Phish 3DI was lucky enough to catch the premiere of Phish 3D at the Majestic in Williston, VT last night. The 3D movie features clips from Phish's Festival 8 concert in Indio, CA over this past Halloween weekend. Here's my synopsis:
-- The footage is incredible. Obviously, 3D is more than enough visual stimulation, and it goes perfectly with the Phish concert experience. I almost swatted a few balloons away. But what I was more impressed with is the subtlety captured in the film. You get a close-up view of the expressiveness of the band members when the music is really happening and the looks they give each other. The pan-outs over the crowd nail the experience naturally, putting you right there in the moment. And the film captures the vibe perfectly; you know what it smells like, you can feel the desert heat, and you can feel the grass under your feet.
-- "Undermind" has a great Phish flip of the switch, where four guys with instruments all of a sudden become pure music.
-- The group improvisation is underwhelming. They almost find something in "Tweezer" and "Mike's Song," but nothing transcendent in that category. They saved it all for the Exile On Main Street and acoustic sets.
-- The acoustic renditions of "The Curtain With" and "Wilson" are a great stripped-down snapshot of my common Phish descriptions: community, gorgeous compositions, high energy, abstract lyrics, humor, etc. Great stuff in the sweltering heat.
-- The moment: Trey looking at vocalists Sharon Jones and Saundra Williams during "Suzy Greenburg." Festival 8 is so much about the Stones already, but this is up-there in terms of capturing a moment, reminiscent of the scene in Gimme Shelter when the Stones are listening back to "Wild Horses" at Muscle Shoals Studio. No bullshit here, a true moment where you see the creators in bliss of what they're creating.
-- Is it worth seeing? Absolutely. Worth seeing again? Probably not. But man does it make you wish summer tour was here already.