino Says:

    whole tour called on the ride home… He’s coming up now

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I was pretty disappointed when i saw them last Feb and wasn’t expecting much going in.

    You would have had to be in a coma last night not to come away impressed. Hope you guys get more of the same. Plus the setlist was right up my alley.

  7. EL Duderino Says:

    +13 on today’s round…

    gettin’ better, slowly but shirley

  8. EL Duderino Says:

    Your set list last night Palmer was about as good as you could ask for in this new TAB

  9. EL Duderino Says:

    did you buy the FLAC?

  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    no, is it up yet?

  11. EL Duderino Says:

    no, sorry

  12. Guyute711 Says:

    whole tour eh? What kinda skanky chics we gonna see?

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    im not ashamed to shake up my knots

  14. EL Duderino Says:

    those same 3 I presume

  15. SillyWilly Says:


    life-changing album

    spin it every three days, or I feel Babylon will crush my soul

  16. SillyWilly Says:

    if it hasn’t already

  17. albert walker Says:

    Top 10 reggae album for me jtran

    Albert walker was in culture

    That Joseph hill vocal with perfect gibbs production is pure roots

    I’ve got a very clean OG vinyl pressing
    Prized possesion

  18. sumodie Says:

    NYC jazz fans:

    Chick Corea will celebrate his 70th birthday with a month-long residency at New York’s Blue Note


  19. sumodie Says:

    c’mon, guyute, whole tour made that bus ride back from the Charlotte show unforgettable!!

  20. tela'smuff Says:

    aw or someone – give me a rec for a tinariwen lp other than aman iman. i have that one, been into it for a while, but been revisting it lately and am reminded of it’s greatness. haven’t heard anything else from them.

    have fun in charlotte, boys.

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    Imidiwan is really good, Tela’s

    i haven’t heard the 2011 release Tassili, but I can’t imagine it isn’t anything but straight heat

  22. Guyute711 Says:

    I’m picking sumo. I like whole tour

  23. tela'smuff Says:

    thx Silly! i’ll try the first one you mentioned.

  24. Jtran Says:


    Just realized when I was reading the wiki that’s where your name came from.

    Now on to your no whitey volume 3 mix. Good pre show tunes.

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    you’ll dig it, Tela’s

    really bluesy feel to some true roots music

Leave a Reply