Friday, December 29, 2017

Trey introduced a new rig as Phish performed two exciting sets to start off their New Year Run.


2017 was an exciting year for the big two as Phish and The Dead both had huge years. Phish proved quality wins out over quantity during their career defining 13 night resistance at Madison Square Garden earlier this year. Phish proved they are the best live band over the course of The Baker’s Dozen, as the impossible was performed perfectly over 16 sets of bliss. No band in history has performed as dominantly at this stage of their careers as Phish this year. While Dead and Company rekindled the  “it” factor with two awe-inspiring tours leaving sold out stadiums in hysterics as they transformed the Dead’s legacy for a new generation.
  Last night Phish returned to Madison Square Garden for their annual New Year's run. Many fans rumbled over the decision to return to the venue that hosted practically their entire tour of 2017. But as we know it's impossible to please all the Phish fans even part of the time. Considering Phish has celebrated New Years there almost every year throughout their storied career, you would assume most would have made peace over the venue hosting this Holiday in particular.
The only question on my mind is can lighting strike twice and after last nights musical achievement, the answer is yes.
  The night kicked off as all epic runs should with a rousing “AC\DC Bag”.It was obvious from Trey's first licks that his sound was spruced up as he introduced a complete new rig. This excited the lifelong Phish fans tremendously, it's a rarity and has signified a change in the band’s sound and approach in the past. The was not evident after the triumph first night, actually Mike was easily the musical M.V.P as his inspired playing drove the band on night one, while Trey eased into his new digs. The first stanza lacked continuity, but certainly had its moments.  “t Tube” was complete funk, in fact they don't get any better in this era than the version the band performed last night before it aprundly dissolved into “Bouncing around the Room.” Other highlights from the first half was an inspired “Wolfman's Brother” and the closing pairing of “Waking up Dead>Theme from the Bottom” was juicy and hinted at the fireworks that laid ahead.  Luckily, Phish opened up for themselves, as they often have over the 3.0 era and the second set was loose, but tight as they transformed into the improvisational musical giants most fans yearn to hear.
 “Wilson” got the crowd on their feet and the extended “No Mans in No Man's Land” that followed turned the Garden into a dance party that didn't  subside until the immaculate “Slave” ended the olympian show. The six song set flowed perfectly while each tune boasted unique jams. The sonically pleasing set touched on several musical realms while “Twist” took flight has Gordon and Fishman laid down a solid foundation whith Trey and Paige perfectly painting a musical landscape. The funk fueled “2001” evaporated into an adventurous “Harry Hood” to close the inspired set. The encore definitely assured Phish nation that this will not be a phoned in New Year's run as in recent years. The two headed monster of “The Wedge and Slave to the Traffic Light” was delivered with purpose as the band left the stage as one. Phish will certainly make 2017 the year of the garden. It's beyond beautiful to be a Phish fan as their musical journey is far from needing company to make musical statements. Game On
Kevin Long
 phish. Net


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