, attached to 2016-01-02

Review by TweezingSpaceRanger

TweezingSpaceRanger Wow. I've seen ample Phish shows since 2013 and I've never had a harder time finding a ticket to a show than I had for this one. On top of trying to scalp a ticket to Phish at MSG (which is hard enough to do already), the buzz was that scalpers were selling fake tickets throughout the weekend. Luckily I met an awesome MSG event coordinator the first night when I also had to scalp a ticket. This ticket cost twice as much as the first night's (OUCH!), but knowing that the ticket was real and (praying) that the looming Tweezer was about to be an absolute monster I just couldn't resist. Dammit Phish, you got me again!....and I love it. Lets get to the show.

Your Pet Cat: Those CTSOTHH narrations are a great way to start a set and especially a show. High energy version right out of the gate, and although the MPP and Dick's versions were fun, this was definitely the best version since the Halloween show IMO.

AC/DC Bag: I thought this would open the show but I'm glad it didn't. I love when this song is played at a slower pace and that's exactly what they did. Trey's solo had some extra gravy on it too!

NICU: The > from Bag was interesting and I love this song. At this point, the setlist is starting to look promising and then...

It's Ice!: At only 4 songs in I freaked out a little bit. The jam segment of Ice continued the groovy vibe established in the first set and, while not exploding with funk like the 2013 MSG version, it was played brilliantly and fit the set perfectly.

Horn: Fits great in the set coming out of It's Ice and to my ears it sounds like the mellow groove vibe continues through this song.

Divided Sky: At this point shit was on. Everyone knew this show was about to be special (and worth breaking the bank on). After the pause, the energy of the band and the MSG audience just exploded and stayed that high for the rest of the show. The entire jam was stunningly beautiful and Trey was on fire. Where the hell did that Stash tease come from and how is it so damn perfect?!

Axilla!: MSG is literally shaking....

Maze: Great song out of Axilla and the Axilla teases are a great touch. 2015 was an awesome year for this song and two days into 2016 it's still going strong!

Train Song: I heard it in Tuscaloosa already this year so I didn't get the excitement of hearing it for the first time, but after using the NYC subway and airtran all weekend it felt more appropriate.

Julius: In the moment I was hoping for Split Open and Melt but Trey's solo made me forget about that. Phish knows best.

Overall this was one of the best first sets of Phish I've seen live (7/26/13, 7/31/15, 8/9/15, and 8/21/15 are stiff competition). Great old school setlist and I enjoyed the ride from mellow groove takes on songs to the balls to the wall energy post D-Sky pause. On to set 2!

!TWEEZER!: Who's gonna hold my clothes?! This is exactly why I pulled the trigger on the ticket and holy shit was it worth it! The drop off and build-ups in the composed section were more groove based and less raw tension to my ears, which is how I like my Tweezers. Then Mike starts laying down some sick bass that Trey solos over gloriously. At one point Trey hits a somewhat sustained repeated chord that reminds me of the first peak of the 2/28/03 Tweezer although nowhere near as powerful. Then Mike starts to get real interesting and the jam sounds similar to the later segment of the 11/17/97 Tweezer. Then Trey brings the insane heat to a peak (9:20-10:20) before a brief full band funk breakdown ensues as we transition to the next part of a jam that is already a winner. Things start to get spacey before they snap into a tropical sounding groove that makes me think of the first segment of the 1/3/15 DWD. Trey hits a repetitive lick that adds a feel good vibe to Fish's fantastic drumming before Trey begins another solo which is more beautiful than the first face melting one. Mike continues to add great bass fills throughout and I haven't mentioned Page yet but don't worry he's always killing it. We're 18 minutes into this Tweezer now and the band breaks down into another funky groove! MSG was about to explode when a (woo-less) stop/start section emerges and the woo's are avoided thanks to Trey who is just possessed with his fills (19:00-20:00)! Out of this stop/start section the band just explodes and Trey again catches a repetitive lick a la 9/6/15 Disease and rides it to heights that dwarf the Empire State Building! What a jam!

Sand!: No, no. It's not time to cool down yet as Sand emerges perfectly from Tweezer. This Sand is thick, spacey, and nasty. The peak is as powerful as you would hope any Sand has, and they even step out of the box for a few brief but excellent measures near the end.

Limb by Limb: I like this song and it serves the cool-down spot exceptionally well. Although standard, the great playing from all continues until...

Suzy Greenberg!: The dance party continues and the energy is back in high gear! Page proves why he is the chairman of the boards and Trey is with him step-for-step. With a nice peak to the tune, this is easily my favorite version and set placement of the 9 times I've heard this song.

Harry Hood!: God the hits just keep coming... This Hood gets a bad rep because of the slightly abrupt fashion in which Trey brings the band out of type ll jam territory back to the traditional Hood peak. Instead of focusing on that, attention should be placed on the almost 4 minutes of quality jam. This jam is mildly funky, danceable, delicate, and Fish is on point throughout. After that, I'm fine with the way Trey brought about the ending of the song. If they had more time in the set, I feel like this would've turned into an all timer version of Hood. However, they had to save time for...

!YOU ENJOY MYSELF!: .....Are you f**king kidding me? A six song set that starts with Tweezer and ends with YEM!? The YEM is fantastic too. Great playing in the composed sections, awesome jam with solid work for Trey, the Mike section is just bonkers with Trey on drums, and the vocal jam is as intense and good as ever! My only complaint about this YEM is that Trey should've yelled "Motherf**ker!!!" instead of Boy...but whatever it's still badass.

The Lizards and Tweezer Reprise: This was a special encore. The Lizards was played to perfection and by the time they were done playing it, the people around me, myself included, forgot the Tweezer Reprise was coming and it just blew the lid off of MSG. This was a truly spectacular way to end what felt like a perfect Phish run. When it was all said and done, this phish show is up there with 7/27/13, 10/20/13, 12/29/13, 7/31/15, 8/9/15, and Magnaball as the best live phish I've witnessed.

Other highlights from the 4 nights include the Chalk Dust>Ghost, Waves>Bathtub Gin, Weekapaug->WTU?>Weekapaug, Martian Monster through Walls, KDF through Twist, NMINML through David Bowie, Undermind, and Light.

Thanks Phish, thanks amazing fan base that I see at every show I am fortunate enough to attend, and thanks to whoever is responsible for the best fan website on the internet! Go Phish!


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