Live in Utica Review

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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