Phish began a four-night stay at the Sphere on Thursday with a four-hour show.

LAS VEGAS — Phish opened its four-night run at the Sphere Thursday with a four-hour show. The show used state-of-the-art technology in the $2.3 billion arena to create a show unlike anything even the band's most ardent fans have ever experienced.

“We came in because we wanted to put on a great fishing show,” said Abigail Rosen Holmes, who runs the visual show. She said the band and its creative team wanted to combine Sphere's technical capabilities to ask, “What can Phish do that no other artist could do?” said.

Here's how Phish is creating a series of shows unlike anything they've ever experienced before, even for fans who've seen the band perform hundreds of times.

project music on screen

Fishing shows typically get a visual punch from lighting guru Chris Kuroda's extensive lighting rigs, but the band used custom visuals on a 160,000 square foot 16K x 16K LED screen. Because of this, these shows are completely different.

Holmes will sit in the center of the arena and control the visuals in real time, mixing elements created by Montreal-based entertainment studio Moment Factory to accompany the band's performance.

Kuroda sits next to her, using the six light towers and spotlights behind the stage to find the right moment to draw people back to the band on stage.

Towards the end of Thursday night's show, Kuroda began spotlighting individual members of the band, sending simple black silhouettes up the wall. The silhouette then burst into a red-stained field consisting of 20 silhouettes of him throughout the arena.

“Pinpoint of sound”

There are 1,600 permanent speakers and 300 mobile speaker modules that use 3D audio beamforming and wave field synthesis technology to spread sound throughout the venue. This system allows the sounds of individual instruments to be heard from different parts of the arena. “It's like pinpoints of sound and thousands of sounds,” says Phish's Trey Anastasio.

Feel the music to the fullest

There are 17,500 seats inside the Sphere, all of which will be filled with Phish fans this week, with about 2,500 standing seats on the floor. The seats use haptic technology, so you can feel every band bassline and drum kick from your seat, whether you're actually seated or not standing up and dancing.

Why PHISH only plays 4 shows?

U2 played 40 shows to open the Sphere. Phish sold out four shows this week in minutes and considered doing more, but in keeping with the band's history of never repeating the same show, they wanted to create four unique visual and musical experiences. decided.

“I don't think we would have had it any other way,” said Paige McConnell, Phish's piano/organ/keyboard player. “We're doing it for us. We're doing it for the audience. It's interesting for us and it remains interesting for them. And that's what we do. That’s what people love about us.”

light pack

There are 1.2 million LED “packs” that make up the 580,000 square foot exosphere, each capable of displaying more than 1 billion colors. The display quickly became a Las Vegas tourist attraction and can be seen from hotel rooms around the Strip and from airplanes above. Various funky visuals cycle through, including giant yellow flashing smiley faces and furry creatures. This week includes a phishing digital bulletin board.

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