Reba did not have the whistling ending. The narration in Mockingbird discussed how Phish makes time in the Gamehendge Time Laboratory, which set up the New Year’s Eve stunt. The Phish debut of Shine featured Tom Marshall on vocals. Trey later teased Shine in Runaway Jim. Mike's Song contained a Dave's Energy Guide tease from Page. The second set ended with a Digital Delay Loop Jam out of Mike’s, and the third set opened with the Phish Time Factory machine. All four band members dressed as scientists playing with synths while lights flashed and Van de Graaff generators zapped. Fish was lifted up in a bed as Father Time and was reborn as the Baby New Year. Weekapaug featured Auld Lang Syne, Dreaming (Blondie), and Spooky teases and was unfinished. Mike and Trey teased Can't You Hear Me Knocking in Runaway Jim. This was the first performance of Sanity since June 24, 1994 (148 shows). This show was officially released as New Year's Eve 1995 - Live at Madison Square Garden.

Dave's Energy Guide tease in Mike's Song, Auld Lang Syne, Dreaming, and Spooky teases in Weekapaug Groove, Shine (Collective Soul) and Can't You Hear Me Knocking teases in Runaway Jim
Debut Years (Average: 1990)
On This Date

This show was part of the "1995 NYE Run"

Show Reviews

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Review by waxbanks

waxbanks This is one of the litmus test shows - it's all but impossible to like Phish and not like this colossal, canonical show. Mike's > setbreak > Weekapaug > Sea'n'Sand is maybe the all-time greatest Mike's Groove; Drowned > Lizards and YEM and Reba and Maze and Chalkdust are blowout versions of those classic tunes (and this was back when Mike could still more or less sing Drowned!). Shine is funny, the barbershop is uplifting, and every single moment is played to perfection. After this triumph it took the band more than a year to figure out what came next; not until 3/1/97 did they hit upon an answer, the stylistic opposite of the frenetic balls-out rock of NYE '95. If you have any interest in Phish you should hear this show. Duh.
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Review by Icculus

Icculus Here are (1) the review I posted shortly after the show to Rec.Music.Phish in early 1996, and (2) the review that was published in The Phish Companion. (The differences in style are amusing.)

Posted to RMP in early 1996:

12/31/95 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

You've seen the reviews. The PYITE Sloth opener was the first in history, and was better than any dream opener I could have imagined. Reba was fiery with non-stop action from Trey; a great version, up here with my favorites (Lowell, Ween 94, Deer Creek..). Mockingbird had some glaring mistakes from Trey (if they played this more often he wouldn't have as much trouble ... ;^), but I was still psyched to hear it (Shine was very amusing, but I think I would rather have heard Icculus... w/ Tom Marshal! ;-). Sparkle Chalk was average, and a frighteningly simple close to an otherwise **SICK** setlist.

The Drowned > Jam > Lizards to open the second set was AWE-INSPIRING, and must be heard at all costs. We were hosed, frankly, throughout sets two and three of this show. There were/are Fire on the Mountain teases in the JAM preceding Lizards (listen to the tapes, you can't miss them.. one is more subtle than the other, but the second tease is strong as hell and occurs roughly 15 seconds or so before Trey starts playin' Lizards, and right when Fish drops the groove into a Fire-esque beat). Drowned was for me a dream come true, since it was the song I most wanted to hear brought back from Quadrophenia... and it was jammed out severely!! Runaway Jim was actually a Runaway JAM... it was about 16 minutes long, and is without question my favorite version ever. I was at Walnut Creek last summer, and this Jim is just more exciting and rockin' than that somewhat spacey 6/16 version.

The Mike's Song to close the set was the best version I've ever heard (I own about 140 versions), but I'm anxious to hear Hershey (at least I think it is Hershey at which a great MikeS was allegedly performed). The MikeS has some truly great grooves in it (no bullshit tramps dissonant jam), incl. a Dave's Energy Guide-like groove (briefly), and it was topped with a mellowing digital delay loop JAM from Trey, reminiscent of Bomb Factory, the Bozeman Tweezer, the Providence Bowie, and the opening of Maze at NYE last year (you know, the digital delay loop jam...). Very gentle close to an insane set of Phish.

