Philadelphia — April 28, 2022 — This week, Osiris Media launches the third season of the podcast Undermine, exploring one of the most remarkable feats a band has ever done: Phish’s 13 consecutive shows at Madison Square Garden in the summer of 2017. The season features interviews with Scott Bernstein (JamBase), Jesse Jarnow (WFMU, After Midnight), musicologist Dr. Jake Cohen, and more—plus a group of fans lucky enough to catch all 13 shows.
In July and August of 2017, Phish called Madison Square Garden Home for a three-week stretch of shows that has come to define the peak of the current era, while pushing them forward musically and creatively in the five years since. Incorporating thematic gags, rare songs, a focus on improvisation, and a commitment to not repeating a single song, the Baker’s Dozen exemplified risk-taking and boundary-pushing music that cemented Phish’s place in rock history.
In this series, we explore the run with a focus on the operational planning and execution of the run, as well as through conversations with rock journalists who captured the importance of The Baker’s Dozen in rock history. Beginning with a history of the importance of Madison Square Garden in American entertainment history, we dive deep into the shows, including a focus on setlist crafting and improvisation, while keeping a keen eye tuned to the larger context of these features in rock history. Finally, we conclude by examining the last five years of Phish, and consider how the run has extended their career.
“The Baker’s Dozen was a major milestone in Phish history, which solidified their place in rock history—no repeats in 13 shows, moments of improvisation that will be remembered forever, and a banner that still hangs in the building to this day,” said RJ Bee, CEO of Osiris Media. “We’re so excited to give Phish fans, and music fans, a picture of how this historic run of 13 concerts came together, and how they were experienced and now remembered by many members of our community.”
Undermine is brought to you by Osiris Media. Executive Producers are Tom Marshall, RJ Bee, Brain Brinkman, Matt Dwyer, and Benjy Eisen. Produced and edited by Brian Brinkman. Mixed and Mastered by Matt Dwyer. It is written by Benjy Eisen. Production assistance from Rob Mitchum, Matt Bavuso, Christina Collins and Nick Cejas. Original Music by Amar Sastry. Art by Mark Dowd.