Review: Phish 3D – Likes and Dislikes

  • I liked the way the balloons and glowsticks seemed to pop off the screen in true old-school 3D style. When people think “3D” they often think about things flying off the screen at them. This film doesn’t have a ton of that effect but it definitely feels like you can reach out and touch the glowsticks and ballooon clusters as they wiz by. And the lights, at times, also seemed to be shooting out from the screen. I would have liked to have seen the 2001 > Light included if only for the lights in 3D.
  • I liked seeing the throwdown that was Suzy Greenberg. You don’t get the sense of the “party” that was going on during that song just by listening to the audio. The interaction between Trey and Sharon Jones and Saundra Williams is especially fun to watch.
  • I liked seeing Trey having so much fun on stage. The “healthy and happy” thing has been run into the ground, dug up and buried again but the fact that he is both those things shines through in this movie. Page is also full of smiles and there are plenty of shots of the always awesome “Creepy Page Face.”
  • I liked that they handed me a pretty cool movie poster on the way out.
  • I didn’t love the song selection from the Exile set. While I know Loving Cup is obviously right in their wheelhouse as a part of the regular rotation and Shine a Light is sort of the calling card of that album, I was disappointed not to see any of the Ventilator Blues > I Just Want to See His Face, Let it Loose segment included. To me, that is the heart of Phish’s performance of that set and should have been represented. Soul Survivor is a good song and comes off well but wouldn’t have been on my list. Happy, on the other hand, was a great choice and another example of just how much fun they were having that night.
  • As far as the Phish songs, I was surprised to see a somewhat brutal Train Song included but very pleased to see the acoustic Curtain (With) and the Wilson with the sitdown/standup banter. I would have liked to seen the inclusion of the Party Time Festival opener instead of a pretty average Stealing Time.
  • I didn’t like the loudness of the crowd noise between songs. Not sure if it was just the theater we were in but in between every song the crowd noise from the film seemed to be louder than the music.
  • I would have liked to see some footage from the soundcheck included. Phish fans love us some soundchecks – especially at festivals – and it would have been nice to see something that hadn’t been seen by more than a chosen few included in the flick. Even just a minute or two would have been great.

Overall, I was very impressed with the movie. The 3D adds a great deal but isn’t so in-your-face obnoxious that it prevents you from appreciating the simple things. The music, while not up there among the best Phish has ever played, is certainly enjoyable. And for those of us who weren’t able to make it to Indio it was a nice snippet into the experience of the weekend. At times you could almost feel the sun beating down on the crowd. All while sitting in a movie theater in Brooklyn. Pretty damn cool.

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10 thoughts on “Review: Phish 3D – Likes and Dislikes

  1. Ace Cowboy Reply

    Agreed on almost everything. Thought Mike was way too low in the mix, too. But on the whole, that was a great film, a great experience. Better than my average Tuesday!

  2. Tigg Reply

    Good read. I’ve heard mixed reviews from dismal to sublime. Your thought out, intelligent arguments have tipped my scales in favor of checking this one. Thanks.

  3. Mr. Slim Reply

    Anything but a “meh” review. Well done and really makes me wish I could have made it to the premiere. April 30th can’t come fast enough.

  4. kenny powers Reply

    completely agree about the crowd noise being way too loud in between songs, and while there were likely some folks cheering in the theater, what you heard was the audio from the movie. they spiked the crowd noise volume unnaturally louder than the rest of the audio feed, and i found myself having to plug my ears at times, especially toward the end. we get it, people are having a blast…as did i. no need to cause ringing in my ears for an hour!

  5. the joker Reply

    i enjoyed the movie last night, and i also agree with many of your points. could have been better, but i still loved the performances and thought it looked great. i tried to reach out and touch some of the glowsticks a couple of times.

    would have loved more of a bittersweet motel style film, that captured more of the feel of the festival. loved the backstage rehearsal clips, hope in the DVD release they include the entire footage.

    great write-up!

  6. Tecmo Reply

    Thirded on that crowd noise inbetween songs (I was at the Brooklyn show too). And in case anyone was wondering what the scene was like: people seemed generally excited, some clapping and hollering throughout but mostly people just watched. There was a none to discrete tank across the street from the theater but no real lot feel outside other than that.

  7. johnnyd Reply

    Nice review, Luke. I have not yet seen the movie, but from what I have heard and read, I would hope to see more of the festival atmosphere – the camping, the art installations, some interviews – fans, crew, and band. Can’t wait to catch them in 4-D this summer…

  8. Concertconfessions Reply

    I agree 100% about the crowd noise being WAY too loud. Nice review.

  9. tele-mon Reply

    Good review; I agree with most. However, it wasn’t 90% concert footage, it was more like 99%. I could have used some more shots of the polo grounds. There were zero shots of the fire art, like the hot box I spent about an hour a night staring up at. Also, other than a five second pan, there was no footage of or from the coil or the ferris wheel, and zero coverage of the overlook or any camping. But, I guess it’s not “Phish Festival 8 3D”, so be it. I was suprised that Ghost didn’t make the cut, nor any of the daytime sets other than the acoustic afternoon. The sound in Denver was too low, and yes, the 3D effect loses it’s novelty before the end. All in all it was definately fun and worth the $15, but left me wanting more. I hope they put it out on DVD with about five discs of extras.

  10. kwimbye Reply

    this reviewer is high. This movie was a a waste of time and money. The awful cuts and terrible editing make this stupid venture into 3D painful. 3d is gimmicky anyway, but this takes it to a whole new level of shit on the shitometer. What a waste of 2.5 hours. Acoustic set was lame, the rolling stones suck, and this movie was a snore.

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