Heaping Helping Of Jimmies: Night Eight Of Phish Baker’s Dozen Residency – Recap, Setlist & The Skinny

Anticipation was high leading up to night eight of Phish‘s 13-show Baker’s Dozen residency at Madison Square Garden, as the free jimmies-covered donuts distributed before the show seemed to open the door to all manner of exciting musical nods to the candy toppings. The band obliged, sprinkling the show with references to various Jims, Jimmys and Jimis, as they played both of their big storytelling vehicles – “Col. Forbin’s Ascent” and “Harpua” – and a slew of other rarities, fan favorites and a Jimi Hendrix cover debut. Somehow, they also found time for a heavy dose of improvisation, with a massive psychedelic one-two punch to open the second set.

Phish pleased the crowd from note one, with the tour debut of “The Curtain (With).” Next came the first nod to the night’s theme, in “Runaway Jim.” Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon leaned on their effects pedals in the song’s slightly extended breakdown, and Trey’s fingers exploded through the fiery ending jam. After Page McConnell pumped funk out of his clavinet in the Gordon/Scott Murawski tune “Waking Up Dead,” the band busted out “Esther” for the first time since August 9, 2015. Despite the absence, the technically challenging song was nearly flawless. After the raging rock and roll jam out of “Home” brought the crowd to its feet, “Brian and Robert” gave them a needed breath of air.

All day Sunday, the fan base buzzed about the likelihood of a “Harpua,” which tells the ever-evolving tale of Jimmy. Which made the band’s decision to play their other big storytelling song, “Col. Forbin’s Ascent,” a perfectly pitched curveball. The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday staple, which, like “Esther,” was last seen at Alpine Valley in 2015, enjoyed a brief narration that began with Trey’s recitation of the “Jimmy” lyrics from “The Squirming Coil.” Then, referencing the Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus,” he told the crowd, “Here’s another clue for you all: the monarch was Wilson!” He continued: “Here’s another clue for you all: the walrus was Jimmy!” Once any casual fans in the audience had been thoroughly confused, the band launched into “Fly Famous Mockingbird.” The well executed version was followed by the tour’s first “David Bowie.” The patient, melodic jam reached a terrific peak, bringing to a close a thrilling first set.

The second set-opening “Drowned” dove directly into deep improvisatory waters. The jam’s first movement found a psychedelic space, as Jon Fishman’s persistent, rolling beat provided a foundation for Page’s spacy synth work and Trey’s atmospheric loops. The pace increased as Trey turned on his Boomerang for a tripped-out major-key bliss jam, before the band made a turn for even trippier waters, eventually fading out for “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing.” The Undermind tune’s jam dwindled to near-nothingness, before the band explored dissonant staccato themes that would’ve felt as welcome at a downtown avant-garde jazz club as they did in a sports arena. The band once again veered toward ambient space, with Trey layering loops upon loops, as Mike blew into some kind of flashlight-shaped electronic kazoo-like instrument.

[Drowned Lights – Time Lapse]

Having fit two songs into 40 minutes, the band switched from jammy to Jimmy, finally playing “Harpua.” This one was a doozy. As the breakdown began, Mike and Trey took seats at the front of the stage, and pretended to read newspapers. Out of nowhere, Trey said, “Wow, that’s amazing!” and continued, “There’s lumps in the cosmic gravy!” Before long, the quartet were gaming out theories – read off of scripts – of the structure of the universe. Fishman pointed out that the universe is mostly comprised of dark energy; Mike compared the universe to a guitar string that was missing the bass notes. But they all agreed on one thing: that the evidence pointed to the universe being cylindrical — or rather, donut-shaped. “The universe is a donut!” they proclaimed. Having settled that, Mike said, “By the way, on an entirely different subject…Jimmy?” And with that, he and Trey returned to their instruments and concluded the song.

Following the spacy jams and spacy narrations, the band continued with another space reference, with “2001.” Featuring “Harpua” teases, “it’s a donut!” chants, and a big synth solo from Page, the song preceded two quick tunes to close the set: “Golgi Apparatus” and the a cappella cover of “In the Good Old Summer Time,” which had been debuted at the tour opener in Chicago. The band reemerged for the encore, Trey in a T-shirt reading “Is this still Lawn Boy?” – a reference to Tuesday night’s 30-minute take on the tune. He took lead vocals on the band’s first-ever cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “The Wind Cries Mary.” The ballad was short but extremely sweet, capping a monumental Sunday night show.

Phish returns to the stage on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Madison Square Garden [See upcoming shows]

46 shows — 12/30/1994, 12/30/1995, 12/31/1995, 10/21/1996, 10/22/1996, 12/29/1997, 12/30/1997, 12/31/1997, 12/28/1998, 12/29/1998, 12/30/1998, 12/31/1998, 12/31/2002, 12/02/2009, 12/03/2009, 12/04/2009, 12/30/2010, 12/31/2010, 01/01/2011, 12/28/2011, 12/29/2011, 12/30/2011, 12/31/2011, 12/28/2012, 12/29/2012, 12/30/2012, 12/31/2012, 12/28/2013, 12/29/2013, 12/30/2013, 12/31/2013, 12/30/2015, 12/31/2015, 01/01/2016, 01/02/2016, 12/28/2016, 12/29/2016, 12/30/2016, 12/31/2016, 07/21/2017, 07/22/2017, 07/23/2017, 07/25/2017, 07/26/2017, 07/28/2017, 07/29/2017

The Music

10 songs / 8:09 pm to 9:32 pm (83 minutes)

7 songs / 10:06 pm to 11:27 pm (81 minutes)

17 songs / 12 originals / 5 covers

1997

27.75 [Gap chart]

The Wind Cries Mary (Jimi Hendrix)

The Curtain (With), Waking Up Dead, Esther, Brian and Robert, Col. Forbin's Ascent, Fly Famous Mockingbird, David Bowie, Drowned, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, Harpua, The Wind Cries Mary

Esther, Col. Forbin's Ascent, Fly Famous Mockingbird - 76 (LTP - 8/9/2015)

Drowned 22:00

Brian And Robert 3:20

Junta - 3, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Undermind - 1, Big Boat - 2, Misc. - 5, Covers - 5

The Rest

Esther, Col. Forbin's Ascent, Fly Famous Mockingbird - 76 (LTP - 8/9/2015)

KOA 1

Capacity: 20,789 Donut Flavor: Jimmies

Pro-Shot Videos

[The Curtain With]

[Drowned]

Phish From The Road Photos

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