The third and final set also witnessed some ferocious jamming, particularly in Weekapaug, YEM and JBG. Weekapaug was arguably the best version I've ever heard -- just sick, non-stop jams... no spacey or dissonant experimentation. It was also twice as long as the average Weekapaug (well, maybe not twice as long as average 1994-95 Weekapaug), at about 13 minutes, and it segued magnificently into Sea and Sand. YEM was very good, with some serious Oye Como Va jamming at times from Page and Trey especially (this is not uncommon, of course, but doesn't usually occur with the same degree of intensity as it did in this version). I can think of many YEMs that are comparable to this version in their gloriousness... it was still an excellent, above average YEM.

Sanity was the first since the Murat in June 94, and was quite a treat. I had forgotten at the time that they had played Sanity twice in '94, and thought it had been the first since '92 (oh well). It was a remarkably fun version, though, and you could tell that the band enjoyed playing it. Frankenstein was typical, albeit a killer closer. The JBG (E) was the best version Phish has played. I've been lucky to have heard *live* all of the JBGs that Phish has done, and this version certainly cleaned up.

12/31 was the best Phish show, next to 10/31/94, that I've ever seen live, and certainly one of the best Phish shows that I've heard. I cannot recommend it enough -- but get the whole show, for Icculus' sake, and don't pick and choose sets like a tyro. The show as a whole needs to be listened to and admired. For those of you who didn't make it, I am sorry, but you'll get it on tape (and you were thought of). The band was playing for its die-hards on 12/31, wherever they may have been at the time. Anyone afraid of improvisation and jamming should stay the fuck away from this show!

Best wishes to all, and thanks to Phish, for making this NYE run the best run of four shows -- Dead or Phish -- that many of us had ever seen!!


And here's my two cents on this show as published in The Phish Companion:

12/31/95 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Charlie Dirksen, San Francisco, CA

1995 had been the most improvisationally thrilling year of Phishtory, and everyone was excited pre-show about what was to come. How could the band top the Gin -> Real Me -> Gin from 12/29, or the 12/28 Tweezer, not to mention numerous jams from the Fall tour? Few if any predicted that this New Year's show would -- even years later – be glowingly referred to by Phish fans as one of the best Phish shows ever performed.

The PYITE Sloth opener was the first in history, and was better than any dream opener I could have imagined at the time. Reba was fiery with non-stop action from Trey. A great version, up there with fan favorites like Lowell and 'ween 94. Mockingbird had some glaring mistakes from Trey (if he only played this more often...), but everyone seemed just as psyched to hear it as I was. Shine was hysterical, and I'm glad that The Tom Marshall New Year's Run Tradition continued. Sparkle and Chalk Dust pleased the crowd even more, and ended the first set powerfully.

The Drowned -> Lizards to open the second set was AWE-INSPIRING, and must be heard to be believed (along with the "Fire on the Mountain" tease, which occurs within forty seconds of Lizards' first notes). Drowned was for me a dream come true, since it was the song I most wanted to hear brought back from Quadrophenia. It was passionately and melodiously jammed out, and is still, to this day, a version to hear at all costs. Runaway Jim was actually a Runaway JAM. It was about 16 minutes long, and was the most spectacular version I'd heard since Walnut Creek 6/16, when they first took Jim for an experimental run. The Mike's Song to close the set contains some of Phish's most brilliant improvisation to date. It also closed with a mellowing digital delay loop jam. A very serene end to an enchanting set of Phish. People were awe-struck by what they'd witnessed, and almost afraid of what was to come.

