This weekend, Phish launched their first summer tour since the band went on hiatus in 2004. The tour began with a sold-out show at Boston’s Fenway Park on Sunday night, followed with a 3 night run at Jones Beach on Long Island, beginning last night.
Starting at 7:30pm, the Jones Beach show marked an unprecedented convergence between social media and live music. By doing a search for the term “Phish” on twitter, and real time sites such as TweetGrid.com, one could follow live tweets being made from fans inside the show on their mobile devices, many which were detailing the set list up to the minute as the first notes of the songs were being played.
As the show progressed, users both at the show and at home tweeted back and forth commenting on the songs and the show highlights. When “Mikes Song” (a fan favorite) opened the second set, tweets flooded in. When “Harry Hood” reached it’s climax (and unarguably the shows climax), the posts quieted down, most likely because users were too busy listening to/watching the show reach epic proportions.
Taking this online/offline convergence to another level, a fan only known as Jason took a shot at streaming the show live from his iPhone through phishtube, hosted by ustream.com, a free live streaming service. After a few technical issues in the beginning, the stream had a decent image of the stage, accompanied by better-than-decent sound. The number of people streaming last night’s show reached almost 3,500 people – Jones Beach’s capacity is 15,000. On ustream/phishtube you were able to watch a video of the show while reading the live twitter feeds, simultaneously side by side.
While there have been live broadcasts of Coachella and other music festivals, brought to us by corporate sponsors (which usually only broadcast the more popular acts), this could be the first time a show was documented in its entirety, live online by a fan, for other fans.
With a cult-touring scene scaling the entire country as well as entire summers, this social networking/ real-time communication can connect Phish fans both at home and at the shows on a whole new level. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the tour will progress through this new convergence of online and offline real-time conversation.
Contributed by Alison McCarthy
Image Credit: The Butter Room