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Phish played 4 New Year’s Eve Week shows @ MSG, hung people from the ceiling (pics, video, setlist)

photos by Ryan Barkan

“i just want to say that i think glorified displays of people wasted out of their minds and passed out are really upsetting to me.” – JD Samson

“Nothing turns me conservative faster than being on a train with a bunch of stoned Phish fans that just got out of Madison Square Garden.” – Frank Hejl

“So many Phish fans looking for a miracle outside Penn Station.” – Maura Johnston

“Now hundred of “fans” all over the arena hovering 50 feet above the crowd dancing.” – Colonel Forbin

“The floating fans above the crowd would’ve had me freaking at Phish MSG. I mean, Jesus. What if one hurled?” – Ravenval

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“It’s not the ball drop, but for tens of thousands of people, Phish‘s annual run of shows at Madison Square Garden, which winds up on New Year’s Eve, is the more significant year-end event in Manhattan. Always an immediate sellout, the concerts are both a tradition and a challenge. Phish has to provide its familiar joys but vary them enough to surprise fans who are obsessively meticulous tabulators.

Thursday night’s concert was Phish in crowd-pleasing mode: uptempo, playing familiar songs and ready to keep fans dancing — never getting too abstract or experimental. Its two sets were both CD-length, just under 80 minutes each, with the Rolling Stones’ “Loving Cup” as a splashy, gospelly encore….This was just a big, happy Phish party. The musicians’ fingers flew; lights splayed above the stage; glowsticks were tossed, in mass bursts, at big transitions; balloons bounced around; the year-end ritual was intact. Thursday’s concert was a high-level holding action; the next one, as always, might be something else entirely.” [NY Times]

Phish took over Madison Square Garden during New Year’s Eve week once again. The Vermont jam band hit the venue four nights in a row up to and including New Year’s Eve (12/28 – 12/31). Pictures from the second show, the same night the NY Times reviewed, are in this post. If you weren’t there, maybe you paid to watch one of the shows streaming live in HD via the band’s website (it was $55 to stream all four and it came with access to watch it again).

Were you there? Apparently JD Samson was. Did anyone see any of Trey’s friends from the National in the crowd (or over the crowd)?

More pictures from night two (12/29), video of the hanging people getting put up into the air on New Year’s Eve, and all four setlists (they covered TV on the Radio’s “Golden Age” on New Year’s Eve), below..

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Phish | 12.31.11 | CROWD MEMBERS HUNG OVER THE CROWD

PHISH AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN – Wednesday, 12/28/2011 Setlist
Soundcheck: Beauty of My Dreams, My Soul, Taste, 20 Years Later x2 (incomplete both times), Jam, Mound
Set 1: Free, Glide > Possum, Cities, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, Stash, Contact > Sample in a Jar, Kill Devil Falls > Bathtub Gin
Set 2: Birds of a Feather, Carini -> Tweezer[1] > My Friend, My Friend[2] -> Rock and Roll[3] -> NICU, Bouncing Around the Room, Harry Hood[4] > Bug
Encore: Tube > Rocky Top > Tweezer Reprise

PHISH AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN – Thursday, 12/29/2011 Setlist
Soundcheck: Sloth, Joy, Jam (Likely incomplete)
Set 1: The Sloth, You Enjoy Myself, Back on the Train, The Moma Dance, Funky Bitch, Maze, Roses Are Free, Halley’s Comet[1] > Run Like an Antelope
Set 2: Crosseyed and Painless > Simple -> Lifeboy > Guyute, Mike’s Song > Chalk Dust Torture[2] -> I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Show of Life > Character Zero[3]
Encore: Loving Cup

PHISH AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN – Friday, 12/30/2011 Setlist
Set 1: Punch You In the Eye > Prince Caspian[1] > Backwards Down the Number Line[2], Nellie Kane, Divided Sky, Sand, Vultures, Rift, Joy, Quinn the Eskimo
Set 2: Wilson > Axilla > Piper > Twist > Julius > Golgi Apparatus > Also Sprach Zarathustra > The Horse > Silent in the Morning > David Bowie[3], The Squirming Coil[3]
Encore: Boogie On Reggae Woman, Good Times Bad Times

PHISH AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN – Saturday, 12/31/2011 Setlist
Set 1: AC/DC Bag > Wolfman’s Brother, Scent of a Mule, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Lawn Boy, Gotta Jibboo, Farmhouse, Pebbles and Marbles, Ocelot > Fluffhead[1]
Set 2: Party Time, Light -> Golden Age > Theme From the Bottom, Heavy Things > Ghost > Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley > 46 Days > Suzy Greenberg
Set 3: Cavern, Steam[2] > Auld Lang Syne > Down with Disease[3], The Wedge, Alaska, Wading in the Velvet Sea, First Tube
Encore: Slave to the Traffic Light

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