December 31 is the most prolific date on the Phish calendar, with 19 New Year’s Eve shows dating back to 1989. Yet Thursday night’s show at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami was just the second New Year’s Day show in their history. On the heels of the previous night’s festivities, they seemed energized, but played a show whose short sets and mellow vibes kept things hangover-friendly. And though the night was short on big jams, Phish sounded focused and confident from start to finish.
The first set was short but tight, squeezing in 10 songs and quite a bit of energetic playing in its 63 minutes. The “Tube” opener failed to break 6 minutes, but the “Gumbo” that followed did have a bit of extra sauce, as Page was joined during his outro solo by the whole band for a short bluesy jam. A rare early-show “David Bowie” came next, and the song mostly stuck to its standard script. Page was unusually playful during “Lawn Boy,” yelling “Page side!” and “Mike side!” to the fans on either side of the arena. The energy continued through the set’s improvisatory highlight, “Bathtub Gin,” which played the song’s customary role of Face Melter.
The second set was all over the map, both in terms of energy and mood, but provided several highlights along the way. “Twist” led things off, hitting a shattering peak, then cooling down as Mike Gordon went on the attack. After a couple of minutes of Mike’s distorted bass lines, Trey fired up the opening licks of “Piper.” The set’s second song went hard, if not especially deep. Trey spent much of it playing melodic leads that were within the song’s structure. He then went into loop mode, and the band drifted into an ambient space, which became “Prince Caspian.”
The set took a dark turn next with “Twenty Years Later.” As this song often does, this version got dirty, indulging in a full-band dissonant jam. “Winterqueen” was the ray of light that emerged from the dark improvisatory clouds. The delicate tune was so spirited and swinging this time around that the band opted to follow it with another down-tempo song, “Wading in the Velvet Sea.”
Suffice it to say that, after the preceding stretch of tunes, the opening notes of “Run Like an Antelope” were well-received. The ensuing jam had a cayenne kick, and some trademark tension and release. A quick but nasty “Rock and Roll” completed the one-two punch that closed the set. Only 65 minutes after the lights went down, hopes were high for a multi-song encore, but they were soon dashed, as the band did a quick run through “Meatstick” then called it a night.
The band’s four-night Miami run continues Friday night. You can webcast the show at LivePhish.com.
- Venue Type: Indoor Arena / 19,600
- Previous Shows at Venue: 9 Shows -12/28/2003, 12/29/2003, 12/30/2003, 12/31/2003, 12/28/2009, 12/29/2009, 12/30/2009, 12/31/2009 and 12/31/2014
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 9 / 8:20 p.m. -9:23 (63 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 9 / 10:00 -11:14 (74 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 18 / 1 / 17
- Biggest Bustout: Undermind / Twenty Years Later -10 Shows (LTP -10/22/2014)
- Average Song Vintage: 1997
- Debuts: None
- Weather: 76°F and Fair
- Average Song Gap: 5.22
- The Spread: The White Tape -1, Junta -1, Lawn Boy -3, Picture Of Nectar -1, Stash -1, Billy Breathes -1, Story Of The Ghost -1, Farmhouse -2, Undermind -1, Joy -1, Fuego -2, Misc. -2, Covers -1
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Bathtub Gin 12:07 / Poor Heart 2:19
- Audio: Live Phish
Phish From The Road Photos…