Phish New Years Eve In Miami | Setlist & Skinny

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There aren’t many cities that can claim to have hosted Phish New Year’s Eve concerts over the past 25 years. Boston (and Worcester), New York City, Big Cypress and Miami are the only places the band has rung in the New Year since 1989. After four consecutive New Year’s Eve performances at Madison Square Garden dating back to 2010, the quartet finally changed it up again this year and returned to AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami. The home venue of the Miami Heat had twice previously hosted Phish four-night New Year’s Runs in 2003 and 2009. This time around there was a twist as the band started the run on New Year’s Eve last night with a three-set show featuring one of the better sets Phish has played on New Year’s Eve yet few other highlights.

[Photo by Jeremy Scott]

Phish came out of the gates with a 12-song, 79-minute opening set heavy on first set staples. The main meat of the show’s start was a standout version of “Wolfman’s Brother” that saw the band deliver an incredibly funky, deep-in-the-pocket jam section. “Wolfman’s” rarely disappoints, but the gooey Team Phish funk during the New Year’s show was well above average and provided a ten-minute dance party for a crowd happy to boogie the final hours of 2014 away. “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing” was performed more in 2014 than any other year by a wide margin. The last “ASIHTOS” of ’14, which ended last night’s first set, was the best of the bunch thanks to the Traffic-esque vibe the band quickly established during its jam. Drummer Jon Fishman was on fire all night long and especially shined in “ASIHTOS,” which also featured strong work from guitarist Trey Anastasio.

Wednesday night’s second set started innocently enough with a standard take on “Birds Of A Feather.” From there, Phish kicked out an epic forty minutes of jams that stands among the best improv of the year. “Ghost” made a turn into a goosebump-inducing, major-key chord progression that saw the band create instant melodies that sounded oh so familiar yet were fresh and new. Anastasio led a build into a huge climax containing machine gun, rapid-fire licks a plenty. After a marvelous few minutes of guitar-led peakage, Anastasio brought the jam back around to the main theme of “Ghost” normally indicating the end of the song. However, the guitarist wasn’t finished and set the fretboard ablaze as part of a marvelous second “Ghost” jam of the blues-rock variety. Eventually, “Theme From The Bottom” emerged out of the madness. Once again, Phish took an unusual approach to “Theme” and blew out the final section of the song in a way they had never previously done. There was excitement in the air as the close-to-capacity crowd ate up the vibrant improv. The foursome then completed a masterful segue into a “Cities” that also featured an unusual approach. The funk was deep and all four members made impressive contributions to the mix. By the time “Cities” had turned into “Chalk Dust Torture,” it almost felt like the roof of the venue was about to come unhinged. 2014 was an incredible year for “Chalk Dust” as nearly every version was well-jammed. Oddly, after all the craziness of the forty minutes that preceded it, Phish took a straight-forward approach to the rockin’ “Chalk Dust.” Phish had one more surprise in store to end the second set as they rolled out “Martian Monster” from their instant-classic Halloween show in Las Vegas for the first time since October 31.

As the energy in the venue reached a fevered pitch, Phish returned to the stage about six minutes before 2015 began and immediately took center stage as they huddled around the a capella microphones. The foursome then sang “Dem Bones,” a traditional song dating back hundreds of years with lyrics inspired by Ezekiel 37:1-14, where the Prophet visits the “Valley of Dry Bones” and prophesies that they will one day be resurrected at God’s command*. Once finished with the singing of the odd song choice, Phish turned it over to Fishman for a vacuum solo. The band showed off their acting skills at this point as the drummer feigned having the vacuum stuck to his lips. Trey explained the issue to the crowd and called over Page and Mike to help him remove the vacuum from Fishman’s lips. The three acted as if they were pulling the vacuum cord as hard as they could, but it wouldn’t budge. Anastasio then called out his guitar tech Brian Brown to see if the four of them could untangle Fishman from his emergency and they could not. The guitarist told the audience that Brown would take Fishman off stage to resolve the issue. Gordon, in a shoutout to Spaceballs, suggested they switch the Electrolux from “suck to blow” at which point there was a pyro explosion on stage and all the lights in the venue went out. Tarps were taken off of a huge box behind the stage out of which a spotlight was beamed. A massive inflatable balloon in the image of Fishman then slowly started to ascent up a cable leading from the back of the stage to the top of the venue on the far side of the stage. The Fishman balloon was above the crowd making its way up the cable, when a countdown began. Thousands of small balloons and some in the shape of the donuts on the drummer’s dress were dropped on the crowd when the countdown hit zero. Fish ran back on stage just in time for the traditional performance of “Auld Lang Syne.”

[2014-2015 New Year’s Gag]

Last year at MSG, “Fuego,” a song the band had debuted the past Halloween was the first post-“Auld Lang Syne” tune of the year. This year, Phish also played a song debuted a few months earlier on Halloween, “Dogs,” as the first post-“Auld Lang Syne” tune of the year. The evening’s second Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House composition was accompanied by a laser light display. “Tweezer” saw the band expertly explore at least four distinct movements over the course of 17 minutes and accompanies the meat of the second set as the must-hear material from New Year’s in Miami. From there, Phish stuck close to the vest for the rest of the third set with nothing coming close to approaching the greatness displayed earlier in the night. An encore of “Golgi Apparatus” and “Tweezer Reprise” sent the fans on their way.

Phish returns to AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami tonight. If you can’t make it in person, there’s a Live Phish webcast available.

* -quoted from Wikipedia

Photos By Jeremy Scott

Setlist

[via Phish.net]

  • Venue Type: Indoor Arena / 19,600
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 8 Shows -12/28/2003, 12/29/2003, 12/30/2003, 12/31/2003, 12/28/2009, 12/29/2009, 12/30/2009 and 12/31/2009
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 12 / 8:26 p.m.-9:45 (79 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set: 6 / 10:15 -11:21 (66 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Third Set & Encore: 13 / 11:54 P.M. -1:21 A.M. (87 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 31 / 3 / 28
  • Biggest Bustout: Auld Lang Syne -40 Shows (LTP – 12/31/2013)
  • Average Song Vintage: 1998
  • Debuts: Dem Bones (Traditional)
  • Weather: 79°F and Fair
  • Average Song Gap: 5.67
  • The Spread: Lawn Boy -1, Picture Of Nectar -2, Rift -1, Hoist -2, Billy Breathes -2, Story Of The Ghost -1, Farmhouse -2, Undermind -1, Joy -1, Fuego -3, Chilling Thrilling -2, Misc. -1, Covers -3
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Tweezer 17:07 / The Horse 0:44
  • Audio: Live Phish

Phish From The Road Photos…

Backstage in Miami

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Poster…