12 Days Of Phishmas: The Proverbial “Blunt After The Stunt” On 1/1/11

first_imgIn 2 short days, Phish will settle in at Madison Square Garden for their traditional end-of-the-year run. Phish is no stranger to the Garden, having now played the famed venue in the heart of New York City 35 times over the course of their career. From their MSG debut in 1994 to their most recent appearances at the very beginning of 2016, the storied room has played host to some of the most treasured shows in the band’s history. As we inch closer to this year’s New Year’s Run, we will be bringing you our 12 Days Of Phishmas series, highlighting a different milestone MSG Phish show each day until we all head back to the Garden on the 28th. It wasn’t easy narrowing 35 down to 12, but we think you’ll be pleased with these classics from the Phish catalog. Enjoy!On the eleventh day of Phishmas, we go back to January 1st, 2011–the day after the multicultural “Meatstick” stunt that closed out 2010. Traditionally, Phish’s New Year’s runs had built up to a climax on the 31st, with 3 sets, some extra theatrics, and a bunch of balloons and confetti to send fans on their way and satiate their appetites until the next tour. This run was the first time New Year’s Eve would not be the run’s final show, and nobody quite knew what to expect from the uncharted territory of January 1st. Could this “regular” show possibly live up to the full New Year’s spectacle the night before?The answer to that question, it turned out, was a resounding “yes,” as Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell, and Jon Fishman turned in perhaps the best performance of the run on New Year’s Day 2011. After starting off with “My Soul” and a fun “Tube” with plenty of plinko Page, the band dove into a classic “Runaway Jim” > “Foam” 1st set pairing. Fan favorite rarity “Guelah Papyrus” came next, prompting huge cheers from the New York City crowd. The “Divided Sky” that followed was a thing of beauty. While the classic tune always tugs at your heartstrings, this one packed a particularly memorable, emotional punch.With not a single dry eye left in the building after the soaring “Divided Sky”, Phish broke out the title track from their 2002 album Round Room for the first time in 140 shows, a nod to the elliptical venue as well as the handful of “Round Room” signs floating around the crowd. The band followed with “Walk Away” and “Gotta Jibboo” in quick succession, before jumping into another classic Phish composition, “Reba”. The jam from this “Reba” truly soared, and is worth a close listen to appreciate the extent of its beauty. Finally, a high-octane “Walls of the Cave” brought the first set to a close.By the time they reached the show’s second set (the 7th and final set of the run), the band and the crowd alike seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves, even more so than usual. While the set clocked in on the shorter side, each of its 6 tunes received some extra love from the band. The Talking Heads‘ “Crosseyed and Painless” got the party started–as it’s been known to do–before sliding straight into a funky “Twist”. After twisting around for nearly 10 minutes, the band once again segued smoothly into “Simple”. While this rendition may not have gone too far “out there” (aside from an interesting refrain toward the end), it was impeccably played and imbued with a glorious, celebratory energy. Ask anyone in attendance that night and they’ll agree–this was truly a special “Simple”. “Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley” followed, bringing some thick funk to the already fun set.After nearly 10 minutes of funkiness, the band kicked into “Makisupa Policeman”. The reggae tune, whose lyrics change with each rendition, effectively summarized the vibe of the set, and the show as a whole, as Trey sang “I went home late last night after doing the New Year’s stunt, laid back on my couch and rolled myself a blunt” to a chorus of laughter. After all, that’s what this show was: Normally, after a long New Year’s run, you sit back on the couch with your friends, relax, spark one up, and reminisce over the grand time had by all. The only difference this year was that the New Year’s Day come-down party didn’t take place on everyone’s respective couches, but rather back at MSG, surrounded by friends, fans, and fantastically fun music. Just like the ubiquitous “cigarette after sex”, 1/1/11 was the “blunt after the stunt”, a chance for everyone to let loose and enjoy the company and the music after getting the massive production of New Year’s Eve successfully out of the way. Phish closed the set with a well-received and expertly performed “David Bowie” before continuing the relaxed, fun theme in the two-song encore by breaking out some of their favorite “toys”: Trey’s megaphone for “Fee” and Page’s keytar for “Frankenstein”.1/1/11 may not boast many deep Type-2 jams or mind-blowing bust-outs, but it perfectly served its purpose as the first ever show in the New Year’s Day slot. Phish was playing well and having a blast, and every single person inside that “round room” picked up on those vibes. This show may not top anyone’s list of “best ever” performances, but to everyone in attendance, it is remembered warmly and fondly. And sometimes, that’s all that really counts.You can enjoy full video of both sets below, courtesy of YouTube user Daniel Erem:Set 1 Set 2:Setlist: Phish | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY | 1/1/11Set 1: My Soul, Tube > Runaway Jim > Foam, Guelah Papyrus > Divided Sky, Round Room > Walk Away > Gotta Jibboo > Reba[1], Walls of the CaveSet 2: Crosseyed and Painless > Twist > Simple, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > Makisupa Policeman[2] -> David BowieEncore: Fee[3], Frankenstein[4][1] No whistling.[2] “I went home late last night after doing the New Year’s stunt, laid back on my couch and rolled myself a blunt” lyrics. “Kick drum solo.”[3] Trey sang verses through megaphone.[4] Page on keytar.This show was webcast via LivePhish. Reba did not have the whistling ending. Round Room was played for the first time since July 13, 2003 (140 shows). Twist contained Manteca quotes from Trey. Makisupa included the lyrics “I went home late last night after doing the New Year’s stunt, laid back on my couch and rolled myself a blunt” and also featured a “kick drum solo.” Frankenstein featured Page on keytar.Stay tuned over the coming days for more Phishmas! ‘Tis the season!On the eleventh day of Phishmas, a Phish phan played for me… Eleven’s January First-ing! (1/1/11)Ten Sally’s Sneakin’ (12/30/97)Nine Ladies Dancing (to Meatstick) (12/31/10)Eight No Men Landing (12/31/15)Seven Jams A-Steamin’ (12/31/11)Six Walls a-Cavin’ (12/31/02)Five Song Second Set (12/29/97)Four Light Year Jams (12/29/98)Three Phishy Decades (12/31/13)Two Sitting Legends (10/22/96) and The Gamehendge Time Factory (12/31/95)!If you’re attending the run, there are plenty of things to do in between shows. For fans of the jam, head to any of these concerts in the area for a guaranteed good time!12/28: Aqueous + Mungion @ DROM (Phish After-Party) – tickets12/30: Phan Art w/ Formula 5 @ American Beauty (Phish Pre-Party) – FREE SHOW12/30-31: Spafford & Magic Beans @ American Beauty (Phish After-Party) – ticketslast_img

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