Phish returned to Madison Square Garden, a.k.a. the most famous arena in the world, for the first night of a 4-show NYE run. This year's MSG run kicks off on the 30th...which marks the first show back since Dick's Colorado.
The entire MSG run will be webcast over at LivePhish.
Follow @CoventryMusic on Twitter for in-show updates.
Here's what you missed for night 1....
Le Phish, Setlist... 12/30/15 Madison Square Garden, NYC, NY
Set 1: Simple, Free, Simple > Back on Train, Waiting All Night, 555, Roggae, The Dogs > 46 Days
Set 2: Chalkdust > Ghost > Can't Always Listen* > Ghost > Waves > GIN > Mikes > Bouncin*** > Weekapaug > What's the Use > WeekapaugE: Zero
* new song
*** Pauly Takes A Piss Song
* * *
Almost skipped the show. Super sick. My bud Senor was working in Providence and said he was going to take train down from Rhode Island in order to drag my ass to the show. Like an aging, nearly-crippled NFL player, my crack-medical team did everything they could to get me onto the playing field. Kudos to change100 & Senor. As my lovely tour wife said, "Pauly's just like Popeye...give him his spinach (painkillers and molly and a big-assed Ice Tea) and he'll be good to go." Ran into old friend from college who I had not seen in 20 years. Lerm gave me my first Phish bootleg. Nice mini-reunion in front of MSG.
Had decent seat in third row of 200s. Sample opener to shake off the rust. Free seemed longer than usual, but Fishman was on point. After a huddle, the boys ripped into a stand-alone Simple in the three-hole. Slightly unusual but hoped that'd foreshadow an unpredictable run instead a "melange of greatest hits scattered over four nights." Back on the Train was symbolic more than anything else. Waiting All Night was a bathroom song for most of the brahs in my section. Trey threw Gordo a bone with 555. Then... Roggae is when things started to get weird and everything percolating in my bloodstream kicked in. At the start of the Dogs sample, the crowd went berserk. I actually thought it was My Pet Cat for a few moments (to indicate how schammered I was at that point). The boys had been blowing up 46 Days as a Set 1 closer last couple years, but this one felt short and sweet. Ended on a peak moment, but shortie set. Barely 65 mins. Found my bud G at setbreak. He only sees Phish once a year, so I'm glad he got a good show.
Chalkdust kicked off set 2. It's been a rejuvenated beast the last couple years. High-octane Trey from the get go. Did Fleetwood Mac roadies blow cocaine into his anal cavity like they had to do to Stevie Nicks after she collapsed both nostrils? Big Red was bouncing around stage exuding energy. Infectious. They unleashed a 20+ min Chalkdust. I lost count a few times. I had to ask change100 if that was still Chalkdust. Always a good sing when you get lost. Heard too many teases to count. Ghost was sandwiched around a new song -- Can't Always Listen -- which I thought was Going Down the Road (the first few seconds) but then figured it was a random classic rock cover. Alas, new song. Waves felt like it was longer than 9+ minutes. Gin never the same without Joker at the show with me, but this MSG-Gin got any random restless fans grooving. Gordo dropped a few bombs that tickled my loins. Mike's > Bouncin > Weekapaug seemed forced. I pissed during Bouncin as per usual. But M>B>W was really in place to set up the celestial Weekapaug > What's the Use > Weekapaug mind fuck. That's the kinda of spooky trippy-ass shit I want to see more at shows. Zero'd for the encore. Insert your own snark. But the crowd lapped it up.
Way-above average first show back. Rusty and sloppy, but a high-energy rager. As my bud G-Rob would say, "The boys were playing to my buzz!" I was definitely rusty and sloppy but ready to rage. Usually the first night back after a lengthy hiatus is a mixed-bag, but this exceeded expectations for night 1 of 4. One down, three more to go.