I found it very interesting to read the varied opinions of this show as it was going on, with people coming down on opposite sides. Many loved it, some saying it was the best night of the run so far, while others decried it (and especially the first set) as one of the worst of the year and a major letdown for a storied date like 12/30. So here's my two cents, and please take it for what it's worth.
First, the drawbacks. I thought the song selection was among the more bizarre of any show I've heard. To have happy tunes like Caspian and Number line on one end and Joy on the other, with darker songs like Sand and Vultures in between, seemed odd to me, to say the least. I didn't mind Julius following Twist, but to follow that with Golgi again had me raising an eyebrow. And to go from the peak of a fantastic 2001 into a mangled Horse was a choice I don't understand at all. Speaking of mangled, this was another issue all night, with some flubbage in Punch and Rift and outright slop in Axilla, Golgi and Horse.
Great thing about Phish, though, is even on their off nights, they have a habit of delivering, and they did so and then some in this show. The obvious star of the night was Piper, a fantastic, long, Type-II version that scratched a jamming itch that had been building since night one. Add to that a show-stopping 2001, a blazing performance from Trey in Sand, and a simply amazing Cactus showcase in Boogie On, and you've really got some nice highlights that can at least be snipped from the rest of the show and shown off proudly.
I think those are some definite 4-star highlights there, but they are surrounded by some two-star flow and flubs. So I'll go with three stars for now (although it's only been about two hours since the lights went back up). Probably my least favorite of the three nights thus far, but still quite a bit to smile about.
Thank you so much for taking the time away from your families during the holidays to give us some amazing music!! I know, it sucks that there are so many ungrateful phans out there who think they could make better magic than what you guys put together this past 2011 NYE MSG run in NYC. I have been listening to Phish since 1993 and the Grateful Dead since 1988, as I am 34 years old. I have been listening to Phish/GD one way or another since 1988. What makes Phish shows so special is that every show is entirely different, the family that assembles for the shows, the friends that you make and the friends that you haven't seen since the last tour, and lastly, the magic/energy that is released throughout the night or run. I live for Phish shows and that's what keeps me coming back!! The anticipation prior to the run kills me!! I love it!! What drives me crazy is all the ungrateful goofballs out there who give the band shitty reviews, like you could do it any better.... Not only that, but you have the audacity to give a bunk review from your couch... You'd be better off finding another band, sit on your couch thinking that you are on tour and give crap reviews. You better go get checked by an neurologist.... 2011 NYE run was not the 2010 NYE run so stop phucking comparing the two!! 12/30/11 raged, especially the 2nd set!! I traveled all the way from Chicago to see this one show because it was the only show that I could obtain face value tickets for which is another story for another time... During 2011 I saw the Cincinnati, OH show during summer leg 1, the Tahoe run, and the UIC run during summer leg 2. Yes, it was an insane summer, but the summer is not NYE.... Get it!! Now get over it!! Back to 12/30/11 - I sat 10th row dead freaking center thanks to my younger sister, known as "Kitsy" a super cool Phish Head. The phans in our section, the lights, and the sound were amazing, 10 out of 10!! 1st set opened up with an energetic PYITE, and other 1st set highlights for me included a misplaced Caspian, beautiful Divided, a sick-ass Sand!!, rare Vultures and amazing Quinn The Eskimo, which I hadn't heard since Telluride. Page raged during Quinn!! I still have goosebumps!!