After some Gamehendge Time Lab frolicking, Weekapaug segued raucously out of Auld Lang Syne, starting 1996 out on a GREAT note. The Weekapaug went from the high-energy, mellifluous soloing we all know and love into an improvisation so spine-tinglingly good that itcharmed people into thinking that it was composed. This jam segued beautifully into a gorgeous Sea and Sand, masterfully sung by Page.
YEM contained a haunting, mesmerizing jam segment, which to this day commands respect. Sanity was the first version since June '94, and was quite a treat (the band seemed to enjoy it as much as the audience!).

Frankenstein was an appropriate close to a frighteningly awesome show. At this point, I couldn't have cared less whether Phish played an encore. But they came out and buffalo-billed Johnny B. Goode, taking him for strong and performing a version that is still very compelling.

The glorious improvisation at this show profoundly affected thousands of lives, including those of the band. What we believed would be a once in a lifetime experience, though, soon proved to be simply another exalted show in the career of one of rock history's greatest bands.
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Review by n00b100

n00b100 So, look. In a certain sense, you can argue that (much like Big Cypress, its spiritual yang in so many ways) this is essentially a criticism-proof show, a show so storied and beloved that it would have been weird if this show *hadn't* been officially released. Every big jam here is a contender for "greatest (x) ever", the Mike's Groove and YEM in particular are absolute A+ jams, and everything flows together as well as you could ever want from a three-set show. It's a tremendous, tremendous show. I'm not ever going to argue against that.


I, myself, n00b100 (and find yourself a fainting couch, post-haste), generally consider this the third-best show of December 1995 (maybe fourth; I go back-and-forth on 12/7). Not the third-best show ever (although even that would surely raise some eyebrows), the third best show of the month. That's hardly any sort of insult - 12/95, of course, is one of the greatest stretches in the band's history. But I find myself reaching for 12/14 and 12/29 a lot more often (to say nothing of many, many other shows), and I occasionally find myself wondering why. And I think the best answer I can come up with is that December 1995 shows always feel pulsating with life, with energy, with an almost *seething* desire to push the envelope and batter every jam to within an inch of its life, and I think 12/14 is the absolute best example of that (hence the reason I consider it the show of the year). 12/31? Not the best example. I still love these jams, but (to me, of course), they're missing that explosive je nais se quoi that made the month so legendary. Heck, a second-tier show like 12/1 has that special something that 12/31 (again, to me, of course) doesn't. Lots of classic jams, lots of fun all around...but the 12/1 Mike's Groove just *grabs* me by the throat, and I'm not sure the 12/31 version does. Or, at least, not in the same way.

This doesn't really matter, in the end - the show's classic, beloved by just about everyone, and you'd have to listen to it no matter what if you want any sort of understanding as to why Phish is so beloved. But, in one man's estimation at least, the longer you persist in your Phish fandom, the less you'll love it so much yourself. This is a truly incredible show, make no mistake of that. But there are better.
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Review by BoozyGreenherbs

BoozyGreenherbs where is the fire on the mountain tease?
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Review by DWD585

DWD585 page at the end of squirming coil was one of the most beautiful things i've heard. excellent show
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Review by MiguelSanchez

MiguelSanchez well, this one is "rated" the best phish show of all time. it is not my all time favorite, but i will not be making much of an arguement against it. it is a phenomenal show.

punch and sloth open this one up with a tone of energy. they are nice and rocking and really get the crowd into it. then in a year where they were dropping killer reba's left and right, they drop the best of them all. this reba is a killer. it passes through a wide range of emotions and moods. very good playing by all here. a rare mid set coil shows up before a barn burning maze. this one does not get too over the top right off the bat, but it finishes strong. then they drop a nice forbin's>shine>mockingbird. good stuff there. chalk dust and sparkle are pretty straight forward.

