Full-show video of the entire Phish concert from New Year’s Eve 1998 at Madison Square Garden has been uploaded to YouTube.
Fan-quality footage found its way onto YouTube last week on the account The Pharchive. While clips from 12/31/1998 have been on the major video sharing platform for some time, including full videos of the first and second sets, this marks the first instance of the entire show being available for free.
The New Year’s Eve show at the Garden in 1998 is one that has stood the test of time for a variety of reasons. The evening kicked off with Phish’s debut performance of “1999” by Prince–a truly relevant show-opener. Phish also showed their hand a bit during the opener as they were joined by costumed dancers (including a devil, prostitute, and pimp) who would reappear later in the show. From there, things immediately took off with “Mike’s Song” into “I Am Hydrogen”, which rolled straight into “Weekapaug Groove”. This was followed by a cow funky “Ghost”, which had only just been introduced the previous summer in Europe, which segued into a rare “Ha Ha Ha” and finally “Cavern” to close out the set.
Phish returned to the stage still red hot, despite the set break, and opened with the sing-along “NICU” to get the crowd back on its feet. After a raucous early-set “Character Zero” things really got rolling as the band segued into “Tweezer” which, after about 15-minutes of spacey funk, seamlessly transitioned into a cover of Talking Head‘s “Cities”. For a quick breather, the band went into “Wading In The Velvet Sea” and, once everyone caught their breath, kicked things back into gear with “Run Like An Antelope” and finally Edgar Winter‘s “Frankenstein” to close the second frame.
Finally, set three opened up with yet another big jam in the form of “Runaway Jim”, which would take the band all the way to the traditional “Auld Lang Syne”. While Phish was leading up to the New Year’s countdown, the costumed dancers made their way through the crowd, distributing thousands of glow-rings to fans before the ball dropped. “Auld Lang Syne” would see the “Jim” jam roll into “Simple”, followed by “Harry Hood”. During the peak of “Harry Hood”, many fans took the complimentary glow-rings and started a glowstick war the likes of which the band wouldn’t see again for many years. Meanwhile, other fans strung the rings together to make a chain that would stretch the length of “The World’s Most Famous Arena.”
Things took an unexpected turn with “Tweezer Reprise” during the third set, followed by “Llama” to close out the final frame. The band would return for just one more song, The Beatles‘ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.
Watch the full-show video of Phish on New Year’s Eve 1998 at Madison Square Garden below.
Phish – Madison Square Garden – New York, NY – 12/31/1998
[Video: The Pharchive]
Setlist: Phish | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY | 12/31/98
Set One: 1999 (Prince cover) > Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Ghost -> Ha Ha Ha > Cavern
Set Two: NICU > Character Zero > Tweezer -> Cities > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Run Like an Antelope > Frankenstein (Edgar Winter cover)
Set Three: Runaway Jim -> Auld Lang Syne (Robert Burns cover) -> Simple, Harry Hood > Tweezer Reprise, Llama
Encore: While My Guitar Gently Weeps (The Beatles cover)
 Phish debut