Phish capped out their four-night stand at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday evening with an epic Halloween bash where they performed a full set as the fictional comic book band Sci-Fi Soldier.
Check out fan-shot video of the group taking the stage in character and kicking into “Knuckle Bone Broth Avenue,” one of 12 consecutive tunes they played from the pretend album Get More Down.
The show was part of a long Phish tradition where they wear a “musical costume” on Halloween. It started at a 1994 show in Glens Falls, New York, where they shocked the crowd by playing the Beatles’ White Album in sequence. Over the next few years, they broke out Quadrophenia by the Who, Remain in Light by Talking Heads, Loaded by the Velvet Underground, Exile on Main Street by the Rolling Stones, and Waiting on Columbus by Little Feat.
In 2013, they decided to mix up the formula by playing tunes from their in-progress LP Fuego, which was then called Wingsuit. It got weirder the next year when they did the 1964 Disneyland album Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House. In 2016, they got back to the roots of the musical costume experiment by playing The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars as a tribute to David Bowie. But in 2018, they took it in a radical new direction when they dressed as the fictional Scandinavian prog-rock band Kasvot Växt and played their made-up LP í rokk.
The plan for this year was a tightly guarded secret, but they revealed it when they passed out a mock Sixties-style Sci-Fi Soldier comic book at the show. (You can read it right here.) The opening set featured Phish standards like “Buried Alive,” “Wolfman’s Brother,” and “David Bowie,” but they came back for set two in elaborate Sci-Fi Soldier costumes and played Get More Down. If the goal was to top the insanity of Kasvot Växt, they succeeded.
The Vegas residency began on Oct. 28 when they did a set featuring nothing but songs with numbers in the titles like “46 Days,” ” My Sweet One,” “First Tube,” “555,” and Prince’s 1999. The Oct. 30 show was centered around songs with animal titles like “The Dogs,” “Camel Walk,” ” Wombat,” and “Run Like an Antelope.”
The group is on hiatus until Dec. 29 when they’ll launch a four-night stand at New York’s Madison Square Garden, including their annual New Years’s Eve show. Their only 2022 activity currently on the books for 2022 is the Riviera Maya Moon Palace Cancun residency in late February.