Red Phish? Blue Phish?

12.31.10, MSG (George Estreich)

With Labor Day weekend in the distant past and the Holiday Run only two weeks away, the question that now descends on the Phish community is “What band will show up at MSG?” Last year was the first modern New Year’s Run without a Fall Tour behind it, and the guys played the most uninspired batch of shows in memory. It is hard to imagine Phish repeating 2011’s debacle, but as Trey has recently busied himself with TAB and his Broadway musical, “Hands On a Hardbody,” it’s impossible to predict how much preparation will go into this run and what will result.

One might cite Dick’s phenomenal playing as a sure signpost to December greatness, but that was the same feeling we all had last year. Following a stellar three nights in Colorado—and a whole lot of time off —Phish arrived at MSG and went through the motions for most of 2011’s year-end extravaganza. Aside from 12/28’s “Carini > Tweezer” and 12/30’s “Piper,” the band produced nothing of lasting value over four nights last year. Could it happen again in 2012? I shudder at the thought. With the community coming to the Big Apple from all corners of the nation and beyond, one has to believe the band won’t disappoint again. Right? On the heels of their most impressive year of playing in the 3.0 era, Phish should rightfully come to New York with intent to punctuate 2012 in fashion.

MSG 2012 Unofficial (Branden Otto)

In 2009 and 2010, the band played a fall tour which didn’t leave them with such a massive chunk of downtime before the end of December. Subsequently, both of those runs has plenty of lasting highlights and even a some whole shows that were up to snuff. The 29th, 30th, and arguably the 31st of 2009, and the 31st, January 1st of 2010’s, and arguably the 30th, all held up as complete shows. But only the 28th of 2011 could hold a candle to any of them. Without practice and with no fire whatsoever, the band stumbled through the final three nights of ’11 with, virtually, zero risk-taking. This wasn’t the Phish we knew in any era of their career; this was a bunch of guys getting paid without trying much of anything.

It would be not like our musical superheroes of botch two Holiday New Year’s Runs in a row, and if I were placing a wager, I definitely wouldn’t bet against them. I’ve got to imagine that they know last year’s MSG run profoundly sucked and they will be back to prove a point this time around. It may simply come down to putting in some time in the practice room. Rumor was that they skipped any preparation last year and the results were glaring. Thus, I doubt they will repeat that folly. As Phish steps onto the nation’s biggest stage on the most celebrated nights of the year to usher in 2013, the year of their much ballyhooed 30th Anniversary, one has to think that the guys will mean business. But any speculation won’t give us the answer. As Bob Marley once sang, “Time alone – oh, time will tell.”


Jam of the Day:

Carini > Wolfman’s” 12.28.98 II

A MSG gem that is begging for the LivePhish treatment.


286 Responses to “Red Phish? Blue Phish?”

« Previous12345678...1112Next »
  1. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Long time no post. Hope everyone is doing great!

  2. tela'smuff Says:

    nice good dose of positivity before the MSG run! haha. wooohooo! i’m still counting on a webcast to take in the Bieber jam.

  3. xpun Says:

    I’ve got faith in the Phish. Can’t wait!

  4. Henry Says:

    When do they usually announce the webcasts? We’re getting close, almost within 2 weeks…

  5. xpun Says:

    id like to thank cam newton for catching fire, leading me on a 6 game win streak and into a tie for the 4th playoff spot in the BBFL, only to lose on tie breaker points because he sucked ass the first 2/3 of the season.

  6. xpun Says:

    not sure about webcast announcement, but it’ll happen. they’ve webcasted every sold out show this year i think, plus dicks. and the past 7 from msg. easy money, no reason they wont do it this year.

  7. Henry Says:

    absolutely, it’d be very very surprising if they didn’t. and luckily at this point we can remove the webcast element from the debate about how the shows will turn out bc they definitely proved it to be bunk on leg 2, despite the fact that the webcasted shows on leg 1 were among the weakest

    no one can argue with dick’s and BGCA 3, all 4 in the elite class of 3.0 shows

  8. xpun Says:

    i really enjoyed webcasting dicks, happy that everyone who couldn’t get tickets or make the trip will get to share in the party.

    dicks was such a step above anything else in 3.0, i think they are pressured to deliver at msg as miner said given last years stumble and going out in style this summer at dicks.