then they kick the second set off with a raging drowned. i hear many say this is the greatest version ever, but i think they have passed it over since then. either way, this one is very, very strong. as for the fire on the mountain tease, i don't hear it. the lizards works well as does axilla part 2. then they get back to jamming with a very strong run away jim. strange design and hello my baby appear poised to close down the set. oh, they are grabbing instruments again, surely it will be something quick and easy. they bury an over the top 20 minute mike's song. like reba, there were a lot of good takes of this song in '95, but this might be the best of the bunch. they end with a digital delay loop/dave's energy guide deal.

after some time factory goofiness, they welcome the new year with a glorious weekapaugh. the whole band is in sync hear and they ride this one out pretty far before landing in a nice take of sea and sand. after so much having already been played, where do they go next. well, they play a killer you enjoy myself. sure, they played a top 3 yem a little bit north about 3 weeks ago in albany, but went ahead and give it another go in ny. this one really takes off, and they came into the jam portion really rolling. gordon was really hot. then they drop a nice little sanity>frankenstein combo to close this doozy of show out. johny b. goode sends everyone home smiling.

there are possible all time greats smattered up and down this set list. if you like '95 phish and you have not heard this show....well, i just don't know what to say.

the must hear list from this show:

set 1:
reba, forbin's>shine>mockingbird

set 2:
drowned>lizards, run away jim, mike's song

set 2:
auld lang syne>weekapaugh's>sea and sand
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Review by Elmar

Elmar I arrived, breathless anticipation, barely having recovered from the night before (12/30/95 was also my first time seeing them), ready to gleefully accept anything they might care to share.

This concert has been dissected to the point of, "Why bother? It's all been said."

Briefly, from my (at the time) newbie perspective:

End of Set 1: Left plastered back in my seat, feeling like the Memorex Guy.

End of Set 2: Found myself floating somewhere in deep space, wondering where the Earth had gone.

Phish Space-Time Laboratory: May have witnessed the Big Bang.
(Completely forgot, until countdown, that it was NYE)

End of Set 3: Ground beneath my feet gradually becoming stable, leaving me intent on never missing another show.

Reality proved that an impossibility, but I sure did try...

Every so often, as I am doing right now, I haul out my copies of this run and play them back to back. After many concerts attended and many more listened to, these are still hard to beat.

Thank You, Boys!
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Review by Pinhead_Larry

Pinhead_Larry Alright, so here's my first show review (risky putting it on a legendary show? Maybe, but hopefully it does this show justice).

This has been my most consistent opinion for some time now about my favorite show (whereas previously, "x" concert was my favorite for a day at most). It is of my opinion that New Years' Eve 1995 at Madison Square Garden is Phish's grand concert masterpiece.

As a whole, it's very concise. Throughout the show, in all the highlights and one-off songs, there is a not a single wasted note or beat, or song that seems to "drag on." It's all there: the playfulness of Set I (Mockingbird narration, PYITE and Sloth gave us two nipples). Set II was the serious jam-oriented set with an impressive "more with less" jam in Drowned, exploratory Jim, and the epic 20 minute long Mike's Song->DDLJ. This Mike's Song starts out with an eerie jam that the band turn into beautiful ambient dissonance at the end of the DDLJ. This was also the last set of 1995, which is kind-of symbolic and poetic of itself. The Mike's Song had the audience waiting for Weekapaug, which would not be delivered until set III (technically 1996 at that point in the show). To me that sums of 1995. It was a highlighted and heralded year that left fans wanting more.

Set III opens with Auld Lang Syne->Weekapaug Groove (the first song of 1996) and the Groove is exactly that. Page shines and, to my ears, acts as a foreshadow of the following years, where Trey takes a back seat in the middle of the jam to let Page and Mike and Fish do their things (a la 11/22/97 Weekapaug Groove, or 11/6/96 Mike's->Jam). The following Sea and Sand is a nice and welcoming small song which leads into the 2-part YEM, where Trey is clearly the leader, but he's not "showboating." There's some nice blues-style jamming which leads to the climax and a more simple riff-based jam into the vocal jam. Another "more-with-less" jam whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Sanity, Frankenstein, and Johnny B. Goode were great for non-pressure playing to bring an end to a marvelous year.

