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Wednesday, July 25

Happy Birthday CK5 - Get to know your Chris Kuroda

Chris Kuroda lighting Phish at Alpine Valley in July 2003.
from the resume:
Chris Kuroda is the lighting designer/operator for Phish. His lighting experiments were so unusual and diverse that a group of Phish fans lobbied to have Kuroda recognized as an official band member, which led to his nickname of 'CK5' (CK, his initials, and 5, as in the 5th member of the band). Other nicknames include "Toph" or "Topher," usually uttered by Trey Anastasio when requesting he turn off the lights, perhaps most notably during the song "Harry Hood." He attended Wilbraham and Monson Academy High School in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. Kuroda first worked with Phish in April 1989 and remained with the band until their breakup in 2004. He resumed his role as Phish's lighting designer at Hampton Coliseum reunion shows in March 2009 and hasn't relented since.
"The two things I value the most from this experience are the opportunity given to me by Phish to be a self-taught lighting designer with no pressure or influence coming from the band themselves and I'm also thankful just to be given the opportunity in the first place ten years ago to stretch out artistically without knowing that I was an artist." 
Kuroda specializes in improvisation and synchronization with the music. After Phish's breakup, he was hired by The Black Crowes, Aerosmith, R. Kelly, VH1, and several music festivals.  
From The CK5 chronicles is taking a step back in time, a whole two days and over to the Nassau Coliseum for a little Twist from the first night of the Island Tour 1998.
check out the lights right about the 4:30 mark. It looks like the lights quickly lock in on each member of the band...then its almost as if they are passing back and forth between the band, almost highlighting the exchange of energy. And right at the 4:55 mark he locks in on all of them. It looks like its their aura or something. hot shit.
Just a note from the editor: This material was gathered from public online sites.  I did not write his resumé as it can be found on his FB page.  I thought it intriguing however to gain some insight on the man behind the lights.  Chris has always been candid.  He was again during a Q and A that is posted on, which can be read here.  Spoiler alert, it discussing Summer 2012's use of LED lights.
 © Phish and The Dead - a Grateful Music Publication