Phish Get Steamy on First Night of NYE Run
Phish took the stage at a newly renovated Madison Square Garden last night for the first show of their four-night New Year’s run. It was their 28th performance at the iconic New York City venue.
The night kicked off with an atypical “The Wedge” opener, the first time the band has started a show with the tune in over 15 years (8/8/98). The song was followed by solid takes on “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan,” “Mound” and “Axilla” that led into a top-notch “Birds of a Feather.” The improvisation-heavy “Wolfman’s Brother” that came next featured some interesting effects work from Trey Anastasio and was easily the highlight of the first set. The band then went into the new Wingsuit piece “Monica,” but not before a quick “secret language” tease of the theme song to The Simpsons elicited shouts of “D’oh” from many in the crowd. This version of “Monica”—Phish’s second-ever take on the song—saw the band using electric instruments instead of their acoustic counterparts, as had been the case during its debut at this year’s Halloween show in Atlantic City. The set then continued with a “Seven Below” that segued into “Tube” and then “Free” before it came to a close with a fun take on “Julius.”
The band came out the gate with a trio of Farmhouse tracks—“Sand,” “Piper and “Back on the Train”—to get the second set going. “Sand” and “Piper” both featured some solid jams, though “Back on the Train” was more or less unremarkable. “Tweezer” saw some good moments before meandering into a “Backwards Down the Number Line” that featured a solid jam. The “Steam” that came next was the night’s greatest treat, and possibly the best version of the song since it made its debut in 2011. The tune went into a number of unexpected directions, making it clear that the song has more potential as a jam vehicle than many had realized. “The Horse” was missing once again as “Silent in the Morning” was followed by the nights second Wingsuit offering—“Waiting All Night”—before the set closed out with a crowd-pleasing “Run Like an Antelope.”
Phish then returned to the stage for a rocking “Suzy Greenberg” encore that saw Page McConnell take over a jam while Anastasio and Mike Gordon used their instruments as weapons in a silly mock sword fight. The show then wrapped up with “Tweezer Reprise.”
Phish will continue their New Year’s run at Madison Square Garden tonight.
Here’s a look at last night’s setlist as it appears in our Box Scores section
Saturday, December 28, 2013, Phish, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Set I: The Wedge, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Mound, Axilla > Birds of a Feather, Wolfman’s Brother, Monica*, Seven Below > Tube > Free, Julius
Set II: Sand > Piper > Back on the Train > Tweezer > Backwards Down the Number Line, Steam > Silent in the Morning, Waiting All Night, Run Like an Antelope
Enc: Suzy Greenberg, Tweezer Reprise
Notes: *The Simpsons secret language signal was played prior to Monica