This show featured the debut of Evening Song and the Phish debut of 20-20 Vision. Trey teased Shade in Ghost. Dog Faced Boy was performed for the first time since October 24, 2016 (114 shows). Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S. contained Martian Monster quotes. Set Your Soul Free included an On Broadway jam. Trey teased and quoted Set Your Soul Free in Gotta Jibboo. Trey and Fish quoted Guy Forget at the end of Drowned. Chalk Dust Torture Reprise was played with Ass Handed lyrics and contained Guy Forget quotes. In Character Zero, Fish changed the "waste the day" lyric to "Guy Forget."
Jam Chart Versions
Martian Monster quote in Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S., On Broadway jam in Set Your Soul Free, Set Your Soul Free tease & quote in Gotta Jibboo, Guy Forget quote in Drowned, Ass Handed and Guy Forget quotes in Chalk Dust Torture Reprise, Shade tease in Ghost, Guy Forget quote in Character Zero
Debut Years (Average: 2003)

This show was part of the "2019 NYE Run"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2019-12-28

Review by mgolia6

mgolia6 Something for Everyone

Disclaimer: Couch Tour
With a bun in the proverbial oven and greater Birmingham zip code, the wife and I had no conceivable way to make it to the big apple, so couch tour was the only viable option for this fandango.

Coming out of the micro tour of late fall and the micro jam phenomenon, I was conflicted as to whether I could enjoy a show via this long distance relationship.

Well, unlike my failed attempts, during late fall, at connecting to the band’s offerings south of the mason dixon, I locked in early and often for tonight’s performance. This show gave credence to the fact that the band could play a late-vintage heavy show and make it relevant AF (as the kids say)!

The first set included two debuts as well as a catalog of songs spanning the band’s many years, thus cohesively blending a melange of musical tapestries across a relevant aural landscape. Was everyone not happy? Were we not satisfied? Early type two in song two, No man’s gave that extra stroll through no man’s land before giving way to a solid DWD equipped with a sharply dissonant, and slightly extended, bass intro. Although the set had a start stop feel at times, it didn’t detract from the flow. Rather this ebb and flow at will musicianship lent a timeless feel to both sets. Set one certainly didn’t feel like a typical set one, felt like an atypical set one!! Lol’ing. Curating a strong first set disease, that scraped the edges of its shell at times and providing extended versions of Ghost and Tube, Phish expertly crafted this set like a cubist’s take on a gingerbread house. Punctuating the set with the KV rocker, SITMS, I slid into set break like some millennial into a DM. (Again, as the kids say these days!)

Paragraph Break musing here: Mike just seemed happy tonight. A completely different Mike from Carolina, this Mike was locked and loaded.

This set two felt like a set two. I found myself, in moments, lost in the ether, clawing my way back to surface of what song the current jam had formed out of. Everything’s Right successfully launched from the terra firma orbited the stratosphere with the help of Page and his super sonic synths. It was inspiring chilling in Page’s house from the comfort of my couch. Expertly navigating his way from synth to organ to baby grand with effects heavy playing, Page owned much of the second set. Landing in the stars, navigating through SYSF with its On Broadway nod, and somewhat crash landing in Gotta Jiboo, Trey let loose a few ultra sonic loops before Free was let loose and given a chance to breath, albeit briefly. This Free did have a slightly extended intro though it did not open up in the way this author hoped it would have (I would have been content with an all night Free jam rager that didn’t stop til the sun came up, but alas)!

What occurred next was Phish at its finest. Dusting off Drowned for the first time in 2019, our spacey exploration took back to earth and towards an oceanic shift (experts say that deep sea exploration is akin to outer space exploration) and had us swimming through some micro jamming before guy forget quotes started spilling from Fish. The phish dialogue segued into a mash up of ass handed and chalk dust reprise. Say what you will, a good time was being had by all. Zero brought set two to a close and aside from some technical mishaps on the screen share, this rocker took us to set close in the style we have become accustomed to. Effortlessly, Phish wove a delicate and substantial weave of ballads, old and new, jamming, and the phish antics that bring levity to their musical brilliance. They touched on all things that make them Phish.

