Phish Returns to Madison Square Garden for New Year’s Eve; Here’s What We Think Will Go Down (Hint: Cosmic Wristbands)

UPDATE (1/1/18): Read what went down at the New Year’s Eve show and what those cosmic wristbands were all about!

We’re about 24 hours away from the start of some of the best moments in a Phish fan’s life — the band returns to Madison Square Garden to deliver their 2017-18 New Year’s Eve run, a welcome and “triumphant” return for many New York City fans that get to see shows locally and yet another thing to gripe about for fans on the West Coast.

For me, I’m just happy I get to watch from home on #CouchTour and hoping like hell we don’t have any LivePhish hiccups out here in the land of fish tacos and acai bowls. Plus the lines from the bathroom are ideal. (Side note: I’ll probably never make an MSG show, but I’m sure my chances will be better whenever they decide to come back to the venue after the epicness of 17 in ’17 wears off and crazy fans opt to sit the next run out. Ha, what are the chances of that actually happening…)

This year was really incredible for the band, so it got me thinking of a few more incredible things I’d like to see happen during the run.

Let’s start off with what we know pretty definitively…

It’s definitely going to be about donuts 🍩. Probably.

Don’t even pretend it’s not going to be. This band took the “cheesecake” jokes from Big Cypress about as far as anyone would have let them throw them, so there’s no way they’re not going to take an opportunity to remind us wholeheartedly about the awesomeness they threw down this summer in the Baker’s Dozen 13-night run. It’s my best guess for what the gag will be centered around.




Plus, we have some deeper proof that the theme will remain.

David Gallo has been tapped as the stage and experience designer for the band’s New Year’s Eve show, and his “Petrichor” and “Garden Party” designs were absolutely huge hits in terms of how they were delivered creatively. And he’s started to at least post on social media some reference that he’s got some ideas in his head. Most notably, how about the “Glaze On” pic he posted recently?

That went a little further if you care to zoom in on some of the stuff floating in the background on that screen capture from a Sesame Street episode. Check this out below.

The whole thing is a rather clever red herring to what we’ll see this Sunday evening. I can’t imagine we’re seeing art created like that and won’t see it used during the shows in some manner.

In fact, the stage might even be a donut.

Hey, The Beastie Boys basically used to do this during their Hello Nasty tours, but their stage was a giant vinyl record. They’d come out guns blazing on this huge ass turntable in the middle of their arenas, playing in-the-round and absolutely blowing fans minds when the stage would rotate. This is all very possible in the world of Phish that is a New Year’s Eve show — nothing is ever off the table. Ever.

David Gallo gave us another peek into his thought process by showing off this shot below…

Another mention on his Facebook feed about “thinking differently about another strange design” got me thinking that anything is possible, and he’s up for a good challenge. I’d say a rotating donut stage would fit that bill pretty perfectly.

Bonus hot-take here: he could take his “Petrichor” production up a notch and get it to rain donuts indoors. The Simpsons predicted that, I think…

The band could theoretically “continue” the Baker’s Dozen run and do NO REPEATS.

Because this article is about what we know to be true, I’m saying this is a theory from the get-go. They could continue it. And yes, this one feels like a pretty hard stretch, but I need to at least list the thought to get it out of my head and down on paper. This band could easily deliver four more shows of material that we didn’t otherwise see during the 13 shows they played at the Garden earlier this summer. Think of how much of the band’s catalog was still left untouched… plus the entire Waiting For Columbus Halloween show didn’t get much play. I see no reason why we can’t try to get everyone on board with this. Bring signs! We need more bust-outs like “Izabella”! Come on, gang.

If you look at the numbers behind Baker’s Dozen, I mean, 237 unique songs is pretty amazing. But this is Phish we’re talking about here…. they could easily get that number to 300 in a year.

People are going to be talking about those damn chicken sandwiches again.

GET IT?!? SECTION 119 BECAUSE CHICKEN SANDWICHES LOL ROFL 😂😂😂. Phish Twitter can be a certain form of insufferable in its own little ways, and all of the damn chicken sandwich memes are going to be flooding my feeds again. Fact, not opinion.

Okay, let’s say they really want to blow my mind. The band could cover J Dilla Donuts for the New Year’s Eve set, and basically I would die.

Just, I’d be dead. No more me. R.I.P. me. And for the rest of the audience that would have no idea what they’re witnessing, it’d be perhaps the weirdest and most out there thing they could ever do.

Okay, probably not on that last one, but how sick would that be?

Anyone care to offer their own hot-takes on what we’ll see go down during the run? Drop some comments bruh. In the stoic’s view of Phish fandom, For every Baker’s Dozen, there’s a Dick’s 2017 run right behind it.

FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE NEW YEAR’S EVE SETLIST HERE