Lonesome Cowboy Bill was played for the first time since July 1, 2012 (177 shows). Corinna was played for the first time since August 17, 2012 (170 shows). Page teased The Little Drummer Boy in Golden Age. Trey teased The Line in Simple. The Tweezer Reprise Jam's lyrics were changed to "Your trip is short." Trey teased Tweezer Reprise at the end of the return to Martian Monster.
Martian Monster quote in Tweezer Reprise, Tweezer Reprise tease in Martian Monster, The Line tease in Simple, The Little Drummer Boy tease in Golden Age
Debut Years (Average: 1996)

This show was part of the "2016 NYE Run"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by brob711

brob711 Where do I begin...

This show is what none of us expected as the run opener, and it is a gem. The first set was nicely thought out with a few bustouts. Roggae and Stash are the highlights.

Set two is where the show took a turn. Wolfmans opens and the band quickly jumps on the dark trey effects-laden groove, providing a funky jam which turns into a solid type I peak.

Next came the big jam, Golden Age. Reminiscent of the Vegas Golden Age, this one covers a lot of ground: funk, DEG jamming, subtle hose by trey, and a very nice -> into Simple.

Simple provided a nice demonstration of Page on the baby grand and Trey with delicate blissful playing.

Next is CDT, a standard CDT, nothing too special about it, but it was played well.

Next is the jam none of us expected: the Martian Monster/Tweeprise sandwich. Like the slow, funky llama, this monster got slow and funky from the start. A sweet funk metal groove then turns into the tweeprise peak!! crazy! To top it all off, Trey starts singing "your trip is short" over the chords! After peaking masterfully, they transition smoothly back into Martian Monster, to complete the sandwich that surprised every Phish fan.

Winguit followed, and was played flawlessly. A nice end jam > into the set closer: Possum.

A standard, rocking possum closes the set.

encore: GTBT. Hard rocking, firey playing by Trey and the band to close out this fantastic show.

We got what we didn't expect, and it blew us away. This is why I love Phish.
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by TimbersGottaRoll

TimbersGottaRoll 12/28/16

Set 1

Star Spangled Banner (2:40) - Poignant opener that no one saw coming. This was a statement opener that spoke volumes. No matter what happened politically in this country over the last election season it does not change the fact that Phish is an American-band and damn proud of that fact. Great way to get everyone on the same page before they even picked up their instruments. Also, it signaled that the cover drought at MSG was now a thing of the past.

Stealing Time From a Faulty Plan (5:52) - Sentiment continues into next song choice. Playing is tight and Trey tears into the jam with focused phrasing and an overall punchy tone courtesy of new amplifier and overdrive pedal.

Lonesome Cowboy Bill (3:11) - Anyone wondering if Phish would be consciously attempting to break their record for most unique songs in one year had to feel like they were getting their answer with this song choice. Fishman's vocals on the VU classic are spirited and devoid of irony. This is a joyful performance of a rarely performed rocker that kept the vibe light, playful and upbeat.

Free (8:46) - mid-90's classic kicked off a run of 3 straight Billy Breathes tunes. Free rarely fails to get everyone in the venue locked in and this was no exception. Crowd began to show signs of life here with intermittent roars and overall jubilation throughout.

Train Song (3:02) - Trey went over and spent a good 30 seconds convincing Mike to play this one. Mike said yes, thanks Red. Rarely played but always welcome this wasn't played perfectly, with some lyrical flubs, but it was most definitely heartfelt and appreciated by the rapt audience.

Prince Caspian (8:23) - Great crowd sing-a-long in opening vocals with Trey sporting a giant grin throughout. The jam section unfurls patiently with Trey playing minimally, snaking languid lines in and around the chunk of the rhythm. Page's playing is assertive and his lines fly side-by-side with Trey's leads. They settle into quiet dissolving ambience before kicking back into an uproar to finish the tune.

Roggae (10:07) - Galloping version that doesn't drag thanks to Fish's right hand and Mike's undulations. Trey's soloing is full of peaks and emotion employing some Winterqueen phrasing before rapid fire cry-to-the-sky machine gun bliss brings the jam to a glorious climax.

