The Webcast Arrives

10.30.10 - (Dave Lavery)

Almost two years since their fan base called for simulcasts of their Hampton reunion shows — some of the toughest tickets in history — Phish has finally answered them, offering live pay-per-view webcasts of their upcoming, sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. Easing the pain for thousands of fans around the world who can’t make it to the Big Apple, everyone will be able to listen and watch the climactic New Year’s celebration as it unfolds over three nights.

Without packaging downloads with the webcasts, Phish is creating a completely separate revenue stream selling online access to their shows with little extra effort from their crew. In a win-win situation for all, people will surely gather for listening parties and the price of $15.99 per show ($19.99 for NYE) will dissolve into nothing once a few friends come over to share in the groove. Much like “No Spoilers” listening parties popped up around the nation for Hampton’s comeback, now real-time, New Year’s parties are sure to materialize — with soundboard feeds, nonetheless! Upping the ante for all fans with other plans this holiday season, I wonder how many people have now canceled their New Year’s Eve plans to virtually rage it with Phish?

NYE 1998 - MSG

Revolutionizing “couch tour” for these MSG shows, the question that now begs to be answered is — “Will webcasts be the norm moving forward?” Is this the future of Phish tour? Several community members have already offered free and illegal live streams of every Phish show this year, though the quality of these feeds have, allegedly, varied from unwatchable to fairly perfect. Might this move be the band’s response to their fan base’s successful pirating efforts? If continued on conventional tours, people would be more apt to order shows individually, at home, potentially increasing total sales. This next step would seem logical. With all shows already videotaped for the archives, this service can’t add much additional cost to the organization whether webcast receives fixed or multi-camera shots. Regardless of what type of video is offered, Phish just made a huge step forward in allowing their entire community to share in the holiday season. For the first time in history, major shows will accessible — live — by anyone, anywhere in the world. An unquestionably epic move.

10.20.10 (M. Stein)

But with this move, many questions follow. Is this service just being offered for the New Year’s extravaganza? Will Phish webcast every show from now on? Will they only webcast sold-out shows in the future like the NFL? Could this really be the “couch tour” of the future? Though they are certainly not a substitute for the live experience, would webcasts actually deter some people from making insane trips to see Phish — something that has always been part and parcel of the addiction? While webcasts would, inevitably, involve more people in any given show, would they somehow devalue the experience? Would college students and beyond choose bong hits and surround sound over paying for, and trekking to, shows? If this is even a possibility, what is the implication of having access to something sacred from the couch? Is some of the mystique stripped away if fans anywhere can flip on the Phish show for a small fee, just as they flip on any pay-per-view movie or boxing fight? The questions go on and on…What do you think?

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Jam of the Day:

Ghost > Ha Ha Ha” 12.31.98 I

Another moment of MSG New Year’s Eve history.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

5.2.1994 Five Points Music Hall. Birmingham, Alabama

Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

Here’s a random stocking stuffer for your collection, straight from the deep south in 1994. Phish concluded this show with “Mike’s Song” featuring two guest bass players — Oteil Burbridge and Stacy Starkweather. Enjoy!

I: The Great Gig in the Sky > Split Open and Melt, Bouncing Around the Room, Down with Disease, It’s Ice, Glide, The Divided Sky, Suzy Greenberg, Foam, Sample in a Jar

II: Runaway Jim, Mound, Reba, Golgi Apparatus, The Lizards, Julius, Lawn Boy, Mike’s Song* > Jam**

E: Cavern

*Oteil Burbridge on bass.
**Oteil Burbridge on bass and Stacy Starkweather on stand-up bass. Band members switched instruments.

Source: AKG 460

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464 Responses to “The Webcast Arrives”

  1. Lycanthropist Says:

    evenin gents

    anybody still up?

  2. dognamedwilson Says:

    totality has been achieved. truly once in this lifetime stuff.

  3. dognamedwilson Says:

    hey lycan,

    wish i could catch up with bk on the book chats.

    been outside tonight?

  4. Lycanthropist Says:

    pretty damn cloudy here in fortunately
    can’t really see anything

  5. dognamedwilson Says:

    not to rub it in
    watched it roll a ship of fools

  6. dognamedwilson Says:

    Total darkness now.
    On the brightest night of the year.
    Spooky

  7. Emperor Palpatine Says:

    best view Death Star

  8. garretc Says:

    That eclipse was (still is I guess?) money! Accompanied by a few shooting stars no less…

  9. plord Says:

    Up early for the last flight and business meeting in Detroit of the year. Hooray! I mean boo, getting up early. but Yay, after today, a nice break.

    Way too overcast out here for the eclipse :/ I would have woken up my 7 yo son for it, for sure.

  10. RebaNick123 Says:

    If they broadcast the super bowl live would anyone still go to the stadium to see it? Probably not…. Hmmmm….. … … … .. .

  11. 1st streamer Says:

    I streamed phish from phenway park 2 years ago, and i like the direction the band is taking with this move. I doubt it will help stop the influx of trash throwing, wannabe, druggies that show up at every show and apparently have figured out mail order but any help is welcome. 2nd car in line at great woods in mass the day of tickets. They call a lottery. I end up 450 people back (middle of the line) i watch as 14 people exactly get tickets at the booth before it sells out. I was on my phone online, and wifey was at home on 2 computers and 1 phone. I realized i was never gonna see a ticket that morning, after driving 2 hours from sturbridge at 3am to be SURE. As i approached the ticket windows (2 whole windows were open) i notice a line at the back of the ticket booth. inside are about 5 extra employees punching up tickets as fast as they can. And sellign them straight out the back door to the low-level mafia types eagerly waiting in line. What a site. Ive seen every phish show at the centrum free until this year. I used to do all their printing (the centrum)… Never in my life have i seen such a mess.

    So from one old phan, i hope this move allows us old timers to finally see a show on the west coast where we moved. Tickets out here are just impossible.

  12. 1st streamer Says:

    Whats up w/ the comments being deleted. Is this another phishier then thou site. LOL. /sigh

  13. 1st streamer Says:

    haha another fine moment in interweb history. Weird this page doesnt reload. ….

    my bad!

  14. Jennifer (take the day off) Says:

    QUESTION: Does anyone have any real numbers on exactly how many people bought the MSG webcast package for the NYE shows? Dying to know.

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