Phish is back! Tomorrow night marks the tour opener in St. Paul, Minnesota, and we couldn’t be more excited to hit the road with our favorite band for a summer of awesome tunes, intricate jams, and an incredible, new-and-improved light show!
The lights have always been an important addition to Phish’s live show, with Lighting Designer Chris Kuroda known as the unofficial fifth member of the band. Starting out with psychedelic backdrops designed by bassist Mike Gordon‘s mother, Phish has always been looking for unique ways to artistically light their shows, and their lighting design has evolved into one of the best in the business. With an amazing array of different lights, Kuroda lights the band creatively and uniquely each night.
Yet, missing from their repertoire have been LED light screens, which are a prevalent technology present on many modern concert tours. Kuroda and Phish once tried adding four LED ovals behind the band in 2012, but those were quickly removed after the band’s East Coast run, never quite fitting in with the rest of the show. Smaller LED lights were added in recent years, adding to the arsenal but in a minor way.
Kuroda and Phish seem to be ready to fully shift into something brand new this summer. After blowing the mind of all Phish fans that attended 2015’s Magnaball in Watkings Glen, NY with the “Drive-In Set”, where the band performed behind a massive LED screen with swirling psychedelic live visuals, the band followed that up with by jamming out new song “No Men In No Man’s Land” while inside an hourglass-shaped screen, with projection mapped art covering the outside of the structure. At both shows, fans went wild as Kuroda was given brand new landscapes to play with and a whole new way to interact with Phish as they jammed.
It seems the band has decided to move more in that direction with the new lighting rig they are seemingly about to debut. LED Screens envelope the stage, with three panels behind the band providing trippy visuals synced up with the music. Also, in addition to the familiar light cones the band usually has hanging above the stage, it seems are now around 40 smaller, moving individual LED screens that will provide visual content to match the screens below.
As seen in the above video, Phish rehearsed for their tour opener at the Xcel Center in St. Paul yesterday and tested out their new system. We can’t wait for Phish tour to officially start!