Now for 2nd set - Not sure what else to say other than this set was a 10 out of 10!! Wilson > Axilla > Piper > Twist > Julius > Golgi > 2001... If you cannot relate to my review, please lay off the hard drugs!! Axilla was the bomb and was played so hard!! Especially when they turned the house lights on and you could see the people dancing behind the stage. Amazing!! Piper - we all know that was the bomb, hence the bomb that Mike dropped. 2001 had one of the sicker intros that I had ever heard and you can't beat Twist, Julius, and Golgi!! Being that Phish is composed of homo sapiens, one should understand that rest is needed at some point, hence The Horse and beautiful as always Silent in The Morning. From there, they raged an amazingly funked out Bowie!!! Thank you Mike!! The 2nd set concluded with a beautiful Coil, with Page as always making tears fall from my eyes during the end while the rest of the boys left the stage to catch their breath prior to the sick encores... Boogie & Good Time Bad Times!! Do I need to say anything else? The Boys dropped even more fun during Boogie and raged the GTBTs!! Thank you Susie, Kitsy, Coats, Mike, and Blake for an amazing night in NYC at MSG!! And more importantly, thank you Boys for continuing to make the magic a reality for me!! Since 1993, when I first saw you live at The Aragon Ballroom in Chicago IL, you have continued to give me something to look forward to, made my life that much more exciting, provided years of "perm-grins", great cardio exercise music, new friends from tours and runs, and have made my world a better place to live in!! You guys rage!! Thank you for everything!! FYI - 12/31/11 was my first 'couch' show that I have attended. That being said, I wasn't really there so I'm not going to comment. 2nd & 3rd set raged... I hope to see you this spring or summer!!
Ok. I feel as if I have to say my piece on this show since it's getting shit on much more than it deserves. While certainly not a perfect show by any means, practically the entire second set from Piper on is truly inspired stuff. There were shows that happened last year that had flubs and almost derailed that are rated like a 4.3 because of one stand out jam. That being said, I do think that the band sounds like they didn't practice enough before this run, hence the flubs. However, we as phish fans have become obsessed with extremes. Either it sucked or ruled. Honestly this show for me is a four because of the second set sequence and the overall major highlight of Piper, but I gave it a 5 because I'm pretty sure that PT trolls are infiltrating and giving it a 1 for no good reason. Might as well up the average a little because this site should give people the right impression of how the show actually was. But whatever, just my two cents.
I thought last night's 1st Set was on the weaker side! Lots of flubbs and sloppy playing exept for Vultures and Quinn! Sand looked like it was about to take off, but came to an abrupt end!!! Set 2 was more pumped with energy, especialy the beginning and Piper had one of the best type 2 jamms of the year!!! Golgi was an odd choice between Julius and 2001 which was also one of the highlights of Set 2! Then a botched up Horse -> Silent version very oddly placed with a nice segue into Bowie which also never quite took off :-( A nice Coil (which is allways welcome when Trey doesn't mess it up) wraps up the set! At least the encore saved the energy of the show! Boogie was in flames with Mike dropping bombs throughout, and GTBT was a welcome way to end the show on a high note!
All in all there were some great moments with a Piper worth to write home about, but as a whole the show fell flat on a number of ocasions.
If Mike was MVP the night before, Page sure got that honor at tonights show!!! Let's hope for a show stopper tonight :-)
Wow I don't understand the negative votes for the two posts above me. Just because they had a less than positive opinion of this less than stellar show doesn't mean they weren't adding worthwhile content. It's an opinion!
Caspian>Number Line was a good segue, and that's about the improvisational highlight of the first set. However, Quinn was fucking PUMPING. The energy could've blown the roof off there.
As for set 2, there could've been more jamming, but what there was some quality hidden here. Piper had an excellent spacey jam with a HUGE Mike bomb. Twist went nowhere. Julius ripped hard. But there was some great funk in 2001. Start/stop jamming if I recall. I'd say the highlight of the show, other than the great Piper, was the Boogie On with the breakdown>Mike solo. Fun show, but not what some expect based on the time and energy they put into getting to this run.
This was my 100th show and the only lottery tickets I got out of my order for MSG. I would like to thank the band for the fantastic Piper and for allowing it to knock Character Zero out of first place on my most heard list. Besides an emotional ball drop with my wife, this jam was the reason I crossed a continent.
