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. garretc Says:

    Nice Dayman, going back to the MSG well for more? Maybe they won’t piss in your ears this year!

  2. thedayman Says:

    ^^ it’s pretty mind blowing @bob d. unbelievable that these nat geo people are sitting in cars filming drug deals going on, watching people shoot up, etc. it feels dirty to me. the heroin and meth episodes are real effed.

  3. garretc Says:

    Oh, are we talking depressing drug documentaries? Go watch the documentary on Krokodil! It’s a real pick-me-up!

  4. thedayman Says:

    hahaha yeah @garret. last minute decision as of yesterday. me and a few others are just gonna drive out for the 28th-29th, get that phish fix.

    no msg for you this year? if so 🙁

  5. joe Says:

    tried posting oysterhead at bonnaroo 2006 link. no dice. if you are looking for something to watch and listen to, find that show and skip to about the 55 minute mark or so.

  6. kayatosh Says:

    kush time

  7. garretc Says:

    Sad face indeed. Considered all the things I’ve wanted to buy the last few years but couldn’t afford because of Phish trips and decided I’d sit this year out…

    That may have been a different decision had I heard Dick’s before coming to that conclusion, but so it goes

  8. Mr. Palmer Says:

    What does it say that I am addicted to the show ” Intervention”…?

  9. garretc Says:

    That you have lousy taste, Palmer.

    Go read some Conrad or something

  10. joe Says:

    the kid on bath salts intervention was an entertaining one.

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    who? 😉

    Actually, I used to watch it all the time , then forgot all about it. Recently I caught an episode of a freaky couple injecting Bath salts into each others jugulars…..pulled me right back in!

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    there ya go @ Joe!

  13. bob dylan Says:

    Day man, not to mention how fucking stupid these people are for letting them follow them.

  14. thedayman Says:

    dang mang, sorry to hear it. you’re right tho, save some cash. plus they’ll for sure webcast it, so that’s always better than nuthin.

    hows portlandia my brotha?

  15. joe Says:

    oh shit. I missed that one. I saw one with a kid who just snorted it and was super paranoid on the roof of his mother’s house. freaky couple injecting each others jugulars sounds even better.

  16. bob dylan Says:

    I am willing to bet meth doesn’t taste like kush.

  17. tba Says:

    not much talk of TAB january run. wow where would I be in 2001 w/out TAB, months after my dad’s passing?

    Hoping Trey goes back to the 2010 winter tour arrangements as The Orpheum show in November was a bit poppy for me. No he didn’t miss one note the whole night, but it was kind of a bummer to hear him again rework let Me Lie. I know I’m the minority but I really crave that song, and the way he played it 2008-2010. the new version completely erased the soul and emotion in order to try and make it a pop ballad. I understand he wants a top 10, but IMHO the way to get that is organicly. u cannot force even pop. Nowdays the charts are a farce anyway. Believe it or not, Warren haynes writes some of the best pop rock tunes of the past 20 years. And by pop rock, I don’t mean nickleback or coldplay, but the Beatles and Stones. I like good pop rock. For example Blue radio by Warren from tales of ordinary Madness is a great pop ballad, and by the way buy that CD if you don’t own it, guarantee folks like it.

    Trey’s November show scared me a bit as it hinted of path not known to a mere year or two ago. I saw both 2010 Tennessee
    TAB shows as well as boston, and they blew my mind. I had so much fun at The Ryman and Knoxville. Then he slowly started messing with the arrangements, sort of like he did in 04 and 05, but in a different way (some of those 04 and 05 shows actually had some very good stuff ie Dark and Down and other heavy and long songs). What was an amazing funk fusion orchestra tighter than tight in 08-10 has morphed into sort of a boring show searching for direction. Yes I thought the Burlington Oct 1 2011 show was incredible, the last really good let me lie I have seen, but all other TAB shows I’ve witnessed since then have been wanting IMHO. The accoustic was OK, but trey is not the most enjoyable accoustic player, for whatever reason. He seems stiff, as compared to his electric which arguably is the best ever electric guitar, Hendrix included (This years SPAC was so amazing, but even the early years of machine gun alley were as good as it gets on his best nights).

    Hopefully Trey will find his way, and go back towards the funk fusion. And never thought I’d say it, but Ray is a super key in that equation, he needs to be more involved again. I remember when he seemingly would sulk way back in the early oughts when he would not get play, but starting in 08 Brooklyn he has been stellar, and even before i’m just an asshole :<). Obviously he's not as multi dimensional as Page, but comparing anyone to page is not fair. Ray is superb at what he does. So please Trey, find that monster sound fed by Money Love, Completely, Sand, etc., and then mix in the new ones with that powerful dynamic, save the "forced" pop for another day. Bouncing = good pop Jen Dances = yuk sorry miner

    I'm going to go to a two pack in January and hopefully it will be something either simuilar to the success of 08-10 or maybe a new jazzy dominated sound, but not cheezy jazz. I admit I like rock N roll jazz, but straight jazz is not my forte. I respect it, but I'm more of a classic rock person.

    Sorry for the long post, but we hardly talk much TAB, and for those of you more musically articulate than I, maybe you can help me find my way to the new TAB.

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    It was the most insane thing I’ve seen on that ridiculous show.

    Actually, now that I think about it, wasn’t there someone on here who had a family member that was on that show? Hopefully it wasn’t jugular bath salt couple..

  19. thedayman Says:

    @ bobby d – those people are insanely stupid. blows my mind. i understand that national geo’s point of view is to create documentaries where they neither help nor hurt, just view things as they are, but man i don’t get why anyone would be willing to be one of the people they follow on that show.

  20. garretc Says:

    Portlandia is cold and drizzly, dayman, but other than that humming along quite nicely. Have my one and only final tomorrow, then a few weeks in slightly sunnier California for the holidays.

  21. tba Says:

    the whole bath salt thing is nuts. please just legalize drugs, and be done with it. How is it anyway fair telling people what they can do to their own bodies. Yes driving while F’d up aside. if you voltunteer your driving priveleges or if there was a way to prove one was not too impaired to drive, they definitely should get to do anything they want. as for needles, they scare me, but to each there own.

    rather talk TAB, but figured I’d offer my two cents…

  22. tba Says:

    their own sorry

  23. Dorn76 Says:

    spice is as spice does

  24. xpun Says:

    saw an episode of drug inc. had this kid that smoked meth. he was outside raking the fuck outta some leaves and talking a mile a minute. “I love cleaning after i smoke, its like i can see every speck of dirt. i like raking the yard too, ill rake over here and as soon as a leave hits the ground over there, BAM, im on it. but when mom and dad come home they never say “the house looks nice” or “thanks for raking,” they always say “did you do more meth?” i just wish i was a little more appreciated”

    equal parts sad and funny, although i laughed really hard

  25. xpun Says:

    some of the people on intervention seem about ready to die, how can the camera crew just stand by. saw a kid in his 20s drank so much his liver and kidneys were failing and he ends up in the hospital. starts mixing the hand sanitizer on the wall with water and drinking it. crazy fuck

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