A group of Phish fans with the shared interest of politely influencing the band to make available live web streams of each show.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Intricate jams, flying glow sticks, pot smoke hanging in the air, totally unselfconscious dancing--plus comfortable chairs, unbeatable views and air conditioning. This is the kind of almost-live experience that a 3D jam-fest concert film would ideally provide, and "Phish 3D," opening nationwide on April 30, does a pretty decent job of creating it. Plus, as one audience member at Brooklyn's April 20 screening put it, "if you take off the 3-D glasses, you can see what Phish usually looks like to most people."
Not just a gimmick, the 3D aspect does add value in terms of bringing the concert experience that much closer to the real thing--crowd-spanning shots from behind simulate the feeling of being part of the audience; balloons floated by the real-life crowd caused theater-goers to swat the air in front of them. At several points throughout the film, theater staff tossed real glow sticks into the seats as concert staff would do at a live Phish show. Audience members danced, applauded, sang along and even lit up a few (something theater managers should undoubtedly be prepared for). The festival was filmed by Action 3D Productions and presented in association with AEG Network Live and Cinedigm.
I've never been to a Phish show where "concert staff" has thrown glow sticks.
Phish 3D was filmed last autumn at a three-day, eight-set California festival called, un-creatively, Festival 8. The movie’s acoustic middle section, which includes "Wilson," had songs that were rural and tanned, but some that were very mid-tempo and very middle-aged. So it was a relief when the wonderful soul singer Sharon Jones and members of her Dap Kings came out for the film’s final third, built around covers of the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street. These were slightly balding people from Vermont covering drug-addled British musicians who aped Southern American blues, but, still, most of the songs sparkled. They were thick and giddy.
Even though the look of Phish 3D isn’t particularly beautiful, everything pops out colossally. You can make out circus wigs and bunny costumes in the audience, the name of the model of pianist Page McConnell’s Hohner, and even a box of tissues tucked away on the stage. But there’s nothing particularly fancy or fun about the concert’s design, which is odd. Wither the giant color-changing eyeballs, or at least a sea of psychedelic light? (A jam-band web site blamed the breezy, haze-less outdoor conditions.)
That puts more pressure on the music, and the band’s singing is likeable but not steady. They sound like a tipsy barbershop during the jaunty refrain of "Mike’s Song."
Mr. Anastasio’s guitar is better: He plays an instrument the color of maple syrup, and it shows. His tone is sweet, pretty and cozy. Even when he’s playing quickly, the notes are laid-back. As he played, someone in my row filled up a balloon that had a glow stick inside of it, started bouncing it around the theater, and then did a headstand. (There were balloons on the screen, too, which looked better).
Believe it or not, we’re closing in on the start of Phish Summer Tour 2010 at Toyota Park in Chicago on June 11. Last year, the band set a record for most songs played in one year, but there’s still loads of tunes yet to be busted out by Phish 3.0. I polled YEMblog’s Twitter followers and Facebook fans for their opinion on what songs should be revived in 2010 and combined some of the results with my thoughts to create a list of the ten tunes we’d like to see Phish bring back that they didn’t play in 2009.
Read more at HiddenTrack
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