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Link Saturday, 12/28/2013
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

Set 1: WedgeThe Wedge, STFTFPStealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Mound, Axilla > BOAFBirds of a Feather, Wolfman'sWolfman's Brother, Sing Monica, Seven Below > Tube > Free > Julius

Set 2: Sand > Piper > BOTTBack on the Train > Tweezer > BDTNLBackwards Down the Number Line, Steam > SilentSilent in the Morning, Waiting All Night, AntelopeRun Like an Antelope

Encore: SuzySuzy Greenberg > TweepriseTweezer Reprise

Noteworthy Jams: Wolfman's Brother, Sand, Steam (highly recommended)

Average Song Gap: 3.55

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

Notes: This show was webcast via LivePhish. Sing Monica was preceded by Aw Fuck! and Simpsons signals. Suzy included a synchronized on-stage duel between Trey and Mike.

Links:
Photos Official Photos
Audience Recording Audience Recording
LivePhish Download LivePhish Download

Song Distribution:
3 Farmhouse
3 Rift
2 Fuego
2 Joy
2 Hoist
2 A Picture of Nectar
1 Round Room
1 The Story of the Ghost
1 Billy Breathes
1 Lawn Boy
1 The White Tape

Songs by Debut Year:

n00b100 , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
n00b100 Something of an up and down show, with some legitimate highlights mixed in with a few shaky moments. The Wolfman's through Tube run in Set I is a real treat - Wolfman's brought the debut of a new Trey effect to add some weirdness and zest to a particularly meaty jam; Monica sounded really nice in an electric setting; -7 threatened to break out a few times but never did (a portent for the rest of the night, actually), and Tube was its usual funky self.

Set 2? Some nice ambiance in Sand, and a kernel of interesting music coming out of Tweezer, but nothing to write home about. The whole set kind of felt disjointed, like they weren't really sure what to do with any of the jams, so Trey would just move things along to something else. There wasn't much in the way of flow, which is disappointing considering how many Oct./Nov. sets had great flow, but that's not the worst thing ever. And, as will surely be mentioned in other reviews, the Steam is a true highlight, working up to a really powerful peak after a heavy and intense jam that features Trey breaking back out the spooky effects and some great organ work from Page. Much like Reading's 20YL, it's nice to get a newer song really taken out for a walk.

Final thoughts: A warmup show with two legitimate highlights, but those highlights (Wolfman's and Steam) are not optional.
Score: 12
fja4phish , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
I don't know what show other people saw but this was a scorching opening night at MSG. The energy of the band and the crowd was amazing. Sure, there were some low points but there was some really great rocknroll jamming. The first set was really strong start to finish. Second set was good but didn't have the same flow as the opening stanza. The boys were clearly having a blast on stage. Treys new delay effect is something to watch for. Could become a better version of the late 90s loop.
We had a blast on the rail Page side. Looking forward to the rest of the run.
Score: 8
JordanThePhisherman , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
JordanThePhisherman I really enjoyed the Sand, I thought it had some great flare to it, with nice rhythmic riffs from Mike and Fish. Piper was ripping and had some great moments, but that is the case with most Pipers. Tweezer wasn't really going anywhere, so the ripcord made sense, but that was pretty jarring to be honest. Steam was outrageous, very Floyd esque, with some really intense segments.

I really enjoyed the show overall. People just have really high expectations coming off of Fall tour. It is their first show back, of course they'll be a little rusty. This show was very very above average for any 3.0 year besides 2013. 2013 has been such a good year that people feel the need to criticize if the show wasn't amazing.

