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?”

  1. Jtran Says:

  2. Kaveh Says:

    Just spin Alpine’s Rock N Roll; very nice. You are good.

  3. MiA Says:

    Marcoesq – you have gmail.

  4. roberto luongo Says:

    glad to see everybody’s fav smartest guy in the room, herb puffin, porn stashin, bond trader helped get his art stash back

  5. BingosBrother Says:

    Rowdy Roddy the red red kilt

  6. Spasm Waiter Says:

    My left toe from so inclined is something else.

  7. garretc Says:

    Afternoon, folks, hope life is treating everybody well. After a busy semester that included an unprecedented month without my laptop, I’ve finally finished listening to Leg II with setlists unspoilt and can rejoin the wonderfully engaging conversations this site plays host to (Settle down, settle down, I know you’re excited but there’s no reason to get profane about it). Not coincidentally, I’ve also been doing my best to avoid studying for finals, so this comes at a nice time!

    Wish I could be hitting MSG again this year, but I thought about all the other things I could spend $1300+ on and decided I could sit this one out…

    So yeah, that’s about it. I’d gush about Dick’s, but I’m sure everything has been covered on that front by now, so…. How about those Giants, I guess?

  8. garretc Says:

    I’ve been gone so long my computer didn’t autofill my name and email for me…

    It feels like how I imagine coming home after several years and discovering your dog doesn’t remember you would feel

  9. voopa Says:

    garret who?

  10. Litteringand Says:

    Good Gravy, this is a tasty Ghost from Grand Rapids-

  11. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Whadup Carrot? My favorite time to frequent the bb is also during exams. Procrastinator with a capital CRAS. I’m missing MSG without any real regrets this year. Haven’t New Years’d since Miami ’03 and I’m okay with it. Gotta pick and choose and been on a pretty good hot streak in 3.0. Anxiously awaiting the lengthy west coast summer tour dates sure to drop in ’13. 😎

  12. garretc Says:

    Not a whole lot VW, just living the dream and what not. Just have one exam tomorrow and then home free for the break. Almost wish I’d had more finals than I did though, would have made it considerably easier to get into “STUDYDAMMIT” mode than just the one where I can say “Eh, it’s just the one, I’ll have plenty of time…” But then again, that’s also a stupid thing to wish for, so potayto-potahto, amirite?

    And yes, of course, the ’13 West Coast tour! This year is the year, finally! We may say it every year, but truly this time we mean it…

  13. jdub Says:

    Put My Left Toe on my Christmas wish list. And some extendo Gumbo as well.

    So Inclined to give this CD to all the music fans I know.

  14. bob dylan Says:

    Only two people googled that dudes grandma.

    So this is why we need to be afraid of google? Well played rich dude. Guess ill go back to for all my search needs.

  15. voopa Says: No tracking.

  16. kayatosh Says:

    real crooks don’t use google

  17. xpun Says:

    @RL i may be able to help w tickets – mail sent

  18. kayatosh Says:

    moral of the story: don’t mess with super smart, sexually charged, rich potheads. they will find you and their stolen art.

  19. Albert walker Says:

    Cool thanks xpun

    Discussin with the lady as we speak

    He’s bearish too kaya. Smart ass egomaniac

    His nyt crossword puzzle line is classic

  20. PigSong Says:

    10.31.95 YEM – every day I listen to more fall 95 the more it cements it’s place as best tour ever. pure fucking energy, intense fucking precision.

  21. bob dylan Says:

    Drugs inc is on and has a woman in Louisiana who uses the metal dangle scale. Is this a joke?

  22. kayatosh Says:

    short the QQQ’s overnight. new pos. as of midday.

    and cheers to our man autumn bell. URBN made a nice move today.

    cheers to fall/winter 95

    please take my phsihs critics in context. i love the band, perhaps even mroe than the GD.

  23. Albert walker Says:

    Bearded one tomorrow

    Could def be sell the news event. Peeps expecting more QE. Priced in.

  24. thedayman Says:

    anyone with extra 12/29’s, please keep me in mind. on the hunt.

    so inclined bonus disc is pure $$$. the stash from 97 is the tops, too. melody mixed with tension and release. love it.

  25. bob dylan Says:

    Why is this shit on TV anyway? This is like a how-to guide for drugs.

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