Life beyond a dream is such a beautiful song. It’s one of those songs that nestles itself just below the skin, comfortably and grows as part of ones being. Like many in the Phish cannon, it has become as comfortable as my dogs head resting on my leg. Makes me tear up when, from the resting spot, she looks up and locks eyes with me.

And had we ended here all would be right with the world. Some sanctity would have been restored in the universe owing to the majestic playing of our favorite band, But No...rocky top comes screaming from...well...the rocky top of the Tennessee mountains. Page screaming away on that baby grand, the band locked in and loaded, exploding from the quick 2 minute ballad, bids us adieu and leaves everyone thinking: if I wasn’t planning on tuning in tomorrow, well, maybe I should. You definitely should.
, attached to 2019-12-28

Review by Col_Radicones_Ascent

Col_Radicones_Ascent (In attendance ) Well I will keep this simple...I really liked this show, a bunch. I need to review the tapes but yea that was fun. A lot of rip roaring jams with peaks on peaks. 2019 has been the year of the jam turduckens, lots of jamming crammed in small places. This show had exploring that felt epic and long but will probably clock in at 10+...They are at the top of their game, showing very little if any rust. This was a triumphant start to the 2019 New Years run! Excited to see what's next!
, attached to 2019-12-28

Review by PrimeTypeII

PrimeTypeII It was a madhouse in section 102 all night long. Besides Evening Song and 20-20, I do not recollect a time when it felt like the band lost the room. Tight and interesting interplay seemed to be happening on the reg. The second set I believe will be worthy of multiple listens in the future. Everything just really flowed together into one big theme of positivity and living your life freely. All of this culminated into the important lesson that no matter how good things are you'll still end up getting your ass handed to you every day. That AH reprise was the most fun I've ever had at a show. Maybe just one of those had to be there moments? I'm not sure that the recordings are really gonna capture the energy of the room while that was going on. Phish have truly set the bar with a great opening show to this NYE run. Cheers and see you for night #2!
, attached to 2019-12-28

Review by TheDude31

TheDude31 What a fantastic opening night of music! Don’t let the new song selections fool you ... This is top tier Phish . DWD , Ghost, Everything’s Right, SYSF, Piper, Gotta Jibboo, Drowned , And Beneath a Sea of Stars are all great jams with lots of tight pocket playing and great leads by Trey. Energy from the crowd was through the roof for the whole night but especially for Say it to Me SANTOS and Chalk Dust/Ass Handed Reprise. Hands down best Opening night Dec 28th show. Blows Providence night 1(my last attended show before last night) out of the water! Looking forward to Couch tour for the rest of the run. Let’s hope this playing carries over for my vacation of fun in the sun Mexico run! Enjoy the rest of the run Phans and Happy New Year!
, attached to 2019-12-28

Review by howling_fantods

howling_fantods Stop me if you've heard this one before, but: there are times I worry that the magic that I experienced last night at the tip top of section 120 in MSG was not real. The sweating and the dancing and Megan and her indomitable spirit and patience with my exuberance. That upon closer examination the center will not hold, at least not without a great deal of further willing, but--we got that motherfucker on tape.

Listening back, this show gives me all of the feels, and by that I mean not just the party vibes, which were magnificent and multitudinous, but also the somber, the searching, the vulnerability/openness to whatever might bubble up next, let's-just-see-and-oh-look-it-fucking-paid-off feels.
I will admit I have not been at this very long, but this was a near perfect show for me. They were loose, we were loose, they were playing their asses off, we were dancing our asses off. I agree with the other takes here about this show having an overarching theme or resonance around friendship and trust.

It's a strange thing to fixate on, but one thing that's exemplary of this show's status as an all-timer for me is the way a couple of clunky starts were recovered from (Jiboo, and..something else). It takes some kind of patience and steadfastness to not panic in those moments, to wait and see. The yes, and of improvisational music.