Always love a Punch opener, the New York energy was building nicely but the Prince, BDTNL combo did feel like a let down from our seats. Nicely recovered by Nellie which is a rare treat. I'm a sucker for the bluegrass and thought the 5 song run from her was the meat of the set with an always welcome Divided, funkathon Sand and Vultures as highlights. I never met a Rift I didn't like and respect Joy for its honesty and emotion. Trey does play it well. The Quinn to close was full energy and the crowd was eating it up. Was it disjointed? Maybe early but the energy in our section was pretty strong and eager for set II. As with Punch, Wilson lit the Garden back to life and the entire second set run up to Horse was rockin'. If there is a single song that was MVP for the night, it was Piper. This was pure improvisation and the Mike Bomb could be felt in your chest. People were looking around like it was an earthquake. I loved it! Twist, Julias and Golgi were all up tempo fuel to the fire but nothing out there. They saved some space funk for 2001 which was second to Piper for MVP. Nice work by all on this one. As a Bowie fan, I have no complaints, yet another finely played piece of music to take back the energy from Silent. Coil is always beautiful and the piano outro gets me every time. It makes me grateful that the fellas are out there playing. Boogie, Good times encore is hard to beat. I know set and setting have a lot to do with perception but section 307 kept the vibe alive all night and we all enjoyed ourselves. Will I be thinking of this show in thirty years? Maybe so, maybe not but I know I had a good damned time! Happy New Year all!
I was still living in Chicago at the time but came out to NYC to spend NYE with my girlfriend. I went to the show with Katie and her brother Brendan. They had attended their first show early that year at Bethel. Brendan's been a die-hard ever since.
Honestly, I don't remember much from the show other than it rocked. MSG really might be the best music venue in the world. There was a lot of energy in that building. I distinctly remember 'David Bowie' and 'Good Times, Bad Times' (I'm a huge Zepp fan). And I have a vivid memory of '2001'. Outside after the show ended, I asked Brendan, "What was that EPIC song? You know, that really, really epic song that they played." He wasn't sure what song I was referring to (as a lot of Phish songs are pretty epic), so I mouthed it to him. "Oh, that's 2001, man."
Doesn't get much better than Phish at MSG. Boogie On.
Really liked the Axilla mess up. Once Trey gets it together it explodes! Piper was cool, but Dick's was better. Other than that, just a Phish show I was lucky enough to catch. They never really broke anything open, so it's not something I really sink into on the ipod or anything.
Punch - Solid Opener
Prince Caspian - Unusual spot, I dig it
Backwards - Decent
Nellie Kane - Unusual, never saw it, cool
Divided - Awesome
Sand - Also good
Vultures - Unusual, never saw it, cool
Rift - Alright
Joy - Don't love it
Quinn - Lots of Energy, Good closer
Overall I'll give it a 8 for a 1st set
Wilson - Good Opener
Axilla - Beginning botched, but the rest had lots of energy
Piper - Best Piper I've seen
Twist - Solid
Julius - Played very very well, but don't love the spot
Golgi - Horrendous spot for it
2001 - Played well
Horse>Silent - Don't love the spot for it
Bowie - Played very well
Overall I'll give it a 7.5 for a 2nd set
Boogie - Lots of Fun
GTBT - Played Good
Overall I would give it a 5.5 for a 12/30 show
And a 7.5 for a regular show.
I'm so grateful to have attended this show! That PYITE opener (which my boyfriend and I had called days before) was so energetic. We were flying to get to our seats...! Where we were sitting - 10th row center!!!!- couldn't be beat!
While this show has definite splashes of brilliance I left MSG thinking something was a bit off. The first set was honestly one I'll probably never listen to again, and while I try not to harp on miscues or flubs, there were simply far too many throughout the night. Particularly in Sand, Vultures,Axilla, Golgi, Horse>Silent,. And let's be honest, all the songs I just mentioned that were played in the 2nd set are songs I never want to see in the heart of a second set. Do You? I had a great time at this show. The Piper>Twist, Bowie, 2001, and Divided sky were all quality moments. Piper and 2001 in particular. But the band seemed a bit off and Trey seemed particularly jumpy. The sound in MSG seemed a bit more inconsistent than in years past all 3 nights I attended and particularly off on this night....where I was anyway. Maybe that had something to do with it. 2011 was a great year for Phish. I thought they found a good balance of tight playing, setlist flow, song rotation, and exploratory jamming this past summer. But something wasn't quite there at MSG this year.
