Phish Played A Gamehenge Set For The First Time In 30 Years At MSG New Year’s Eve Show

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Phish Played A Gamehenge Set For The First Time In 30 Years At MSG New Year’s Eve Show


Trey Anastasio’s senior project at Goddard College in 1987 was a song cycle called The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday. The music tells the story of a retired Long Island military man named Colonel Forbin who enters the mythical land of Gamehendge and rescues the Helping Friendly Book from an evil dictator named Wilson. Phish performed some version of the Gamehendge saga several times in the ’80s and ’90s, most recently a July 8, 1994 show that saw official release through Phish’s Dinner And A Movie webcast series in July 2020. Last night, at their New Year’s Eve show at Madison Square Garden, Phish went back to Gamehendge.

At MSG on NYE, Phish performed the saga in full for the first time in 30 years, enhancing it with some elaborate stagecraft. Annie Golden (“Hang Up The Phone,” Orange Is The New Black) made an appearance as “Jimmy’s grandmother.” Here’s a recap of what went down from, almost all of which is going over my head but which might make sense to you if you’re a Phishhead:

The band then began the first performance of the Gamehendge saga since July 8, 1994, with Golden and Trey providing the narration and performers acting out the parts of Colonel Forbin, Rutherford, the AC/DC Bag, Tela, Errand Wolfe, and the Sloth. The Multibeast and McGrupp were also performed by puppets. Tela performed acrobatics on wires during her song, with Jo Lampert (as Errand Wolfe) providing additional vocals during Wilson. Colonel Forbin ascended the rhombus during Colonel Forbin’s Ascent, and a large Famous Mockingbird puppet flew over the crowd during Fly Famous Mockingbird, which also featured Annie Golden on additional vocals. Before Melt, Trey asked Jimmy’s grandmother if she knew that the mountain was a volcano, and the Lizards reappeared to dance to the ensuing Melt jam, eventually leaving the stage one by one as the rhombus was lowered again.

Check out footage of the performance below, and consider how Phish might be able to stage Gamehendge at the Sphere.

SET 1:
“Everything’s Right”
“Ether Edge”
“Ruby Waves”
“A Life Beyond The Dream”
“Character Zero”

SET 2:
“Down With Disease”
“The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday”
“The Lizards”
“Punch You In The Eye”
“AC/DC Bag”
“The Sloth”
“The Divided Sky”

SET 3:
“McGrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters”
“Colonel Forbin’s Ascent”
“Fly Famous Mockingbird”
“Auld lang syne”
“Split Open And Melt”
“You Enjoy Myself”
“Loving Cup”

“First Tube”
“Tweezer Reprise”

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