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. KOOKS Says:

    I have to disagree with Miner’s review of last years MSG run. If you listen very closely you can hear what was planned for the year to come. Didn’t they nail that Lawn Boy my favorite song from those shows. I really think you should have another listen.

  2. Mr.Miner Says:

    what was in relix about me?

  3. powderlips Says:

    Agree, the Cities from last year was top notch

  4. kayatosh Says:

    “love when the jams get dark and trey starts saying shit to fuck w people.”

    ^^^ me too

    miner attacked/called out in relix for supposedly having a trust fund? If so, fuck relix.

    tba: big ups for the love/ anti-hate message. Love. Great post.

  5. powderlips Says:

    overall a terrible run though

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    anyone have any confirmation on relix issue? I know those guys, will be a tad disappointed. Was this in an article?

  7. MiA Says:

    I don’t think Relix did it. I think it was comments from a long time ago. Nobody remembers comments anyway…

  8. roberto luongo Says:

    just the comment section man

    nothing a typical to your typical internet comment section

    pretty tame actually. nothing printed by Relix themselves.

  9. kayatosh Says:

    i think it’s just some asshole’s comments from the 8.24.12 relix piece on miner’s book. Not in the relix article as tba implied. no worries. haters gonna hate.

  10. roberto luongo Says:

    who the fuck reads relix?

  11. Dorn76 Says:

    I found nada on the webz. Just some jackass comment to your book review, @miner.

    Earlier comment here mentioned the “new issue”, only reason I was wondering.

  12. Dorn76 Says:

    pass the spice

  13. kayatosh Says:

    just some jealous asshat named doug, not relix.

  14. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Just got my tix from UPS

  15. roberto luongo Says:

    I love how the two most common attacks on Mr M are his money and his love of L

    if $$$$ and L are a bad thing that lock me up and throw away the fuckin key

  16. kayatosh Says:

    I read a few issues of relix back in the pre-internet days.

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    oh. people can comment away. all good in the hood. Can’t control the situation one is born into. Seems like a shallow cheap shot.

  18. BingosBrother Says:

    12/11/99 looks like a sick show.

  19. MiA Says:

    I would read them on the stand, then put them back mostly. I think I have a Relix issue from when I saw Phish was on the cover back in ’96 looking crazy and shit.

    Nobody cool would follow a band that looks like this.

  20. kayatosh Says:

    Chris Robinson looking a heck of a lot like jerry on the cover of sept. relix.

    stole his look.

  21. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “Nobody cool would follow a band that looks like this.”

    that would be a great logline for a phish movie.

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    Need a gift for the Phan in your life? Phish Thoughts book is 660 pages of love for only $29.99 plus s/h! 3-4 day delivery!


  23. MiA Says:

    Pitt looked that way for a while too. CR keeps it trim.

  24. roberto luongo Says:

    US treasury made $22.7B on their AIG trade

    good buy.

  25. BooVT Says:

    Not a very flattering photo of the boys on Relix from 1996.

    Another band that is better on radio than video is Alabama Shakes. I watched a couple videos of them last night. Music was entertaining, but that is not a handsome bunch…

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