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Link Thursday, 12/03/2009
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Set 1: PYITEPunch You In the Eye, BDTNLBackwards Down the Number Line, Axilla > Taste, Boogie OnBoogie On Reggae Woman, Stash, Lawn Boy, TTETime Turns Elastic, BOTTBack on the Train > Julius

Set 2: DwDDown with Disease[1] > Piper > Fluffhead, Cities > Free, Halley'sHalley's Comet > 2001Also Sprach Zarathustra > BowieDavid Bowie

Encore: Character Zero

[1] Unfinished.

Noteworthy Jams: Down with Disease

Average Song Gap: 5.79

Performers: Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon

Notes: Disease was unfinished.

Links:
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download

Song Distribution:
3 Billy Breathes
2 Joy
2 Farmhouse
2 Stash
2 Hoist
2 Junta
1 A Picture of Nectar
1 Lawn Boy

Songs by Debut Year:

waxbanks , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
waxbanks Standard fine Set I, '09 vintage. Set II is just relentless energy and intensity, very fine. The DWD jam follows a complex trajectory: standard rock > Page declaration > intricate funk > more interesting rock > standard missed chance to do something crazy > unusually complex space > Piper. Great stuff. Piper emerges from a *thick* musical fog and goes huge for six minutes before dissipating into another of those interesting self-devouring funk-rock grooves the boys have been getting into lately. Fluff is Fluff, but there's an addictive and intriguing version of Cities waiting on the other side, with a velvety piano-flavoured minor jam that the three melodic players fracture and fragment before Trey makes...

...alas...

...a hard left turn into Free. Standard fare, really. The Halley's > 2001 transition is an interesting choice, and the crowd obviously ate it up - the comic-rock bounce of Halley's Comet lends the short dance number an unusual texture. Sprightly version, nothing out of the ordinary for 'Phish 3.0.' Bowie is Bowie, lately: a more or less monotonic (this does not mean 'monotonous,' rather it roughly means 'unidirectional') seven-minute build to a familiar wailing climax. Zero is Zero.

There's an implied comparative function to reviewing - the experience of one show is hard to compare directly to another, so we compare recordings and memories and impressions. In that spirit, I'll say that this second set is comparable in 'quality' to the other MSG seconds overall, though it lacks the effortless flow of 12/4 and the standalone brilliance of the 12/2 Light. You really can't go wrong with 2009 Phish! It's all focused, empathetic, energetic, joyous music, and the improvisation is more *detailed* than it's ever been, by a long shot. We haven't yet returned to the Deep Places we visited nightly in the late 90's, but that's fine. What's happening now is wondrous in its way. Seek out this second set and give the first frame a listen while you're at it. To tune up your ears and all.
Score: 3
jwelsh8 Phish.net Staff , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
jwelsh8 While I felt the first night rode off of more of a "rock" vibe, feeding off the energy of the Garden, last night's was a bit more groove and funk oriented (and we were definitely feeling it). While some of the "funk" could have gone on a bit longer, I certainly did not leave wanting.

I am always a big fan of the Punch opener (for some reason it was off my radar; I am stuck in a Buried Alive rut, lol). The Number Line was very well played; at one point, Laura grabbed me and said it reminded her of the Dead. I have to agree; Trey just seems to channel Jerry or something during that song. Laura got a Boogie On at Jones Beach, and she got one again last night. A bit short, but was full of Mike's bubbly tone (that I heard in Light the night before). Stash was well played. Time is still better with the NY Phil, but I don't mind the ending. And I thought that Back On the Train, Julius was a nice way to end the set (by the closing refrains of Julius, I had forgotten about any let downs that may have occurred).

