, attached to 1995-12-31

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads This show represents "the" sublime peak of Phish for me in my personal phandom. "The X factor," "synchronicity," "it..." 12/31/95's got 'em in spades. Something--cultural? human?--seemed to align the stars this night and result in my very favorite show (albeit with 12/31/99 nipping at its heels since *that* fateful night-into-morning.)

The setlist would be stuff of dreams at any point in Phishtory. 12/31/95's Reba is my favorite piece of recorded music of all time. Axilla (Part II)--a personally significant tune for me--would make its as-yet last appearance at this show, IIRC. Phans held the wheel and read the sign. Mike's Song jammed, and then second-jammed, and then DDL-jammed. Weekapaug wended its way into a plaintively dignified Page McConnell moment, and really just everything about this show is what I live for when it comes to Phish, and that what I live for can radically change from night to night doesn't diminish the value of this show; it just proves that Phish is special--to me, to phans--enough that they can exceed expectations without losing themselves in the transition. Isn't that what New Year's means to many people?

Although this is my favorite show, I don't have it crystal clear in my RAM to the point of being able to recite every facet of it without a refresh. Nostalgia has become a loaded term in some phan circles--at least those on the Internet--but aren't some of our best memories a bit occluded by the immanent be-here-nowness that life requires of us, and made all the more worthy because of that fact? My picture of what New Year's Eve 1995 live at Madison Square Garden must've been is maybe sepia-toned on a given day, but I'm so thankful I've got recordings both audience-sourced and soundboard-official to look back in awe and be rewowed and reinvigorated by a night of truly peak Phish.


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