And I will say it paid off in spades. The On Broadway teases were as fucking natural as you like, as was the absurd SYSF > Jibboo > SYSF > Jibboo.

Upon review, it is tempting to say that night one really ended with Piper--by that point I had given everything, Kuroda's lights had washed over my face and...such release, wow. We had worked for it all night, but on arriving (as with so much last night), it felt...effortless.

But we weren't quite done. What followed appears in your program as Drowned, but after (what must be the night's last) lengthy spacey meandering(s), is that Disease I hear? Just what exactly is happening right now? Disease Drowned and Guy Forget (still working out what that is exactly) all swirled into one awesome thing. I even thought I heard a No Men's quote in there somewhere. Now here is Fishman with his (let's be honest, to these ears, not always 100% welcome) comic relief. Except this time it _is_ welcome, and it is earnest in its absurdity in the best Fishman sort of way.

Fun fact: Fishman is Elvis if Elvis spent 35 years behind the skins with the most interesting rock outfit ever assembled. And had enlightened knowledge of self that allowed him to rock while not taking himself_too seriously.

But there must be limitations to rock music. Or at least limitations to evenings, which cannot (and should not) go on forever, not least on a first night.

Sometimes I think Trey reaches for Character Zero when he wants [generic high energy end to set/encore]. As in...a little lazy and harder rock than suits this particular reviewer's taste. However something interesting happened with this Character Zero. Around the first chorus, it seemed like Trey felt more present than I have noted in the past (especially after the silliness immediately preceding) . Which I took as an invitation for me to be more present in turn. Composed verses were dispatched and jam was (appropriately, evening and irony wise) not rushed.

So there you have it. Being a part of this show felt so fucking wonderful, and I have carried forth good feelings from MSG with me into the wider world. Thank you to band and fans.
, attached to 2019-12-28

Review by DownWithSteam

DownWithSteam Was in attendance for this one. My 5th show ever.

I really enjoyed this show. First set had some fun treats like Weigh and Dog Faced Boy that I might never hear again. Fun No Mans right off the bat, then a sweet DWD! New Years run in full swing, lucy in full swing and it was a jam packed first set capped off by a high energy Santos. Nothing to complain about in the first half. Good variety, few clunkers, high energy.

Now for the 2nd set, where things take off even further. Great to heat beneath a sea of stars, it is a good song with a ton of potential. Next thing that stuck out in this show was the jam out of piper - perhaps the highlight of the night - 10 min version with no time wasted. Intense fluid jam that got the garden rocking. O boy 3.0 can be good sometimes people. Band has some fun with asshanded -> chaldust reprise (only 3rd time ever that reprise was played) and then a solid double encore with life beyond the dream. It was my first time hearing the song and I was sold. And topped off with a freaking rocky top.

5 stars from me. So grateful I was in attendance for this one. Listen to it. Underrated because of what was to come the next 2 nights. What a freaking run! Dont miss this band
, attached to 2019-12-28

Review by s1177375

s1177375 Let’s go wider in the smoke. The song wider is a perfect segue into a life beyond the dream it’s funky it sounds like victim or mama dance we go water in the smoke I don’t understand why this band just can’t get their head together don’t you want to go into let’s go don’t you want to go until let’s go there are so many cool funk vibes and reggae vibes this band is missing out on because they just won’t play all songs why because their gospel tunes fuck you play them anyway you play Paul and Silas you play Jesus justLeft Chicago where else is religious OK not life boy and not friend and not bug but there has to be something in your repertoire that indicates that you are still two of you guys are still Jewish come on guys get it together this is all to say this this is actually a really good promising opening to Madison Square Garden you might actually hit 4.0 for all four shows you guys can do it you know you can do it you purposely don’t do it because your ass holes maybe this yearBecause you want to give us 2020 vision you’re actually going to be nice and pretend like you can’t make a good set list with actual jams in it
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