Monday 06/06/2011 by tmwsiy


Sitting in the midst of the vast sprawl of an outdoor amphitheater during an encore when thousands of like minded fans held Zippos or Bics in the air was an indelible image that became ingrained in many concert goers minds in days gone by. Later, glowstick wars became one of those incredible visual memories seeing all the wild fluorescents fly through the air in orchestrated syncopation.

Now, developer and Phish fan, M@ - aka Matt Sheppard, thinks it is the time for smartphones to take over with an iPhone & Android app called Crowd Lights.

Inspired by both the Harry Hood glowstick war at The Great Went and seeing a plethora of phone screens visible at the Manchester show last fall, M@ got hard at work creating an “audience based light show”. All the phones running the app become part of a synchronized display based upon your location within the venue. Yet despite the complexity of the code, for the end user the instructions are quite simple:

  1. Download app
  2. Use

A brief YouTube video shows a demonstration of the app in action. M@ is optimistic to get the word out about the app and have the first large scale test during Phishs’ Mansfield, MA show. Although Matt hoped to ring in the New year by trialing the app during the New Year run at MSG, Apple’s approval process proved too lengthy. He will be in Mansfield passing out cards pre-show encouraging downloads. Although the app already has a couple thousand downloads: the more, the merrier. Rest assured: The app is free, there are no advertisements, no data is collected during use, and no one will be injured in a massive Crowd Lights war. So check it out and encourage your friends to do the same: iPhone/iPod Link, Android Market Link

Let’s make Tuesday something to remember. Download Crowd Lights. Use on Tuesday night in Mansfield. How will you know when to use Crowd Lights? You’ll know. Just like a glow stick war. See you at the show!

If you liked this blog post, one way you could "like" it is to make a donation to The Mockingbird Foundation, the sponsor of Support music education for children, and you just might change the world.


, comment by zappafrank1
zappafrank1 Links are broken....
, comment by tmwsiy
tmwsiy fixing up now, sorry zappafrank1, will be fixed momentarily
, comment by StCarl
StCarl Umm... uhh...
, comment by RunawayJim
RunawayJim Just installed it. I'll try it, but it requires more thought than tossing glow sticks.
, comment by RunawayJim
RunawayJim One problem with the app... it doesn't have a setting for amphitheater.
, comment by tmwsiy
tmwsiy @RunawayJim said:
One problem with the app... it doesn't have a setting for amphitheater.
According to @M, "Theater" is the best option for Great Woods.
, comment by FunkyCFunkyDo
FunkyCFunkyDo Glowsticks > Lighters > Cell Phone Apps (those are 'greater than' signs, btw, not crunchy segues)
, comment by mgouker
mgouker Great idea!
, comment by the_mole
the_mole I like this concept! Now I just need the Droid/iPhone part...
, comment by zappafrank1
zappafrank1 "Posted by the_mole on 06/06/2011 01:10 pm
I like this concept! Now I just need the Droid/iPhone part..."

Ha. Someday, Phan.

I'm still desperately waiting for the LIVEPHISH ANDROID APP!
, comment by ledzepmaster
ledzepmaster My phone can't dl apps... lol
, comment by ThinMan
ThinMan argh...another reason for fans to pull out a minature screen at a show.
, comment by fall96josh
fall96josh I'm with yourself from the technology for a few hours.
, comment by curleyfrei
curleyfrei I groaned at first, but this could be really cool if it actually worked the way the video shows.
, comment by finch460
finch460 Note to self: Do not throw smartphone during Harry Hood! =)

Cool app though. Seems like a cool idea, but glowsticks and lighters are just SO much easier (and cheaper!) for the average phan to come by.
, comment by FunkyCFunkyDo
FunkyCFunkyDo @finch460 said:
Note to self: Do not throw smartphone during Harry Hood! =)

Cool app though. Seems like a cool idea, but glowsticks and lighters are just SO much easier (and cheaper!) for the average phan to come by.
Hahahahahahaha! END DISCUSSION!
, comment by snownymph
snownymph I like the amount of waste this app could reduce, I always think about that during Glowstick much to clean up!!!
, comment by Onlymike
Onlymike I know it's a huge buzzkill, but one glowstick war makes quite a bit of plastic to throw away. I really like this idea.
, comment by RobesPierre
RobesPierre that's just what 3.0 fans need... something else to distract them from the music.

please put down your phones and try listening for at least a few songs.
, comment by RobesPierre
RobesPierre "everyone will be able to enjoy the synchronized patterns"

umm... i thought i was there to enjoy phish?

this idea kinda disgusts me... its cool, but its an idea for an art gallery, not a phish show.
, comment by moephish
moephish Anyone have a link to see app in action.
, comment by achalsey
achalsey As a new taper, I appreciate anything that will cut down on glowsticks flying everywhere, but as a fan of music in general this sounds really stupid. dumb ass app ≠ CK5. Put your phones away you're at a concert.
, comment by achalsey
achalsey I guess blog doesn't recognize firefox special characters. I meant: app 'does not equal' CK5. And just to reiterate; you're at a show, unless you're actually worried about emergency calls coming in, why is your phone even on?
, comment by benevolution
benevolution yes, please let this catch on... i want to see phans so twisted and confused they end up throwing their smart phones around
, comment by agree499
agree499 I'm a little surprised that nobody else has suggested that there might be a way that control of this little app might somehow be given to CK5. That's what I want to see; the whole crowd part of the light show. I agree that the way it is now cell phones are a huge distraction at shows. I just don't think we're going to get people to turn them off or leave them home if they can't even stop talking on them when they're driving. So, maybe if they're using this app they're at least participating, instead of distracting the people behind them trying to shoot uwatchably shaky video.
, comment by forbin1
forbin1 All you crazy kids with your iphones and dvds...when was the last time you picked up a fuc***g book???
, comment by Harryhoody
Harryhoody Update: Glowsticks > Lighters > Cell Phone Apps > Lit Sparklers

@FunkyCFunkyDo said:
Glowsticks > Lighters > Cell Phone Apps (those are 'greater than' signs, btw, not crunchy segues)
, comment by lizardkind
lizardkind This is the stoopidist app I've ever seen. Plus the difference between venues is frequency if 10 random lights?? I'll bring 200 glow sticks to superball and I hope to hit at least one persons phone doing this app.
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Support & MBIRD
The Phish Companion, 3rd Ed.
Fun with Setlists

February 21, 1993
24 years ago
Roxy Theatre

Set 1: Suzy Greenberg[1] > Buried Alive, Punch You In the Eye, Uncle Pen, Horn > Chalk Dust Torture, Esther[2] > Dinner and a Movie > Bouncing Around the Room > Run Like an Antelope[3]

Set 2: Axilla, The Curtain > Stash -> Manteca -> Stash -> The Lizards, Bathtub Gin -> Hold Your Head Up > Cracklin' Rosie > Hold Your Head Up, The Squirming Coil, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars

Encore: Sweet Adeline, Good Times Bad Times[4] -> Paul and Silas[5] -> Pig in a Pen[6]

[1] Prior to starting Suzy, the band sung the first line a cappella in a different manner than the rest of the song.
[2] Began with Page modifying the intro (including a brief reggae attempt) and included a Simpsons signal.
[3] Random Note signal.
[4] Performed bluegrass-style; The "Reverend" Jeff Mosier on banjo.
[5] The "Reverend" Jeff Mosier on banjo.
[6] Phish debut; The "Reverend" Jeff Mosier on banjo.

Check our Phish setlists and sideshow setlists!
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