Funky Bitch (6:38) - Some band conversing ensues for a minute before dropping into the Son Seals funk classic. Page's organ solo kicks off the jam and the dance party is in full swing. Mike holds the vocal note for what seems like an eternity before Trey comes in guns blazing. Can't say enough about the thickness and growl of Trey's tone with new rig setup. High end shriek is nowhere to be found, just the cut and slice of powerful mid-range dynamics howling through the arena.

Halfway to the Moon (10:03) - Page's turn to take the lead and this turns out to be the most exciting version of this tune ever played. The only version to date which tops the nine minute mark. Fish rolls the band into the jam and the propels the entirety of the extended improv with fluid fills. Trey feeds off Fish's energy, peaking the jam multiple times before crossing the finish line.

Corrina (5:16) - The Taj Mahal covers makes it the 3rd song in the first set to be played for the first time in 2016. Trey's vocals are confident and Page's soloing is soulfully delivered. Straight forward version played with aplomb.

Stash (11:35) - This is where the night really began to take off. Crowd sing along following "asleep in the trees" was full throated and filled the arena. Playing is extremely tight, especially Fish, who hits all his spots with deft precision. The jam kicks off with Trey strumming chunky rhythms before sliding into soloing. Fish's playing is markedly dynamic from the onset. Full of ideas that careen off the arena walls, the full band improv coalesces into a resounding rolling thunder onslaught. The intensity builds to a series of cathartic peaks accentuated by CK's solar flares. The crest is soaring as they cruise into "maybe so, maybe not" guitar line to bring the song to a close.

Cavern (5:14) - song choice signaled an end to the set. Fishman sets the pace towards the faster end of the spectrum and the playing is punchy from all four. Great energy throughout with nary a lyric flub and smiles from ear to ear on every face on stage and in the arena.

Set 2

Wolfman's (13:27) - Longest Wolfman's since the epic 12/28/12 version 4 years earlier. The crowd roars at the opening piano notes and the song takes off. Great pacing and energy at the start of the jam with the band locked in from the start. The improv centers around Page's clavinet expositions spiking the tumult of Mike's low end thud. Fish and Trey spiral around the periphery sending the jam into extraterrestrial funk. Trey hits on a theme at the 11-minute mark and builds on it for the remainder of the jam sending the crowd into a frenzy with rapid-fire lyrical soloing that brings this mighty jam to a climactic finish.

Golden Age (20:47) - Picking up where they left off with the Vegas version, they string back-to-back 20+ minute performances together with stylistic similarities threaded throughout. This time around they break off from the major key bliss early and head quickly into the syncopated dark funk explorations on the wings of Fish's inventive hi-hat work. Everyone's playing radiates out from the drums creating a expanding radius of rhythm that opens up new pockets and "hey holes" in the tapestry. Page uncorks some spacey synth lines that envelop the rhythm from overhead. Fish is absolutely on fire here, directing the trajectory of the jam with unrelenting intensity. Plinko-type jamming ensues with Trey transitioning to minimal melodic lines that snake in and around the center, nodding to Jiboo-like jam phrasing. The emotion begins to shine through the playing around the 17-minute mark leading to a set of radiant peaks that light up the room before dissolving into half-time ambience that allows the audience to catch its collective breath.

Simple (8:20) - Great transition by Trey, perfectly syncing up the Simple riff to the half-time beat at the tail end of Golden Age. Fishman does a decent job of picking up on the cue but still leaves some negative space in between the shifting rhythms. The major-key jamming is standard Simple-jam fare from the jump with blissful runs from Trey and Page entwining above the steady pulse. Trey hits a dissonant chord around the 6-minute mark that stunts Page's piano solo and shifts the flow of the jam. Page waits a minute or two before picking back up on the opportunity to lead the jam until Trey abruptly ripcords into the opening riff of Chalkdust.

Chalkdust Torture (6:59) - The transition into Chalkdust was one of the only choppy moments of the evening as Trey decided not to give the Simple jam the space to naturally flow and travel to any significant distance. The pacing of this Chalkdust starts on the slow-side but once the jam ensues it reaches a rocking tempo that stirs up the crowd, especially once the peaks start to spike. You can really hear the difference in Trey's tone in the last minute of the jam before returning to the vocals. The sharpness and thickness that cuts through in his tone is remarkable.

