Listening to WFNX 1983-2012

Celebrating the live and times of 101.7 FM, Boston's only true alternative radio station
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  July 24, 2012

AUGUST 1, 2009

When WFNX can't land Lansdowne Street for Best Music Poll — thanks to some washed-up has-been playing Fenway Park — the Best Music Poll Party shifts gears and becomes a free-for-all on City Hall Plaza, with the Bravery headlining a massive bill with Airborne Toxic Event, Metric, Gaslight Anthem, hometown breakout stars Passion Pit, and Ra Ra Riot. Punks start showing up at 11 am asking when Gaslight is playing, and the cops eventually estimate the crowds at north of 40,000. WFNX broadcasts a live Internet video stream of the concert to thousands more across the country.

LISTEN: Listen to highlights from the 2009 Best Music Poll Concert at

DECEMBER 4, 2009

PLAY WFNX: A revolutionary year is capped off with Phoenix headlining the WFNX Christmas show, "Miracle on Tremont Street," with Spoon and Passion Pit. Watch video highlights.

JUNE 26, 2010

Rechristened as the WFNX Clambake, the station's annual party returns to Lansdowne Street with a festival atmosphere and sets by Matt & Kim, Against Me!, Silversun Pickups, Metric, and more.

PLAY WFNX: Watch video highlights of the 2010 WFNX Clambake.

APRIL 2010

The WFNX morning-show crew kidnaps a couple lucky listeners and drives cross-country to Coachella, broadcasting live from the festival. Bands stop by the WFNX house to load up on free beer, use a clean bathroom, and record stripped-down sets in our living room. It becomes an annual tradition, with increasing degrees of awesomeness: by 2012, bands are stripping naked and jumping in our pool, getting stoned with certain DJs who shall not be named, and collaborating on impromptu cover-songs in our kitchen.

PLAY WFNX: Video highlights from WFNX interviews, performances, and other shenanigans at Coachella.

OCTOBER 31, 2010

Florence and the Machine play an intimate set for a handful of WFNX listeners . . . in a chic downtown Boston hotel room. The Ames Sessions expands on the "Green Room" idea — by bringing listeners even bigger artists in an even more personalized environment. The series includes one-of-a-kind performances by the XX, Courtney Love, Mumford and Sons, Vampire Weekend, Band of Horses, Tegan and Sara, Silversun Pickups, the Temper Trap, Marina and the Diamonds, and Broken Bells.

PLAY WFNX: Video highlights from the WFNX Ames Sessions.

MAY 2011

After years of negotiations, the Museum of Fine Arts allows the first-ever rock performances within its fine-art galleries, with musicians and audience setting up mere inches from priceless masterpieces. It's yet another groundbreaking series of intimate, irreproducible gigs for WFNX listeners. The series kicks off with Airborne Toxic Event — who've become something like WFNX's house band — and has included sets by My Morning Jacket, Taking Back Sunday, Dropkick Murphys, the Shins, Frank Turner, Passion Pit, Kasabian, Lykke Li, and more.

PLAY WFNX: Watch video highlights from the WFNX MFA Sessions.

JUNE 11, 2011

The second annual WFNX Clambake introduces not one but two new groups who'll soon emerge as breakout stars: Foster the People and Young the Giant, both of whom will be getting unlikely spins on Top 40 by year's end. But in the meantime, there's the spectacle, at the foot of Lansdowne Street, of 6000 kids losing their minds to "My Body" while a dude dressed as a lobster with a Bruins jersey on jumps excitedly up and down in the photo pit. Also on board: DOM, Cold War Kids, the Naked and Famous, Noah and the Whale, Buffalo Tom, and a reunited Sheila Divine.

JULY 20, 2012


In June, the Phoenix Media/Communications Group announces the sale of the 101.7 FM signal to ClearChannel. Though ClearChannel is the antithesis of the Phoenix's independent spirit, WFNX has lost tens of millions of dollars — and its single owner, Stephen Mindich, confesses he simply can no longer afford to keep a terrestrial station afloat. Instead, WFNX announces it will continue on as a Web-streaming station. In fact, the station has been streaming its signal for over a decade through and a suite of mobile apps, and has long been one of the most-streamed radio stations in the country. This Friday is expected to be WFNX's final day of terrestrial programming. We'll see you on the flipside at

>> PLAY WFNX Get the WFNX mobile app for your iPhone, Android, or Blackberry <<

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