Words by Audra Tracy

New Yorkers are already pretty spoiled by their city’s rich live music scene, and when Phish comes to town, there’s even more discerning ears to please. During the band’s four night run at Madison Square Garden, fans had their pick of post shows all over the Big Apple. On Thursday they headed to the Highline Ballroom, where Marco Benevento kept the party going well past your bedtime.

Coming off a high from two Phish sets that included raging renditions of ‘Run Like an Antelope’, ‘Guyute’, and an encore of ‘Loving Cup’, fans walked that beautiful buzz a few blocks downtown and stepped into Benevento’s bubble of tripped-out organ-asms. Judging by the line of hippies outside the Highline after midnight, everyone was already a few sheets to the wind, and fully prepared to get down. Again.


“Did they play ‘You Enjoy Myself’?”, Marco asked the wide-eyed crowd as he took the stage around 1am. (They did!). On this night he shared the spotlight with Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green) on bass and new-ish drummer Andrew Borger, who together took off with the tune ‘Greenpoint’.

In the spirit of Phishmas, Marco tossed records and circuit-bent toys into the crowd before the band gave the greatest gift of all – a gorgeous instrumental of John Lennon’s ‘Happy Xmas (War is Over)’. The after-party neared its peak when the trio dug into bouncy originals like ‘Atari’ and ‘Real Morning Party’, the latter of which found Marco teasing Phish’s ‘Bathtub Gin’ on the keys.

No stranger to the scene, Marco has been jamming with members of Phish for nearly a decade. Mike Gordon even plays bass and mandolin on Marco’s new 7″ single ‘Escape Horse’, which popped up next in the set, followed by the record’s B-side, ‘Fireworks’. Everyone seemed to keep one eye on the green room, waiting with bated breath for Gordon to make an appearance. But despite the no-show, fans got one last taste of Vermont’s phinest during Marco’s encore of ‘My Friend, My Friend’.

For the 3am crowd, Marco’s after-party was a test of sheer endurance. Because even New Year’s Eve needs a pre-game or two.


TheWaster.com | Fireworks