Martian Monster (9:49) - Longest version since 7/31/15, this is easily one of the most dynamic versions of the 20 that have been played to date. Group improv is at the fore throughout the entirety with great stop-start action punctuating the proceedings. Page employs the "First Astronaut" segment of the vocal sample in tandem with the "Your Trip is Short" line to create a playful 1-2 punch. Trey starts to bring in the familiar chord progression of Tweezer Reprise with a smile on his face from ear-to-ear, turning back to look at the band for buy-in. He then starts singing "Your Trip is Short" in the exact cadence of "Won't you Step into the Freezer" much to Fish's joy as he howls and signs along in the background. The guitar solo builds and then perfectly drops back into the funky punch of Martian Monster groove before closing with a big rock finish. The band is all smiles at this point, clearly getting a kick out of what just transpired.

Wingsuit (9:49) - The band takes a full minute before deciding on dropping into the downtempo ethereal feel of this tune. After the back-to-back thrust of Chalkdust and Martian Monster they are consciously bring the energy level back down before slowly building up to the Floyd-light guitar-led swell of the jam section. Another moment in the show where you can hear the clear changes to Trey's tone via his new amp and overdrive pedal. This is fairly standard version albeit with some extra juice stemming from its placement late in the 2nd set.

Possum (10:41) - While the playing here is solid, there was definitely a feeling throughout the tune that the night had already reached its highest peak. That being said, this classic was welcomed whole heartedly by the crowd who bounced and sang along as CK punctuated the festivities with some playful light work. Page took first go-round on the solos, banging out some boogie woogie phrasing on the baby grand. Trey grabs the baton and rips some countrified licks that build up to series of small peaks before dropping back into the ending vocal section.

Good Times Bad Times (6:29) - Standard encore song choice and playing felt like a solid pick to close out a show that started and ended with a similar sentiment. No matter what is going on in the world around us, music will always be there as the great equalizer allowing us to come together and celebrate being alive through loud music, dancing and collective catharthis.

Picking right up where they left off in Vegas, this was a great way to start a 4-show New Year's run in the Big Apple. Show had intention behind it that wasn't lost on the crowd and everyone remained locked-in throughout. While the 1st set didn't get intense until the Stash, the 2nd set was fiery from the jump with exceptional full band improv. Trey shined brightly all night with focused playing that was at once joyful, dirty and expressive.

Here's to three more exciting nights of Phish to finish off a year that has had so many highs and lows. Good times and bad times in the world around us fall to the wayside when Phish takes the stage and I couldn't be anymore thrilled to be bringing in the new year with this band and all of you in attendance.
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by 90MinuteJam

90MinuteJam Spoiler alert: best show ever.

Was the opener a fun political statement? The Star Spangled Banner followed by Faulty Plan's 'got a blank space where my mind should be'. It's fun to read into things, doubtful the combo was intentional; Besides, if it was, they would have played Ass Handed next.

This show had it all, couple of well executed busts outs, long jams, short jams, flubs, great phans (as always), rocking encore. Hence best show ever! Who's with me?

Disclaimer time: Something seriously bad would have to happen at a show for it not to be the 'best ever’. I mean, we're jamming & rocking out as a phamily to great music. Of course every show has its unique highs & lows, but when the encore has ended most of us walk away with a grin that lasts.
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by whitecollarw00k

whitecollarw00k The 28th always feels like a tone setter or warm up show for the NYE run. So the tone that's been set for the rest of the 2016 YEMSG shows is BADASS! Great first show of the run. Song selection, particularly in the first set, was pretty mellow but everything was played pretty well and jammed masterfully. Lots of flubbing from Trey if that's a thing that bugs you, but he played with power and purpose, really taking the lead on jams and moving them into original territory. Roggae had an awesome, bluesy type II jam in set one. And it goes without saying that Golden Age was transcendent. The slowed down Martian Monster with its Tweeprise jam was a surprising treat! Throw in a few bust outs and you've got one hell of a show to start this run!

, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by JoeyRamon

JoeyRamon I think a 4.27 is pretty spot on. The show was an (almost) perfect tone-setter for the NYEMSG run. The first set was chock full of some early run gems, and reminded me of the NYE runs of yore (notably, the 2012 run).