First off I'll admit Im a n00b. This show was only the second SHOW I attended. (I was at all three days of Superball, but other than that, Darien 6/8/11 was my first show) I'd like to forget about the flubs that happened, or the arguably misplaced song choices, and take a moment to share my highlights from the show; which I personally will remember as my favorite show, thus far.
I had seats behind the stage, section 113, Page side for the first set. On the subway from Queens to Manhattan I randomly called a PYITE opener. Pretty stoked to get it. Signs pointed to a raging show. I was kind of bummed with the immediately following Caspian and Numberline. Love the songs... though not particularly in those slots. Nellie Kane got people throwing down to this bluegrass tune. Im a sucker for Mike songs, and seeing it at Darien earlier in the year, was pleased to hear it. Divided Sky was great, Im guessing nearly everyone there was expecting that one. The garden was deafening during the pause. Sand was particularly funky and was the beginning of what would later develop into some pristine 3.0 jamming, come second set. I dont think the Sand jam was cut short, or 'ripcorded' in any extremes. I was more than pleased with it and ready for what was next to come. Wasn't familiar with Vultures (sorryyyy, thats the n00b in me) and cant say much as of highlights for Rift and Joy. I chose Joy as a sitter, regain some energy for later raging, and sat comfortably from my seat, clear view from the back side of the stage and simply observed. It truly was a remarkable thing. Joy finished and Quinn emerged as a killer rock closer. Quinn really became a new favorite after SBIX. 3/3 for songs I called would be played, all in set 1.
During Set Break I explored the Garden, visiting various phriends and enjoying the atmosphere.
Wilson opened second set with a bang. Not particularly a memorable version overall, but great choice for the night/slot. The intro and first measures of the verse of Axilla I were the most severe flub of the night (IMO) but it was fun to see Trey laugh about it and proceed to tear the roof off the Garden. The Piper and it's proceeding jam was undoubtedly the highlight of the night, both for me and most phans there Im sure. As the gentleman next to me said, "They broke that shit out of Storage!" In other words, it got weird. And during the blissful jam Trey and Page were creating, Mike opened the bay doors and dropped the biggest BOMB know to man. You know which one Im talking about. Twist was fun, Julius rocked, and it rolled. I found myself shouting at the tops of my lungs about a 'TICKET STUB' in my hand during Golgi. I was particularly happy about this because I had been subconsciously singing that line for the past 2 weeks straight. 2001 had a really awesome intro, and a really cool jam. Definitely one of the better songs of the night. I was travelling between sections during Horse>Silent, a bit lost in one of the stair wells. After finding my friends in the 300's section, i was just in time for a spacey Bowie intro, and funky version. Squirming Coil was another time I observed the show as a whole, not only focusing on the stage and intently critiquing the song play. To me, there's more to it than that, and I wish more phans would feel that way. I thinks its pointless to pick apart and complain about flubs. Anyway, the energy there was undescribable; other that that of a Phish show. Page's ending solo was beautiful and everyone in attendance was taken back by some effect by it. Definitely a special moment. The Boogie On encore was far from expected, but gladly accepted. I think I boogied more to that song than any other in the night. GTBT was a clear choice for a show closer. Definitely fit the show well. It had its bad times, but it also sure had its good times, and I believe the good times outweighed the bad. It really was such a fun show.
