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. Phlorida Phan Says:

    MVP or most improved?

    Tweezer for the later, carini for the first

  2. willowed Says:

    I like thinking about what song will get that Miami BOTT treatment.

    The time when you go, did they just really do that to that song? See Worcester Boogie as well.

    I understand the RnR’s, the Ghosts, the Piper’s and the Light’s will get the treatment. Which obscure songs will get it this run?

    My vote is for Halfway to the Moon. There’s a really pure, uplifting jam that could come from that. my 2 cents.

  3. willowed Says:

    and an extended Fee outro. I eat that shit up.

  4. jdub Says:

    I’m with ya on Halfway To the Moon. Song could easily live up to its’ name. 20 Years Later is one I would love to hear go deep.

  5. BingosBrother Says:

    New song of the dankness never heard will blow up.

  6. voopa Says:

    “Rock and Roll” music hasn’t been made since the early 60’s.

  7. willowed Says:

    Let’s get the 7 Below’s, WOTC, Pebbles and Birds jams going.

    Even though I love all the other heavy hitters, these could be added to that list as constant regular rotation jam vehicles.

    I would like a nice Gumbo and a scary as all hell Stash to make an appearance.

    Also, my old friend Split, where did he go? Can he come out to play this run?

  8. joe Says:

    tickets came. It’s on now.

    re: last year, night 2 (?) with Guyute. I’m not a huge fan of the song but remember digging it in the early years. The problem to me wasn’t that it was Guyute, it was that it was a sloppy pig that derailed momentum. I had a nice emotional moment to myself during lifeboy. Chalkdust>hydrogen>weekapuag was pretty nice if I remember correctly but haven’t really gotten around to it since. maybe I’ll check out the vimeo later. overall, I thought it was a decent show and didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth. I wasn’t too upset that I was missing the next two nights either, though.

  9. willowed Says:

    Set 2 wish list:

    7 Below>Split, Sanity>Tweezer>Buffalo Bill>Tweezer>Slave

    Encore: Yem>Alvenu Malkenu (sp?)>Yem

  10. willowed Says:

    A man can dream.

  11. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “I will get on my train, head to NY, find some of you cats, throw shit fucking down, rinse and repeat, get back on train, head back to my everyday life. Nothing more.”

    you forgot spend a lot of money.

  12. willowed Says:

    I have the money to spend, so I don’t care about that.

    If I was strapped for cash, I wouldn’t make the investment.

  13. marcoesq Says:

    Yeah Gumbo hasn’t gotten the treatment yet in 3.0. It’s due.

  14. marcoesq Says:

    I’m still jonesing for a Halley’s jam. Don’t think I’ve seen that song get the treatment since 12.7.99

  15. jdub Says:

    We if we’re gonna dream. I’ll take a 45 minute open ended jam session a la the Storage Shed to open a set 2. Don’t even care out of what song, but Mikes would be cool.

  16. jdub Says:

    Edit: “Well if we’re gonna dream…”

  17. lumpyhead Says:

    13 minutes of Russian car accidents:

  18. marcoesq Says:

    Ok I forgot 4.17.04 Halley’s but that was a mess

  19. BingosBrother Says:

    I Had a Dream

    “Free at last! Free at last! thank God Almighty, they jammed Free at last!”

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    @bob dylan

    Please make a print of that w/ MLK Jr.

  21. marcoesq Says:

    Does anyone have a link to LP Vol 1: 12.14.95?

  22. joe Says:

    shirt idea: Piper’s pit themed

  23. snow Says:

    I like Bingos.
    Joe- potential. need something to pull them to together. Rowdy Roddy Piper.

    It’s like those Russians are drunk all the time. weird.

  24. BingosBrother Says:

    Love it joe.

  25. joe Says:

    something like “woke last night to the sound of the storm on the back” maybe just piper’s face on the front?

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