I think that Trey's bold move to switch from 3 cups of pre-show black tea to 2 cups really paid off, as he was able to maintain composure, empathy and leadership on the more mellow tunes, but still pack enough punch to hit some really energetic Type I and Type II peaks. Highlights included Roggae, which i'm sure you guys would agree, topped the epic Roggae from Norfolk '98, and Chalkdust, which was kiiiiiiinda reminiscent of the famed Vegas Chalkdust from 2009 (sidenote...IMHO, this would have topped Vegas Chalkdust if not for Tray's flubbing of the Dsus4 during the Type I peak comedown).

As usual, Trey wandered off the path at times, especially during MM > Tweeprise > MM and then again during Wolfman, but Mike, in classic mid-run form, ever so elegantly picked him back up and asserted a more aggressive rhythmic pattern. I think this is probably due in part to his re-reading of Art of War last fall, which has really brought out a whole new side of Mike we haven't seen since Lemonwheel.

Fish and Page were solid...not at their best, but solid nonetheless. I'm interested to see if Page continues to mess around with the CS-80 during this run...usually he doesn't break that out until night 3, although he did something similar at Magnaball when he couldn't get his Baby Grand in tune (i wonder if he was having the same issues).

Overall, a solid show.
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by Phriend_of_the_Devil

Phriend_of_the_Devil The first set was everything we like about Phish. Unexpected twists and bustouts, all nicely played, with some excellent jamming on Roggae and Stash, and with a fine Cavern closer.

The second set was everything we love about Phish. Wolfman's was an excellent opener, with Mike absolutely killing it. The Golden Age > Simple > Chalkdust would have been the highlight of most sets. I was mildly disappointed that they made no attempt to go exploratory on Chalkdust, but that soon dissipated in the wake of the Martian Reprise. This was one of those moments where, when it's done, all you can do is feel your face to make sure it's still there. Wingsuit was a fine choice for the Jerry-ballad slot, and Possum and GTBT nicely brought it all home.

Download this, appreciate the first set, and then turn it up to 11 and enjoy.

4.5 / 5
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by julius54

julius54 Hell of a first night for MSG. Roggae packed a nice punch and Stash was well executed. Corinna and Lonesome Cowboy Bill are nice treats and the first set was pretty rocking. Wolfman's had that extra mustard batting lead off in set two and was probably the best Wolfman's of 2016, finishing the job the Portland Wolfman's started before being interrupted by technical issues. Golden Age was resplendent, a great little funk odyssey to kick off the jams for MSG. MM>Tweeprize>MM was awesome and probably the highlight of the night. Brought my Dad with me to his first show tonight, and the only song he knew coming in was Possum. He had a great time and I'm so happy he got his Possum to close set two.

At the end of set two, I got to talking with the spunnion in front of me. He blessed me with the following:

"We really ARE living in a golden age of sound."

Indeed we are my friend. Indeed we are.
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by phishbulb

phishbulb The band came out firing on (nearly) all cylinders during their opening night of the annual NYE @ MSG. On paper, this setlist might not do much for you unless you're a Velvet Underground or Train Song enthusiast. It is a pleasant surprise to see Phish take a very standard set of songs and turn an early-run gem.

The lights went down, Phish emerged and they stepped to the (single) mic evincing their intent to open a cappella. I think many of us suspected that Phish would put a punctuation mark on their glorious Halloween tribute by rolling out Space Oddity one more time. Instead, Phish opened with the Star Spangled Banner; twenty years ago, Phish had opened their (non-NYE) MSG run with the same song. The set the followed demonstrated that Phish took their NYE-run preparation seriously. Surprisingly practiced sounding versions of rarities Lonesome Cowboy Bill, Train Song and Corinna gave the first set a spontaneous felling as though it was a throw-back to the great NYE-runs of yore. The bust-outs weren't really the story of the first set though as Phish played with a composure, empathy and leadership that is almost remarkable considering that this was the first show since October. Although there are likely no must-listen jams in the first frame, it was a very well played set including a mellow Caspian , typically great Roggae and tight versions of Free & Half Way To the Moon. When Trey wandered off the path in Stash, Mike picked him back up, asserting a more rhythmically-busy pattern, which Fish picked up; the ensuing jam peaked, hard. Just like that, Phish had turned a potential cast-off Stash into a first set highlight.

