Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
 Trey sang verses through megaphone.
· Auld Lang Syne tease in You Enjoy Myself
Noteworthy Jams: Tweezer
Average Song Gap: 4.21
Notes: Trey sang the verses of Fee through a megaphone. I’m Blue I’m Lonesome was performed acoustic. YEM contained a brief Auld Lang Syne tease from Trey. This version of Wilson appears on A Live One.
Songs by Debut Year:
This show was part of the "1994 NYE Run."
So we drove to the show and Luke's started breaking down every time we slowed down. We hit a ton of traffic outside the LIncoln Tunnel and broke down every few minutes. We had to push start it every time! We made it through the toll and immediately broke down again. The tunnel people came and gave us a jump and we made it through the tunnel. We get out of the tunnel and park immediately. It wasn't until after the show that we realized we parked right next to the Port Authority! Not the nicest place in those years...
We were late so we ran to the Garden by following all the heads and made it in just as they were coming on. In those days they did not search you at all before going in so you could bring ANYTHING you wanted inside. MSG back then was the greatest scene in the NorthEast. Just total insanity in and outside the venue.
This night was special because the boys had played some big places but this was the big room! Who ever thought our little band from Vermont would sell out the Garden? Not me for sure. It all happened so quick but at the time I was very excited for them. I feel like the band had some jitters this night. It was a fun show but it didn't really have the impact of most of the other shows I had seen. Plus we 12/29 was one of the classic shows of all time and this was the next night. It would have been hard to top themselves. I do remember we were happy to get 3 of the heavy hitters in one set. YEM,Tweezer and Harry. That was what stood out to me the most.
Post show we met up with Luke's friend and got insanely lost trying to find the Wetlands Preserve. We finally made it and a great band was playing called moe. I was pretty faced and they sounded FANTASTIC. I remember being in the downstairs lounge and it was filled with people smoking cannabis. The bouncer came over to a guy next to me who was smoking a cigarette and said "put that out". Best club ever in NYC. I ended up working there for awhile 5 years later but that's a whole other story. After they threw us out we drove a few people up to Peabody Mass and they let us stay in their house before my first NYE show...
We drove in to Hoboken and took the path train from there. We were headed to my home town venue, MSG, where I had seen Michael Jordan play and many of my Grateful Dead shows. We expected Phish’s first show there to be a total throw down.
The music on this night was decent at best. The first set as whole was disappointing. The song choices weak. If I were to write a set list I wouldn’t want to hear it would be similar to this. Yes, they play Stash but I have never been in love with Stash. This version is ok but nowhere close to say 12/29/95. Otherwise the whole set was one long piss break (Rift Sparkle Simple w no jam Scent Fee Cavern could it be worse?!). When set’s turn out like this, my crew would get rowdy and start boozing it up.
Then they had the nerve to come out second set and play Sample, Poor Heart. Wow, bad start. Especially for their first MSG show?! Finally they play tweezer. By this time we are so drunk it was like whatever. But we were glad to hear Tweezer. Fishman keeps the song together with his steady-Eddie power rock beat. Trey tries to get fancy and chokes. Page has to pick up his slack. Which was comical at the time. Whose band is this anyway? We all know, it’s Trey’s band and he is nowhere to be found for this Tweezer. Maybe he was too drunk too? After a few minutes of Trey not playing, Fishman takes over keeping the usual fast Phish pace. Trey tries to squeak in a few licks but doesn’t accomplish much. Eventually after Trey does nothing for some time, Fish gives up and lets Page play. This goes on for what felt like forever. This was not the Tweezer we had come to know. Then they play a sleepy bluegrass tune. More Heineken please. Finally they play YEM. The composed section is good. Mike and Fish are tight. Page solo is good too. Trey solo is mediocre. Fishman really carries his ass. Finally Trey hits a (one) high note and then Gordo takes it- Harry Hood was by far the highlight of the show. I guess Trey’s buzz became more manageable after sometime on the stage. Thank Goodness for Fishman this night who really stepped up. Trey finally hits some pretty high notes and ‘feels good’ about it. Adding insult to injury they Frankenstein the encore. OUCH. We storm out!
On the PATH train home the most memorable part of the night happened. At some point around 23rd street I realized since the show sucked, I drank too much. Train was packed with hippies and stunk. I was going to vomit. So I told my crew and we got off. I threw up all over the landing on Christopher Street. We got on the next train. My boy was holding me up as we walked towards the car in Hoboken. That’s when I found 2 crisp 100 dollar bills on the ground. Needless to say I felt better about the night. We got in the car and prepared for Boston.
Wilson is always a nice way to get show going, but while this was the one they chose for A Live One, I didn’t hear anything special in the version. Simple was well-played and fun, but the band did not open things up until Stash which gets interesting about 6 minutes in where they play a NO2-type motif and the whole thing feels off-kilter for a while (in a good way) and is brought home with some good ‘ole hard-driving rock and roll.
For the second set – things get interesting with Tweezer. While solo-piano breaks are odd for the song – sounds more like the ending of Squirming Coil – I personally find it a cool and interesting version. This one for me is the undisputed highlight of the set and the show. The rest of the show was fine – not going to argue with a YEM and Hood AFTER a Tweezer – but not particularly notable.