This show was very satisfactory, that saying, I do hope it is the worst of run. We'll see whats in store for us the next three nights.
Score: 5
Phabio , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
Show highlights:
1) A powerful, energetic and playful wolfman's
2) The Steam to end all steam's. Seriously, give this one a listen, or 12
3) A bizarre guitar/bass interpretive dance done by Mike and Trey during Page's solo in Suzy. Hilarious, and yet I could not help but think I was trapped in an episode of The Twilight Zone (although I seem to be saying that more and more these days)

Fun first show, can't wait to see what happens on night 2!
Score: 4
MikeAndLaura , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
Happy Anniversary Phish!!! Show was Awesome love Monica can't wait for tonight :) Would love to here my first undermine tonight but anything they play will be just as good . set 1/ loved the song choices my first 7 below killer . set 2/ was Sick love the jamming Sand ,Piper, Train "Wow" Love Me Some Phish!!! 3 More Nights of Phish !!!! Sweet...
Score: 2
Jaybp30 , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
Jaybp30 Other than Steam no super standouts but a lot of well played songs. The flow was a little disjointed around # Line but I don't think pulling out of Tweezer was a bad move. For the Floyd fans around, if you want to hear how they would play Phish songs see Sand, Tweezer and Steam. That's why I think stopping Tweezer shorter than what we usually hope for was the right call, it was a dark, spaced out psychedelic jam that, I think had reached an end. I kind of wish they stayed in a darker place to bridge that Tweezer with the ridiculous and dark and awesome Steam. Love that song. Extra steamy ending. Piper raged and we got some solid jamming in the first set. Monica has fully arrived (thanks Page), some fun sword fighting from Mike and Trey in a rocking Suzie and Simpsons signal. Huh, as a write this I think I just bumped its grade from a B to a B+. Oh yeah, armpits smell bad but songs about them sure do kick a$$.
Score: 2
PhishPhan_CT , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
PhishPhan_CT i thought this was an awesome 1st day of their 4 night run, i thought that this was a warmup show, and i still thought the energy was there and kicking, overall good wolfmans and sand, the mid-tweezer funk was really exciting for a first night set, fishman and mike were ON
Score: 2
PowerPoodle , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
This was a solid show. If we look at the MSG 11 / 12 / 13 progression, I think we're clearly seeing a continuing upping of the ante and refinement of their craft.

Here's how I'd summarize it: the highs of 12/28/12 (Wolfman, Tweezer) went way beyond anything that happened on 12/28/13. But 12/28/13 was a more solid show. Yes, there were set hiccups and up-and-down flow. And we didn't get a Tweezer of the century. But getting a fantastic Wolfman, head-turning Steam, and gorgeous Sand -> Piper sequence (arguably extending into the BotT / Tweezer, making a whole that was more than the sum of its parts), is more than enough meat to make it worth it, and prove this is no nostalgia act chasing their past glory.

Maybe it holds up better live than on re-listen. Whatever the case, we all remember the trauma that was MSG 2011. And a part of me is always worried it could go back there. I think this show proved that memory is an increasingly distant and fading one. And good times remain ahead.
Score: 2
Jballz , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
Jballz Doh! Finally secret language!
Loved the first set, -7 was a nice treat and wolfmans rocked. This Steam can arguably be the best version to date.

Thought the Wingsuit songs were good, and also surprising choices by the band, looking forward to more of those to be sprinkled in.

Great show all around with a couple ups and down but left me wanting more...three more!
Score: 2
fluffhead108 , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
fluffhead108 This is certainly a solid show, firmly in the middle of the 2013 pack. No doubt many are disappointed that the boys didn't come out and shoot MSG into the stratosphere (and of course that would have been lovely) but there's a lot to like here.

The first set Wolfman's is nasty. Reminds me a bit of the iconic 12/28/12 version, mixed the Tyrannosaurus Tweezer from Super Ball. Definitely the first set highlight for me. The next step in Monica's evolution is also lovely to hear. This version is a lot different than the original: faster, electric, and with a tiny jam. Reminds me of Sparkle and Bouncin' mashed together. That will make some people scream in terror, but I mean it in a good way.

Set 2 doesn't stand with the 2013 behemoths, but immediately check out the Best Ever version of Steam. This is straight goods. Maybe some will prefer the SPAC'13 version, but those people are what we call "wrong" ;)

The second-ever Waiting All Night is solid, but inferior to the 10/31 (which I love). Also, an important note to the guys: don't double up Silent and Waiting. One or the other. When played back-to-back, you can almost hear thousands of people having their 4th Quarter squashed.
Score: 2
CentralScrutinizer , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
A great steam and a great Wolfmans Brother. Rest of the show was mediocre at best. Great to see them toying with the secret language. More than a little disappointing that they used up this runs tweezer already and did so with such a bland and unremarkable version. Same with Sand. Two heavyweight jam vehicles gone and neither of them were highlights worthy of replaying. But they've been off a while so hopefully this was just a warm up show and the next three nights will be significantly hotter. Hopefully.
Score: 1
scoopseven , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
scoopseven I was very happy and quite lucky to be able to attend this performance. Highlights for me were that my wife finally got a Wolfman's that she enjoyed, and for good reason. Steam was just f'n unreal and they played Birds for a friend we brought along. Her favorite song and her first show. Nice.

