Is anyone as loyal as a diehard Phish fan? Not that we’ve met. With 25-plus years under their belt and a staggering amount of studio, live and even bootleg albums in circulation, the band continues to attract a loyal following — one that increasingly looks to the internet and apps to connect with the band, and each other.
LivePhish ($4), one of the most comprehensive Phish apps to date, is essentially a mobile version of the popular LivePhish.com website. It’s a musical compendium of all things Phish for the faithful and recent converts alike.
The best thing about this app is its breadth of live music recordings from the band. Fans can download one (or all) of Phish’s dozens upon dozens of live albums recorded since 2002, plus 50 concerts from throughout in their career.
The app lets fans (phans?) read show notes; post reviews; browse photographs from the shows; and listen to Phish radio. The app also cycles through a variety of stream-able, archived albums which operates separately from the radio feature. These albums are often timed to coincide with special dates in Phish history, which fans hold sacred. What’s more, the app promotes independent musical projects of each band member, furthering its repertoire.
The app (like the website) lets you stream any Phish album you have previously bought from the LivePhish app or LivePhish.com, once you’re signed in.
I found the app extremely useful and entertaining — but then again, I am a fan. LivePhish.com is perfect for us, and the fact that this app ports that experience to iOS makes it well worth the $4 asking price.
That’s even more impressive than it sounds, because technical difficulties run rampant throughout the app (ed. note: only a fan would forgive this, but the app is designed for them).
Songs tend to break up or stop playing while streaming, and even when they didn’t, I found myself enduring long periods — sometimes close to 10 seconds — of silence, an unforgivable offense in most music-playing apps. A “time bar” is also missing, which is particularly annoying amidst a 25-minute jam.
These issues could be remedied fairly easily, but they shouldn’t be there to begin with. Heck, Pandora got it right years ago.
Regardless, an app like this is valuable to many of us Phish fans. Diehards will quickly recognize the convenience of having a library of Phish at their fingertips. The only problem now is to decide which album to purchase next, because there is enough for sale to burn a hole through anyone’s wallet. Within minutes you can have a large library of Phish at the ready for your listening pleasure. If you’re more the spontaneous type, the app’s radio — quirky at best — works too, but I wouldn’t recommend using it while moving through various mobile service areas (i.e. driving).
Overall, this is a great app for Phish fans or anyone else looking to discover more from the jam-band genre. The sheer availability of Phish music it contains will keep most busy listening for weeks on end.