1995 by itself was saying a lot about Phish and how far they'd come in even just the last year. And if that was the statement, then this show is the exclamation point.

It is certainly just a great all around listen. And I realize "perfect" is subjective, but one cannot deny the cohesiveness of this whole show. Even after repeated listens, it's like listening to it for the first time.
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Review by dasheik

dasheik If any song is "soul crushing" and the following song makes things worse, maybe it's time to find a new hobby. I was forced to to see Clay Aiken live back in the 90's but my experience didn't seem quite as traumatic as yours.

I'm a long time fan and I'm disappointed to see that kind of hating in a main review
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Review by The_Mollusk

The_Mollusk Solid from start to phinish.
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Review by turquOiseMountain

turquOiseMountain Just briefly. . . . . .have to urge everybody to check out the auds for this show, rather than the official CD release. Not that the CDs are bad recordings, but they're way too dry and somehow stifled to my ears. Though the playing speaks for itself, MSG sounds nothing like what those discs come off as. If you were there, I'm sure your recollection of what that gig sounded like is more expansive, resonant, singing, and expansive.
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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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Review by telascomet

telascomet For the Brave, This is long.

Set 1

Although this show happened before I was born the energy at the start of the show is so powerful I could feel it. The band then launches into a tight and powerful version of “Punch You in the Eye (PYITE)” followed immediately by “The Sloth.” This was the first time this infamous couple had ever opened a show. Wasting minimal remains of the year 1995 they then proceeded to play, one of my favorite songs “Reba.” This Reba is in mine and many others opinions’ AMONG THE BEST. Played at a very quick tempo trey slightly botches the “composed” section, however he more then makes up for it with his soaring solo. But I’ll start from the top. The jam quickly starts and breaks into great Trey and Mike interplay, it is gorgeous. Changing ever so slightly Mike and Page drop out and Trey and Fish are all that remain for about 30 seconds. They then slowly begin to build, Mike consistently laying down gorgeous basslines. The next four minutes are absolutely brilliant. Page going nuts behind the ivories. Trey then starts firing off licks reaching an insane climax. Where there is a palpable energy so great it can rarely be matched ever. The Squirming Coil then provides a much needed breather and a beautiful one at that. Which leaves the audience gleeful before encountering a demented “Maze”, like many similar 1995 versions this version is ripping and tension filled. For about a minute or so this Maze traps itself in foreign territory and creates a slightly major feel, lastly “bo bo do do bo do.” Then the slightly less rare Forbins > Mockingbird makes an appearance, as well as “Tom Marshall” who briefly sings “Shine” (a hit song from 1994). This narration tells the tale of how time passes and that thought as a whole, before explaining that they are also the proud workers of the “Gamehendge Time Phactory” (trademark). The set concludes with some laughter, falling apart’ (Sparkle) and then rockin out more to a killer quick rendition of Chalk dust.
All in all a miraculous set of music, one of my favorite first sets ever.

Set 2
Its a tie 1-1. Drowned kicks it off the first of two who covers tonight. Mike absolutely nails the vocals. THATS RIGHT PHISH CAN SING. The jam is just great Page just slaying at the start. Then Fishman changes the groove to something slightly more pulsing as page moves to the Clav. Then Trey builds the jam to some good ole fashion Rock and Roll prior to trading bars with Fishman in the final minute. This brings us to the FOTM tease and I don’t hear, Im sorry. Then a fan favorite Lizards takes its place as the second song. Like any of the version it is great. I mean its lizards its catchy, and great, whats not to like. Axilla (part 2) follows next, this song is just got such an awesome guitar lick so I am happy where it is and love seeing it in setlists. The mid set song is Runaway Jim and to be blunt it is amazing. Around the 7:00 minute mark it goes type two and never returns muwahahaha (until the end). This monster is just a Fishman showcase he just destroys it. Then the final 5 minutes are so powerful and weird before a great return to Jim formal. Strange design then finds a nice spot after jim, then Hello my Baby. Now for the best part of this set a massive mike's song. Arguably the greatest version ever, a true testament to how good this is. The typical Mike's jam is just short and stellar its badass, but the "F" jam is what is truly amazing. After the jam finds the groove it latches on a trey starts throwing down great funk rock licks. Then Mike and Fish find each and just start layin it down. After some more epic face melting the jam dissolves into a digital delay jam. Which they then walk off the stage and end the set with the music still playing. They know they just melted our faces so they are just gonna let us soak in it.
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Review by moonmoog

