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Published: 2012/12/31

Phish Focuses on Dark Jams, Segues at MSG

Here’s a look at James Flames’ official poster from last night via the band’s Facebook page

Last night, Phish returned to New York’s Madison Square Garden for the third show of their New Year’s run. While Saturday night’s performance focused on distinct songs and unique song placements, yesterday’s performance was mostly about the spacey jams between those compositions.

The show’s first pocket of improvisation came out of a cover of Talking Heads’ “Cities” (an appropriate choice since the evening’s pre-show music was Talking Heads). The jam moved into tight “Divided Sky.” Later in the set, the group offered Blues Image’s “Ride Captain Ride.” For many years the song was a rarity, but Phish has played “Ride Captain Ride” with increased frequency this year. Soon after, Phish offered a definitive version of “Ocelot” as well as a well-received “Ya Mar” and “Horn.” A unique, loose “My Friend, My Friend” that led into “Run Like an Antelope” closed Phish’s first set.

The jams really took off during Phish’s second set. The Vermont Quartet kicked things off with a 19-minute take on “Down with Disease” that moved well past the song’s proper structure and into the ballad “Twenty Years Later” and an extremely dark, 14-minute “Carini.” The band continued to move throughout their second set without pausing—though Mike Gordon switched basses at one point—and segued into “Backwards Down the Number Line,” “Julius” and “Slave to the Traffic Light.” Page McConnell also teased “Little Drummer Boy,” a song Phish played on Friday, during the latter song.

The band has mixed up their encores this run and, last night, they returned to the stage for a 12-minute “Harry Hood” that moved into the Trey Anastasio/Dude of Life collaboration “Show of Life.”

Phish will close their run with a three-set New Year’s Eve show this evening.

Here’s a look at yesterday’s setlist via

Sunday, December 30, 2012, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Set 1: Runaway Jim, Cities > Divided Sky, Back on the Train, Ride Captain Ride, Ocelot, Ya Mar, Horn, My Friend, My Friend1 > Run Like an Antelope

Set 2: Down with Disease2 > Twenty Years Later > Carini > Backwards Down the Number Line > Julius > Slave to the Traffic Light3

E: Harry Hood > Show of Life

[1] No “Myfe” ending.
[2] Woman from Tokyo tease; unfinished.
[3] Little Drummer Boy tease from Page.

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