If you're a regular reader, you know how deeply engrained music is into our editorial DNA. Every single day we post concert videos and music videos and tour announcements, but almost always whatever is new in the EDM scene or rap game. Today, let's take a second to shift gears a bit back towards those who play musical instruments.
Phish has been around for a long, long time. Since the mid-80s and selling out big arenas and big summer amphitheaters since the early 90s. Like a great baseball game, when you catch them on a good night they're still one of the best live acts around. In a concert scene that's dominated by laser light shows and DJs that ask hundreds of thousands of dollars a show, there's something zen-like and refreshing about four best buddies from the University of Vermont taking the stage to rapturous applause and letting lose for two wildly unpredictable sets. Whether you love them or think they're just p*ssing in a bunch of dirty wookie's mollyed-out ears, at the least you can appreciate a college bromance that's continues into their late 40s. And, not to go all Darren Rovell on the music industry, but the fact that last year's Phish tour grossed $28.5 million in 2011 (down from $37.2 million in 2009) is proof in the pudding that they're still doing something right as a music-business entity.
Today Phish announced the first leg of their predictable-Northeast heavy summer tour, which is pretty much an annual American summer tradition at this point, kinda like the Mets collapsing before the All-Star break. This year's tour includes two nights in Worcester, MA, three-night outdoor stint in Atlantic City, Fourth of July shows at Jones Beach Theatre, and a closer at SPAC in Saratoga Springs. To announce it, they dropped this video featuring the drummer, Jon Fishman:
Many in the fanbase -- myself included -- believe it's the best Phish tour-announcement video to date. It's playful without bombastic d*ck swinging or being full of oneself. All of this rhapsodizing leads me to my point: Why don't other big concert acts put the same time and production into dropping similar videos for their respective tours? Whether you're a DJ or a rapper or a band, a little bit of time and effort and a sense of humor about themselves, many acts would be able to earn some buzz and capitalize on the web's almost instantaneous virality. The Bonnaroo video with ESPN's John Anderson was a step in the right direction, but it'd be nice to see it happen more, especially with smaller, up-and-coming artists who have trouble getting people out to their concerts. It's a creative industry, so be creative in how you market, folks.