‘The Lizards’ Send Phish Phans Home Smiling, Closing Out The MSG Run In Style [Watch]

first_imgWith three nights in the books at Madison Square Garden, the beloved jam band Phish finished out their 2016 New Year’s run in style, treating fans to an absolute monster performance. After three great shows, the band came prepared for one final night, packed with many fan-favorite songs and some exceptional jams.The show opened with the narration of “Your Pet Cat,” and the Chilling, Thrilling instrumental picked up the energy level to new highs in MSG. This was followed by a more-traditional set opener, “AC/DC Bag.” The version rocked from start to finish, entreating the crowd to sing along during some of more iconic lyrics. That segued into a bouncy “NICU,” which featured some excellent work on piano from Page McConnell.The set continued with two selections from Phish’s Rift album, “It’s Ice” and “Horn.” The former is always a welcomed addition to any set, though the jazz composition proved a minor challenge for the musicians. After an awkward transition, the band locked and loaded and rocked the remainder of the tune. The “Horn” was a straight up rocker, with Trey Anastasio working his magic on the song’s melodies.“Divided Sky” featured one of the biggest highlights from set one, as the beloved composition took MSG by storm. The band seemed to pause extra long during the middle section, almost as if to soak in the full scope of mayhem that has transpired. Between three nights at MSG and an incredible 2015, the band certainly has the right to look back with contemplative pride. Fans caught the feeling as well, and within seconds, seemingly half the venue held lighters up high in appreciation. It was a touching moment amid a rocking show.After “Divided Sky” ended, the band rocked once more with a killer combination of “Axilla > Maze.” Both were played  adequately, with “Maze” bringing a bit of tense-and-release jamming to the table. After a upbeat “Train Song,” led by bassist Mike Gordon, the band closed out the set with a smokin’ hot “Julius.”While the jamming overall in set one was on the tame side, it was the song selection that intrigued fans moving into the second half. The band went deeper into their catalog than at any other point during the run, and the opening “Tweezer” all-but cemented an incredible second set. This version jammed on for 22+ minutes, soaring beyond the song’s pentatonic frame into new sonic realms. The jam was particularly pleasant, powered by the light touch drumming of Jon Fishman. This was a standout of the whole show.The “Tweezer” broke into a grooving rendition of “Sand,” getting people to shake their heads before “Limb By Limb” blew us all away. The upbeat song is always brimming with energy, and Anastasio fueled the fires with his emphatic guitar playing once more. In the middle of the song’s ending, the band opted to keep the groove alive and segue seamlessly into a fun-loving “Suzy Greenberg.” From here on out, things were only going to get more wild.“Suzy” jammed its way into an old friend, “Harry Hood.” The almost-12-minute version felt like it had a little more room to grow, improvisationally, when Anastasio led the band through the song’s ending. We did, however, feel good about Hood. Finally, the band closed out set two with the song of the show, “You Enjoy Myself.” The band’s magnum opus shined brightly at the end of four nights of Phish music, complete with a jam session that saw Anastasio hop behind the drums to allow for Gordon and McConnell to solo. The vocal jam here was also something to behold, with lighting director Chris Kuroda complementing the band’s inane mutterings with psychedelic displays.With one open song spot left in the run, Phish dabbled in the opening notes of “The Lizards” before bringing the Gamehendgian inhabitants to the Garden. This was an exceptional performance, as Phish just nailed the song’s many transitions with ease. The soulful final melody brought this excellent song selection to a close, and Phish rocked out one last time on a “Tweezer Reprise” to end the night. Bravo Phish, bravo!Phish killed it with their great song selection, closing out an incredible four nights of music. Once again, phans remain ever-grateful for the band’s continued musical efforts. See you in Mexico!Setlist: Phish at Madison Square Garden, New York, NY – 1/2/16Set 1: Your Pet Cat, AC/DC Bag > NICU, It’s Ice > Horn > Divided Sky, Axilla > Maze, Train Song > JuliusSet 2: Tweezer > Sand > Limb By Limb > Suzy Greenberg > Harry Hood > You Enjoy Myself[1]Encore: The Lizards, Tweezer Reprise[1] Trey and Fish on drums.Notes: This show is being webcast via Live Phish. Trey teased Stash during Divided Sky. During YEM, Trey briefly joined Fish on the drums.[Setlist via Phish.net, Image via Chad Anderson]last_img read more