Whole first set was *really well played*, I thought we were in for an, wait for it.... EPIC night. Sand started out the second set nicely then, as others noted, they got kind of lost. Tweezer didn't go far and then there was that misplaced BDTNL.

Steam -> Slient brought about a nice flow from grungy, steamy funk to the the lyrical roundabout in Silent; love it, no matter how many times I hear it. Did I mention that Steam was unreal. Then I was "Waiting All Night" for something else to happen. Not liking that song in it's current form. They closed it out right though, with Antelope, Suzy, Tweprise. Nice way to end the first night.

As CentralScrutinizer point out, it was disappointing to see two jam vehicles (Sand, and especially Tweezer) go out like that, but with songs like Golden Age (it's comin' round), Light, Drowned and Carini catching their stride lately, I'm not too worried.
Score: 1
mule1992 , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
The wedge was a surprise opener. STFTFP was standard. Mound had the crowd in the game for the first time. Axilla turned up the temperature in MSG. BOAF was the bomb with Mikey leading the way. Wolfman's took it up a from BOAF. Monica was sweet. It has lots of potential. It's Pia's favorite song of the night. -7 had me thinking of the first time Phish played -7 on 12/32/02 @ MSG. Tube was awesome!! Funkytown !! Free and Julius were both spot on. The 2nd set was disjointed to say the least. Sand was solid but nothing special. Piper was the Boys responding to the glow stick war @ the end of Sand. BOTT was fun. Tweezer was off to a great start but petered out. My first Steam was great!! CK5 was fire with the light show and the effects at the end of Steam. Waiting All Night reminds me of Spread It Round. Antelope was quick and to the point. The Encore left everybody in high spirits.

The highlights: BOF,Wolfmans, Monica,Tube,Free,Julius and Stream
We were in Section 211
Score: 1
Froco , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
Great show but I could do without the Gestapo 😢 My boyfriend is Hispanic and all night was followed by "undercover" police - into the bathroom; around the venue. It was non-stop and made him feel really uncomfortable. He loves Phish but looks different from the Phish norm. Why does he automatically have to be seen as a drug dealer??? Now he is questioning whether he wants to continue the nye run. I'm sad and frustrated.
Score: 1
jerrysphinger , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
A shining "Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan" brought some much needed energy into the building, but a sloppy "Mound" failed to continue the upward climb. "Axilla" segued into "Birds of a Feather," which featured a small jam, a funky hint of what was to come next. "Wolfman's Brother" was my first-set highlight exactly one year ago, when they dropped a perfectly timed "Little Drummer Boy" in its midst. While they didn't delve into any Christmas carols this go-round, the boys took the tune to Funkytown, with Page McConnell as mayor. While the return to the song's theme could've been smoother, the jam was at least proof that the show wasn't going to be a Saturday Night Special.

For full review, read here: http://www.drypaintsigns.com/2013/12/phish-1228-review-when-shall-i-don-my.html
Score: 0
SerNelson_TheBrave , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
SerNelson_TheBrave Great show with serious energy through out. Even if it started with a normal Wedge and STFTFP it still opened with a Wedge. Incredible treat. Axilla through Monica was an absolute rage fest, Wolfman's is a MUST hear and so is Monica if you want to hear how they retooled it to be electric. -7 was nice enough to bring us back down for a funky Tube and a great Julius.

