There‘s Something about the Blues – Over the course of Phish’s New Years run history, something in the holiday air makes Phish gravitate toward the blues. Classic blues rock tunes like Johnny B. Goode, La Grange and After Midnight have all played major roles in various shows and now have a close association to the New Year’s festivities. In both of the past two outings, we’ve seen fans with strategically placed La Grange signs, so who knows, maybe this is the year? Then again, I’d personally rather see the return of Johnny B. Goode.
Gamehendge – It’s clear that the band gets in the giving spirit as Gamehendge songs get far more generous treatment during the holidays. Looking back through the hourglass at the aggregate appearances of the most desirable Gamehendge songs reveals some interesting trends. The first is that there is no real trend: a big Gamehendge song can come on any night. Next, it’s interesting to see that Lizards is by far the most common New Year’s run song, making an appearance at ten different outings. Finally, Tela is actually the rarest, making only two holiday visits compared to Harpua’s three.
12/28 – 2 Lizards, 2 Sloth, 1 Mockingbird, 1 Forbins, 1 TMWSIY
12/29 – 4 Lizards, 1 McGrupp, 1 Harpua, 1 Tela
12/30 – 1 Tela, 1 Mockingbird, 1 Harpua, 2 McGrupp, 2 TMWSIY, 1 Forbins
12/31 – 1 Harpua, 2 Forbins, 2 Mockingbird, 2 Sloth, 4 Lizards, 1 McGrupp
Big Mike’s Grooves – Of all the New Year’s Eve shows, Phish has played a Mike’s Groove on nine out of 15, which makes it the second most popular NYE song behind only Auld Lang Syne. Furthermore, they’ve played it four times on 12/28, and once on 12/29 (never at a 30th show). Given that last year, they didn’t play it at Madison Square Garden – although it did open the holiday run in Worcester on 12/27 – we might well see a big return to grace for Mike’s.
Of the most monumental New Year’s Mike’s Grooves, the 12/30/93 version (Mikes -> Horse -> Silent -> Punch You in the Eye-> McGrupp-> Weekpaug), the 12/31/95 version (Mike’s Song as the second set closer and the third set opens with “Mad Science Experiment” -> Auld Lang Syne – > Weekapaug) and the 12/31/98 version (1999-> Mike’s -> Hydrogen – > Weekapaug) make up the crème de la crème.
PAGE THREE = The Updated MSG, Inclement Weather & NYE Gags