New York News Day


MSG NYE 2013

This week, Phish dropped two noteworthy pieces of news centered around the state of New York. First and foremost, the band announced that they will return to Madison Square Garden for the fourth consecutive year for their Holiday Run. Though this comes as no surprise, it’s always nice to see more Phish shows on the docket. Phish also announced their next remastered release—a straight heater from Niagara Falls, New York on December 7, 1995. In my opinion, this is one of the very best shows from—arguably—the very best month in Phish history. A shrewd selection from Kevin Shapiro, this drop highlights the band at their absolute career peak (up until that point) as they worked their way to MSG at the end of the month. United in their Empire State of mind, each of these pieces of news deserve a tad more inspection.

12/7/95 Cover

12/7/95 Cover

Madison Square Garden, Phish, and New Years Run have become a 3.0 tradition. Starting in 2010, the band has returned to the hallowed round room each and every year for their Holiday bash, and each time we’ve witnessed a subsequent phase of renovation that has decreased the fun and all-out free for all that once existed in the late ‘90s. Now, the venue is extremely segmented, causing fans to scurry for GA West tickets only to discover the section packed like sardines and being forced to go small on the dance floor. Let’s face it, MSG ain’t what she once was and it’s time for a change. Hopefully the band will switch things up sooner than later, but for now it looks like we are heading back to the Big Apple to brave the cold weather for the holidays. With the band peaking again and returning to one of their favorite rooms, however, these shows carry a boat load of potential. Good luck in the ticket lottery!

Niagara Falls is the best release by Phish in quite some time. This highlights one of the peak shows of a peak era—December ’95. Within this show, the band throws down a fantastic first set “Slave” that sets up Hall of Fame versions versions of “Split Open and Melt,” “Reba,” “Mike’s” and “Weekapaug” in set two, not to mention an early, scorching version of “Taste.” This is an absolute can’t miss purchase, as Fred Kevorkian’s remastering has been dialed in on recent releases like Ventura and Hampton-Winston Salem. Bring that oh-so-crisp sound to the fast, frenetic and layered jamming of December ’95, and this drop is bound for glory. Here’s a 2008 piece I wrote on four shows that should be remastered—including Niagara Falls. Hey, two out of four ain’t bad!


Winged-music-noteJams of the Day: Niagara Falls 12/7/95

Split Open




“Slave to the Traffic Light” SBD sample < Click

1,801 Responses to “New York News Day”

  1. dorn76 Says:

    Not an antics guy really, but Page is my brony. Don’t mess.

  2. btb Says:

    that 1999 was so funky…just kept on going with thick, goey Prince Pancake funk

  3. btb Says:

    Mike dropping them phinest Vermont syrup bass bombs with Page all standing up and throwing blueberries at Treyzr who’s melted-butter licks cascaded through the Garden Party dripping off the side of Fish’s robotic snare drum plate

  4. MiA Says:

    The Meatstick probably pained me that they were playing on such basic sad cultural stereo types, that it was just pretty much offensive to me. YMMV.

  5. Stoney Case Says:

    For those that enjoyed the ‘Meatstick Gag’

    I forgive you. We can still be friends.

  6. Stoney Case Says:

    There have been more great sets at Dicks than even great jams at MSG in 3.0. Time for that to change.

  7. Kaveh Says:

    Meatstick was great for the scale of the theatrics; that is what I really liked.

  8. Stoney Case Says:

    Meatstick was awful. Like I said, we can still be friends. They could have done the choreography to any number of good songs.

  9. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    i have seen a lot of shows during new years run, but i have only seen on nye show- 12/31/1997. 12/31 was the weakest night of that run, but heads and shoulders above any 3.0 new years eve show. i love phish and i love msg, but i go to these 3.0 msg shows with only one expectation- that it will be fun. they have met that expectation every time.

  10. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    @stoney- i think you are not too far off with that statement: more great sets at dick’s then jams at msg in 3.0- however, they are both so much fun.

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    Michelemabelle loved the msg Steam. I myself have never been to msg. Sad, really.

  12. BooVT Says:

    I’ve seen two NYE shows: 1990 in Boston, and 1996 in Boston. This year is probably not realistic due to family… But one of the other 3 nights might be… I need to start working and scheming with my wife.

  13. jtran Says:

    12/31/11 set 3- not fun

  14. Kaveh Says:

    Thanks @Stoney; I appreciate that. 🙂

  15. BingosBrother Says:

    1990? Fuck yeah Boo! Give us a story.

  16. Stoney Case Says:

    Right on Heady. Have had a fantastic time in NYC for Phish. 12/31/10 set 3 the only exception. Did not enjoy that set. Doubled up on fun for 1/1/11 for balance.

  17. MiA Says:

    MSGhost was worth the price of admission in itself.

  18. MiA Says:

  19. BooVT Says:

    I don’t really have an interesting 1990 NYE story, but I do have some hazy recollections, that may or may not be entirely accurate.

    Printed on the ticket were the words “Creative Formal Wear Requested”. I remember fretting about it, but don’t remember what I wore. If it was jeans overalls, like a farmer might wear, would I be banned from the BB? Or just laughed at behind my back?

    Chucklehead opened. Where are you now, Chucklehead?

    The venue was a big flat open floor convention center. The stage was simply a raised platform in the middle of the floor. We were free to wander all around the center.

    I think Mike wore a big gold turban, maybe? Or I may be confusing that with another show, or a picture I’ve seen…

    The actual stroke of midnight was hardly acknowledged, or recognized very late. I think.

    Oh, yeah. And my buddy had some good precious.

  20. phlorida phan Says:

    Yeah, no MSG for me before either. Hitting the Mothership for the first time though, baby steps.

  21. Selector J Says:

    They need to just cut down the length of the NYE theatrics. 10-12 minutes and then back to the Horsing of jams.

    ATTN: Showtunes Tory

    Your theater friends’ routine should not be longer than the ensuing 3rd set MSG Ghost. If they insist on doing a 22 min puppet show representing 53 ways to be insensitive to the Eskimos and Dutch, you gotta woo out a 23 minute Ghost. Maybe throw in a Have Mercy segue, too. Deal? 

  22. sumodie Says:

    ” The Meatstick probably pained me that they were playing on such basic sad cultural stereo types, that it was just pretty much offensive to me. YMMV.”

    Im often very sensitive about (even subtle) offensive cultural stereotypes, but I didnt get that vibe at all from the Meatstick gag. To me the dancers were simply dressed to represent a different culture of the world and they even sang the lyrics in that language, which was super cool & riotously funny.

    (I was on the opposite end of the venue. Maybe I’d have had a different reaction if I was up close)

    Singing the Meatstick in multiple languages and not just two was thebest part of the gag

  23. MiA Says:

    Good point Sumo. I was watching a webcast, and it made me spill my bong water and dorritos.

    Imagine MiA mopping up that bong water with a towel, cursing for the dog to get away and turning his head up to see hasidic jews singing “Meatstick” in yiddish before the Swedish Ski team came out in argyle sweaters and overly blonde hair.


  24. MiA Says:

    If they insist on doing a 22 min puppet show representing 53 ways to be insensitive to the Eskimos and Dutch, you gotta woo out a 23 minute Ghost. Maybe throw in a Have Mercy segue, too. Deal? ”

    Funniest thing I’ve read on here in a while. Well done sir. Well done.

  25. BingosBrother Says:

    Chucklehead? Whoa. Rarely hear of openers for phish. Very cool.

    Holy Ghost is my fav type of jam. Love that uplifting spiral of tension and release.

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