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The Connection: Bieber/Phish Lovefest Continues at MSG

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on November 29, 2012

Justin Bieber does not have a New Year’s Eve show on his tour dates page. Anyone willing to wager he won’t end up on the Madison Square Garden stage singing “Boyfriend” with the popular rock band Phish?

Back in August, worlds collided in California when noted hippies Justin Bieber and then-girlfriend Selena Gomez attended a summer tour show by tween sensation Phish. Then in early October, videos hit YouTube showing off the Bieberfication of Phish hits like “Sand,” “First Tube” and “Divided Sky.”

• EARLIER: Justin Bieber, Phish Disciple

Wednesday night at MSG, Phish guitarist and former 70 Volt Parade lead singer Trey Anastasio showed up to continue the loop of this bizarrely amazing musical friendship between two artists and fan bases that could not be more dissimilar. Here’s Anastasio and Phish/Bieber lighting director Chris Kuroda, snapped and tweeted by tall Phish lyricist Tom Marshall:


The connection is Dan Kanter, most recently seen accompanying Bieber on acoustic guitar at the 2012 American Music Awards. Bieber’s guitarist and musical director loves The Phish, and it was Kanter who originally convinced The Biebs to don his best Narc tie-dye and take in the August show at the Long Beach Arena, the kickoff to the second leg of Phish’s summer tour.

Kanter is loving what he hath wrought:

Bieber’s band’s Phish love continues at his shows — according to Marshall, the band again teased “2001,” “First Tube,” “Sand” and “Waste.”

And check out the Bieber crew Phish-related T-shirts:


As we’ve said, between Kanter’s riffs and teases, Trey and Bieber hanging out and the fact that Chris Kuroda designed Justin’s tour, this is either the scariest development for the jamband scene since the Untz-Untz Wave became the be-all and end-all, or this will expose some teenage girls and gays to some of the most bitchin’ music they’ll ever hear. Can’t hate on this. Truly fantastic, all around. Well done, Kanter.

Now get the Biebs to MSG NYE so he can follow in the footsteps of Kid Rock, Jay-Z, Wynonna Judd, and Kenny Rogers as cool collaborators.

Selena Gomez & The Biebs Take in a Phish Show
Justin Bieber, Phish Disciple


4:32: “Sand” riff (Phish version here)

5:35: “First Tube” begins (Phish version here)

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