© BUT I WAS THERE

Phish just finished off their New Year’s Eve run from Madison Square Garden in New York with a super creative show and a gag we’ll be talking about forever (especially given the hitch that Trey’s rig suffered during the show). It also featured an incredibly strong show in the first two sets and a third set that featured a youth choir acting as “clones” backing up the band in both voice and dance, but we’ll get deeper into the gag below…

The Garden was lit outside according to the basic Red, Yellow, Green and Blue color patterns.

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The band kicked off the show with a stellar “Martian Monster” and kept the energy high with a solid “Buried Alive,” a well-placed “AC/DC Bag” and a 13-minute “Halley’s Comet.” Trey rip-corded into a solid “Prince Caspian” and brought the energy back up with “Sparkle” and “Axilla” before the band told another update to their “pan” story from the night before. Then Mike somewhat found a way to tell the story that related it to flute extraordinaire Zamfir. Random moment (or so it seemed).

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Second set was heavy on incredible playing and multiple peaks, including a killer “Wolfman’s > Light > Twist” segment that is a strong contender for musical highlight of the night. Following the second set, the band’s gear was cleared off stage and a few risers and dark shapes were added to the stage. One a cappella mic was added to the stage at the last moment.

Once the lights went down, the band could be heard over the PA talking to one another. Page tells Trey that he’s excited that they’re finally fulfilling their dream of playing jazz a capella standards as part of their final set of the night at the Garden. Trey really expresses excitement as well. Then, playing up to the pan story from the night before, the band sees that pan flute guy coming towards him again before Trey gets hit in the head with a pan (bonk) and screams (ahhhh!) — all just like the story the night before. Trey was dreaming about … the future! :)

PHISH NYE 12 31 2019 SEND IN THE CLONES MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

Then the band came out in colored suits – Trey (green), Mike (yellow), Page (blue) and Fishman (red dress) — and sang “Send in the Clones,” a sendup of “Send in the Clowns.”

After the song, four matching sets of instruments descended from the rafters in front of the band and the band strapped in for the set by playing on floating platforms.

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A set of matching colored “clones” then joined on the stage, which turned out to be a wildly talented choir and dance troupe. They launched into “First Tube” as the song leading into the New Year’s Eve countdown.

After “Auld Lang Syne,” the band launched into “Sand” which featured the choir joining the band underneath the platforms with multiple dance routines.

But as the song ended, it was clear Trey’s platform would be stuck and he had to continue the show suspended fully in the air while the three other platforms still lifted and fell effortlessly. After he joked about a true “rock n’ roll” ending, Trey basically gets tired of waiting and says “alright well I’ll do the set from up here!” and the band continues!

“Drift While You’re Sleeping” featured the choir dancing with light saber like devices, while “What’s the Use?” had more of a relaxed stoic delivery with the choir holding mirrors and reflecting Kuroda’s beams as their own little light show.

Then the band finished the set with “You Enjoy Myself” which featured the “clones” representing the band’s normal role as the jumpers on trampolines (Green + Yellow) before the normal “Trey Dance” segment which featured only the Green clones.

The clones then helped with the vocal jam which closed the entire show as “Send in the Clones” again. Trey then announced that they would pretend he’s stepping off stage for the encore, and now it’s the encore as the band launched into “Tweezer Reprise” with the “clone” choir again joining the band on stage.

In a hilarious gaffe by the production team, Trey turned some lemons into lemonade and played a solo guitar ditty while they sent someone up on Fishman’s riser to pick him up. As they descended, Trey played on Fish’s kit and sang a made up song into the mic called “Rescue Squad.”

Closing the show, the band released new “clone” t-shirts on their Dry Goods portal.


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