Set II is no slouch either as Phish turned in very nice versions of every single song. Wolfman's has a pleasant Wolfman-y peak and gets tight as a dolphin's you-know-what towards the end. Golden Age didn't break any new ground but got nice and strange before giving us the first true -> of the run; although it initially sounded as though Trey had started the progression of Suzy Greensburg, he moved his F down an octave and unleashed one of the great riff is the songbook. Chalkdust was fine and energetic but never ventured outside of the song's regular composition. Martian Monster was clearly going to be something special from the get-go as everyone started kicking around ideas and Page was unusually liberal with the samples from the foley record. When Trey started an upward progression that sounded remarkably similar to the build in Tweezprize, the crowd caught on and let the band know. It was a affirming, fun moment when Trey gave them what they wanted, singing "your tri-i-ip is short" to the melody of "won't you step into the freezer." Wingsuit and Possum, again not looking like anything special, gave a rock-solid back end to Set II.

Don't pass on this one.
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads I have to go against the grain and consider this show average-great. The highlights were amazing, including SSB opener and first-set bustouts, Golden Age (which really is truly remarkable, definitely a Noteworthy Jam) and the Martian Tweeprise, but otherwise this show wasn't entirely on point. That sounds stupid and may be, but that first set would be throwaway musically in say, 2.0, having in particular a weak Stash... it's kind of like at the Great Went how they said the first few songs were the soundcheck. Here, it was as if the whole first set was a soundcheck. I love Phish soundchecks; they often contain unusual jams or looser interpretations than you'd find in a show proper, but I just don't see myself revisiting this show often. I'll queue up the Golden Age in my typical "jams of the year" playlist, but I hope the next 3 nights see more inspired and tight musicianship.
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by User_35223_

User_35223_ Going to keep this fairly short, as I'm writing this on a crap phone.

SET I: Overall, the Boys have come back solid as shit. Their vocals and respective chops/rigs sound fantastic. Set I is fairly uneventful, except for a great and knotty Stash; classic tension and release with great Trey/Page interplay.

SET II: Wolfman's rocks. The peak is fairly pedestrian, but the playing that precedes it is stellar, especially on Trey's front. Golden Age got dreamy fast, with Fish laying down a hypnotic beat while Page manned the CS-80.

The playing slowly turned more rhythmic and Mike developed it by setting up a Sand-like groove. Trey began slowly soloing, and Page moved over to the Organ, beautifully setting him up for a peak, which he reached and then ->’d into Simple.

Martian Monster was completely turned on it's head from what it was (a three minute set one staple that went nowhere and did nothing), turning it into a funk-metal monster. After Trey vocalized the “Your Trip is Short” line in a Tweeprise like manner, they properly went into Reprise, a great WTF moment. GTBT finished off the show.

Overall, a solid show.

3.5 - 4/5
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by Nigel_Tufnel

Nigel_Tufnel That 20 min Golden Age definitely goes type II, but it didn’t really get my attention. As odd and jaded as this might sound, some of the extended type II excursions are starting to sound alike to me, believe it or not….. many of them are similar over the past couple years.

The Simple is TASTY. Type I jam, but I LOVE the guitar playing in this jam, always have.

MARTIAN MONSTER > TWEEZER REPRISE is definitely worth hearing! Love this type of seat-of-your-pants / without-a-net improvisation! When stuff just unpredictably coalesces out of a type II jam. FUN STUFF. Spontaneous segue. You can even hear them chuckle as they try to sing it, laughing at where this jam has taken them in the moment. Love it.

Wingsuit outro guitar work is spectacular.

Everything else is pretty canned, but well played with very few / negligible flubs.
, attached to 2016-12-28

Review by BeAFractal

BeAFractal My first time at MSG. At the last moment I was joined by a very old friend and his two daughters due to s surfeit of tickets. My friend knew nothing of Phish's music, but his daughters we Phans, and had not had the chance to see them live.

I saw most of summer tour, Dick's, and Vegas. Last night was good, but not quite up to the level of Dick's and Vegas, those shows coming at the end of tours. Highlights for me: Free, Roggae, Halfway, Wolfman's. Chalk Dust Torture absolutely raged, but was circumscribed, as was much of the second set; it did not gel into a continuum. The Golden Age>Simple was not as exploratory as the combo in the same slot in Vegas; just not as good.

All in all, a solid show, but I couldn't help but have high expectations after Dick's and Vegas. Silly me. I can't wait for tonight. Yay! ;)
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