Most definitive concert film from an amazing live band
For me, the longtime Phish fan, this is about as good as it will ever get. Nothing will compare to being in the audience of an actual Phish show or even the memories of the shows I've been to, but compared to previous efforts to film the band, this one is the best by far.
Many concert films focus too much on the audience, as a sort of social study experiment (think bonnaroo festival DVD) which if you are a fan, seems totally irrelevant and aggravating to endure. What most fans want is a concert DVD of the band, start to finish, warts and all. With this film, when the audience is featured, it is usually done in a clever way, with inspired camera angles and editing. The package includes two DVDs. The first DVD is a documentary with insights into the IT festival and excerpts from the show. The second DVD is all music and quite frankly the part I'm most interested in. Although it's interesting to learn about the festival and how it all came together, it's the music I'm here for. I think the first DVD will interest those who are new to Phish more than the avid Phish fan.
The only problem with IT is that it is basically a highlight reel. Songs end abruptly, day turns to night, and the selection of material is somewhat arbitrary and based on what the producers deem worthy of inclusion. I would have paid $100 for a DVD which contained all of the performances from the festival. I think it is a mistake to edit the performances down because it interrupts the pacing of an actual Phish show.
That said, some of the songs and jams are among the best I've heard from the band, and the sound and picture quality is excellent! If you've never seen Phish, this is a good place to start. There are mistakes here and there, mostly from the band taking chances or forgetting bits and pieces. But overall, this represents what I love about one of the best improvisational rock bands of all time.
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