Phish Live in Brooklyn
The two DVDs contain their own commensurate set of virtues. Not the least of the attractions is an audience that, in direct proportion to the power of the music, makes itself heard clearly, bouncing happily in the midst of glowstick wars as Phish plays underneath the veteran lightsman Chris Kuroda's constellation of stagelights (a far cry from Nectar's, no?). It's fascinating to watch the simple camera shots, suitable for portraits if they were photos, either in contrast to, or in time with, the tricky changes being played. Then there's the slow melt of fadeaways from one band member to the next, occasionally in time with instrumental transitions, often in counterpoint to the music. The editing and camera work are free of gratuitous effects, with the exception of some questionable angles in which the closeups seem a bit too close.
The shock of such close ups is perhaps in keeping with the public persona of a band that, consciously or unconsciously, always kept its audience at a respectful distance. Regardless, the gradual ascension of Phish's popularity, snowballing from the mid- nineties through the various Phish festivals and on to the 2004 tour, culminated in an inescapable reality: these four men re-defined the contemporary meaning of rock and roll.
At this moment in the culture of pop music, the music is identified as the jamband phenomenon. But such glib marketing media phrases mean little to those who have experienced the sounds first-hand. Whether it's live, on CD or DVD, or presented as a combination of experiences as in the outdoor showing of Phish Live in Brooklyn the music soon outgrows trendy labels, especially to those who know what it really means, as time goes on.
DVD: Disc 1: A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing; Dinner and a Movie; Curtain With; Sample in a Jar; Moma Dance; Free; Nothing; Maze; Frankenstein. Disc 2: 46 Days; Possum; Oh Kee Pa Ceremony; Suzy Greenburg; Axilla; 2001; Birds of a Feather; Kung ; Mike's Song; I Am Hydrogen; Weekapaug Groove; Divided Sky.
CD: Disc 1: A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing; Dinner and a Movie; Curtain With; Sample in a Jar; Moma Dance; Free; Nothing; Maze; Frankenstein. Disc 2: 46 Days; Possum; Oh Kee Pa Ceremony; Suzy Greenburg; Axilla; 2001; Birds of a Feather; Kung. Disc 3: Mike's Song; I Am Hydrogen; Weekapaug Groove; Divided Sky.
Personnel: Trey Anastasio: guitar and vocals; Jon Fishman: drums and vocals; Mike Gordon: bass and vocals; Page McConnell: keyboards and vocals.
Production Notes: Run Time: 3 hours 41 minutes. DVD Extras: Soundcheck 6/17/2004: Jam, Frankenstein; Backstage Dressing Room 6/18/2004: Anything But Me, The Connection; Bonus Performances 6/18/2004: Taste (Set II), Bug (Encore), Tweezer Reprise (Encore).