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. EL Duderino Says:


    That gonna leave a mark

  2. BrandonKayda Says:

    I just finished Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins tonight. Great Book.

    I’ll start Brave New World tomorrow or Wednesday – cool 😀

    I’m considering buying the video streams for the MSG NYE shows. I am just worried about the whole thing crashing with so many people on there or something like that.

  3. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Thanks for the book rec @ BK. I liked Jitterbug a lot. Only other Robbins book i’ve read. Wish i had more time to read.

    Don’t let that be the reason you don’t buy it. It will be fine. This has been done before. They will have it dialed in.

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah I thought Jitterbug was great as well – Skinny Legs is different but I enjoyed it

  5. sumodie Says:

    Brave New World is cool….have yet to read Tom Robbins though, tried Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas and petered out

  6. plord Says:

    I love me some Robbins. _Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates_ had me in stitches throughout, while saying to myself at the same time, “I don’t believe he went there.” _Skinny Legs and all_ is probably my second favorite behind Fierce Invalids. _Villa Incognito_ had a fantastic premise but failed to live up to it. _Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas_ was kind of a writer’s stunt but he revealed more of the nuances of that stunt than most people who try.
    and i’ll always have a soft spot for _Even Cowgirls get the Blues_ because I taught it to college freshmen while in grad school. Warped that class up good.

    But seriously: _Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates_.

  7. plord Says:

    @sumodie Half Asleep is a terrible book to begin with when getting into Robbins. Literally anything else is superior.

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ sumo…

    his earlier books are bomb…can’t miss with “Still Life With a Woodpecker” or “Jitterbug Perfume”

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    Also love cowgirls and another roadside attraction

  10. BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah I’m going to go with Still Life With Woodpecker next as far as Robbins goes. I want to read a few other books first (Brave New World – Huxley, Sirens of Titan – Vonnegut)

    Another book I’m going to pick up soon is Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, I have heard it mentioned many times on here as a good starting point for eastern philosophy.


    Start with Jitterbug Perfume – that is the first Robbins I’ve read and I loved it

  11. BrandonKayda Says:

    Now I’m off to read the last 20 pages from Skinny Legs and All again 😀

  12. sumodie Says:

    RE: stream

    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).

    This analogy is too funny. Only problem is that being at a show is NOT akin to a strip club, it’s akin to having sex. A strip club is passive, more akin to watching the video stream with simulated scents of bane & wookie pheromones. Otherwise carry on… 😛

  13. sumodie Says:

    Yes, I recall the earlier Robbins talk previously on the BB that I had started the wrong book….someday I’ll give pick up an earlier book

  14. Mike in Austin Says:

    Louisiana in September is like an obscene phone call from nature. The air — moist, sultry, secretive, and far from fresh — felt as if it were being exhaled into one’s face. Sometimes it even sounded like heavy breathing. Honeysuckle, swamp flowers, magnolia, and the mystery smell of the river scented the atmosphere, amplifying the intrusion of organic sleaze. It was aphrodisiac and repressive, soft and violent at the same time. In New Orleans, in the French Quarter, miles from the barking lungs of alligators, the air maintained this qulity of breath, although here it acquired a tinge of metallic halitosis, due to fumes expelled by tourist buses, trucks delivering Dixie beer, and, on Decatur Street, a mass-transit motor coach named Desire. – Jitterbug Perfume

    Great stuff. Absolutely great stuff.

  15. EL Duderino Says:

    Deven Hester!!!!

  16. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Hey @bk, what happened to On the Road, still going to read it? I look forward to reading your thoughts.

    Listening to 12/29/97 Bowie and wondering why anyone would kick a ball to Hester.

  17. BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah @Tzara’s I’m going to read On The Road

  18. sumodie Says:

    kinda late to the halloween convo but this is exactly how I felt about AC 2 & 3:

    what was weird about the AC shows is they neither had the best flow start to finish….good thing was they had plenty of the best jams of fall…..t was more of a jam chaser weekend with an amazing Halloween costume thrown in

    though I felt AC1 had good flow

    since the NYE run doesn’t have the added the distraction of learning a whole new album I’m confident the boys will peak the run appropriately as usually happens

    lift-off is less than a week away, ho-ho-ho!!!

  19. sumodie Says:

    F8 as a 3-day run peaked amazingly well, IMO, way better than AC. Though the overall quality of playing in AC is much more the phish I fell in love with and want more of. I suspect F8’s flow benefited from having the cover album in the 2nd day slot.

    Exile was my fav set of ’09….

    nuff rehashing the past, I’m just distracting myself from wrapping presents and having to wait 7 loooong days till phish (did spin parts of 12/31/95 to get the juices flowing earlier today)

    don’t piss off santa this late in the game 8) peace out

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    “his earlier books are bomb…can’t miss with “Still Life With a Woodpecker” or “Jitterbug Perfume”

    Reading Jitterbug again right now. dude drops knowledge on every damn page. Literate Density.

  21. BingosBrother Says:

    “But seriously: _Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates_.”

    My favorite book of all time bar none. Switters FTW.

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    Simon’s newest facebook update:

    New Years Eve Update (Hammerstein Ballroom NYC): Simon will be doing a late night set for all of you going to the Phish show at MSG. He takes the stage doing his new full production Shpongle DJ set at 2:30am.

  23. Mr.Miner Says:

    lol @ literary density…but true 🙂

  24. dognamedwilson Says:

    This solstice eclipse is amazing!

    The bright and the blue around the shady darkness.

    Had to take break from the cold but


    ++Villa Incognito is my favorite TR

  25. Mr.Miner Says:

    fucking clouds in SF…watched the moon dissappear and then clouds took over

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