Phish has just concluded their unprecedented Baker's Dozen run at New York City's Madison Square Garden. Beginning Friday, July 21st and then continuing through Sunday, August 6th, the milestone 13-night run brings Phish's total performances at the World's Most Famous Arena to a remarkable 52 in the years since their MSG debut in December 1994.
The Baker's Dozen saw 227,000 tickets sold for 13 one-of-a-kind shows. Phish performed 26 unique sets featuring a grand total of 237 songs with no repeats during the three-week run. Among the song selection were countless classics, innumerable rarities, myriad surprises, and many covers.
Along with its immeasurable musical delights, The Baker's Dozen was especially notable for its donut-inspired production, a theme of course suggested in the 13-show run's title. Thousands of free donuts were given away nightly to early arrivers, made by Philadelphia's beloved Federal Donuts, with Phish nodding to the night's select pastry with corresponding songs. Fans purchasing the entire 13-show run received exclusive donut-shaped tickets, while longtime Phish friends Ben & Jerry's produced a limited edition flavor - "Freezer Reprise" - available only at two events in New York City and Burlington, VT, both in association with Phish's philanthropic initiative, The WaterWheel Foundation.
Phish made history, not only for themselves but also for the host city and venue. The New York City Mayor's Office marked the conclusion of the shows by issuing a proclamation announcing August 6th as "Phish Day." In recognition of the run, Madison Square Garden presented the band with a commemorative, permanent banner that was hoisted into the rafters at the end of the run's final show.
The shows were webcast exclusively via livephish.com, where the audio is now available for download or via LivePhish+, Phish's subscription-based streaming service.
The Baker's Dozen earned accolades from a wide array of national publications. "What I saw," wrote The New York Times' Ben Ratliff, "was a purposeful band in energetic form, better than I've seen and heard recently, more willing to let songs assume their own proportions, and going far into its own catalog." Rolling Stone singled out myriad magical moments from "All 13 Blissful Nights," noting "The Baker's Dozen was one of most ambitious seasons of Phish in years: three weeks' worth of twist-filled musical episodes for an engaged fanbase and onlookers wondering if it's too late to get in on the joke." "The Baker's Dozen has proven to be one of Phish's most elaborate and amusing experiments ever," enthused Esquire. "It's the band in Peak Wonka Mode, and it couldn't be more fun-which just so happens to be the group's reason for being." "The Baker's Dozen isn't the first time Phish has defied logic," noted The Huffington Post. "It'll keep fans guessing how this veteran band - or anyone - can possibly top it."
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