I really dig the Sand Piper (seriously, listen to that seg) and I want a lot more of them in the future. BOTT was also awesome as usual and a great lead into Tweezer. I'm not a fan of BDTNL any more, They all just sound the same to me so I was a little bummed that Tweezer ended early to feed into that but whatever, it's still good. Steam was the best they have ever played that song and if you listen to it I'm sure you'll agree and it fed nicely into Silent. Waiting All Night was another great Wingsuit song that I was really happy to hear and gave a few more calming moments before I got run over by an Antelope. The Suzy encore was top notch (check out Page's solo while Trey and Mike danced/fought each other with their guitars). I consider Tweeprise to be the hardest 3 minutes of rock a human can experience, and this one does not disappoint.

Not a bad night at all but it was a lot better if you were there. Good news is the only place they have to go is up. Here's to the next three nights. Oh and we got a Simpsons secret single. D'oh!
Score: 0
spocksbrain , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
spocksbrain Stealing time brings early fire. Mound wasnt the superball version. Page has some nice fills during the main axilla riff. Wolfmans was the first set highlight for me. Sand wanted to go into ghost but they didn't want to do it so they broke into a rushed piper so they could go into some ferocious rock. Steam was awesome. Where have I seen that bizarre synchronized guitar duel between trey and mike before during Suzy? Emotional rescue 09-30-2000...hmmm. They don't do that every show.
Score: 0
solargarlic78 , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
Follow up to review posted below: http://phish.net/reviews/permalink.php?commentid=1375246218

I forgot to mention the Steam (!). Initially lauded as a show highlight, I think it was overrated. It contained more fun with Trey's new echoplex. To many, this will sound like another take on the whale call - lots of bent, dissonant notes. Couple that dissonance with Fishman's inexplicable constipation groans (there's really no better way to describe them), and the jam was jarring to the ears overall. Plus, despite the dissonance, the rhythm section remained confined to the Steam beat - and thus, this should be classified as a type i jam. This jam was not better than the Wolfman's and both Sand/Piper had better moments.
Score: 0
ndphanjeff , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
ndphanjeff This was my second show and first in MSG. Unfortunately I was only able to snag tickets for one of the 4 shows, but I'm very grateful to be able to see the boys at all!

The first set was pretty standard with a few surprising highlights.

The Wedge was a solid opener, jammed out for a solid 9 minutes. STFTFP was red hot with a few peaks from Trey. It definitely warmed the crowd up.

Mound was standard despite a few flubs, and Axilla > BoaF definitely warmed up the crowd for a MONSTER Wolfman's Brother. Something about 12/28 and Wolfman's Brother jams..

Monica was awesome to hear, especially on electric. It's probably one of my favorite tunes off Wingsuit, and I definitely am looking forward to seeing where they take it in the future. Also I'm proud to say that as a 3.0 noob I caught the Simpson's secret language and proudly proclaimed "Doh!" - I was pretty excited.

-7 > Tube > Free didn't contain any stand-out jams, but were all solid versions of great songs. Free particularly had some awesome grooves from Mike.

Julius capped off the first set, and it definitely seems like a high energy song to experience live.

Set 1: 3/5

Set 2 wasn't anything extraordinary nor did it excel like many of the Fall Tour second sets. I think they just needed to warm up.

I was behind stage, and during the peak in Sand (And later Steam), CK5 shined these strong lights at us and my mind was just exploding. I haven't experienced that much joy in a long time.

Sand segued into Piper, one of my favorite tunes, and I enjoyed this one a lot. Back on the Train kept up the second set flame, despite not being a song I'd expect to hear second set.

I was hyped to hear Tweezer after it had such a big year, but unfortunately this one got spacey and then fizzled out before Trey pulled a BDTNL ripcord. Still, BDTNL was an above average version that I really enjoyed.

Steam was mind-blowing. My brother said to me as the song started "eh I don't like that song placement, its just not typically a well jammed out song." Well he sure ate his words. It blew us away.

SitM and WaN were both interesting song choices, but I can't really complain. Antelope raged, and I even called it just before the opening riff so I was pretty hyped.

Set 2: 3.5/5

Suzy was also awesome to experience live. The Guitar Wars between Trey and Mike was certainly goofy but I thought it was awesome to see them having so much fun.

Tweezer Reprise was expected, and very intense. The confetti really surprised me.. is that commonplace?

