Been Waiting So Long: Night 12 Of Phish Baker’s Dozen Residency – Recap, Setlist & The Skinny
Another idea had them playing a “baker’s dozen” of shows – 13 nights in Madison Square Garden, say, or, adding another layer of classic Phish humor to it all, the Providence Civic Center, rebranded by corporate interests as the Dunkin Donuts Center. Riffing on that absurdity, the band imagined giving away free donuts and even basing the theme for each show around that night’s variety. For “Boston Cream,” a setlist might have included covers of songs by Boston and Cream. – July 2007 Relix magazine interview with Page McConnell.
Ten years after keyboardist Page McConnell revealed what became the theme of Phish‘s 13-night Baker’s Dozen residency at Madison Square Garden, the band’s penultimate show’s flavor was the above-mentioned “Boston Cream.” The decades-in-the-making gag resulted in a classic rock mashup in the first set and even more exceptional jamming during Saturday night’s second half.
Bob Marley’s “Soul Shakedown Party” began the second to last Baker’s Dozen performance with an earnest reggae vibe. The quartet went from reggae to bluegrass with a romp through Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen” taking the second song slot and after that came a take on the Gamehendge classic “The Sloth.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio threw in feisty licks at the climatic ending jam of the band’s first “Gotta Jibboo” during a first set since 2013. Next came bassist Mike Gordon stepping to the mic for a crowd-pleasing rip through the old-school, rocking rarity “Fuck Your Face.”
McConnell was in charge of vocals for the first verse of the band’s debut performance of “Sunshine Of Your Love” by Cream. Anastasio then took over as the band segued into the opening lines of Boston’s “More Than A Feeling.” Fish then quoted Cream’s “Tales Of Brave Ulysses” and the foursome shifted back to “Sunshine Of Your Love” before busting out Boston’s “Foreplay/Long Time” for the first time since 1999, as they simultaneously dropped in quotes of Cream’s “White Room” and “Sunshine of Your Love” as well as “More Than a Feeling” while jumping between songs.
“Tomorrow’s donut will be Kansas Metallica flavored,” joked Anastasio following the Boston/Cream mashup. “We’ve been waiting for that joke for 20 years, really seriously,” responded a laughing Jon Fishman from behind his drum kit.
The second Phish performance of “Frost,” a ballad from Trey’s solo repertoire, was dusted off for the first time since its July 2013 debut and was followed by a “Scent Of Mule” that saw Page and Mike dueling with solos. More classic rock rang out in The Garden with a punched up rendition of “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix continuing the covers-heavy opening set. A loping “Alaska” leveled out the energy inside the arena, ahead of another rarity from the Trey Anastasio Band’s wheelhouse, “Plasma.” Phish’s fifth performance of the TAB staple brought a lively end (with “Sunshine Of Your Love” quotes) to the first half made up entirely of songs not played prior by the band so far this year.
The streak of 2017 debuts was broken by set two’s opening “Ghost.” The funky opener quickly saw the foursome set out on a blissful improvisation with Trey initially sitting back playing rhythm while Page added layers of electric piano and Mike and Fish settled into a buttery groove. The jam pivoted as Anastasio came to the forefront, steering the group with rhythmic strumming on the the way to a hugely energetic peak that enlivened the frenzied audience draped under Chris Kuroda’s kaleidoscopic lights. The Big Boat opus “Petrichor” made its return to MSG for its first appearance since its theatrical performance last New Year’s Eve and though there was no rain inside The Garden this time, it was nonetheless well-executed.
The rain gave way to “Light” and the second substantial improvisation of the second set. A slinky, bubbly jam evolved out the interplay between the four on stage that maintained a balance between each as they landed on an ambient platform. An imperfect “The Lizards” injected a little calypso from Gamehendge into the set ahead of the classic “The Horse” > “Silent In The Morning” combo of Rift tunes. Mike then led a cover of Bob Dylan’s sing-along “Quinn The Eskimo” while the bluegrass favorite “Rocky Top” was selected to close out the set. Trey’s heartfelt “Joy” was the lone song making up Saturday’s encore.
Phish returns to MSG tomorrow for the 13th and final night of their Baker’s Dozen residency. A webcast is available via LivePhish.com.
Madison Square Garden [See upcoming shows]
50 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, 07/22/2017, 07/23/2017, 07/25/2017, 07/26/2017, 07/28/2017, 07/29/2017, 07/30/2017, 08/01/2017, 08/02/2017, 08/04/2017
11 songs / 8:12 pm to 9:29 pm (77 minutes)
9 songs / 10:04 pm to 11:29 pm (85 minutes)
20 songs / 14 originals / 6 covers
40.05 [Gap chart]
Sunshine Of Your Feeling (Cream/Boston)
All (Except Ghost, Light and Rocky Top)
Frost - 168 Show Gap (LTP 7/17/2013)
Ghost - 21:09
The Horse - 1:06
Rift - 2, Hoist - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Joy - 2, Big Boat - 1, Misc. - 6, Covers - 8
71° F and Sunny at Showtime
Capacity: 20,789 Donut Flavor: Boston Cream
Phish From The Road Photos
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