Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Thoughts On The Phuture

Beyond the proximal silliness of the webcast starring the Phishes last night, there was a deep and primary weirdness to the entire evening.  Real-time, hi-def, multi-cam, and 5.1 surround sound. Free, delivered wirelessly (and if you’re in one of an exponentially-growing number of public places, the wi-fi is free, too) to the device of your choice. ‘Cast it to your 80″ LCD TV or squint at your phone: this is most assuredly a small and wonderful piece of the future.

But: it’s not longer a concert, is it? A concert happens somewhere–by definition–at a certain time (then twenty minutes late because musicians.) The doors are closed; an in-group/out-group gestalt is created which births the magical Crowd; the Temporary Autonomous Zone creates itself again. A concert relies on senses–smell, touch, and especially the sense of pressure: being packed in a crowd, the sound waves–that a webcast (or any other non-live medium) can’t even begin to simulate or stimulate.

Also, there is neither buffering nor the “chat” section. You might have to wait in line for the toilets or talk to a nincompoop, but let’s face facts: the world is a better place without the “chat” section.

You seem kind of hung up on this “chat” section thing.

Everyone is stupid and it makes me sad.

Valid point for a Monday.

For as futuristic as last night’s webcast was–and it was damn near to magic–it was still stuck in the past. The aesthetic, the camera shots, the scarves: they were The Song Remains The Same, with those low-angle icon shots of the guitarist and ZOMGBONHAM views of Fishman behind his drum kit.

Phuck that, Phishes: go Pharther.

Flood the place with cams and give full control to the viewer: all it costs you is money and bandwidth and time. Four cams on each of Page’s vintage thousand-pound keyboards that he plays for six minutes a show. Flip between those cams and the crowd cams and play Spot the Black Guy. Watch the drone-cam during the glowstick wars. Hang out with the beer guy and watch people try to get their heads together.

Hell: HELP people get their heads together! Why not tele-presence into the show? For a gold-level member, a robot (it’s just an iPad taped to a stick and stuck on a Roomba, but that’s a better robot than you have currently, isn’t it?) will be your avatar at the show. Wander around talking to people, try to get ladies to show you stuff, watch the band: be yourself all over the virtual place. (Warning: your avatar will almost certainly be attacked and/or loved to death by a guy on drugs.)

The finest solution, obviously, is wearable cameras: strap go-pros to twenty or so fans and turn them into one-man mobile uplink units. This is a genius plan for a number of reasons:

First of all, this would immediately set off internecine warfare within the audience ne’er seen since the War of the Roses. Sabotage would begin within hours.

Okay, there aren’t a number of reasons: just one great one. It would become about the people wearing the cams so quickly and disastrously. They would all have twitter-fights and instagram-beefs and Antelope Greg would get involved somehow: it would be SO ENTERTAINING.

Fandoms would form just as quickly and within three shows–on the outside–there would be large-scale turf riots going on at shows.

How did you manage to get from a Phish show on the internet to turf riots in 500 words?



  1. Queen Diane A. Perone

    August 4, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    You are a creep for attempting to ruin the fun for folks with physical, financial, or logistical challenges that prevent their attendance at shows.

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