Watch Phish Perform Gamehendge at Madison Square Garden on New Year’s Eve [Pro-Shot]

By Stu Kelly / January 9, 2024

Phish took Madison Square Garden on an epic journey through Gamehendge to ring in 2024. The two-hour extravaganza featured the complete Gamehendge saga, bringing to life the fantastical world conceived by Phish’s guitarist and primary vocalist, Trey Anastasio, during his time at Goddard College in 1988.

Gamehendge, the fictional universe that serves as the backdrop for a collection of Phish songs, traces its roots to Anastasio’s senior project, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday (TMWSIY). The intricate narrative weaves together fantasy, adventure, and mythology elements, creating a captivating musical journey that has become a cherished part of the band’s repertoire.

The Madison Square Garden performance showcased a Broadway-scale production, with elaborate stage design and visuals that vividly brought the Gamehendge story to life. The band’s commitment to delivering a truly immersive experience was evident throughout the evening, creating an unforgettable atmosphere for the thousands of fans.

This monumental event marked Phish’s return to Gamehendge after nearly three decades. The last time the band performed Trey Anastasio’s magnum opus in its entirety was in July 1994. The decision to resurrect Gamehendge for this special New Year’s Eve show was met with overwhelming excitement from the fanbase, many of whom had never witnessed the saga live.

Adding an extra layer of excitement to the performance, Phish enlisted the talents of actress Annie Golden to portray the character of “Grandma.” At the same time, young actor Mitchell Sink took on the role of “Jimmy.” This casting choice added a theatrical element to the already intricate musical narrative, further enhancing the immersive experience for the audience.

The energy in Madison Square Garden was palpable as Phish delivered a flawless rendition of Gamehendge, taking fans on a sonic adventure through timeless classics like “The Lizards,” “Wilson,” “Col. Forbin’s Ascent,” and more. The band’s musicianship and tight-knit chemistry were on full display, demonstrating why Phish continues to be a force in the live music scene after over three decades.

As the clock struck midnight and 2024 was ushered in, Phish concluded the Gamehendge performance with a triumphant version of “Split Open and Melt,” leaving fans in euphoria. The New Year’s Eve celebration at Madison Square Garden will undoubtedly go down in history as one of Phish’s most legendary performances, solidifying their status as pioneers of musical innovation and storytelling in live performance.

Watch pro-shot footage of the entire performance below. 

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Stu Kelly