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?


Jam of the Day:

Ghost > Ha Ha Ha” 12.31.98 I

Another moment of MSG New Year’s Eve history.




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. bouncin fan Says:

    el dude

    it’s Halloween. I’d say everyone has a few clunkers. we know very well there are several on the White Album.

    I’d say the worst one would be Mercinary Territory. such a cool song and they can never really get it going.

    I’d say Exile was one of the cleaner Halloween’s and Loaded but they are also probably the most simple.

    being 3.0 there are some flubs. it gets loose at times. but considering how bad Phish used to be at playing the blues and that Trey isn’t playing slide guitar and the fact that the probably ran through it 3 times I find it to be a pretty amazing set.

    a lot of that is just getting spun and getting down and having fun

    it’s not as heavy and more dancable than quad or loaded.

  2. Emperor Palpatine Says:

    Fatman would be my call, for return play

  3. neemor Says:

    For those that are complaining about Phish charging for the video streams, as well as things like downloads, posters, magnets, whatever else…
    Always keep in mind that lots of money raised by the Phish experience goes to charities.
    Very important.

    Just had a thought to day that something magical and/or unprecedented is going to go down to cap this year.
    Not sure what it’ll be, but…
    Possible cover (album?) set.
    Revival of something like Secret Language or revival of old side-instruments like the Theramin or Trombone?
    Acoustic mini-set/side stage again?
    The boys are going to celebrate the full return…

  4. EL Duderino Says:

    I’m not hating AW… just discussing. I listened to the Halloween set again for the third time on Saturday and came away with a different view then the previous 2 times I spun the show… could be headspace though

  5. EL Duderino Says:

    but again… not being there for this one stung more than any of the previous Halloween shows since RIL

  6. henrythetoad Says:

    Neemor! Long time no see man!

  7. henrythetoad Says:

    I think we will get a surprise, as we allways do on NYE. I loved last the Fishman prank last year. 7 more days! I am so excited.

  8. Emperor Palpatine Says:

    anyone complaining about Phish making money or charging for their product don’t have to buy, real simple. I also prefer and have listened to Phish WFC more than the Lil feat. Also hooked up some old heads who our not even into Phish and they thought their version smoked the Lil feat, so take that for what it is worth.

  9. Laurville Says:

    I have to say I like it. It’s not the same as going to a show. It’s kind of like how watching porn is different than going to the stripclub. You can get your jollies by doing either one, but you don’t experience the scents (strippers smell soo good sometimes), sights (band, wookies, shakedown, and beyond) and sounds (SDB is great but there is something you get from a live show that is mental and it comes from what and how you hear the show, where you are sitting, who you are with).

    I am paying for 2 out of 3 nights but if I could go to any of the MSG shows instead, I f’n would be there.

  10. henrythetoad Says:

    12/30/09 is up in one of my favorite all time shows. We got a Soul Shakedown, Whats the Use, Rocky Top, Bowie, ‘Lope, Sand, Back on the Train, HYHU, FRANKENSTEIN!, TELA!, a guest vacuum player. I was listening to it a lot this week.

  11. DukeOfLizards Says:


    FWIW, the first thing I thought when I saw the 1/1 show was “acoustic set.” Nice buffer between the screaming hangover during the afternoon and the pull-out-all-the-stops rager that set II will be.

    I also really think the horn section is coming back for at least a set. Their day job is ten blocks away on the set of Fela! – I’m thinking a few tunes to close out the second set on 12/31.

    Gumbo, Oh Kee Pa > Suzy Greenberg, Liquid Time, Feats Don’t Fail Me Now

    I could deal with that.

  12. neemor Says:

    Hey, hey, Henry!
    How’ve you been big guy??
    Hopefully you’re getting to one or two of these New Year’s run shows, or spending the Holidays at hame with the fam?

  13. lastwaltzer Says:


    I was making a joke…………..not to long along you told me to “clean out my ears” because I didn’t think the Augusta Reba was as hot as everyone else.

  14. neemor Says:

    Good call, Duke.
    Acoustic set on 1/1/11 would truly be perfection.
    Nice news on the horns…always a hot addition.
    You’re Johnny on the spot tonight!
    For a Jets fan

  15. KfL Says:

    live video feed is a revenue source that can’t be pirated easily by the masses, like sbds are (the video will be captured & circulated after the fact of course, but not live)

  16. lastwaltzer Says:

    A horn section would be killer.

  17. neemor Says:

    So, I’m starting to think that Bathtub Gin might be the perfect song to play for a newcomer to the band.
    I need a show-stopping Gin this run that will actually stop me in my tracks and pay attention.
    Gin’s begun to be one of those songs that slips by in a set…
    I want a solid run though of that one in particular.

  18. neemor Says:

    KfL, when are we meeting up?

  19. Mr.Miner Says:

    Old folks’ Boogie is painful to listen to.

    ^ one of my favorite songs in the set

  20. EL Duderino Says:

    Rupp Arena ’96 Gin

  21. EL Duderino Says:

    One of my favorite LF songs

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ lw gotcha

  23. Selector J Says:

    live feed + “free” mp3 w/ ticket = Phish’s bank roll gettin swoll

    Not that that’s a bad thing. I’m all for Phish making money. They’ve earned every dollar I’ve given them.

  24. albert walker Says:

    No worries

    Just agreeing there is some slop

    Which is common for their cover sets

    I just concentrate on the songs they nailed

    There is a grip of $$$ phish there
    Fat man was great

  25. EL Duderino Says:

    I agree.
    there are 4 or 5 tunes that really make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up

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