Just about five months since The Baker’s Dozen, Phish made their “triumphant return” to Madison Square Garden for the 2017-2018 New Year’s Run. Phish has taken over MSG as their home venue, arguably taking that title from Billy Joel, who’s “consecutive show” record they broke over the summer. I’ve seen so many of my favorite bands at MSG, from The Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Prince, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, to my very first MSG experience, Rush (12/7/1991). This New Year’s Eve marked my 43rd Phish show at The Garden, having caught all or part of each run there since 12/30/1994. So many incredible memories made in that building. Those at the shows back then might notice some signs age creeping into the dance moves and the music, but the celebration of life and sonic adventures continue.
Here’s a compilation video from 12/28/2017 that highlights some of the awesome lighting from the night…
12/28/2017 Photo Gallery
12/29/2017 Photo Gallery
12/30/2017 Photo Gallery
Some people may wonder why anyone would go see a band perform so much. While they put on a “show” by any definition, Phish shows are different. Unlike a typical “concert experience”, they’re a gathering of friends and a meeting of the minds of people open to and moved by the same adventurous soundscapes, made by musicians willing to take a chance, in hopes of an ecstatic payoff that we can’t help but be delighted by. Phish also brings to the table an enormously deep catalog of music that was the soundtrack to some our most thrilling experiences, and like music in general, a beacon of hope in times of struggle. The guys on stage must feel this more than anyone. Though the windshield is a little dirty, the idiot light comes on from time to time, and sometimes we’re stranded searching for a pencil to hold the choke open to get the engine started, I’m grateful we’re still their companions on this ride.
12/31/2017 Photo Gallery
Chris Kuroda is really working magic with the lights. The light rig used this year is incredible, which makes it so much fun to watch and try to capture.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the photos and music on my site. While you’re here, I hope you’ll check out my new album of original music, Break The Code. It’s coming out September 28, 2018, but you can listen to it right here…
Twenty years ago today, Phish wrapped up one of their most revered fall tours. I caught the final night of the tour in Albany, NY, at the former Knickerbocker Arena, cleverly renamed Pepsi Arena. This was my second visit to see Phish in Albany, having attended one of the all time favorite shows there on 12/9/1995. On this final night of the tour, they opened with a cool an unusual jammed out version of Ya Mar, and played a memorable Mike’s Song that included a chant to “Bring in the Dude” that inspired some unique musical hijinx.
Before smart phones, and even for a few years when cell phone cameras were new, cameras were strictly prohibited at concerts. At the time, my interest in music and photography sometimes led me to evade the rules and stealthily bring a camera to the show, as I did this night. Using a late 90’s era point and shoot camera, the results were usually not great, but I managed to capture a few decent shots that bring back some fun memories and give a glimpse of the scene at Phish in 1997, including the monster light rig from this era.
Just another Tuesday night of Phish at Madison Square Garden. At the prior weeknight shows there was a black curtain closing off behind the stage, as the seats were not sold in those sections. Once Phish completed the first week of it’s residency at MSG, people started wondering “is this still Lawn Boy?” and they opened up the behind the stage seating on the weeknights and completely sold out the rest of the run. The final night I was offered a “$5000” Jerry Garcia action figure (yeah, right.) in trade for a ticket, and overhead people saying it was the hardest ticket since the first shows of the return at Hampton 2009.
The donut this night was “Maple”, and the show started out somewhat slow and grew into a steady flow of drippy sweet jams. The second set was one of my favorites that I attended. Here’s a video including the Marimba Lumina / percussion break during 46 Days…
I was all over The Garden this night, from Mike side, to the Madison Club and front row behind the stage…
I caught the “Jam Filled” performance Phish gave last Tuesday, July 25, at Madison Square Garden. This was the 4th performance of 13 they are currently playing at MSG that make up the Baker’s Dozen run. Each night the band is giving out a limited number of donuts at the doors. This night’s donut was “Jam Filled”, and the show they played was just that. The run really heated up, with jammed out performances of some unusual songs, like Lawn Boy. Typically a 3 minute crooner, it clocked in at over 30 minutes with some tasty improvisation jammed inside! At this point, it’s clear the band is on their way to play all 13 nights with out repeating any songs. I can hardly think of another band that could play 13 nights at MSG. Forget about one that would play a completely unique set list every night. Only Phish.