This was my first indoor show and first in NYC, which turns out to be the mother of all scenes (i love every scene MSG is just so high energy). Pyite opens things up with a blast before moving into caspian. Many are dissapointed but i dont really care what they play as long as it is played with quality. THey then jump into number line, which IMO belongs better in the 3rd slot of the first set rather than the second. Nellie Kane is a real treat and is right up their with the Darien version. Divided Sky is next and is really outstanding, my favorite of the set. I personally can really appreciate a well played composition. Sand is kickin as always. Vulutres is a reals treat and beside Trey jumpin in too early on the vocals at one point is well played. Rift got me groovin, joy was well played and Quinn is always welcome in my book. A well played set from The Phish. Wilson opens up the second and the crowd was ready. They messed up comin into axilla but recovered for the rock tune. Piper is next and transcends into a stellar jam pickin the garden up and slammin it down with psychedelic craziness. I dont remember twist as i was carrying a passed out man out of the building. Anyways, Julius and Golgi are well played and high energy. 2001 keeps the energy going, but i personally believe more could have been done with it. Horse>Silent was oddly placed but well played IMO. Bowie begins with excellent silent teases and has a nice jam too it. at one point it could have reached an excellent jam but was cut off for the ending. nonetheless a solid versionl. Coil was a beautiful ending and Page kept the garden occupied for about 2 minutes...a beautiful sight. THe loudest crowd ive ever heard was this crowd after page was done...my ears were ringfing. THe set was solid but after Piper never reached the next level. Boogie is a perfect encore song IMO, and GTBT is always a treat. A solid show...highlights are Divided Sky and Piper IMO...Happy New year!!!! Heres to 2012 another greate year!
Caspian- A little groans were heard all around, but I think they nailed the vocals in this one. Solo was nice.
BDTNL- Nice selection. Pretty average version. I heard Trey mention a name after the "every time a birthday comes". IDK who though...
Nellie Kane- Good selection again. Nice bluegrass tune. I was expecting Poor Heart or something, but this song is better.
Divided- Finally! The Garden went nuts in the pause. Great soloing by Trey.
Sand- This version is really good. Had some funk to it.
Vultures- Wow! Nice rarity! I've personally seen it twice. Good song.
Rift- I don't love this song, nor do I hate it. Standard version.
Joy- Really? Joy? Time to sit down.
Quinn- Great way to end the first set. Needed a rocker to follow Joy.
Overall an average 1st set. Highlights were Divided Sky, Sand, and Quinn
Wilson- I love this song. Great set opener.
Axilla- Another good selection, but Trey flubbed, as many of you know.
Piper- Amazing jam! This is worth a listen.
Twist- Another good selection.
Julius- Yes! I love this song. Great rocker, Trey went crazy.
Golgi- Ok song to me. Standard version.
2001- Not good, but not bad. Stock version.
Horse- Not that good. Trey apologized for messing up the beginning.
SITM- Not that good. More Trey mess-ups.
Bowie- Good way to bounce back from the previous 2 songs.
Coil- Good closer. Paige's House!
This set had some ups and downs. Wilson>Axilla was awesome, but Trey messed up the beginning riff of Axilla. The Horse>SITM was not very good. But we all wanted to hear Coil, which left us wondering what they were going to play as an encore. Highlights were Piper, Julius and Coil.
This show was all over the place.... yes there were some great highlights like the jam at the end of Piper and the 2001.... but the disjointed set list/flow combined with the sloppy playing (Trey) puts this show somewhere in the middle. I could be wrong but in 20 years I don't think I have ever seen a Horse where Trey didn't play his guitar and Page played his piano instead. It was cool to see/hear it happen (the piano) but it was also shocking that Trey went into a tune that he literally could not play. The encores were fun and a nice change up with the Boogie instead of just the GTBT. Over all this show was up and down and back and forth. One minute I was saying "WOW!!!" and the next I was asking "WTF!?!?"
What a disappointing New Year's Run. After a year filled with incredible shows, this run fell flat. This show illustrates that point perfectly, as it is very weak. The first set contains many flubs, and the second set features awful song placement. The only value in this show lies in the brilliant piper, which segued into an uninspired twist. I attended the first three shows, and the total number of highlights from these shows don't approach the greatness I witnessed in Chicago. In fact, I had tix to NYE but decided to sell, and I am glad I did.
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