    28th opener = kill devil falls

    “But I learned my lesson
    And I can still remember the last one
    But this time will be different”

  9. xpun Says:

    ^^of course adding “until i do it again” ruins that idea

  10. butter Says:

    Nice article Miner, I bet they crush MSG pretty good this year

  11. Joy Says:

    “profoundly sucked” seems a little strong.

  12. vegas wolfmans Says:

    They’re aware they shit the bed last year. No chance it happens again.

  13. MiA Says:


    “Aside from 12/28’s “Carini > Tweezer” and 12/30’s “Piper,” the band produced nothing of lasting value over four nights last year”

    I disagree with this.

    Gotta find lasting value in more than just the big jams.

  14. RoosterPizza Says:

    12/28 Cities was pretty solid.

  15. bob dylan Says:

    “profoundly sucked” seems a little strong.

    ^ I laughed at the profoundly sucked part. Miner’s site is read by people in PHiSH inc. it’ll be good to stir up some of what the community is thinking. Put it on the bands radar. Make em earn that money. For all the shit dude gets for fluffing, let him call a spade a spade.

  16. bob dylan Says:

    Gotta find lasting value in more than just the big jams.

    ^tell me what you’ve respun more than once this year from that run. I don’t need a crisp divided sky to fill in any gaps in my library. I personally don’t play anything but big jams unless I’m playing a show straight thru. In the days of iPods and with as much new music, who really cares about the rest? I only listen to mango song to feel sentimental. If PHiSH weren’t touring, sure, but I don’t have 10 hours a day to spin tunes, and if I did, it wouldn’t be all PHiSH. Long story short, we go for the jams.

    I do like that cities from the run tho.

  17. bob dylan Says:

    Let me correct myself. We go for the PHiSH, we stay for the jams.

  18. bob dylan Says:

    Alpine ghost and the jersey turnpike with rush hour traffic go well together.

  19. Guyute711 Says:

    I want to thank my team for completely tanking but being 7-0 to start the season so I could just sneak into the playoffs.

  20. st8 of mind Says:

    No way do they drop the ball again this year. It’s like any great team that had a bad game, they will bounce back. Count on it!

  21. roberto luongo Says:

    i Haven’t spun that run once. One hot piper and a jammed out cities cannot support a run

    they came in un practiced and mailed in a big pile of shit. had a blast in NYC but music wise what a fuckin waste.

    that’s what’s fun about 3.0. you never know what band you may get. the Teluride band or the Dick’s band.

    fingers crossed for all goin. probably gonna sit this one out and jump back in next summer. I don’t like where TOry is right now and fear him leading the boys goin in cold. hope he proves me wrong.

    have a good one kids.

  22. Dr Pronoia Says:

    Aren’t there pretty solid rumors of Barn practicing? Or were those debunked?

  23. xpun Says:

    ” I laughed at the profoundly sucked part…..For all the shit dude gets for fluffing, let him call a spade a spade.”

    exactly. also liked bob d’s next post. i think it’s possible to have fun at shows that aren’t keepers, but if you can’t find much worth a respin for an entire run, that sucks.

    someone linked it last night on previous post, but mike posted a pic that sure looks like they were practicing yesterday. they’ve got something to prove and dicks showed they can still prove anything they want. getting close now!

  24. jerseyjim Says:

    nice phiscal cliff countdown clock. thx.

  25. jdub Says:

    All this speculation. Hard to imagine the band that destroyed Dick’s lays another egg at MSG. I for one am getting wicked pumped for this run. 3 nights in The City after working my ass off all year is so welcome.

    So my son turned 6 over the weekend. His uncle got him a mini fender strat with amp. The kid has not put it down since. Our house is electrified, crazy times.

« Previous12345678...1112Next »

Leave a Reply