The Baker’s Dozen continued last night as the night once again took on a flavor-themed show, with Phish working in the night’s donut flavor into the setlist.
The theme was evident right from the start as the quartet took the stage at Madison Square Garden to an acapella version of The Beatles’ classic “Strawberry Fields Forever,” a debut for the band. From there, the group went into “Halley’s Comet” (“thick strawberry goo”) and while the song didn’t contain a jam, the following “Moma Dance” was stretched out to the tune of 17-minutes featuring a number of dark, funk-driven themes before the lighter “Breath and Burning” followed.
Although the Big Boat single is known for mostly standard versions, this particular playing carried over some of the “Moma” jamming as the band broke the song structure briefly before landing on “Funky Bitch.” The rest of the set played out with a number of fan favorites like “Mound” and “Foam” as well as a slinky “Roggae” and Page McConnell’s moment in the spotlight with a rare first set “Squirming Coil.”
The second set got started with another lengthy jam as “Down with Disease” kicked things off as the band once again delivered a Type II jam before dropping into Shuggie Otis’ “Strawberry Letter 23,” another flavor-themed debut. The classic funk song gave way to a frenetic version of “Birds of a Feather” before McConnell once again got a chance to shine, this time on Big Boat deep cut “I Always Wanted It This Way.”
The big bustout of the night came in the following “All of These Dreams,” played for the first time since October 26, 2010 marking a 251-show gap. The set closed with another lengthy jam, with “Split Open and Melt” continuing the darker themes established in “Moma Dance” and the band surprised with a rare return to “Down with Disease” out of “Split” before the “Shine a Light” set-closer.
More surprises awaited in the encore as “Peaches en Regalia” showed up in the encore for the first time since 1989 (to connect it to an earlier song, Shuggie Otis played bass on the original recording of the song) and the following “Cities” made its first encore appearance since 1999. To turn back the clock even more, “My Sweet One” was played in the encore for the first time since 1994, bringing the night to an end.
Phish returns to the stage tonight.
Here’s a look at the setlist:
Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Set I: Strawberry Fields Forever, Halley’s Comet > The Moma Dance > Breath and Burning > Funky Bitch, Mound, Foam, Roggae, Squirming Coil
Set II: Down with Disease, Strawberry Letter 23 > Birds of a Feather, I Always Wanted It This Way > All of These Dreams, Split Open and Melt > Down with Disease > Shine a Light
Enc: Peaches en Regalia > Cities, My Sweet One