Jam of the run so far, imo, was the Down With Disease. Explored many different areas, from the "standard" DWD jam to some blues rock to some spaciness; it was really nice to see them venture out a bit. I wrote "gooeyness" in my book. I am a fan of Piper, so I was happy to hear it, even if it was relatively standard. And the Fluffhead was well played and was a crowd pleaser. During Fluff, these two people just in front of us were holding up "Cities" signs. I turned to the other Jeremy and joked that they were just going to stop Fluffhead and go into Cities; so when they started up Cities after some discussion, my jaw dropped, lol. I am not sure if they saw the signs, but that didn't stop the two fans from jumping up and down, receiving high-fives. I feel as though the Cities ended a bit early (the Haley's certainly did, imo), but I enjoyed the Free. (I quite enjoy the Billy Breathes songs, mostly for Trey's playing; but I am always reminded how interesting Mike can be. Both Taste and Free were good examples of that last night.) Bowie was a strong way to close, and Zero was just rock.
Score: 1
gottajib_bill , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
set one i think couldve been muuuccch better. no doubt, some good songs were played (boogie on, stash, julius) and played well. I think most of the songs were good but most of the first set didn't have the high level of energy a phish show should and usually has. on the other hand, set II, had that energy and more. whether or not people believe they played well, you have to admit there was a great energy (more than the first set) in MSG during much of the second set. DWD was a great way to bring that feeling back into the show with the ridiculous jam into piper. Fluffhead brought it to another level as well as cities did with the groove that always gets people moving. and of course 2001...enough said. In all, the concert was pretty solid, and second set id say was more than just a solid set. ik some will disagree but i loved it. character zero wouldnt have been my choice as the encore but we cant get all of our favorite songs played every show :)
Score: 1
durban73 , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
i brought my wife w/ me to see her first show. the only song she knows is "the man mulcahy one" and to my great surprise they played it. she was happy. great way to end the night. thanks phellas.
Score: 1
QuinnTheEskimo , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
A generally awesome show. You really can't beat the Garden.

Set 1: PYITE gets things off to an energetic start. BDTNL is then played well and surprisingly well-received for a new song. Axilla pumps things back up, and then Taste shows off a bit more 3.0 polish. Boogie on Reggae Woman is funky as always. Stash is a bit heavy and a little chaotic, but still well played. Page has the stadium in the palm of his hands with Lawn Boy. People give Time Turns Elastic a hard time, but you could tell Trey was proud of it, which made it a lot more special than it may sound just off a recording. Back on the Train and Julius were nothing extraordinary, but a fun way to close out the 1st set.

Set 2: This DWD is a gorgeous check it out. I usually prefer a completed DWD, but this leads nicely into a somehow intense, moving Piper. This Fluffhead (with a very welcomed "Fluff came to New York" shoutout) is magnificent. The peaks are oh so delightful. The last 3 minutes of this Fluffhead are pure bliss; I get chills listening to it. The rest of the set is a sheer funk-fest, and people loved it. Cities is very well played, and leads into a standard, yet forceful Free. I love that they still play Halley's Comet it's proof that at heart they are still a bunch of kids who like to play music for the sake of playing music. By this point the band-members' smiles were reflecting the audience's smiles. 2001 isn't particularly jammed-out, but it sure felt like a ride in the grooviest spaceship in the solar system. Kuroda's lights all night, but in particular during 2001, showed how well he knew the venue, and the best way to make it look spectacular. The Bowie closer was predictable, but kept everyone moving around.

Encore: No complaints with skillful playing and loud chanting of Character Zero.

Sure this show is similar to others of the tour and the year, but it's another example of not only creative, thoughtful playing, but more importantly a very happy arena. All four guys on stage seemed as into it as if this were their first time playing the Garden, and the fans who came to take a break from the crazy Manhattan world outside certainly checked all their burdens and worries at the door and just enjoyed the several hour escape to the realm of Phish. Great time, and a show I'll remember for a long time.
Score: 1
ohhkeepa , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
Wow is right.

Complete meltdown was the theme of the night. From a rockin' first set complete with funk, psychedelia, and a TTE bathroom/beer break, to a raunchy throw-down second set. It was the kind of set that only seemed like three songs were being played, but in actuality, it was a bunch. Dance party + psychedelic meanderings was what it was all about folks. Cities > Free > Halleys > 2001 was the perfect combo. This show kind of reminded me of MSG '98, similar in energy and flow. This surely topped last nights enjoyable show. Thanks Phish for all these years of enjoyment and sublimity. Can't wait to turn it loose tomorrow night!
Score: 0
dreamtard , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
Last night absolutely ruled.

AXILLLLLLLLAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!
Score: 0
joeyarkenstat02 , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
Awesome show 2 for the run. The second set was amazing, well, actually, the first set was amazing too.

Did anyone notice Trey change guitars right before "Back on the Train?" Anyone have any info on that?
Score: 0
TannisRoot , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
TannisRoot Trey changed guitars before TTE and then went back to his usual guitar for Get Back on the Train. I just figured he was trying to keep the suck off the mar mar. Kidding ;)

I really preferred this show to the first night. The whole second set was on fire! Cant wait for tonight.
Score: 0
dreamtard , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
"I just figured he was trying to keep the suck off the mar mar." HAHA

I think he always changes guitars for TTE because it's in a different tuning.
Score: 0
swampthing , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
swampthing UNBELIEVABLE BIRTHDAY! I EVEN GOT MY BACKWARDSDOWNTHENUMBERLINE BIRTHDAY SONG!!!

BUT WHY HAVENT THEY SAID A WORD TO US?!?!?!?!??!!!???? Not even a hello, hope you're having phun.... Which I am anyways
Score: 0
swampthing , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
swampthing I can't wait for tonight, but like I said in my earlier review... the haven't said one word either night. Have they been quiet the whole Fall Tour or what? Seriously though, not even a thanks for coming out.

The 2nd and the 3rd were some of the best sets I've ever seen compiled. Maybe I'm just biased but these shows were just fantastic. Thursday was a lot less "studio like" than Wednesday was. This show was really like some '96 shows I've heard... just fantastic rock-n-roll. I couldn't tell you how long I've waited for AXILLA! I finally got it and it was music to my ears, heh. The second set was incredible

DWD>Jam>Piper was just fantastic the Fluffhead was AWESOME ("FLUFF CAME TO NEW YORK! ASKING FOR SOME CHANGE!). Also the 2001 was perfectly placed into the end of the 2nd set. I loved this show. Great birthday

just wondering why they havent spoken a word

...hopefully Page will sing a lil more tonight. Would love some "It's Ice" & "Strange Design". Also a "Waste" would be sweet.
Score: 0
gottajib_bill , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
i must say also that set II brought the much needed phunk phactor to the show. It changed the show not only when the jam began in DWD but in the climax of fluffhead but the phunk really got goin when cities started. mike's bass groove's were on fire and page's playing was a perfect fit to the feel of the song. all of them were really on top of their game set II. It brought a totally different energy to the MSG crowd
Score: 0
ThinMan , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
the first set was utterly forgettable...the extremely boring list could not overcome the pretty decent, solid playing. boogie is a mere shadow of its once great self and has now been relegated to filler status. the set was punctuated by a ripping julius, but not as good as mansfield, albany or even syracuse...a little too late to save the set
`
set 2 on the other hand and was solid in both list and playing, they yelled "Fish came to New York" ala Albany in the fulffhead and just crushed the opening three pack. Cities was the real linchpin of the set and a great call by Phish. Funked out, stretched out and fully in 2nd set mode, this Cities was damn good. With a nice segue into Free, the garden was a non-stop dance party for these two tunes. Halley;s is frustrating as all hell as is 2001. Nothing going new and nothing being done that makes me think that MSG2 is any better than any other show in 2009
Score: 0
Elmar , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
Elmar This was my first show since Coventry and probably the only one for 2009. My group called both set openers so you know that put us in the right groove!
Set1: I enjoyed thoroughly, although as individual songs; I didn't find the set flowed as a unit the way so many of them do. Impressed with BDTNL; TTL - Um, well ... I think it's still in the freshly written "toddler stage" and in a year or two people are going to be clamoring for them to play it - but it really doesn't deserve the "off the cuff" negative reviews I've been seeing. "Punching Holographic Hazes, Boogieing, Stashing the Smelled Colors ... with a great segue closer. On the whole, a good set!
Set2: is responsible for my overwhelming stiffness and rusty voice on Saturday. Madness out of the gate! DWD raged as always, "Piper" (my moniker for years), FLUFFHEAD "...OH YEAH!!!" Cities (Talking Heads is always welcome) and ... and ... and I could go on but will show some restraint! Zero(regardless of it not being a favorite)was a perfect encore for that night. As Homer might ruminate, "Mmmmmmmmmmm, MSG!" Thanks Boys - It's good to have you back!!
Score: 0
MiguelSanchez , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
MiguelSanchez while i feel that this show does not have any monster ground breaking jams, it does have excellent flow and some pretty tight playing. the first set littered with treats, from a nice punch opener, a nice boogie on, and strong stash. the highlight, in my opinion though, is two songs i don't particularly go crazy over. the gbott>julius combo was very inspired and features some nice raucous playing.

