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. kayatosh Says:

    powederlips: $$$ handle. now you just need a corresponding avatar.

    I was at 12.29.2011 last yr. the show was underwhelming and largely annoying from funky bitch on. maybe it gets a $. maybe.

  2. voopa Says:

    That photo is actually from like ’89…not that they looked much better in ’96. Well, the beards and glazed eyes did enhance things a bit I guess (see Billy Breathes photos).

  3. kayatosh Says:

    powderlips: may I suggest this as a possible avatar:

  4. MiA Says:

    Annoying? Huh. Wasn’t annoyed at all.

  5. Spasm Waiter Says:

    How can Lawnboy be nailed or not nailed? And if it was the best tune of the run, that may indicate a tepid run.

  6. tba Says:

    sorry should not have brought it up, was in the comments section of relix. now what bothered me is they led with a horrible letter. It was way more benign than first thought, not the first comment, but 3 people did defend him, which is weird how can folks defend what they didn’t read yet. maybe your boys had your back after all miner.

    the reason I got pissed, and I don’t want to get too bogged down, is why Relix would run that sort of BS when the comments were some teenage kid who obviously didn’t like miner’s review of their first show. No Miner, as per, you took it with class.

    OK as to not be all negative, is workaholics not the best slapstik comedy of all time? Sorry but the “scid trip” is so funny I literally cried. Yes worlds apart from Curb and Loui–the other two amazing shows—, but as funny in a slapstik way. LOVE that show, but hey I’m just a custie with over 300 phish shows under my belt…..

    thought u didn’t count shows dude…..

    ahh let him alone…

    I’m not schitsophrenic, I’m quadrophonic….

  7. BNCB Says:

    FTR, every place that discusses Phish on the intrawebs, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, PT, OPT, everywhere, there was a consensus:

    Last year was a weak NYE run, considering the band’s potential. To suggest Miner is the only one pointing this out, shows a limited view by you, not Miner.

    The band also knows this. Not because of Miner. Because they are extremely self-critical. Just like any great artist or athlete. Despite Trey’s outward ‘Fuck you’ attitude on videos like Bittersweet motel, he is an artist that cares. He just can’t act like it. Lest we call him a Nancy.

    This year will slay. I’m at the point of wishing I wouldn’t have booked the trip.

    BNCB stages of Phish planning:
    1) Looks good, too far, I’ll skip it, webcast it.
    2) FOMO: fear of missing out
    3) Scramble and book on the cheap: big time winging the plans, pissing off SLF
    4) Time approaches, guilt and financial reality sets in. why did I do this? Too far, too cold, too much money.
    5) Stop by the Waterwheel Booth and KICK DOWN BEFORE YOU GET DOWN

  8. kayatosh Says:

    yep, mia. high energy rock with zero risk taking is annoying. guyute mid set II is annoying. Chzero set II closer; loving cup encore is annoying. felt mailed in.

  9. tba Says:

    sloth-YEM was a good opener no?

  10. kayatosh Says:

    I enjoyed the show (12.29.11) through moma.

    funny, BNCB. I go through a similar (over thinking) process.

  11. tba Says:

    wonder why those shows sucked so much? life is weird esa.

  12. Mr.Miner Says:

    mailed in, annoying, profoundly sucking…these are all ways to describe 2011’s run. If those shows didn’t suck ass, what shows do??

  13. BNCB Says:

    Guyute, your visit to the second set of LB almost earned Troy a dick punch.

  14. BNCB Says:

    and speaking of Trust and Trusties, I trust Miner. Dude is kind, generous, thoughtful and creative.

    what I can’t stand or trust is broke ass mother efer’s constantly trying to scam and pinch off a brotha’!

  15. tba Says:

    the roland gc-1 fender, I’m an advanced beginer, but I LOVE my new guitar, only one i own as I sold my ephipone les paul…

    been experimenting with the wind/brass midi listening to golden age, Tube, etc.

  16. roberto luongo Says:

    started guitar lessons last night for the first time since 2005

    worked out sections TOry’s guitar stylings from 12/31/10 Sand and Bethel Waves pre jam guitar solo

    some interesting stuff goin on

  17. kayatosh Says:

    BNCB: that guyute didn’t hurt nearly as bad as 12.29’s On 8.5.12 they had already delivered the goods in RnR and Ghost.

    spinning MSMW 12.7.12. tape sounds $$$.

  18. tba Says:

    what I love about my new strat is it’s a very playable guitar, psyched to play it all night later.

    anyone getting the stones PPV or going. OK I’m out soon. Lates and merry xmas folks, happy festivus etc.

  19. lumpyhead Says:

    haha! @ DF’s tagline.

  20. BNCB Says:

    Kaya, exactly. The preceding Bieber jamz earned him some slack, plus I needed to check the booth after the 35 minutes of RnR>Ghost.

    D-punch averted.

  21. kayatosh Says:

    re. MSMW aud mentioned above. amazing recording and great, edgy (risk taking) playing. however, there is one particularly loud girl who periodically inserts herself into the soundfield.

  22. Jtran Says:

    yo beliebers. so inclined – added to my list of top 2012 albums. I guess that’s legit.

  23. roberto luongo Says:

    action bronson at reggies 12/29 and charles bradley on 12/31

    tory being replaced by some good music if I’m in Chicago at least

  24. Mr.Miner Says:

    Roberto, is it just tickets you need?

  25. bob dylan Says:

    I’m back on page 4. Apparently it’s expensive to play MSG. So maybe they will scrap the sterile environs and lock down Barclays center instead.

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