Phish to Release Shows Online - Rolling Stone
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Phish to Release Shows Online

New site to offer official bootlegs from reunion tour

Phish, America’s biggest jam band, are putting their jams online
for easy downloading at a friendly price. Beginning with the
group’s four New Year’s week reunion shows in New York City and
Hampton, Virginia, fans without tickets can go to a new official
Web site — — to purchase complete soundboard

The concerts are being offered in unsecured MP3 files, ready for
CD burning, at $9.95 for a two-set gig and $14.95 for a three-set
night. Premium files in CD-quality sound go for $12.95 (two sets)
and $18.95 (three sets). The biggest challenge is we’re doing it
unsecured,” says Phish manager John Paluska. “We’re relying on an
honor system. But we’ve made it so affordable that your friends
will say, ‘Stop bothering me about copying it, and pay your own ten

Created by Phish in cooperation with their label, Elektra
Records, and the popular unofficial jam-band site, is an experiment in spreading the music beyond the
committed tapers’ community. “The taping experience is part of our
community,” Paluska says. “But we’re trying to provide a simple way
for people to get this music. The Internet is really tailored to
turning something around quickly. And there is something a little
more ephemeral about it.”

Phish is working with Brad Serling, the man behind, to
create user-friendly downloads. Shows will be encoded and online at
least forty-eight hours after the band plays the last note, if not
sooner. The site also includes specially designed CD artwork for
each concert at no extra charge. “We are coming out with archival
stuff as well,” Paluska says, referring to the band’s huge library
of live tapes, “but we’re taking it one step at a time.”

The response to the bootlegs of the first four shows will
determine how much of the winter tour Phish will offer online, but
the band does not plan to get as exhaustive as Pearl Jam’s
seventy-two-volume document of their 2000 world tour. “My hat’s off
to them for doing that,” Paluska says. “It was a bold thing and
probably the inspiration for getting us going with the Live
stuff. But it’s a bulky thing to release all your shows.
We struck a happy medium between [the Grateful Dead’s bootleg
series] Dick’s Picks and Pearl Jam’s kitchen sink.”

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