The Influence of Webcasts?

PNC- 5.31.11 ( (C.LaJaunie)

Phish announced yesterday that they will be webcasting their two sold-out shows from Lake Tahoe on Monday and Tuesday next week. Fans from across the nation—and the world—will be able to tune in to the twin bill for only $24.99, exponentially increasing the 7,000 person audience with a virtual cast of thousands. But is this a good thing for the integrity of the show? Does a show being webcasted alter the band’s performance? Does it change the way Trey arranges the setlist in his mind? Maybe so, maybe not.

One thing we know for sure is that thousands of Phish fans get to enjoy a pimped-out couch tour experience when Phish drops a webcast, and that is certainly a huge positive—that much is a given in this discussion. But is the show that fans watch on widescreens at home the same show that would have gone down were they not wired in? One would hope that the band wouldn’t “play to the webcast,” but at times, it seems that this happens. Often favoring anthems, bustouts, and a moving setlist, webcasts in this modern era don’t always translate to huge jams.

7.3.11 (G.Lucas)

The last two webcasted shows—Alpharetta’s two-night stand—didn’t turn out so great. Though the first night boasted some highlights, the only musical adventure over two shows came in “Disease,” and the only other jam that moved outside the box over four sets was “Light Up or Leave Me Alone.” Fun shows? Sure, but dwarfed by most nights of tour. “What about MSG?,” one might ask? Well, there were some jams here and there, but other than “Tweezer,” “Sand,” “Ghost” and “Simple,” there wasn’t a hell of a lot left to go over. But in that case, the webcast and the inherently planned-out nature of a New Year’s Run, collided in some glossy—though entertaining—sets.

The issue with webcasted shows during this era of sobriety is that the band has yet to truly let themselves go—without caring what might come out—in front of a pay-per-view audience. Aside from 12/30’s “Tweezer” and 1/1’s “Simple,” just about every jam from MSG possessed a certain linear quality, only seldom flirting with transcendence. Trey, we all know, still battles his mind (and band members) cutting off jams through this past tour (albeit far less often). Do webcasts just add something else to think about, causing him to consider what the people at home want to hear? I don’t know, but when he cut “Tweezer” for “Julius” after a monsoon in Alpharetta, one had to wonder if he wanted to get in more songs and why.

7.3.11 (G.Lucas)

Perhaps all of these conjectures have no bearing in reality. Perhaps it is mere coincidence that the past five webcasted shows weren’t exactly drenched in improvisational adventure. Or, perhaps there would have been a jam in the first or third set of New Year’s Eve were it not for the pay-per-view performance. Hopefully, the Tahoe shows will blow up and  dispel any connection between webcasts and mediocrity. I’ll be the first to admit it and cheering them on. But all of a sudden, the intimate 7,000 person Lake Tahoe shows don’t feel so intimate, especially when your buddies from the east coast blow up your phone with texts as they watch along with the show that you traveled across the country to attend.

Even if the webast never affected the music, does it not effect what is sacred about a Phish show? Shows are irreplaceable experiences that happen at one time in one place. Should people be washing dishes and putting babies to sleep at setbreak? Trust me, I support the inclusive feature of the webcast, but does it cut into what is cherished about a Phish show if kids across the country are ripping tubes while watching “Tweezer” with a soundboard feed? The technology of the future is great. Or is it?

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Jam of the Day:

Harry Hood” 9.11.99 II

Another Gorge highlight to bring us through the week.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/02-Track-02.mp3]

1,898 Responses to “The Influence of Webcasts?”

  1. Mr palmer Says:

    “FTFY” ?

    “Cactus, Cactus,Cactus…( in best Jan Brady voice)

  2. Cable Hogue Says:

    FWIW, I am at times kinda put off by the omnipresent cameras, they do somewhat intrude on the show IMO, but they seem to be here to stay….so if the cameras are already there, what’s the difference, webcast or no.