Encore: 3.5/5

Overall, I'd say this was an average, 3/5 show for the 3.0 era, but I'm going to rate it 4/5 for my first experience in the Garden. It was magical.
Score: 0
jimmycoulas , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
In what felt like more of a late fall evening than winter, Phish kicked off their four-night New Year’s Eve run on a balmy night at Madison Square Garden. It’s only fitting that Phish would close out their 30th year in MSG, a building that has hosted it’s fair share of magical moments.

The walk into MSG was a little more crowded than usual, but the energy you feel walking into a Phish show at MSG is indescribable. This was my first time in the newly finished $1 billion renovation and the new entrance is very shiny complete with a big ass LED TV on the ceiling.

The evening kicked off with a little change up in the form of “The Wedge” in the leadoff spot. The last time “The Wedge” opened a shows was on August 8, 1998 at Merriweather Post Pavilion. I’ve always liked this song, but it’s always better when Fishman starts the song rather than Trey. It was an interesting choice, but I believe that it worked as the songs slow groove eased everyone into the evening. I’ve said it before, but I just can’t really get into “Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan,” but last night Trey kept me interested with very short, but hard hitting solo.

Perhaps the most interesting song choice of the first set was the “Birds of a Feather.” It’s not a totally oddity to see it in the first set, but it usually finds it’s way into the second set. The jam was pretty standard type I stuff, but similar to “Stealing Time,” it was short and sweet. The clear highlight of the first set was a very funky, bass bomb heavy “Wolfman’s Brother.” Trey also used the song to showcase his new Echoplex effect. He goes to it around the 5:43 mark and toys with for about it a minute or so. You will definitely want to give it a listen.

Our first Wingsuit offering was the poppy, but popular “Monica.” This was the first full on electric performance as the band performed it in a stripped down acoustic setting in Atlantic City. This song has first set written all over it and I wouldn’t mind hearing this in open a show. Like the weather outside, the late first set “Seven Below” seemed out of place and the jam that was developing gave way to another short “Tube.” The jazzy rocker, “Julius” closed a solid first set.

Any rust that Phish had was quickly shed with the “Sand > Piper” combo, a first since September 17, 1999. The “Sand” jam saw Trey noodle around with a mid to uptempo jam before Page adds some jazzy ascents around the 9:13 mark and the song breaks down into what would become the meat of the jam. Mike and Fishman anchor the jam as Trey and Page add their two cents to the jam before the band settles on “Piper.” I’m a fan of the slow build “Piper’s” and while we probably won’t ever see one, you can’t argue with a straight forward rocking version.

For the third year in a row, “Tweezer” would make an appearance on December 28. Last year, the magnificent version opened the second set followed by a solid “Maze.” Judging by placement of the jam monster, I thought we were in for an extended excursion into the freezer, but that was not the case. For whatever reason, just as the jam was developing, Trey jumped shipped and dove into “Backwards Down the Number Line.” I actually like “Number Line,” but Trey was not been feeling the jam at all. But they would more than make up for it with “Steam”

“Steam” has been a song that has both pleased and teased Phish fans since it’s debut on June, 4, 2011. Last night Phish dropped a version that fans had been waiting for. I’m not quite sure the band has found a good balance when it comes to the jam. The song has been played as a rocker and also as a spacey funk vehicle, but last night the boys found a very happy medium. Trey once was toying with his Echoplex quite a bit and made his guitar sound like it was riving in pain, but in a good way! I think we are going to like his new toy.

We would get one more Wingsuit song with “Waiting All Night.” I really like this song and I think it would’ve been great way to come down off the “Steam.” Like all of these songs, it will take some time before they all find their place in shows. The energy level would go from 0-60 with the high energy set closing “Antelope.” The band would bring the evening to a close with “Suzy Greenberg > Tweezer Reprise.”

Overall it was a solid first show, but I thought there were some flow issues and a couple questionable song placements, but definitely a solid building block. Let’s just say that Phish brought more to MSG at this show than the Knicks 16 home games at MSG this year.
Score: 0
FifthAvenuePhish , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
FifthAvenuePhish There was a lot of excitement and it seemed everyone was really hopped up and ready to go. The band could feel this I think...

