Phish Perform Longest “Mike’s Song” Equipped with Second J…


Phish Perform Longest “Mike’s Song” Equipped with Second Jam for Penultimate Show of MSG Summer Run

Photos by @rene_huemer

Last night, Phish made history by playing their 78th show at Madison Square Garden, surpassing Elton John as the artist with the second most appearances at the iconic venue, with Billy Joel being the only one ahead. The performance marked the sixth of seven of their run at The Garden, and despite rumors and speculations about the theme, as night six concluded, it was clear that the band’s extensive catalog and expert playing was more than enough for their summer stay in The Big Apple.

After a much-needed day off, Phish started their show with the classic opener, “Buried Alive.” The night was officially launched as the grooves of “The Moma Dance” were unleashed. The energy quickly began to percolate with “46 Days” lushed with the masterful guitar work of Trey Anastasio and the keyboard melodies of Page McConnell. The song led to the debut of bassist Mike Gordon’s “Back in the Bubble,” adding a nice touch to the foundation of the evening. Next came, “Bouncing Around the Room” creating a climbing staircase cacophony. The sing-along “Birds of a Feather” followed before “Halley’s Comet” returned during which Anastasio changed the lyrics to reference New York City to the elation of fans. The beautiful frame came to a triumphant close with “Run Like an Antelope,” a song known for its wild and energetic peak, leaving the crowd ready for the following set.

The second frame wasted no time getting things moving with their longest-ever “Mike’s Song.” The track clocked in at 23 minutes and 47 seconds. After stunning interplay and improvisation, the band surprised fans with the long-awaited return of the “second jam” in “Mike’s Song” – a well-received treat put the band’s cohesion and inspired playing on full display. The night continued with “Sand,” fresh with a textured and gritty groove, enhanced by Gordon’s bassline. Phish then performed their first homage of the night a cover of the Talking Heads “Crosseyed & Painless.” They then took a breath with the beautiful “A Life Beyond the Dream,” before exhaling with “The Lizards” and its narrative roots. Closing the second set was a powerful rendition of The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” Anastasio’s guitar solo left an indelible impression, culminating in thunderous applause. The encore kept the energy soaring, with the feel-good dance number “Weekapaug Groove,” and a flawless performance of the intricate composition “Fluffhead,” leaving the fans on a high note.

Phish’s unmatched improvisation, musicianship, and camaraderie have solidified their status as one of the greatest live bands of all time. With their historic 78th performance at Madison Square Garden, the band continues to set new milestones, enchanting audiences and creating unforgettable memories with each and every show.

Watch all remaining Phish’s Summer Tour 2023 shows at MSG via LivePhish in 4K or HD + 48 hours of unlimited replay here.

Madison Square Garden – New York
Aug. 4, 2023

Set I: Buried Alive, The Moma Dance, 46 Days > Back in the Bubble[1], Bouncing Around the Room, Birds of a Feather, Halley’s Comet[2] -> Roggae, Run Like an Antelope

Set II: Mike’s Song > Sand -> Crosseyed and Painless > A Life Beyond The Dream, The Lizards, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Enc.: Weekapaug Groove > Fluffhead

[1] Phish debut. [2] Lyrics changed to “central part of New York City.” This show featured the Phish debut of Back in the Bubble. Halley’s Comet’s lyrics were changed to “central part of New York City.” Trey teased We’re Off to See the Wizard in Roggae.

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