Phish Kick Off Their New Year’s Run at MSG
A look at James Flames’ official Phish poster via the band’s Facebook page
Phish kicked off their four-show run at New York’s Madison Square Garden last night. This is the third consecutive year Phish has celebrated New Year’s at Madison Square Garden, a record for the 29-year-old band.
The show opened with a run of songs that included “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan,” “The Moma Dance,” “Funky Bitch” and the band’s first version of Page McConnell’s “Army of One” this year. Phish started to stretch out during a “Tube” that segued into an 11-minute “Stash,” but the multi-night stand really kicked into gear during an extended “Wolfman’s Brother.” The 14-minute rendition of the song—one of Phish’s best takes on the tune since reuniting in 2009—included a loose version of the seasonal-appropriate “The Little Drummer Boy” and a rap about Jon Fishman’s college days. Before last night, Phish had not played “The Little Drummer Boy” since a Las Vegas show on April 16, 2004. Mike Gordon’s pronounced bass effects were also prominent throughout Phish’s first set.
“Wolfman’s Brother” set the benchmark for Phish’s jam-heavy second set. The segment opened with a 20-minute, experimental version of “Tweezer” that led into “Maze.” After some ambient noises, Phish moved into a “Twist” dotted with “The Drummer Boy” teases as well as both “Theme From the Bottom” and “Fluffhead.” “David Bowie” closed the six-song, highly improvisational second half of the show.
Mixing things up, Phish encored with “Bouncing Around the Room” and Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times.” Their unique song selection left “Tweezer Reprise” on the table for another night this run.
Phish will return to Madison Square Garden this evening.
Here’s a look at last night’s set via Phish.net
Friday, December 28, 2012, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Set 1: Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, The Moma Dance, Funky Bitch, Army of One, Tube > Stash, Nellie Kane, Kill Devil Falls, Free, Wolfman’s Brother -> The Little Drummer Boy -> Wolfman’s Brother
Set 2: Tweezer -> Maze, Twist1 > Theme From the Bottom -> Fluffhead, David Bowie
E: Bouncing Around the Room, Good Times Bad Times
 Little Drummer Boy teases and quotes
Notes: The Little Drummer Boy was played for the first time since April 16, 2004 (187 Shows). Twist contained multiple Little Drummer Boy teases as well as quotes from Trey, referring to Fishman.
Photo by Rene Huemer via Phish’s Facebook page © Phish 2012