first_imgOn Saturday, December 30th, Phish returned to Madison Square Gardenin the final “regular” date on Phish‘s landmark 2017 calendar, and while it marked the 16th time this year the foursome graced the world-famous arena’s stage, it instantly asserted its place among the best shows in recent memory…And when we say “instantly,” we really do mean instantly. From the first notes of the rare show-opening “Mike’s Song” it was clear that this show would be something special–and it only got better from there.Following the classic “Mike’s (Hydrogen) Groove,” the band dropped into A Picture of Nectar classic “Tweezer”, perhaps the mightiest jam vehicle in their extensive catalogue. At least in the modern era, first-set “Tweezer” jams have tended to both be shorter and hew more closely to the song’s structure. However, on this night, “Tweezer” was neither straightforward nor compact. The band worked the jam through several distinct sections, from fabulous Jon Fishman and Mike Gordon-led funk bounces, to Baker’s Dozen-style Page McConnell cocktail lounge fare, to major key piano-and-guitar nirvana, to a “Piper”-like build toward a towering white-light peak from Trey Anastasio.A (nearly) 20-minute “Tweezer” jam is often an easy choice as the highlight of any show in which it appears. That choice is even easier to make when that “Tweezer” shows up in the first set. Yet on this fantastic night of Phish, “Tweezer” was far from the “jam of the show”–that title goes to the monster “Down With Disease”(-> “Steam”, > “Light”) that opened the second set. It’s not even a surefire pick for the best jam of this show’s first set: that “Bathtub Gin” a couple songs later packed an absurd amount of heat into its own 15 minutes in the spotlight.So went the Phish in 2017: Just when you thought you’d seen the top of the mountain, the band would find yet another peak to climb. 35 years into their voyage, Trey, Page, Mike, and Fish are still finding ways to excite and amaze, and playing with as much gleeful vigor as ever. Here’s to another fantastic year of Phish in 2018.Watch high-quality fan-shot footage of the fantastic 12/30/17 “Tweezer” courtesy of the venerable videographer LazyLightning55a, synced with audio taped by Noah Bickart:SETLIST: Phish | Madison Square Garden | New York City, NY | 12/30/17I: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Tweezer > Ass Handed, Kill Devil Falls > Bathtub Gin, Brother, MoreII: Down with Disease[1] -> Steam > Light > Farmhouse, Run Like an AntelopeE: Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise[1] Unfinished[Cover photo via Phish From The Road/Rene Huemer]last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *