A beacon of sound on the Upper West Side

A sound way to debut a new sound system.

Trey Anastasio, guitarist, singer, songwriter and co-founder of the band Phish, played two nights at the Beacon Theatre to show off the 93-year-old venue’s Sphere Immersive Sound.

Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which runs the theatre, says it’s the world’s most advanced concert audio system.

What You Need To Know

  • The Beacon Theatre opened in 1929
  • It was originally opened as a movie palace
  • The Beacon now has a Sphere Immersive Sound system — the world’s most advanced concert audio system
  • Trey Anastasio of the band Phish played two concerts on Aug. 19 and 20 to debut the new system

“Every seat gets the exact same sound and it’s excellent,” Stuart Elby, senior vice president of advanced engineering for MSG Entertainment, said.

Elby explained that there are 52 high tech speakers at work for the digital system — some with even more speakers working within them.

“Ninety-six little speakers inside one of those panels, and 96 independent channels all amplified, and with computer digital signal processing control, so it knows exactly how to align those speakers and timed to create the sound you want wherever you want to put it,” Elby said.

Development of the new system was driven by MSG’s construction of a new venue in Las Vegas, called MSG Sphere.

The new system, with 164,000 speakers, will deliver a much grander and fully customized immersive sound experience once it opens in the second half of 2023.

New York audiences will get a small taste of that experience at the Beacon.

“Every seat in the place now is sonically perfect if you will, I mean, it’s a dream come true if you are a fan,” Rich Claffey, chief operations officer of MSG Sphere, said.

“Imagine a fan wearing headphones in a seat,” he added. “That’s kind of like what’s it’s going to be here listening to this system.”

Anastatsio seems on board with the new sound at the Beacon.

During one of his shows, he told the audience, “It sounds amazing where I am standing. I’ve played this room so many times, we hope you guys are enjoying it too.”