Phish to Follow U2 Residency at Las Vegas Sphere

Posted on: November 30, 2023, 10:42h. 

Last updated on: November 30, 2023, 11:26h.

The second musical act to headline the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas will be Phish. The four-piece jam band, which draws its following from the Furthur Festival crowd, will perform four consecutive shows at the globular concert venue behind the Venetian from April 18-21. They follow U2’s opening residency.

Phish's four-show engagement at the Las Vegas Sphere in April 2024 is announced by the Sphere itself
Phish’s four-show engagement at the Las Vegas Sphere in April 2024 is announced by the Sphere itself, on Nov. 29, 2023. (Image: Sphere Entertainment)

According to a press release from Sphere Entertainment, each night will feature “completely unique setlists and visuals.” However, as all Phishheads already know, their improvisational idols have never performed the same show twice in the 40 years since they formed in Burlington, Vt.

“From the moment we first heard about Sphere and its potential, we’ve been dreaming up ways to bring our show to this breathtaking canvas,” Trey Anastasio, the band’s guitarist and vocalist, is quoted by the release. “We’re thrilled to present this completely unique experience to Phish fans.”

Big Unanswered Question

Ultimately, the Phish booking is a limited engagement, with the Sphere’s press release eliminating all possibility of an extended stay by stating that these “will be the only shows Phish will perform at the venue in 2024.”

This leaves unanswered the big question of who will follow U2 with the next proper, fully-produced residency. The Eagles, Harry Styles, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Paul McCartney, and Bon Jovi have all been mentioned as possibilities by reports citing unnamed sources. So far, none has committed, though Styles and the Eagles are favorites because both are managed by Irving Azoff’s Full Stop Management, which also manages U2, and Azoff reportedly works as a booking consultant for the Sphere.

It is believed that the unprecedented offer made to U2 to serve as the Sphere’s guinea pigs — a reported 90% of ticket sales plus $10M to finance the production — may have weakened the Sphere’s negotiating strength, since similarly popular acts would feel deserving of similar terms.

Phish consists of, from left, keyboardist Page McConnell, drummer Jon Fishman, guitarist Trey Anastasio, and bassist Mike Gordon. All are original members, and all sing. (Image: Sphere Entertainment)

Sphere Phishing

Though Phish isn’t managed by Azoff, the band’s cozy relationship with MSG Entertainment, and its implied lack of a multimillion-dollar visual production pretty much guarantees that its terms weren’t equivalent to U2’s.

Phish sold out New York’s similarly sized Madison Square Garden for seven nights last summer, and will return to that venue for another series from December 28-31. The Garden, like the Sphere, is owned by MSG Entertainment.

Anastasio was also the first to test out the Sphere’s immersive audio system, which he used for an acoustic solo show at New York’s Beacon Theatre, also owned by MSG Entertainment, in August 2022.

A “ticket request period” for Sphere’s limited Sphere engagement is now underway at, according to the press release, and continues through Monday, December 11. All remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Friday, December 15 via the same website.