Despite being called the "summer of hell" for New Yorkers due to constant public transit problems, dedicated fans of Phish won't let anything stop them from seeing their favorite band perform. Phish fans, also known as "phans", will soon be descending on New York City for an epic 13-concert series at Madison Square Garden. This musical marathon, which has been dubbed the "Baker's Dozen," is set to start on Friday and run through August 6th. Be prepared to start seeing a whole lot of tie dye attire in midtown.
The New York Times spoke with a few loyal phans about their plans to make the trek to NYC for Phish's Madison Square Garden residency. These phans ranged in age, gender, sexual orientation, and location, yet they had one important thing in common: their undying love and devotion to Phish. Like many other phans, they all plan to take the Phish fanatic equivalent of a pilgrimage to New York City over the next few weeks.
While this certainly isn't the first time the iconic jam band has played at the equally revered Manhattan venue since their inception in 1983, it's bound to be something longtime phans have not experienced before. The status quo of tail gating outside the venue will definitely be missed at the NYC shows, however, phans have found different, yet still on-brand ways to celebrate the band's residency at the Garden. You might not be drinking beer in a parking lot ahead of showtime, but you'll still get to incorporate your favorite Phish traditions even though they'll have a city spin on them.
American Beauty, a three-story beer bar and performance hall a few blocks away from Madison Square Garden, will be hosting an all-day, all-night "Jerry Lounge" in lieu of the traditional tailgate. The bar will feature live music, tapestry vendors, delicious food and drinks, as well as the opportunity to mingle with fellow die hard phans before and after the shows. The best part, though, is that admission is totally free.
The festivities at American Beauty isn't the only thing phans can enjoy during their Phish pilgrimage. For more fit Phish phans, Shira Kaiserman Verteramo (aka @ThigsYouSeeatPhish on Instagram) will lead a Phish-themed spin class at J.C.C. Manhattan. If one Phish-themed spin class isn't enough for you, though, Ira Lindenberg will also lead one at SyncStudio. Prices for these Phish-tastic classes start at just $25.
For those who tragically could not get their hands on tickets to any of the 13 sold out shows, there will be plenty of opportunities to check out Phish cover bands all over the city. There will even be Phish cover bands performing on day time cruises around Manhattan. You can squeeze in a quick cruise before heading over to the main event at Madison Square Garden, as well. DeadPhish Orchestra, Jazz is PHSH, and Pink Talking Phish will all be performing with tickets starting at only $30.
The next three weeks will turn the greatest city in the world into a completely immersive experience for Phish fans. Not only will phans be treated to the epic 13-concert residency at Madison Square Garden, but they'll be able to experience Phish art shows, cover music, and be able to introduce their kids to their favorite band through the “Kids Gone Phishing: Baker’s Trio Phamily Concerts With Uncle Ebenezer” at the Rock and Roll Playhouse, a family-friendly concert series at Brooklyn Bowl and the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. Summer of Hell? It sounds more like the Summer of Phish.
Once their 13-concert marathon wraps up in August, Phish will have played Madison Square Garden an impressive 52 times. They will join the prestigious ranks of Elton John, Billy Joel and the Grateful Dead, according to Rolling Stone, as one of four musical acts to take the stage at the Garden more than 50 times. It's certainly a fitting accomplishment for one of the world's most beloved bands. We can't wait to experience all New York City and Phish have to offer this summer.
If you just can't wait for the Baker's Dozen shows to start, you can check out Tom Marshall's Under the Scales podcast on iHeartRadio. Considered by many to be the fifth member of the band, Marshall has known Phish singer/guitarist Trey Anastasio since the two were children. The two have been writing songs together for three decades. "The podcast captures and brings to light the rich and complex culture surrounding Phish and its diverse, devoted fanbase," reads the show's description. Check it out here: