As we discussed in our previous blog, Phish is once again holding its New Year's festivities in New York City. Of course, that's many miles from South Florida, where the band historically rang in the millennium and a couple of New Year's eves since. But subtropical Phishheads need not fret, because thanks to the miracle of the internet, we can share virtual Phish space with heads all over the globe via the band's New Year's Run webcast.
Couch Tour -- as this style of following the band is affectionately called -- is pretty easy. You don't have to look for a miracle ticket in the lot, smuggle in your party favors, or wait in line to pee. All you have to do is click here and enjoy.
Of course, clicking is the minimum required effort, and we can do better than that. So to help you make the most of your virtual New Year's run, County Grind would like to offer some suggestions for really bringing your scene to life.
Link up with some fellow heads
We all spend plenty of solitary time on the computer. If possible, involve yourself in a Couch Tour scenario that is social rather than a laptop-and-headphones situation. If you don't know of any Phishy peeps who are currently settled in your area, get on a messageboard, Facebook, or Twitter and start looking around.
You may end up enjoying Phish with total strangers, just like on a real tour! The magic of synchronistic meetings and tour-born friendships does not exist only on the road but in your neighborhood as well. So reach out, whether you need to find a party or are having one and would like to expand your Phamily.
Gather up some good gear
Once you connect with some peeps, you can all compare what sort of gear you may have to set up your scene for a high-level sensory experience. Anyone have a projector? Good speakers? Don't forget about all those cables. Don't wait until the last minute to get this stuff together. Set it up early in the day and have a good equipment test. The last thing you want is to get a tweet that informs you that the band just opened with "Down With Disease" (you heard it here first) while you are still trying to get the "damn speakers" to work.
Transform your living room, backyard, garage, rooftop (yeah!), swimming pool, etc., into a cosmic party spot. Take some inspiration form the band: When Phish enters a space, it becomes a Phish space -- no longer an airstrip, theater, arena, farm, etc.
Manifest Gamehenge! Arrange some artwork, set the lighting... heck, see if you can inspire someone to put on a light show. If there is one thing that the webcasts have lacked historically, it is camera time dedicated to Chris Kuroda's light show. Let's hope that will be different this time around, but regardless, whip up some neat stuff to look at off the screen. Maybe peeps would like to set up some easels and do some live painting. Or maybe let them paint your house!
It can be lots of fun to predict what songs the band will play in what spots. To take it a step further than calling the opener when the lights go down, make a little game out of it with points and a scorecard.
You can make your own or use this great template from the Oh Kee Pa messageboard -- which was created by this writer's brother. It's sort of like heady bingo. While making your predictions, it can be helpful to reference this complete and awesome list of song histories on phish.net. Get creative with your version of the game. Come up with some wacky prizes.
Surrender to the flow
As with all things, you can prepare only so much. If there is one thing to be taken from the wisdom of Gamehenge, it is that you must allow things to happen according to their own nature. Do the prep work and then get out of the way. Have fun. "The only rule is it begins."
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