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Published: 2017/08/06

Phish’s Baker’s Dozen: Historic Run Comes to Emotional Conclusion

Phish’s thirteenth and final night of their Baker’s Dozen run at Madison Square Garden saw the band once again deliver a show full of no repeats, bringing their grand total to 237 songs over the course of the historic run.

The quartet had to dig deep on the final night as they delivered tunes like the opening “Dogs Stole Things” as well as “Rift” and the grungy “Ha Ha Ha.” The mood of the first set shifted with a spacey jam out of the Mike Gordon tune “Crazy Sometimes” that led into “Saw It Again” and an equally as haunting “Sanity” before the band lightened things up with “Bouncing Around the Room.”

Following one of the band’s most accessible songs, Phish delivered the first of many surprises on the night as they debuted the Vida Blue cut (Page McConnell’s band with Oteil Burbridge and The Meters’ Russell Batiste) “Most Events Aren’t Planned,” which featured McConnell on lead vocals and a driving, intense jam.

“Bug” slowed things down after the first highlight of the night and McConnell once again got ahold of the lead vocals on “I Been Around.” The set closed with yet another massive bustout, as Trey Anastasio led the charge on Jimi Hendrix’s “Izabella,” the first version of the song since July 31, 1998, marking one of the biggest bustouts of the run as a whole.

The second set needed just five songs as Phish launched into a “Simple” for the ages to start the set. As the group ventured outside the confines of the song, all four members layered over one another to create a space-funk jam that found McConnell and Anastasio in particular producing a number of unique sounds. From there, the guitarist grabbed ahold of the song and took it to multiple aggressive peaks, each one topping the last, before bringing the song into his tune “Come Together.”

After an energetic take on the song, Gordon got his chance on vocals for a tribute to David Bowie with “Starman.” With the energy in the building nearing critical mass, Phish dropped into “You Enjoy Myself” and delivered another sensational jam as the band recalled the great versions of the song played in the early 90s as Anastasio led a guitar-heavy jam, something rarely seen in the modern era of Phish.

After a heavy rock jam that forayed into “Izabella” at one point, the group settled into the vocal jam which featured quotes from past covers on the run including Radiohead’s “Everything In Its Right Place” and Fleet Foxes’ “White Winter Hymnal” along with their own “The Lizards.” A rocking “Loving Cup” brought the nearly 70-minute set to a close.

Phish then returned to celebrate their achievement with their very own banner raised to the rafters at Madison Square Garden before playing an emotional version of “On the Road Again,” with Anastasio and McConnell struggling to get through their respective verses. The song was played for the first time since August 31, 2013.

From there, the band recalled one of their most improbable jams of the run, a 30-minute “Lawn Boy” on Jam-Filled night. “A lot of people have been asking me, ‘Is this still ‘Lawn Boy’?,’” McConnell said. “It is.” Mike Gordon then played a few notes of “Weekapaug Groove” before Anastasio signaled for “Tweezer Reprise” to bring the show and run to a thrilling conclusion.

Phish return to the stage on September 1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Here’s a look at the setlist:

Phish
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Set I: Dogs Stole Things, Rift, Ha Ha Ha, Camel Walk, Crazy Sometimes > Saw It Again > Sanity > Bouncing Around the Room, Most Events Aren’t Planned, Bug, I Been Around, Izabella

Set II: Simple > Come Together > Starman, You Enjoy Myself, Loving Cup

Enc: On the Road Again > Lawn Boy Reprise > Tweezer Reprise

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