Strawberry Night Fever: Phish Continues Madison Square Garden Baker’s Dozen Residency – Photos, Recap, Setlist & The Skinny
Phish returned to Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday night for the second night of their 13-show Baker’s Dozen residency. Free strawberry donuts from Federal Donuts were given out before the show and the strawberry theme of the evening had fans guessing and commenting all day as to what strawberry-infused songs Phish would indulge in. And indulge they did. With a 19-song performance including five covers, two of which were debuts, impressive jamming and one 250+ show bust-out, Saturday’s show was one for the record books.
Wasting no time, Phish took the stage and immediately gathered around a microphone stand for an a capella rendition of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever,” delighting the crowd, and themselves, if their broad smiles were any indication. Then, with the musicians at their instruments, Mike Gordon’s vocalized bass riff kicked off “Halley’s Comet” as the crowd roared with approval, and 20,000 fans sung along with “How would you like to have your thick strawberry goo?”
Next came “Moma Dance,” Phish’s first non-strawberry song of the evening, which was far from a typical version of the first set staple. The quartet took “Moma” well beyond its normal boundaries for a jam that was at first dark and then delightfully blissful. Up next was a nicely extended “Breath And Burning” featuring a dark round of improv. Mike Gordon then led a romp through “Funky Bitch” that got the crowd moving. From there, the band took a breather for a moment and resumed with the syncopated rhythm of “Mound.” A quick and traditional version of “Foam” followed and gave way to a cool down in the form of a “Roggae” filled with deep, heavy riffs from guitarist Trey Anastasio. The band then played “The Squirming Coil,” leaving Page McConnell – arguably the MVP of the first set – alone and spotlighted to conclude the set of nine songs with an emotional solo.
Phish returned to kick off the second set with “Down With Disease” and as usual they took the rocker deep. The quartet explored a few different jam spaces over nearly 20 minutes including another blissful, major-key excursion. A “strawberry” moment many were waiting for came next: the Phish debut cover of the Shuggie Otis-penned “Strawberry Letter 23” made famous by The Brothers Johnson. McConnell’s first notes of the song sent the arena into a frenzy. Perhaps no one was having more fun than the band at this point. “Strawberry Letter 23” gave way to “Birds Of A Feather,” simultaneously frenetic and peaceful, followed by McConnell’s psychedelic Big Boat cut “I Always Wanted It This Way,” giving the keyboardist more time in the limelight, before Trey took to the Marimba Lumina. The band then transitioned into “All Of These Dreams,” a rarely played Round Room ballad, which was last performed on October 26, 2010 in Manchester, New Hampshire – 251 shows ago.
A dark and gooey “Split Open And Melt” came next and featured deep jamming from all four members. To wrap a bow around the set-opener, Phish then returned to “Down With Disease” and the crowd went wild. The memorable second set came to a close with a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Shine A Light.”
When the band returned, we got “Peaches En Regalia” performed for the first time as an encore since 1989. But it didn’t stop there, with Phish segueing into yet another cover, the apropos “Cities.” And if that wasn’t enough, the foursome opted to play one more song, concluding the show with the uptempo bluegrass love song, “My Sweet One.” The final song of the evening was last played during an encore way back on November 3, 1994.
Madison Square Garden [See upcoming shows]
40 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
9 songs / 8:05 pm to 9:27 pm (82 minutes)
10 songs / 10:06 pm to 11:28 pm (82 minutes)
19 songs / 13 originals / 6 covers
22.33 [Gap chart]
Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles), Strawberry Letter 23 (Shuggie Otis)
Strawberry Fields Forever, Mound, Foam, Strawberry Letter 23, I Always Wanted It This Way, All Of These Dreams, Split Open And Melt, My Sweet One
All Of These Dreams - 251 Shows (LTP - 10/26/2010)
Down With Disease - 19:18
Peaches En Regalia - 3:29
Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 3, Rift - 1, Hoist - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 3, Round Room - 1, Big Boat - 2, Misc. - 1, Covers - 6
85 Degrees and drizzling at showtime
Capacity: 20,789 Donut Flavor: Strawberry
Phish From The Road Photos
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