Phish Night Three In NYC At MSG – Setlist & The Skinny

By Andy Kahn Jan 1, 2016 8:59 pm PST

On Friday Phish played their first full concert of 2016 and the penultimate performance of a four-night stand at Madison Square Garden. Keeping with the trend of the previous two nights, the band’s 34th gig at the renowned NYC arena saw the foursome focus on their original catalog of material while offering up a complex and diverse night of jamming.

Night three commenced with “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan” as the band got warm behind Trey Anastasio’s guitar soloing. “Heavy Things” continued that trend as Anastasio lightly worked over his fretboard while Page McConnell also delivered a piano solo. Bassist Mike Gordon’s “How Many People Are You?” – which was added to the repertoire at the start of last Summer Tour – gave him a chance to sing lead on the lively, straight-forward rocker. The band explored the outer reaches of “Stash” with a suspense filled jam segment bolstered by McConnell’s underlying piano runs and Anastasio’s soaring guitar. Drummer Jon Fishman set the jittery beat of “Undermind” and McConnell jumped on organ to lead the ensuing jams that saw Trey bring out his Mutron effect and extensively tease “Stash,” “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan” and “How Many People Are You?”

“Rift” kept the interplay between Trey and Page – both vocally and musically – going on the well presented rendition of the now classic song. The introduction of “Wingsuit” brought the tempo down, but by the song’s climatic conclusion it had picked back up thanks to an emotional peak. The swampy blues of “Ocelot” gently rocked those assembled at the sold-out MSG into a steady groove as Lighting Director Chris Kuroda showered them in a kaleidoscope of color. Gordon took his typical solo during the Page-fronted lounger “Lawn Boy” (the third song of the set along with “Rift” and “Undermind” to serve as title track on a Phish LP). All four members shined at various points throughout the performance of the set closing staple “Run Like An Antelope,” highlighted by excellent melodic cohesion and counterpoint. Trey again got in the tease game, throwing a bit of “Stash” into “Antelope” right before the final lyric section.

The next set got going with recurrent second half opener “Down With Disease.” The quartet wasted little time getting to work taking “DWD” into a vigorous jam that jumped off in a chaotic output driven by Fishman’s aggressive drumming and Anastasio’s equally intense response. After a few steady minutes, the band moved into a calmer, but still heightened progression, colored by Page’s layered electric piano and Gordon’s synth-y, effects-laden bass tones. Appearing a bit earlier in the set than expected, a fast shift to the ballad “Dirt” put the brakes on the improvisational flow. McConnell’s “Halfway To The Moon” again put him in front vocally as well as on piano while Trey responded with his guitar.

“Theme From The Bottom” stayed true to its restrained but moving jamming structure – Page’s piano work again coming to the forefront. The final notes of “Theme” eventually yielded to Trey’s ringing guitar as he fired up “Light.” Page went back to the electric piano as soon as “Light” passed its lyrical portion, and Trey introduced a melody the quartet centered on and deconstructed as the jam continued building its way out, eventually settling on a slight bit of ambience. A burst into “Fuego” (the fourth title track of the night) bestowed another helping of concise, angular, structurally minimal group improv. Sliding into the old veteran “Slave To The Traffic Light,” the tender set closer performed its usual role of ending on an emotional apex. Returning for the encore, “Farmhouse” (the fifth title track of the night) was the lone song to fill the final slot, ending night three at MSG.

Phish concludes their four night stand at Madison Square Garden tomorrow night. The show is sold out but a webcast is available via Livephish.com.

The Skinny

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The Setlist

The Venue

Madison Square Garden [See upcoming shows]

20789

33 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

The Music

10 songs / 8:11 pm to 9:34 pm (83 minutes)

8 songs / 10:08 pm to 11:33 pm (85 minutes)

2000

7.11 [Gap chart]

N/A

N/A

Heavy Things & Ocelot - LTP 08/01/2015 (20 Show Gap)

Light - 17:41

Lawn Boy - 3:18

Junta - 0, Lawn Boy - 2, A Picture of Nectar - 1, Rift - 1, Hoist - 1, Billy Breathes - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 0, Farmhouse - 3, Round Room - 0, Undermind - 1, Joy - 3, Fuego - 3, Misc. - 2, Covers - 0

The Rest

33°F and Partly Cloudy at showtime

Koa 3 / Ocedoc

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