Set 1 - Everyone was ready to go and the energy of MSG felt like the entire crowd was loaded on espresso shots. Set 1 felt like as the band went into Axilla>BOAF, Wolfman's Brother (which was incredible) that they were saying, "It's Ok, everyone. Where here. Settle down. We've got 4 days to party." Wolfman's Brother was definitely the highlight.

Set 2 - I liked this set. Sand was a great opener. Back on the Train wasn't bad. Tweezer started to break loose and then got the rip cord. I wouldn't have minded except it was BDTNL. Of course, they had an idea of the Steam that was to follow. Steam was the highlight of set 2.

Encore - Suzy...

Great show to start the 4 night run!
Score: 0
KingDisco , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
KingDisco This was my first MSG run. Woke up Saturday without tickets and decided to go, knowing that this was the warm-up show after a hot Fall tour.

I think this is emerging as one of the most underrated shows of the 3.0 era. The energy in the building really resonated with the boys as they were admittedly less than perfect but a great effort throughout.

First set was pretty average especially for 3.0. The Wedge open was well received by all around me. After a couple of decent playing, the boys really shone brightly during Wolfmans. From the start it felt like an inspired effort and re-listens have held up this hands down first set highlight. If you glance at this show and see the mid-3 star rating, skipping this Wolfmans is your own mistake. The set ended with an always fun Julius.

Set two was a lot of fun. The Sand > Piper and Steam emerge as the highlights here. The Tweezer on its own is not too bad but it is indeed disappointing that a monster 2013 for Tweezer ended on a whimper. Though not an epic on most lists, Steam really has been given solid treatment these past couple of years and I haven't heard a better version yet. This Steam is a must for fans of this song as it seems to get better every time played.

Fun encore Suzy > Reprise.

As you can tell I used "fun" alot. The boys seemed to be loose and really enjoying themselves which bodes well for the future of the group. This show isn't an all timer, it isn't a must listen, but it is a solid start to what turned out to be an excellent weekend. It is not getting the appreciation it deserves.
Score: 0
PhishGame , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
FUNKY!!!!

This is a hot show, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Everyone is on their A-game. The energy coming off the band is unlike anything else from 3.0 and while this show doesn't have a 20 minute jam, there are plenty of jams, and there is a lot of excellent 10-12 minute ones. But the jams themselves are so good. They have heavy groove, mixed with this almost psychedelic sound.

First set is possibly the most enjoyable first set of the whole MSG '13 run. Stealing Time rocks hard after The Wedge opener, and Mound gets real tight after the first minute or so. Axilla kept the high energy going.

Birds of a Feather and Wolfman's are the 2 big highlights of the first set, Birds brings the funk early, with that clavinet from Page. Jam is tight. Real tight. Everyone is playing with such ferociousness.
Wolfman's Brother is next and they keep the funk going. Aw yea! This is a jam I can always return to. Thick grooves all around. Things get trippy, but yet the groove sticks around. Love Mike on this one. This jam is bad-ass. I like Monica so this was cool to hear, and 7Below into Tube and Free just keep the funk rollin, with a high energy Julius to close it out.

Second set Sand opener is a great one. Just groovin. Piper rocks hard and goes into BOTT, and then into Tweezer. That's a great combo, as each song is jammed out with high energy jamsis a short but sweet jam, but not too short. Steam is obviously the best jam of the night, and top 5 best jams of the run. Steam in 2014 should be real interesting. I enjoyed the Silent in the Morning, Waiting All Night, Antelope run to close the set, SITM is a Rift song, and I'll always take a Rift song, I've been warming up to Waiting, and Antelope is always good.

Suzy and Tweezer Reprise encore, and just a great way to end the show. This show isn't comparable to 12/29 II, and doesn't have that one super epic jam, or the awesomeness of 12/31, but this show is on par with Fall '13 tour. And that's saying something. What's more amazing is that this show is that good, and they were only going to get better from here.

Don't sleep on this show. This is a great start to NYE run.
Score: 0
BathtubChin77 , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
BathtubChin77 My first show!! What an incredible night with my best friend and two brothers in the city.

