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Published: 2010/12/31

Opening Night for Phish at MSG

Phish kicked off the second portion of its New Year’s Run last night at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The show featured a high-energy, decidedly old school setlist and only one original song debuted after 1997 (the improvisational vehicle “Light”). Though last night’s show marked the 17th time Phish has performed at MSG since 1994, the show marked the first time the Vermont Quartet has performed “Bathtub Gin” at “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” The band also nodded to its surrounding by emphasizing the “Fluff came to New York” lyrics in “Fluffhead.”

The musicians dipped into their most recent “musical costume,” Little Feat’s Waiting for Columbus, for the first time since Halloween as well. Partway through their first set, the members of Phish jumped into the bluesy “Fat Man in the Bathtub.” The song, which is sung by Page McConnell with Phish, will likely live on in the group’s repertoire like past “musical costume” covers like The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” The Who’s “Drowned,” Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless,” Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll” and Rolling Stones’ “Shine a Light.” Another intriguing moment took place during “Camel Walk” when the house P.A. cut out during the song and the audience started to sing the song’s lyrics in unison.

The group’s second set also featured some lengthy jams, beginning with a take on “Tweezer” that morphed into “Light.” The segue continue to move into “Theme From the Bottom” and “My Friend, My Friend.” After a short pause, the group jammed “Axilla” into “Fluffhead, “Boogie On Reggae Woman,” “Also Sprach Zarathustra” and “Suzy Greenberg.”

Phish will return to Madison Square Garden tonight. The band has performed at Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve more than any other rock band.

Here’s a look at last night’s set via

12/30/2010 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Set 1: Cities, Chalk Dust Torture, Gumbo > Quinn the Eskimo, Halley’s Comet > Camel Walk1, Maze, Driver, Bathtub Gin, Fat Man in the Bathtub, Timber (Jerry) > Golgi Apparatus, Character Zero

Set 2: Tweezer -> Light > Theme From the Bottom > My Friend, My Friend2, Axilla > Fluffhead > Boogie On Reggae Woman -> Also Sprach Zarathustra > Suzy Greenberg

Encore: Run Like an Antelope > Tweezer Reprise

[1] P.A. cut out.
[2] No “Myfe” ending.

Notes: The P.A. cut out during Camel Walk. My Friend did not contain the “Myfe” ending.

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