DVD Review: Phish – Live in Utica

My friend Matt once announced to a group of rabid Phish fans that he had never heard the Bathtub Gin from The Great Went, a jam many consider to be in the running for best ever status. He then explained that it wasn’t just because he was lazy, but he was saving it for a rainy day. Your first-listen to such a widely talked about piece of music is something you can only experience once and he was utilizing a little delayed gratification. I took his lead on my listening experience to Phish’s much talked about show in Utica last fall. I had traveled to the Augusta show the night before and went to a couple of the shows afterward, but didn’t make it to Utica. When the reviews started coming in about the all the Guyute craziness I told myself I would employ this tactic and listen to this show when the time was right.

When the news broke that the show would be the next Phish DVD release, I figured actually getting to watch the show as my first listen was even better than I had originally imagined, so that’s what I did. Armed with only the setlist and a general idea of the teases in the first set, I sat down on my couch and watched the show.

When the DVD was announced the press release mentioned that, “A new camera mounted at the front-of-house position accentuated the light show in a way never before featured on a live, indoor Phish DVD.” The camera is showcased, but what seems to be a constant complaint of Phish fans on video releases, the camera shot of the lights rarely lasts for more than 10 seconds at a time, and often ever shorter. The shot looks great, but the viewer can’t truly appreciate what lighting designer Chris Kuroda does for the band in six-second bursts.

READ ON for more of Dave’s thoughts on Live in Utica…

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Announcing: Phish – Live in Utica

As we mentioned weeks ago, Phish has decided to put one of the group’s best shows of 2010 as a DVD/CD release called Phish – Live in Utica. Today, the band has officially announced the set and has put together a few pre-order packages for Dry Goods.

The DVDs feature every note Phish played on October 20, 2010 at the intimate Utica Memorial Auditorium including a section of pure “hose” that develops out of Have Mercy and numerous teases of Guyute that led fans to label the show “Guyutica.” Those fans who pre-order the set through Dry Goods will receive a bonus disc called Phish: I-90’s that, “follows the band along the I-90 New York Thruway as they honed their skills in drummer Jon Fishman’s home state, recalling highlights from some of the region’s many great Phish shows in the 90s.” A landmark version of Slave to the Traffic Light that contains Ramble On teases from August 12, 1998 and a high-energy romp through David Bowie from November 4, 1994 are just two of the tracks featured on the Phish: I-90’s compilation.

The following line from the band’s press release has us particularly intrigued, “A new camera mounted at the front-of-house position accentuated the light show in a way never before featured on a live, indoor Phish DVD.” You can order the Phish: Live in Utica box set through Dry Goods now and it will ship on or around May 13, just before the official May 17 release date.

READ ON for the full announcement from Phish…

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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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