Night 3 At MSG: Phish Continues 2016 New Year’s Run In New York – Setlist, Videos & The Skinny

By Andy Kahn Dec 30, 2016 9:06 pm PST

For a third straight night Phish took the stage at the famed Madison Square Garden in Manhattan for the penultimate show of their annual New Year’s Run. Once again there was a similar start to Friday’s concert that also again saw the band dig deep into their repertoire for a pair of bust out covers. Friday night in New York City was also highlighted by a second set loaded with memorable jamming.

Keeping with the trend started on nights one and two, night three at MSG began a cappella as Phish broke out “Carolina” for the first time since 2003 (a 378 show gap). Unlike the prior two nights, Phish pulled from their recently issued LP Big Boat, picking up their instruments to warm up The Garden with “Blaze On.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio then called for first set staple “The Moma Dance” which delivered the typically crunchy Clavinet work from keyboardist Page McConnell over drummer Jon Fishman and bassist Mike Gordon’s funky underlying rhythm. More funky Clav was in store in the ensuing “Gumbo” as Page took an extended solo at the song’s conclusion. A cover of Talking Heads’ “Cities” fired up immediately after and led to a short but sweet jam.

After deliberating with Anastasio at center stage, Gordon steered the foursome through the bluegrass classic “Old Home Place” for just the second time in 2016. A welcomed cheer arose from the audience at the start of “Bathtub Gin” and an uplifting, uptempo improvisation later elicited further roars from the crowd as Trey and Fish locked into a series of tension building crescendos. “Thank-you everybody, thank-you” Page said before offering his Big Boat original “Things People Do,” reversing roles and calling for a solo from Trey during its fifth live performance. “My Friend, My Friend” injected some more intensity into the first set and before the “myfe” final lyric Trey ripped into a hard rocking rendition of “Wilson” that featured the guitarist employing finger-tapping-esque moves on his fretboard. A well-executed “Sugar Shack” saw Mike once again taking lead. Breaking its longest gap between performances, “You Enjoy Myself” came out after 20 shows and closed out set one mightily.

A dark and moody start to the second set arose out of the opening “Tweezer” jam that was initially layered with murky undertones. As lighting director Chris Kuroda lit up all areas of the arena, Phish brought the jam into a soaring, blissful pinnacle that was a complete transition from the understated opening of the improvisation. A welcomed segue into the rarely played The Who instrumental “Sparks” – for the first time since the “S” show at Dick’s in 2011 (a 201 show gap) – kept the set going in front of a shift to “Ghost.” Trey locked into a repeated melody early in the “Ghost” jam that the other three deftly picked up on and ran with and just like that The Garden was again absorbing a glorious display of group interplay. The varied jam made several wonderful shifts and turns before final ceding to “Light.”

Anyone hoping for more inspired and focused improvisation was surely satisfied by what grew out of “Light.” All traces of the song were firmly abandoned as the jam took on many shapes and broke down into a drawn out, effects-laden swirling wall of sound. Fish eventually piloted the quartet toward the bouncy rhythm of “Party Time” which was seamlessly infused into the wildly exploratory jam. McConnell’s tenderly sung “Wading In The Velvet Sea” got the nod for second set ballad and The Volunteer State bluegrass favorite “Rocky Top” followed to close out the set. The foursome came back out to encore a concise cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Rock And Roll.” Trey and Page interjected “Martian Monster” quotes of “Your trip is short!” in a call back to opening night during the show closing “Tweezer Reprise.”

Phish returns to The Garden Saturday to celebrate New Year’s Eve. A live webcast is available via

Watch official footage of the opening of each set in the two videos below:

[Carolina / Blaze On]


The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Madison Square Garden [See upcoming shows]


37 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

The Music

12 songs / 8:16 pm to 9:46 pm (90 minutes)

9 songs / 10:16 pm to 11:41 pm (85 minutes)

21 songs / 15 originals / 6 covers


36.48 [Gap chart]


2016 Debuts = Carolina, Sparks

Carolina - LTP 03/01/2003 (378 Show Gap)

You Enjoy Myself - 18:02

Carolina - 2:21

Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 3, The Story of the Ghost - 2, Farmhouse - 1, Joy - 3, Big Boat - 2, Misc. - 2, Covers - 6

The Rest

36° F and Fair at Showtime


Capacity: 20,000

Phish From The Road Photos …



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