Beginning Dec. 28th, Phish fans gathered in Manhattan’s Midtown to see the legendary jam band perform at Madison Square Garden. All the while, comparing personal Garden show tallies (who attended all 13 Bakers Dozen shows in summer of 2017?), setlist predictions, and theories of what kind of hijinks the band had in its back pocket — namely, how would they top last year’s electrifying light show?
But on Dec. 31st — the last of the four-date sold-out run, and 60th show at MSG — there was a new set of surprises in store (the ceiling was stacked with bags and bags of metallic balloons). The first of three sets began just after 8 p.m. with “The Moma Dance” and ended 11 songs later on a high-energy note with the fast-paced “Run Like an Antelope.” Second set highlights included groovy, improv-heavy “Twist” and common set closer “Harry Hood.”
Just before midnight. the band took the stage a third time, with guitarist Trey Anastasio and bassist Mike Gordon both dressed in brilliant silver space suits. They kicked things off with “Mercury” (ah, the silver) as 10 dancers at the front of the stage were lifted into the air by harnesses with silvers streamers spewing from their feet as they spun, twirled and defied gravity, backed by opalescent lighting. A 30-second countdown to midnight concluded with “Auld Lang Syne” and what seemed like billions of silver balloons and streamers pouring down from the sky. The arena was so saturated with metallic madness that one may have missed the moment when Anastasio and Gordon were both hoisted into the air with the other dancers as they played “Say it to me S.A.N.T.O.S” and hilarious inflatable objects like pizza, donuts and aliens floated over the stage.
The guys played on for another hour and finally wrapped with Billy Breathes staple “Character Zero” as Anastasio grinned from ear to ear while saying, “See you this year!” For some, that could be as soon as next month for the band’s upcoming three-night Mexico run in Riveria Maya.
Watch Phish’s video of the midnight spectacular here.