moonmoog ...experienced great revelations.... Thank you Phish!
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Review by Phan2112

Phan2112 They forgot to note that there was an Auld Lang Syne tease in Weekapug
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Review by spreaditround

spreaditround SET 1: Punch You in the Eye, The Sloth: Standard. >

Reba: All timer! Perfect jam. Rough composed section though.

The Squirming Coil: Rough (Trey). Page’s solo is sublime though. >

Maze: Standard.

Colonel Forbin's Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird[2] > Shine[3] > Fly Famous Mockingbird > Sparkle > Chalk Dust Torture: Standard but super entertaining narration and CDT to cap it is the perfect cherry on top of an amazing set of music.

SET 2: Drowned: They go big on this one – great, great jam. ->

The Lizards, Axilla (Part II) – Standard. >

Runaway Jim: Choppy jam – Fishman rules – Trey gets very funk – just an amazing Runaway Jim. 3rd longest they had played at that point. (7.2.95 and 6.16.95).

Strange Design, Hello My Baby: Standard.

Mike's Song -> Digital Delay Loop Jam: My words can do this justice, so I won’t try and embarrass myself. One of the finest ever played and the DDLJ is so heady.

SET 3: Auld Lang Syne: Standard. >

Weekapaug Groove: Like Mike’s, all I will say is this is a historic version. They take this song to new heights. > Sea and Sand: The segue out of ‘Paug is incredible, a must hear. Page is beautiful on this and he sounds wonderful.

You Enjoy Myself, Sanity: Yet another all timer. When I relistened to this a few days ago and YEM started up I was just shaking my head. The fact that they were throwing down with their biggest and best tune after all the magic they had created was quite a statement. There are two separate jams in this one that just crank. All timer! No B & D.

Frankenstein: Standard.

ENCORE: Johnny B. Goode: What happened to Trey’s voice? Vegas Voice’d.

Summary/Replay value: Reba, Drowned, Runaway Jim, Mike's Song, Digital Delay Loop Jam, Weekapaug Groove, You Enjoy Myself. Many would argue that this is the greatest show they ever played. It is a masterpiece, that is for sure. I feel it is perfect, much like I feel 10.31.95 is perfect. More than happy to rate this a 5 out of 5.
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Review by rachelmolly

rachelmolly So many years later, and no notes from the show, my memory is a bit of a haze. However one thing that I will never forget is that we were sitting behind the stage, this is before the Garden was renovated so I think it was called section 69 or 70. When the large white balloons/balls came down just having the vantage point of being behind the stage and seeing them float out on to the crowd, and then back toward the stage, was surreal. It's as if they were floating as was I during this show, only my 4th (I think?) Phish show of my life. I was so blown away by so much of the show, as many of these tunes were new to me on this night. Imagine hearing Strange Design for the first.time.ever. By second set, it surely was a Strange Design and you didn't know if you were dripping in it or tripping in it. By the time of Midnight, to hear Weekapaug was to fully embrace Phish, to feel that I have arrived and to feel at one with the entire Garden as we were all sharing in the groove. I had seen other bands in this hometown venue of mine in the past, including Billy Joel, Genesis (ok, Hartford Civic Center) and the Stones (ok, Shea Stadium) but never felt like I had ever shared in any sort of groove before. Phish made that happen. By the time Frankenstein came on, I knew this was familiar musical territory, and I was fully even more so blown away when they rocked out Johnny B. Goode. Before 1995 I hadn't had a rock and roll musical experience ever like that created by Phish, and I knew that from then on, I wanted more, More, MORE!
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Review by mistermooner

