Phish December 29th 2011 MSG New York, NY


Night two in the Garden.  We all felt pretty warmed up from the previous night..most probably had been there.  It was my first show in seven months, a drought way too long.  The Garden jumped last night, but we knew it could still go to the next level…I ran into friends and decided to go down a level..section 423 wasnt cutting it…I hopped up there, got a random “200” sticker from a guy celebrating his 200th show, and boogied my to section 106.  Id probably get kicked out in no time, but lets see how long it lasts..

Five minutes to go..and still in these seats…wow, these are some of the best in the house besides floor.  Lights off at about on.  Seats secured, raucousness begins.  We start off with “Sloth” and I know its just a warmup song, good, I think I hear him going into YEM, but thats impossible as the second song in the second show, it just doesnt make sense..itd be too good to be true since this is my lat Phish show of 2011..could it be?  could it be?  Do I hear Rudolph on the Roof, is Santa really here??  It is.

Pure joy.  Absolute craziness.  Dancin, headbangin’, and most importantly, smiles.  Im not sure if people watching the webcast were happy about this, to not be here, but this has got to be the hardest I have ever seen the Garden rock. (maybe the Dead shook it more for the 09 show, its a close call.)  This song has only been played five times this year, which is ridiculous, considering what a consistent spot it has on the roster…

Reviews on this show, and this YEM, are kinda mixed.  Im baffled..This has got to be one of the best Phish shows of my life, and one of the best YEM’s for that matter.  They may not have stretched it out..but its not always about that.  What they did was smash it hard.  The  “Boy, Man, God, Shit” was like thunder crashing down.  The “will you please take me to firenze” was like angels singing above..I mean, Im not sure how this song could be played any better, even though I havent watched it on youtube yet (a youtube recap doesnt evoke the emotion felt in the Garden anyways.)  The trampolines were in full effect.  The jam was hard, and I feel it was pretty long.  Trey extended on the guitar portion.  Lights were really good.  I couldnt ask for anything more.  Helluva start.  Helluva start.

The reviews for “Back on the Train” are not great.  I thought they kind of hum hawed it, and I wasnt so sure if it fit in there..but considering its one of my favorite tunes, I was damn happy…The Moma dance was a nice lil gift, and got a tune stuck in my head and Funky Bitch was so great..Mike truly played it well.  What a great tune..What a great set…still going..Maze, yes beautiful choice, the set keeps getting better, great fit..Roses are Free, freaking Awesome..Halleys Comet was solid, not the best Ive heard, but another classic we were lucky to get…and I absolutely loved the closer “Run Like an Antelope.”  They really stretched this one must have been like the old days, the excitement that was built up was very high.  It did not disappoint.  I would have to rank this as the #1 first set in all my Phish shows attended.  Boo Yah!

On to the second set..still in section 106 livin’ the dream.  Another warmup “Crosseyed and Painless”..stillllll waiting, must bring back some Coventry memories to fans, lol…Simple was awesome..another tune, not stretched out, but played hard..skyscrapers got people jumping in the city known for no sleep, and, well, skyscrapers.  Transition into Lifeboy was smooth..and Guyute was another rare tune we were lucky to have heard the boys whip out.  Keep it up..yes!  Mike’s well done, such a treat..into, oh boy, here we go, Garden is about to shake “Chalk Dust Torture!”  Whooooo this one took the wind out of me…whoooo….Onto I am Hydrogen and the best Weekapaug I have ever heard.  Never heard him jam it this long, never.  It must have been like it was in the 90’s.  Show of Life provided a much needed cooldown into another workout song, and sweetass closer “Character Zero.”  Hell Yeah, what a show, what a show, what a show…Encore: Loving Cup…no complaints, a nice finisher, def better than last night.  OOOOOhhhh baby, finally got my Phish good so good so good..onto the Particle aftershow!

Set 1The SlothYou Enjoy MyselfBack on the TrainThe Moma DanceFunky BitchMazeRoses Are FreeHalley’s Comet[1] > Run Like an Antelope

Set 2Crosseyed and Painless > Simple -> LifeboyGuyuteMike’s Song > Chalk Dust Torture[2] -> I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug GrooveShow of Life > Character Zero[3]

EncoreLoving Cup

[1] Streets of Cairo tease from Trey.
[2] Unfinished.
[3] Rhapsody in Blue tease from Page.

Notes: Halley’s Comet contained a Streets of Cairo tease from Trey and Character Zero contained a Rhapsody in Blue tease from Page.

Rating: 9.5


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