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Phish Conclude Madison Square Garden Residency, Bust Out “…

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Phish Conclude Madison Square Garden Residency, Bust Out “Guy Forget” for First Time in 11 Years

Photo Credit: Bill Kelly

Last night, Phish concluded their residency at New York’s Madison Square Garden. After six prior performances, which commenced on Friday, July 28, the Vermont musicians were seasoned and prepped for the final show of their Big Apple summer stand. Having flexed their instrumental prowess leading up to Saturday’s closeout, the group was ready to traverse peaks and valleys as they worked through various parts of their favored catalog, which included a “Guy Forget” bust out, ending a 425 show gap since they last played the Trey Anastasio and Dave Abrahams creation. 

The August 5 concert commenced with Page McConnell’s keys igniting the start of The Rolling Stones’ original, “Loving Cup.” The short instrumental start was soon met with a lyrical delivery courtesy of the aforementioned player and Anastasio, who complimented the composition as they arrived at the line: “Yes, I’m stumbling, and I know I play a bad guitar,” causing the first real stir of excitement from the crowd. The evening’s starter merged into a built up “Maze,” which came to a complete stop before the band picked up “Martian Monster,” complete with it’s pre-recorded narration that unfolded into an otherworldly exploration. The band lit a flame with a fiery display of jams that unfolded during “Divided Sky” and “Prince Caspian.” 

With the core four migrating from one tune into the next, instrumentals unfolded and marked the start of “NICU,” centered around the accentuated flutter of McConnell’s keys, which were ultimately directed by Anastasio, who told his bandmate: “Play it slow for us, Leo!” In continuation of the first frame, Phish grooved through “Steam” before the arrival of “Drift While You’re Sleeping.” The song’s finish doubled as the start of the set break. After returning to the stage, the concert’s second half began with “Set Your Soul Free.” 

A jam was born from the initial rendering of “Tweezer,” which warped into a bust out of “Guy Forget,” last played on Sept. 4, 2011, at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. For their follow-up, Phish continued to build on their material with the arrival of “What’s the Use?” and “Scents and Subtle Sounds.” “Tweezer” came through again before “Everything’s Right,” which included Manteca quotes from Jon Fishman. Then, they rolled into “Backwards Down the Number Line” and a final “Tweezer Reprise” to cap the frame. 

For the final song of Phish’s MSG residency, they picked up a fan favorite, “Harry’s Hood.” Following their New York City stay, the group will participate in a Vermont and Upstate New York Flood Recovery Benefit concert at SPAC in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Aug. 25 and 26. Read more here.

 Scroll down to view last night’s setlist and watch video clips from Phish’s Aug. 5 stand. 

Phish 

Madison Square Garden – New York City 

August 5, 2023 

Set I: Loving Cup > Maze, Martian Monster > Divided Sky > Prince Caspian > NICU+ > Steam, Drift While You’re Sleeping

Set II: Set Your Soul Free, Tweezer > Guy Forget^ > What’s the Use? > Scents and Subtle Sounds > Tweezer > Everything’s Right > Backwards Down the Number Line > Tweezer Reprise

Enc.: Harry Hood

Notes: 

+ Trey Anastasio asked Page McConnell to “Play it slow for us, Leo!” 

^ Bust out, last performed on Sept. 4, 2011 (425 shows)

Setlist via Phish.net.



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