mistermooner Although it was many years ago, I can still remember how crazy it was. Baby Fishman and all the purple electricity on stage was and will always remain one of my fondest Phish memories. What a show!! And all the balls falling was absolutely a surprise and so much fun. Wish I could go back!
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Review by User_35223_

User_35223_ Set I:
The PYITE opener is energetic and impeccably well played,with especailly good and unrelenting drumming by Fishman,with a rocking sloth also being played well and suiting the mood.The Reba is incredible,with incredible soloing from Trey.

Coil had some pretty noticeable mistakes by Trey throughout the first half,and all around his playing here is not great,but Page more than makes up for it with a incredible and beautiful outro,in my opinion his best one.The Maze is pretty good,with good interplay between the four and as usual good Trey soloing,but seems a tad out of place in the set.

Colonel Forbin's Ascent is pretty good,with Trey's partially-shot voice suiting this song suprisingly in some parts.The FFM is good,with a interesting and funny monologue by Trey.The Shine cover is a funny suprise,with Tom being a suprisingly really good singer.This is followeed by the rest of FFM and a pretty average Sparkle and Chalk Dust to cap off Set I

Set II:
The second begins with the conclusion of the Band V. Audience Chess Tournament of 1995,with final score of 1-1.

The Drowned is overall fantastic,with fantastic singing from Mike,and especially fantastic playing from Page,which perfectly duets with thE Anthemic mood of the song.

The Lizards is incredible,with great playing all around,and the brilliantly played solo and following harmony is just beautiful,with a pretty average Axilla Part II (laste ever version) following.

The Strange Design is as earnest and great as usual.Hello My Baby is a very cool,funny and unexpected touch which makes me laugh every time it comes up out of nowhere in this set.

This Mike's Song is one of my all-time favourites,with the raging guitar work and the funky keyboards complenting each other very well,with a Digital Delay Jam capping both the song and the set.

1996 is brought in with a bunch of sound effects (called Gamehendge Time Phactory on the official release), the usual Auld Lang Syne and a killer Weekapaug,with Mike's playing throught being a particular highlight,as is Fishman's druming,which is particularly admirable here,filled with machine gun-quick rolls and snare rushes,which add to the frenetic tempo of the song.The way the soloing goes from loud to quiet to INCREDIBLY EAR PIECINGLY LOUD AND AWESOME is one of the highlights of the whole gig to me,and always puts a smile on my face.

The Sea and Sand is pretty good,and I feel it is a bit better than the Halloween version.

The YEM is probably one of my all time favourite versions.The funky playing is just awesome on this rendition.

The Frankenstein is a bit standard,with the whole thing just feeling a bit off.There's nothing really wrong with it,but it just feels a bit unispired.

The Closer,Johnny B. Goode,is also not good.Trey's growly voice does not suit this song,and really does affect it in a negative way,and honestly ruins it for me,altough Mike's playing here is very good,it seems completely apart from the rest of the band and is overall excellent,but it is really a disappointing end to an incredible gig

This is mine and many other's favourite gigs.With constantly masterful playing throughout,it is Phish's crowning concert achievment.
, attached to 1995-12-31

Review by GreatWent19

GreatWent19 This is a masterpiece of a show.

A fluid first set, highlighted by sublime Reba, a PYITE>Sloth opener, Coil, anda fun fun Forbin's. Then a infectious Drowned jam, a rhythm-powered Jim, and expansive Mike's followed. When 1996 set-in, another incredible, flowing, creative, and intricate jam followed as Weekapaug descended into Sea & Sand.

