, attached to 2013-12-31

Review by ObviousFool

ObviousFool Definitely the least polished of the 4 night run this year, but after the last 2 nights that's hardly a complaint. Pretty pedestrian first set, the Bag has good energy, ASIHTOS is decent, several significant flubs during Divided Sky. They redeem themselves with a fun bouncy Ocelot, which follows its own predictable course but reaches a nice climax. Next comes Sugar Shack, which I don't think I've ever heard them play right...I just don't think this song was meant to be performed live...and they follow with Halfway to the Moon. I'd prefer BoaBH, but that's opinion and nothing more. Fluffhead is a fantastic choice for set closer, but they stumble through this one as well...no matter, their minds are focused on bigger things. At the end of Fluffhead the boys carry a keyboard looking like the one from Telluride to the front of the stage (with Fishman carrying a giant cardboard cutout of a mountain). The keyboard is cake. They cut it and pass it around. All rejoice as we are treated to the first video of the night.

The scene is something of a museum of Phish NYE memorabilia...We see Fishman go to work building....something...something with 555 horsepower...and loading all of the equipment into a box truck. He sets off with his destiny seemingly unbound, but some time into his trip he falls asleep, the roof rips off the truck...and all of a sudden the truck is a stage and is in MSG...in the MIDDLE OF MSG...like, in the back of GA West and the front of GA East...like IN THE FUCKING MIDDLE OF THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS ARENA. Needless to say, the excitement was palpable.

From the opening riff to Glide we knew we were in for a treat. This version was far from perfect, but it was a pleasant start to the set and it set the tone for the bustouts that would ensue. My first Llama since 98 was a truly welcome surprise, and high octane shredding from Page kick the energy level into high gear. Then it got quiet. Really quiet. TOO quiet...my buddy said "Forbin's" and we all got goosebumps. Sure enough, 10 seconds later, it dropped. And glory be his name is Forbin! Fantastically played with a few minor flubs, but nothing major, and mockingbird that follows is truly beautiful (also not without flubs, but come on! THEY'RE ON A TRUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF MSG!!!) Fuck Your Face was a fun little ditty, Mike totally fucked our faces and we loved it. Reba was quite well played (though not on the level of accuracy of Golgi or Bowie from night 2). Then came what I thought was the focal point of the set and of the show and of the run...ICCULUS. I think some people are still not getting it. For 30 years these guys have been giving us their all, playing their hearts out, changing our lives. Yet there are still those amongst us who see it fit to bitch and moan when they don't get exactly what they want. READ THE FUCKING BOOK PEOPLE!!! SAVE YOUR LIFE!!! The Phish will play what the Phish want to play, and they've earned that right...you don't deserve your Harpua...nobody promised you Eat A Peach...READ THE FUCKING BOOK!!!

The Lizards follows, huge crowd pleaser, a chaser for many I'm sure. Despite some major flubs, this is a solid version. Melt closes the set with a pretty stellar breakdown and then a smooth transition back into the groove.

3rd set is somewhat unremarkable, Fuego takes a while to take off, partly because of the Spinal Tap situation we see created by balloons every year...pro tip: put fans on the edge of the stage so the balloons don't get up there...or better yet drop them on the back of the crowd...or better yet, just do confetti...we don't need balloons. Light takes a while to find its identity but reaches some nice peaks.

All in all, the 2nd set was beyond my wildest dreams and I will cherish forever. And despite the flubs this was probably the best 12/31 show of the last 4 MSG runs. As I said to my brother after the show, they could encore with Let Me Lie after that run and I wouldn't complain.

Covers? Who needs covers? We got 30 years of originals, and you'll get your covers in due time, but this run was about our favorite band and all they've done for us over the last 30 years and all they'll do in the next 30. READ THE FUCKING BOOK PEOPLE. SAVE YOUR LIFE.


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