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Sunday, December 12

Phish – DVD and CD Box Set Live at the Legendary Alpine Valley Music Theater -Review

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Phish – DVD and CD Box Set
Live at the Legendary Alpine Valley Music Theater
August 14th and 15th -2010
Jemp Records

By:Sammy Martin

Phish has performed 13 separate shows at The Alpine Valley Music Theater since their debut there in 1996. The last two shows took place this past August and were documented and soon to be released in a well put together DVD/CD box set. Why pick these shows? Lets take a look at what the boys have in store for us.

The first thing one will notice upon opening this box release is the clean set up of two DVD's on one side and two CD's under lapping them. The DVD's have the names of the songs printed on them in cool fashion. Each song in a different font. The CD's are soundboard (these are in a 16:9 aspect ratio (normal wide screen).  The video quality, while not HD, is very good–however, it makes us to wonder when.....question: when is Phish going to be releasing 1080p (7.1 audio), with the same songs from the DVD's. Also inside the box set is an accompanying pamphlet with photos from the shows, the song lists are included and yes an Alpine Valley Summer 2010 sew-on patch. The patch being a pretty cool bonus.

Most shows are defined by the opening song and the first song "Tube" is a weak opening for all intents and purposes but the videography is amazing and with "Oh Kee Pah" segueing into a screaming "Suzy Greenberg" the show and DVD's really gets moving from there on. "Reba" is the one of the longer songs on the double disc set with no whistling, but a beautiful mid section jam.

Other notable's on the first DVD are a rare "Fuck Your Face", (Yea 1987 mike)- a very tight and Page heavy "Alaska" and a great "Run Like an Antelope", with Marco Benevento being called out instead of Esquandoles! The DVD's also contain bonus songs, five on the first disc and three on the second.

The second disc has a punching "Sloth" opener, with great crowd shots and with making great use of the lights of Chris Kuroda it is a very eye pleasing track, the highlight of the second disc has to be the "Mike's>"Dirt">"Sneaking Sally Through The Alley" (with some sick vocal jams interlaced)>"Weekapaug Groove". The best song on both discs comes in on the bonus material of disc two with a very spaced out and elongated "Ghost".

The broadness of the Alpine Valley Music Theater, the expanse of the crowd is not overlooked as the multiple camera angles and shots really do it justice. You get to see the back and forth between Trey and Mike when Trey is deciding on the next song to be played. Page really steals the show on both discs, and the different views of him on keys, baby grand and clavinet are pretty spectacular. You also get to see some of the intricate guitar work that Trey and Mike lay down with up close shots of their near lightning fast hands.

All together this is my favorite DVD release from Phish. It showcases the less jammy side of the band which is perfect because that has been more toward their leaning since returning in 2009. Not that there aren't some sick ones (jams) interlaced but for most part it's all about jelling together, playing tight and seeing it all in a way never really caught on DVD before. The quality isn't Blu-Ray but it is as close as it gets and the editing of these shots make a great smooth show out of two nights of great music. This is one to treasure and it goes on sale this Tuesday....pre-order is already shipping.

DVD Disc One
1. Tube 2. The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony 3. Suzy Greenberg 4. Funky Bitch 5. Reba 6. Fuck Your Face 7. Alaska 8. Back On The Train 9. Taste 10. When The Circus Comes 11. Lawn Boy 12. Sparkle 13. Gumbo 14. Run Like An Antelope
Bonus
1. AC/DC Bag
2. On Your Way Down
3. The Divided Sky
4. Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan
5. David Bowie

DVD Disc Two
1. The Sloth 2. Down With Disease 3. What's The Use 4. Scent Of A Mule 5. Mike's Song 6. Dirt 7. Sneakin' Sally Thru The Alley 8. Weekapaug Groove 9. Bug 10. Quinn the Eskimo
Bonus
11. Ghost
12. Theme From The Bottom
13. Big Black Furry Creature From Mars

CD Disc One
1. Tube >
2. The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony >
3. Suzy Greenberg
4. Funky Bitch >
5. Reba
6. Fuck Your Face
7. Alaska
8. Back On The Train
9. When The Circus Comes
10. Lawn Boy >
11. Sparkle
12. Gumbo >
13. Run Like An Antelope

CD Disc Two
1. The Sloth
2. Down With Disease >
3. What's The Use >
4. Scent Of A Mule
5. Mike's Song >
6. Dirt >
7. Sneakin' Sally Thru The Alley >
8. Weekapaug Groove
9. Bug
10. Quinn The Eskimo

Available Tuesday the 14th or preorder at http://drygoods.phish.com/