With respect to incredible shows in the years to follow, this one still gets my vote as the greatest Phish show of all time.
, attached to 1995-12-31

Review by Punchyouinthejejunum

Punchyouinthejejunum I'm with @Headies. Can someone more clearly delineated where this FOTM tease is in Drowned? because Fish dropping a similar drum groove, and the whole step chords changes back and forth are not quite enough for me personally to call it a "tease". A drum beat is not enough for a "tease", I don't think. Sorry. Unless it's a really iconic beat like, say, When the Levee Breaks or the one from the end of Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End on Abbey Road, I don't think you can pin a tease on the drums. $.02
, attached to 1995-12-31

Review by Jpdolan21

Jpdolan21 One of the best shows of all time and one that definitely made history for the band . Fans and the band themselves lived this show that MSG became a tradition in their tour and playing there in NYE every year and this show is a great reason why the band was super popular and still continue to sell out arenas. Some of their best improv jams, and a beyond incredible setlist. Not 1 dud on this album, everything on this album is golden. Probably my #1 YEM, being a musician who plays guitar I like to hear what Trey is doing and pay close attention on his scales and phrasing to do soloing. Maze, PYITE, Mikes and weekapaug and runaway Jim and colonel forbin and CDT are some of the biggest highlights on the album and of their whole career and Reba. The way they listen to each other when they improv and respond is incredible. You start listening, this will be your favorite album in the world
, attached to 1995-12-31

Review by HarpuaTheBulldog

HarpuaTheBulldog There's a Fire On The Mountain tease (two separate ones, in fact) at the end of the Drowned right before they segue into Lizards. Just pointing that out to y'all since it's not on the recap. Thanks!

Great show from a great era. You can't go wrong with this show. In fact, I'd recommend it to a new head if they show interest in the 90s. Just that good!
, attached to 1995-12-31

Review by A_Buddhist_Prodigy

A_Buddhist_Prodigy Is it just me or are Page and Trey seriously about to fall into the Undermind riff in You Enjoy Myself in the section right before the Vocal Jam? A couple of times, Trey almost hits it. I love finding little things like this that creates some earworm for them and then comes out later (or much later) as a song. Fun stuff.
, attached to 1995-12-31

Review by aybesea

aybesea This show is a bona fide classic and has been reviewed ad nauseum. I won't try to do a PBP, but in keeping with reviewing the NYE run from '95 I'm just doing a notes thing:

Set 1 - Reba Jam is very good and there's a massive Coil (this one never gets its due... Page is a shining star), the rest of the set is solid but as expected.

Set 2 - The Drowned Jam is really good, though the song proper is pretty rough (I think it usually is... not my favorite Phish) and the ->Lizards is perfect. Jim is superb and Mike's is the highlight of the show (along with its third set counterpart).

Set 3 - The Groove to go with the Set 2 Mike's picks up with a vengeance... one of the very best ever! I'm pretty much a Mike's Groove junkie and this one lives up to the hype. Page does a gorgeous job on Sea & Sand... no jams but wonderful. Then comes the second monster of the third set, the 25 minute YEM... and it's a great one.

Another note about the show in general is that the song selection is pretty eclectic. This would have been a good one to cross off a bunch of chasers. I don't personally find it as satisfying as some of the more predictable set lists, but it's a goodie.

I know that this is the famous show from the run, but I personally find myself going back to 12/29 Worcester more often... I think that its a better played show, at least from a jam perspective.
, attached to 1995-12-31

Review by Spudster

Spudster No matter how many times I listen to this show, I just don't get it. The playing really isn't that sharp, particularly for December '95. The first set is loaded with Trey flubs, particularly Coil, which he totally butchers. I love this month of Phish, but I just don't get the love for this show. It doesn't really get interesting until Mike's. It would be one thing if people considered this a great New Year's show, which it is, but greatest show of all-time? Never would that thought have ever even remotely occurred to me if it weren't such a popular notion. There are many, many, many better-played, more interesting shows than this.
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