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TAIT Fabricates Kinetic LED Umbrellas for Phish's New Year's Eve Surprise Gag

Phish's New Year's Eve surprise gag at Madison Square Garden

Notorious for their musical improvisation, extended jams, and surprise gags, Phish returned to the stage for their annual New Year's Run at the famed Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, New York. On December 31st, after performing for three hours, Phish began revealing their surprise New Year's gag at 11:30 pm with a musical production of "Petrichor," a track from their latest album Big Boat, accompanied by choreographed dancers, 16 kinetic LED umbrellas that floated above the stage and synthetic rain, made of small crystals, which fell from the ceiling of The Garden.

At the stroke of midnight, as if the kinetic LED umbrella performance wasn't enough, Phish literally made it rain cats and dogs (balloons) as they wished their fans a Happy New Year. With the Garden buried in a mass of colorful balloons and confetti, Phish successfully finished their set with "Suzy Greenberg" to start the New Year.

Between December 28 - 31, Madison Square Garden was filled with Phish fans, media influencers, and experience seekers who were eager to bring in the New Year with Phish. This year's four night New Year's Run marked their 39th performance at the world famous arena. Once again, Phish's team consisted of production manager, Jesse Sandler, longtime lighting designer, Chris Kuroda, fellow co-designer Abigail Rosen Holmes, and New Year's Eve designer, David Gallo.

As previously seen in Phish's summer tour, TAIT built the massive LED video screen that displayed patterned splash lighting and articulated into a cluster of kinetic video screens. During the first set, TAIT's LED video structure is made of 78 individual LED video screens, designed to appear as one large panel that is 5.6' tall x 51.2' wide. As Phish moved into their second set, the one large LED video structure separated into numerous smaller screens hanging at approximately 22' above stage level. Throughout the entire show, the artwork displayed on the screens, via projection, included a flashing of abstract colors and "pop art" like content.

For Phish's final set, TAIT manufactured and engineered 16 kinetic LED umbrellas to float into different configurations for their New Year's surprise gag. The kinetic display used 16 TAIT Nano Winches to deploy the kinetic LED umbrellas, and the umbrellas ascended and descended at a distance of 60' from the ceiling. Each custom-made kinetic umbrella had an LED dome welded inside and was 42" in diameter.

The entire show, including the LED video screen and kinetic LED umbrellas, was operated by TAIT Navigator.

Dubbed as one of the most successful live acts in popular music history, Phish strikes again ringing in the New Year with an extraordinary live performance at Madison Square Garden.


(6 January 2017)

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