Phish made the second of the three-night stand at Madison Square Garden in NYC a long one. December 30, 1997 went down as the Sneakin’ Sally Thru The Alley show, the Allen Toussaint song that book-ended a three hours plus show - they did come out for a Frankenstein encore. With lyricist Tom Marshall making an appearance as vocalist for The Proclaimers' I Wanna Be (500 Miles) the fans got another "one time played" song for their notebooks.
The release of this in the LivePhish series is no surprise - 12/29 was already available and the the third night is bound to be released in the near future. In 1997 the Vermont quartet knew how to stretch songs by extensive jamming. AC/DC Bag can stand up against the legendary 1999-09-14 Boise show and Harry Hood also breaks the 20 minute mark without any trouble. Harpua on the other hand grinds to a standstill while Trey Anastasio launched a long time story about watching "Lost In Space" in his bedroom as a child. You had to be there to appreciate it.
The sound of this release is crisp and clear. Paul Languedoc's 2-track soundboard mix was fully remastered by Fred Kevorkian, although it always feels a bit weird to know that they are playing for a huge crowd who you can barely hear.
12/30/1997 MSG, New York, NY is released through Phish Dry Goods.
Video: Phish - Carini