On July 21st, Phish kicked off an unprecedented (for them) 13-night residency at Madison Square Garden, which will conclude on August 6th. The idea of the run, called the Baker's Dozen, has been bouncing around for a while—in a 2007 interview with Relix, keyboardist Page McConnell mentioned a 13-night "baker’s dozen" of shows, a dream that seemingly died when the band broke up in 2004. The idea was dug up from the archives in this 2013 Relix piece:
Creative touring concepts were rejected because they weren’t economically feasible. The band considered doing one tour to just play the seven U.S. states they’d never played. Another idea had them playing a “baker’s dozen” of shows - 13 nights in Madison Square Garden, say, or, adding another layer of classic Phish humor to it all, the Providence Civic Center, rebranded by corporate interests as the Dunkin Donuts Center. Riffing on that absurdity, the band imagined giving away free donuts and even basing the theme for each show around that night’s variety. For “Boston Crème,” a setlist might have included covers of songs by Boston and Cream.
The band, jubilantly reformed in 2009, has now brought this concept to life in Midtown, down to the themed doughnuts and a 'buy 12 tickets get one free' deal. Each night early bird fans are treated to the evening's flavor, courtesy of Federal Donuts in Philly; the run kicked off with coconut, which inspired clever song selections during the show: "Shake Your Coconuts," a cover of the Junior Senior song started the night, and "Coconut," a cover of the Harry Nilsson song closed out the second set. This has been followed by Strawberry, Red Velvet, and Tuesday night's flavor: Jam Filled.
Anyway, it's a damn good time, and we recommend you go and/or hook us up with your friend's dad who has box seats. (Phish is also webcasting every show of the run.) When the dust finally settles, Phish will have played Madison Square Garden 52 times since their debut there in 1994. Watch your back, Piano Man.