Photo by Rene Huemer © Phish

The Mocking Foundation’s board of directors has decided to take up a controversial case regarding Phish’s recent December 31, 2023 performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden. After hearing arguments from both sides, the board will rule on whether Phish did indeed play Gamehenge for the first time in almost 30 years at the end of last year. Despite performing the entire suite of Gamehendge songs and no evidence of post tampering, a vocal minority is claiming that Phish did not technically perform the oft-requested rock opera since the band did not narrate the story themselves. (An even smaller subset of those fans claim that the true performance of Gamehenge took place exactly 10 years earlier, when the band performed material from Trey Anastasio’s thesis without the theatrical presentation.) The Slack discussion will feature testimony by both fans who claim to have attended the show and seen Gamehenge as well as Gamehenge truthers who did not attend 12/31/23 and are claiming that it is part of a conspiracy for 4.0 fans to stuff their stats. While the Mockingbird Foundation has traditionally been conservative, sticking to the originalist approach of posting only the songs the band actually played on a given night, recent rulings have surprised even longtime scholars. Five years ago, the board ruled to remove a version of “My Left Toe” from a 1999 setlist posted over 15 years earlier on the band’s official website and more recently the group decided to upgrade  “Quadraphonic Topplings” from a tease to a full performance despite the song’s original music and full lyrics not being played.

This is a developing story, albeit a dense and confusing one that either affirms why you love the Phish community or why it harshes your mellow in the same way that you get the willies around Ringers, Trekkers and anyone who claims to understand Expected Weighted On-Base Average.