the second set is nonstop fun, and it has become one of my favorite new driving sets. down with disease is nice and rocking. they are still not getting way out there all the time on this one, and this stays relatively close to home. they drift off just long enough to explore some quick spacey realms. the piper, like many in 09, was nice and exploratory. trey and fishman sounded awesome on this one. fluff head finishes off this opening trio in fine fashion. the cities>free combo is magnificient. they still don't take either one too far out, but they explore cities nicely before crashing into free. surely, they will slow down at this point.... nope! halley's comet really gets the parting jumping before finding its way into a nice dark, funky 2001. it's no msg 98 2001, but it's pretty good compared to other ones they've been playing this year, nice and loose. david bowie finishes this "Hit Fest" off accordingly. trey and page sound great on the middle section. not a big zero fan but hey...

this show is great for "converts." it's good a really good set list that is well executed, and they really don't have any super long jams.... pretty good combo for newbies. once they get this show, you can give them that albany seven below>ghost!
Score: 0
dpwilljr , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
dpwilljr It's actually a little suprising to me this show received only moderate reviews. The DWD>Piper>Fluffhead was way above average, actually exceptional.
The first set is somewhat forgettable (for me). Perhaps this is the reason for the lukewarm reception.
The Axilla definitely rocks out though...
The second set is worth a listen if you haven't heard it. It's near the end of the tour, and the band is road-worthy. The Disease>Piper is close to 30 minutes of flat out serious jamming.
Score: 0
HotPale , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
HotPale At this most amazing Phish I met my one and only true love, Amy Bess. The past year and a half has been absolutely amazing as we have grown as a couple and seen 24 shows together...through the music our love keeps growing...thank you Phish and everything you do for us...I also met They Might Be Giants that night in Union Square and got to see them perform for free....best day ever!
Score: 0
HeadHunter , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
HeadHunter It was my first show and I have to admit it, It was solid. PYITE opener is alwaysgood and the 2001>Bowie was superb
Score: 0
EllisDeeTrails , attached to 2009-12-03 Permalink
EllisDeeTrails I write this on my 4th Anniversary of my first show, and of this lovely show. Before this one, there was a level of excitement, uneasiness, and anxiousness that I've never felt before, or since. I had no idea what to expect from this live show or from the crowd itself either for that matter. We eventually found our seats (somehow) as the lights dropped and the crowd erupted in palpable excitement. This was something new, something I'd never felt before, and something I knew I'd need to feel again. PYITE ripped into it's opening chords and we had a feeling this would be something special. I was just bopping along with out a care in the world, until STASH came ripping through. I distinctly remember glancing at a friend and giving him a silent nod of "Ohhhhh! THIS is what Phish does. I see now..." and from that moment forward, I've been going to shows non-stop. I couldn't speak to the musicality of the show at the time, as it was my first, but now with 4 years of hindsight, I'll say that it was a rather solid show from start to finish. Sure, there were some flubs and lowlights as there are at ANY show really, but it was clearly amazing enough to have me cris-cross the country several times over just to chase this incredible band. Seeing the lights illuminate MSG during Fluffhead was one of the most awe-inspiring moments I've ever been privy to, and try to get others to experience the same. I love this band, I love this venue, and I love all of you. I hope to see each and every one of you this coming NYE run.
Score: 0

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