My brother, Evan, lives in Weehawken, NJ (I know, I feel sorry for him too), so I stayed with him all four nights and he and my other bro and my best friend Mike joined me on Night 1.

Wedge was a cool opener to hear, and I will always be glad to have heard Mound on my first. Axilla was real good rockin', as was the Birds that followed. This Wolfman's was a real different one that I had ever listened to, but it was great and Mike was really groovin for that one. Monica was bright and bouncy with a Simpsons signal that made both of my brothers laugh. Tube > Free > Julius was an awesome set closer, making my first set pretty damn awesome.

Hearing the first bass pounds of Sand, I knew the boys were ready to go. Very tight version that leads to an electric Piper. Tweezer will always be one of my favorite Phish songs, but I feel it was used up on this run. They didn't take it anywhere, and to add insult to injury, led to a misplaced BDTNL.

But, and this is why I dearly love Phish, the band sensed something was amiss and played the best freakin' version of Steam in existence. Damn it was hot and the crowd jumpin again. We got a chance to cool off with one of Page's excellent solos, and finishing it off with a well paced Antelope.

Suzy and Tweeprise was expected but overall, amazing experience for my first show and many more to come.

See ya at SPAC!
Score: 0
solargarlic78 , attached to 2013-12-28 Permalink
In 2013, if the highlight of the show occurs in the first set, I think it is safe to say it was a weak show. Such was the case with 12/28/2013. That highlight was an inventive Wolfman's Brother. The standard 3.0 'funk' breakdown straight out of the final "broth-a-ha-a" chorus was particularly thick - showcasing the excellent rhythmic interplay the band has displayed all year long; Trey's use of chord comping in particular. Then the jam took a spacey turn and Trey indulged his new toy: apparently an echoplex device (according to Tom Marshall on twitter). Trey would play a riff, set his guitar aside and manipulate the riff via echos on the device. This is reminiscent of other NON GUITAR Trey diversions of 1995-1999 - the drumkit and keyboard. While this effect created an amazing space-texture to the Wolfman's jam, it is concerning because, in the past, such NON GUITAR Based diversions often become distracting to Trey and jams loose momentum. It appeared to me (webcasting) that for the rest of set 1 Trey was considering moving back to the echoplex on 7 Below and Tube - and this hesitance lead the jams overall to remain stagnant and uncertain.

Regardless, the echoplex made for an interesting and unique Wolfman's jam - the echo texture allowed Page and Mike to go off - and Mike employed the fight bell in satisfaction. As Trey moved back to his guitar, he laid down a simply nasty line that the band began a start-stop jamming pattern around. This led to the final (and apparently inevitable) return to the Wolfman's peak that has been the destiny of nearly every 3.0 Wolfman's (I can only think of 2011 MPP2 Wolfman's that did not 'resolve' into the final peak).

This came in the context of a rather unremarkable set 1 - but such has been the case for MOST set 1s in 2013 (something the 2013 fluffers never seem to want to confront). Wedge was teeming in rust. It seemed like Trey needed to take extra rounds of solos on the changes to (a) warm up his hands and (b) relearn the chord progression to solo over. Birds had some really nice quiet jamming at the beginning. Monica was a welcome treat electrified - and showed the Wingsuit songs would indeed be in the rotation at MSG. Seven Below was oddly placed and uninspired. Tube was 3.0'd.

Set II was disappointing overall. Sand's jam demonstrated a typical 3.0 progression of funk soloing by Trey into all out wankfest (i.e. peak-based soloing). The hard rock/space riff that emerged from the peak was enlivening type ii stuff, but it petered out only after a couple minutes in 2011-fashion. Same story for Piper - nice melodic type i jamming into a blissful type ii section that had tremendous potential, but was ripchorded. Tweezer's jam went straight into melodic, ambient, full band textures common to 2013, but before it could "go anywhere" was mercilessly ripchorded in favor of BDTNL - and the set never recovered despite the exciting, if not jammed out, return of "Waiting All Night" (a favorite among many from 10/31/13 II).

Overall, this felt like 2011 MSG - not 2013. The band was clearly rusty out of the gate and the jams showed potential but few went places. Good thing they have three nights to recover!
Score: -1

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