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. xpun Says:

    thats awesome jdub!

    my first spin through “so inclined”. nice to hear these jams so so crisp.

    been spinning 12-9-94 tweezer for the past few days. love when the jams get dark and trey starts saying shit to fuck w people. anyone have any clue what he’s saying towards the start of the jam?

  2. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Nice write up miner. I think you got it right. I think they will dispel any negative feelings after night one, which will slay. Many folks get tix yet?

  3. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Jdub- very cool man. Looking forward to seeing you in NYC.

  4. ren Says:

    Plenty of time has been spent practicing, writing new material etc. since TAB ended. This is gonna be fun 😉

    ENERGY AT A FEVER PITCH RIGHT NOW!…thanks to Miners new post!!!!

  5. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Somehow so inclined went past my radar. Lil’ help?

  6. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Xpun- you found bane in Tulum?

  7. xpun Says:

    @spasm – dont puff, didnt look. sorry i saw your question the other day and spaced answering.

    @ren – “Plenty of time has been spent practicing, writing new material etc. since TAB ended.” where did this come from?

  8. thedayman Says:

    def at the barn..

  9. ren Says:

    @Xpun I have my sources…KANG FUCKING FIRMED!!!! Started right after TAB and apparently is still going based on the ^

  10. Dr Pronoia Says:

    I’m so immersed in work this year, my first in private practice, that it probably won’t fully hit me that I’m celebrating the end of the year with phish til I’m going thru the turnstiles. Still haven’t found time to spin much lately. Going in with fresh ears

  11. Shred Says:

    Glad to see the instagram of rehearsals. Gives me hope. Going 2 out of 4 nights.
    I want a free ticket for 12-30-12 for shitting the bed on 12-30-11.
    I personally put FISHMAN’S kids through college.

  12. voopa Says:

    All 27?

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    those instagrams are just of mike though. is he the only one practicing?

    agree with everything mitch said on page 1.

  14. roberto luongo Says:

    that’s cuz Mike gives a shit DF. he’s probably working some shit out in the barn. doing some solo recording for a future solo project

    Tory is busy Christmas shoppin, hitting broadway, and being the Manhattan socialite he now is

  15. xpun Says:

    red phish, blue phish, old phish, NEW PHISH!

  16. Spasm Waiter Says:

    So inclined =starlake bonus disk. Got it.

  17. xpun Says:

    @df – looking to upgrade my 31st, can you help?

    xpun25 yaaaahoooo

  18. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Xpun- I appreciate that.

  19. thedayman Says:

    we need to just drop the “y” and call him tori.

  20. Dorn76 Says:

    Cue David Silver…

  21. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    xpun, i’ll trade you my 400 for your floor.

  22. tba Says:

    I was disgusted to see shots taken at Miner in the latest relix. I don’t care about miner’s financial situation, nor is it any of my business. How it relates to his coverage of Phish I have no idea. i am so fucking sick of trust fund this and trust fund that. First off, trust funds usually equate to a early death, not a spoiled kid. I also have known plenty of kids with $$$, who threw their life away cause they had zero love in their life. Yes it might be easier to survive with $, than live poor in say Africa, but this country needs to get its bearings together, and hating middle class isn’t it, especially from other middle class kidz.

    If you want to answer Big Govt and higher taxes are the answer, go ahead, but the 1% won’t feel shit, the middle class will get junked and people like Warren Buffet will buy small companies cause their heirs canot afford the death tax (what you though Warren was for the death tax cause he’s a nice guy?). So go ahead root for the a de facto DMV govt. to control our lives.

    So much hate in this country it sucks. 9/11 has changed everything, and love not hate is the only way to make this place a pleasant place.

    Anyway Miner, I have no idea about your $, nor do I want to know. What I do know is your coverage of phish is amazing, your blog is sick, and the second night SPAC was the show of the year–sorry had to tease you a bit :<)

    ps If it wasn't for real trust fund folks, The Grateful Dead might never have survived as many rich droputs of "society" helped them in the early years.

    pps I am a libertarian if political at all, and for the record I like Obama, amybe not his tax policies, but agree taxes do need to be raised a bit, especially on the wealthy. Also, The Republicans are pretty much Nazi's and it has little to do w/ money, but with their idealogy about people.

  23. jdub Says:

    Just like they cut out all the riff raff that distracted them during 2.0 this time around, they have to get Trey away from that Manhatten yuppie scene for the run.

    Same is true for band as it is for fans, leave all the external baggage at the turnstile and the experience becomes richer.

    Harder to do in midtown Manhatten than Commerce City but it could be explosive. ’09 and ’10 MSG runs were energetically awesome. Musically not even close to what they are capable of right now. I’m trying to keep expectations in check but then I listen 8/31/12. I start thinking about that round room in midtown and can’t get any work down.

  24. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers..back from Lambeau.

    Have a great day!

    My opinion: Phish will smoke it at MSG.

  25. Dorn76 Says:

    In Relix?

    Can you share for those of us that don’t have their latest (or any) issue handy?

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