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

Tags: , ,

464 Responses to “The Webcast Arrives”

  1. Guyute711 Says:

    Sounds like we are going to do a group event at Leo’s house for NYE. I hope people don’t get weirded out when I dance in his living room. Leo if you are out there will there be someone selling rolls in your front yard?

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I heard the mafia is camping out in his garden

  3. empire01 Says:

    I could see it now. A huge projected screen on the lot and a bunch of spunions raging it. best of both worlds..

  4. Guyute711 Says:

    A few Yarden balloons might be nice, I think I’ll stick with the private gas parties though.

  5. angryjoggerz Says:

    Morning all,

    I hope the streams are an ongoing thing, I could see myself buying quite a few this coming year and just chilling.

    Having a super grumpy morning, woke up in a foul mood, not a christmas guy and this week just drives me nuts. The best remedy? Super loud listening of White Light White Heat in the car to work this am. Not sure this album was made for snowy Monday mornings, but shit felt just angry and weird enough for me. Love that album.

  6. themanatee Says:

    agreed its prob gonna be a special events thing. and if you think the price is too much – that is crazy talk. you and a buddy (even) watching a soundboard live phish show in surround sound with whatever party favors you want and all the room to dance in the world – suddenly that day aint so bad – for 7 bucks each? come on dude – go to the bar and get a couple drinks if you want and then tell me the whiskey coke was too much.

    also- i would not like them to webcast every show as it does deter some of the travel and experience that is so central to the phish. i think the special shows are great though and it caters to an older fanbase with familys too.

  7. Spasm Waiter Says:

    How fun would it be to host a big party with projector screen, keggers, balloons and 3 footers. Big dance party. Sadly I know like 3 Phish fans within an hour of my home and we all know what Mrs. Spaz (Phish Wench) would say about it… We’d have to rufinol her to get away with it.

  8. BTB Says:

    To Mitch’s point…I think the PH team is just going to hook a satellite up to harpuafsb’s rig!!

    ‘Flatbrim Vision’ 5.1 HD

  9. Guyute711 Says:

    Sounds like you need to hurry up and find some roofies Spasm

  10. Guyute711 Says:

    In lieu of roofies I found that three 4Lokos will make you forget everything.

  11. stash Says:

    Hey all,

    I know for me, I’ve been waiting for the webcasts. I was thinking about it the other day, and when I went on line – there they were. This will certainly have an iumpacton the experience. But, will also make for interesting tour decisions. Look at the last tour. Playing to 5,000 seat venues? That’s crazy. But it’s a fact that people are strapped for cash, or have families or no time. We now have complete and easy and top quality access to every show. Now we can have it all – see and hear. Will Phish do an entire tour of small bars and theatres becuase they know 100,000 people will watch on line? Will they do a show with – nobody there? Now that would be stupid – yet would you pay to watch the band jam for 3 or 4 hours? How many people are pissed b/c they just shelled out 500 bucks for tics on ebay, plus another grand just to get to the NYC and have a place to stay? Now, they could have jsut stayed at home…. hmmm….

  12. Toby Says:

    Phish is making it easy for the masses of their fanbase that is now older and have kids. With a newborn in the house any NYE options were out. Now I’m all set with my new appleTV and 60″ TV with surround sound to fully experience couch tour.

    I think when these shows are over the band memebers, who have probably been skeptical to the idea of streaming shows live, are going say “Holy crap, there were HOW many people who bought it and we made HOW much money? Cha-ching!!” and then we’ll be seeing more of these. And it might not keep people from going but could impact scapling rates. Even though a ticket is now around $70, we all end up spending hundreds more on travel, hotels, food, supplies, etc. so this price is a steal and I’m thrilled to fork it over. Just hope it’s not all close-up shots and Kuroda gets some love with panned out shots. The new Alpine DVD is seriously lacking in Kuroda shots.

  13. Robear Says:

    top of the mornin’ all!

    congrats to ‘Gridiron Icculus’ for beating the bread out of my stomach.

    Great write up Miner, and an awesome move by the band.

    After listening to the stream of Camden and Halloween (pirate streams), it feels great to be a part of the birth of a jam. Even if it is from afar. It really beats reading about how great it was the next day and downloading. For me. And if a bunch of kids decide to start streaming from home, and not going to shows, I hope they’re all dudes. That might help the ‘mound to meatstick’ ratio.

  14. EL Duderino Says:


    any extra curricular activities to be had for NYE over @ Leo’s????

  15. Weekapaug Says:

    You can bet your ass this West Coast kid is forking out pocket change to bring in the new years with the boys in my living room!

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    tonight (after midnight) something happens which has not occurred in 456 years.

    A total lunar eclipse on the same day as the solstice.

    double rainbows ain’t got nothing on the cosmos.

  17. EL Duderino Says:

    and whoever is complaining about 40.00$ for 7 sets shouldn’t…

    unless the technology fails us, then you can bitch IMO otherwise this is a blessing/gift from the boys from Vermont

  18. sumodie Says:

    If 15 bucks is too expensive then you need to make more Phish friends.

    Well said, O Bearded One

    I too would love an audio only option -video is far less important to me

    Will the video stream be easily recordable?

    Fans complaining about something like streaming prices? Same as it ever was.

  19. sumodie Says:

    The new Alpine DVD is seriously lacking in Kuroda shots.

    Aren’t all phish vids lacking in Kuroda shots?

  20. Guyute711 Says:

    El Dude, I’ll keep my ear to the ground and can probably line something up. I wasn’t sure if anyone else would be interested in that but if I’m not going it alone I am down for sure.

  21. poop goblin Says:

    for me it really is the live experience though

    puffin indoors with 10,000 of your closest friends
    getting down in a group of 20 on a GA Floor
    losing your shit as the lights go on at setbreak

    I’m not a phish musical historian. I spin every show once when running to see what I missed and they never get spun again.

    getting out of town and seeing my friends from across the country.

    The fact is at this point in my life the music is only one piece of the puzzle.

    although I do understand why others would dig the stream the fact is I go to phish to be at Phish.

    I can’t say I’d personally be that interested to hear a stream on a TUesday night half way through a summer tour. I’d probably be happy just spinning it the next day.

    again though I could see for the big names NYE shows and such could throw a nice little get together for some peeps that can’t make it out to NYC.

  22. Guyute711 Says:

    I have never really thought the lights translate well to a DVD.

  23. angryjoggerz Says:

    Also (sorry, still in gripe mode) my doucher father in law called last night talking about how great Michael Vick is and how his is such a good redemption and stuff. Now, I know nothing of football and couldnt give a shit, but I do know this guy is a scumbag dog killer and no touchdowns or good throws or any shit like that will take that away. He seems to think that good performance in sports is enough to redeem one from their real life sins, which I am sorry to say is just utter bullshit. Am I off on this? I mean, dude intentionally was killing dogs. Special place in hell.

  24. Guyute711 Says:

    aj, I am just sick of hearing how he is the greatest player of all time. Dude has exactly as many titles as Lebron.

  25. sumodie Says:

    Consciously choosing couch tour when one could (reasonably) make it inside the room?

    Does not compute. At all. Ever.

Leave a Reply