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @palms
    “Fixed that For You”
    he “fixed” that Miner had written “effected” instead of “affected” 🙄

  4. albert walker Says:

    thank god I’m not the kind of douche that finishes a blog piece and decides I need to correct the grammar

  5. albert walker Says:

    I could just be jealous though cuz I spent 20K for 4 years to get an English Degree have no grammar skills whatsoever

  6. Mr palmer Says:

    Ahh. Grammar police. I’m an outlaw to those bastards.

  7. kayatosh Says:

    any sense of time (EST) for the tahoe webcasts? a start of 8 PM in Tahoe might rule me out for the webcast.

    re. mrkts. up or down today, boys? dead cat bounce? know I missed the lion’s share of that down move yesterday and don’t want to chase.

  8. albert walker Says:

    we get ISM non-Manf and Factory Orderes at 9:00 AM Kaya

    I think we will try to break this to the upside but would look for weakness after the morning push.

    I think this thing still wants to go down but today could be less volatile unless that data gets funky

    doesn’t seem to be as much negativity around. not expecting to much vol either way IMO

  9. kayatosh Says:

    aw: yep. kinda of a blah day. cleaning up after the storm. weak data at 10 (EST) could spell more trouble.

  10. ThePigSong Says:

    I’m thinking between 9:45 and 10:15 EST kaya

  11. ThePigSong Says:

    general enough for ya?

  12. Mr palmer Says:

    Choppy till Friday jobs number. We are oversold, but did some serious technical damage yesterday. A break below the March lows and look the fuck out. (1249)

  13. albert walker Says:

    I believe the data is 9 AM eastern Kaya.

  14. albert walker Says:

    VIX is still at 24.79 and skew has gotten blown out so there is def fear out there still Kaya but Palmer is right kinda light on the important data side till jobs # on Friday

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    hey if any of you traders are interested in checking it out, my brother (the one palmer helped me get tickets to tahoe for) is part of a start up developing financial analysis software for industry professionals.

    they are in the beta stages now and looking for professionals to test and give feedback on their programs before they go live with a paid service. it isn’t my area of expertise so I cannot speak to the specifics of the program or whether it would apply to what you do but if anyone is interested in checking it out, let me know. typeiiijpd gmailio

  16. Gratefulcub Says:

    7,000 lucky kids will be watching phish lakeside in Tahoe…..

    hopefully they don’t let the webcast take away from the specialness of that event just because I can watch in my pjs laying on the couch.

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    more specifically, the above references my brother who palmer, sumodie, AND aintnotele all helped in getting tahoe tix. just mentioned palmer since he is online and talking stock

  18. lastwaltzer Says:

    matso and cable hitting hammers to nails

  19. Cable Hogue Says:

    Great piece in phish.net on the anniversary of Amy’s Farm. A good read.

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    Free up the music.

  21. albert walker Says:

    I do feel though that SBD’s post show and 10 different crispy AUD tapes along with fan and official videos is somewhat watering down the live experience.

    I mean there are smaller venue 93-94 shows where to this day crappy tapes, no sbd’s, and no i-phone videos makes the experience a complete mystery to all but those in the building.

    Back in the day there were shows it took me months to track down an AUD tape and when I did it sucked. Made those live memories that much more important.

  22. Mike in Austin Says:

    Touring is expensive. Hope they make a crap load of money off all the couch tour folks to make this show worth it.

    Ticket sales is not a revenue stream that can carry that whole burden. Then the band kicks down free superball? Greatest band ever.

    Hope 20,000 fans pay $24.99 so they can make some money.

    Love the streams if it helps Phish keep touring in the black.

    It’s not like this band is only in it for the money.

  23. Mike in Austin Says:

    I’m clear my short position in US. I think Asia’s bubble is bursting. More action over there

  24. kayatosh Says:

    went long r2k out of the gate and almost puked doing so. got out w/ sm. gain. hardly worth shortening my lifespan.

  25. kayatosh Says:

    yes, I flipped a position in a half hour. made enough for a half z. that’s how we do.

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