clifford ball

The B List: The Best Concert DVDs of 2009

[Originally Published: December 24, 2009]

Making a list of the Best Concert DVDs of 2008 was a struggle, because there weren’t many quality releases to choose from. This year, we have the opposite problem as there were tons of terrific Concert DVD releases.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Best Concert DVDs of 2009…

10. Arcade Fire – Miroir Noir


Arcade Fire fans were thrilled when the band announced they would be releasing a concert film chronicling the recording of Neon Bible and the subsequent tour. Unfortunately, director Vincent Morisset works so hard at not being a typical concert film that the documentary, which appears to be shot by cell phone cameras at points, isn’t all that entertaining. The bonus material makes Miroir Noir worth owning and earns it a spot on this list.

9. Return to Forever – Live at Montreux 2008


Legendary jazz fusion supergroup Return to Forever reunited in 2008 and this DVD gives a good illustration of how good this group of musicians continues to be. Filmed in Montreux, Return to Forever Returns contains a nice of mix of tunes from all of their albums played with passion and verve.

READ ON for the rest of our list of Best Concert DVDs of 2009…

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Phish: The Clifford Ball

The Clifford Ball is as good a summation as anything else officially available of the instrumental and vocal prowess at the heart of the Phish persona. The seven-DVD set of catches the band on the outer fringes of its innocence, consorting on stage with Ben and Jerry as headlines of ‘The Burlington Free Press’ emblazon the story of the August weekend in a tongue and cheek style that mirrors the quartet’s own sense of humor.

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Briefly: Kevin Shapiro on Blues For Breakfast

Phish archivist Kevin Shapiro returns to Burlington, VT’s illustrious Blues For Breakfast radio show on Sunday morning starting at 9:45AM to discuss the number one video on this week’s Billboard

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Nedstalgia: Remembering The Clifford Ball

We wanted to celebrate the release of 7-DVD Clifford Ball set today with a remembrance of that weekend from our pal Neddy…

“Beautiful man… I don’t know how you do it…”

The Clifford Ball. It was the end and the beginning. It was, yeah, just a couple Phish shows, but it was also the rift between two eras. For me and the band. In my mind there are some distinct periods in the history of the band which I described in my blog here. The Ball was a distinct shift where Phish went from being a band that was big enough to tour with their own grand piano and fill arenas to a band that was big enough to put on a massive festival on their own and compel tens of thousands of people to schlep to remote locations. This was the birth of “big Phish.”

It was also a distinct shift for me. The summer had officially started with my graduation from college in May. When the summer ended I would be in graduate school. It was a real life bar mitzvah moment: time to become an adult. The woman I love(d) would go from being a girlfriend to being the person I lived with. But before all that, there was the summer. Phish announced their dates in the spring – a pretty minor stretch of shows, 11 in total, all in the middle of August, starting out west and working their way toward the big bash at an Air Force base in Plattsburgh. The highlights were a you-crazy? 4-night run at Red Rocks and something they were calling The Clifford Ball, which, to hear the Phish literature describe it, was just about as much fun as you could have in upstate New York.

READ ON for more of the Clifford Ball installment of Nedstalgia…

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A Slew of Clifford Ball Videos Surface

The Phish YouTube channel has been blowing up over the past 24 hours with the upload of a number of clips from the upcoming March 3rd release of The Clifford

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Phish Clifford Ball DVD Details Revealed

As Phish prepares for the next stage of their career they aren’t afraid to look back at the glory days. As we told you about last year, Phish plans to release a seven-DVD box set documenting every note from The Clifford Ball. The Clifford Ball kick started the festival scene as we know it back in August of 1996 at a decommissioned air force base in Plattsburgh, New York. This long-awaited package hits stores and online retailers on March 3 with preorders scheduled to ship from Dry Goods on February 27.

Clifford Ball DVD

To make things interesting, everyone who preorders the Clifford Ball DVD box set will be entered to win a pair of tickets to Phish’s upcoming reunion shows at the Hampton Coliseum on March 6-8. The band is offering a veritable cornucopia of Clifford Ball packages with t-shirts, ticket stub magnets and a limited edition poster among the merch up for sale.

Besides the concert themselves, The Clifford Ball box set includes a bonus disc chock full of never-before-heard goodies including the band’s recording of the infamous flatbed truck jam, a 30-minute featurette with band member interviews and more. As always, Keep your eyes on Hidden Track for audio and video samples from The Clifford Ball over the next few months.

READ ON for a full tracklist and a run down of the packages…

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