Phish Gig Hits Theaters in 3D
Footage from the jam band's three-day Halloween music festival last year will rock theaters in 3D for a limited run starting April 30.
April 16, 2010 by Arlen Schweiger

I’ll admit it. I didn’t see Avatar in IMAX 3D, and hold some skepticism about the format’s ability to thrive in the home (I don’t think it will fail, but may take a while to catch on as everyone buys a new TV and Blu-ray player to enjoy it).

But I’ll be sure to soak up the 3D movie experience on April 30, when Phish 3D is released nationwide for a limited one-week run. Advanced screenings in select markets will be shown April 20 but are pretty much sold out everywhere.

While your first instinct may be to joke about how the 3D will really capture the smokey haze emanating from the crowd, the second might be curiosity about how the format will make you actually feel like you were really part of the audience while the band onstage seemingly plays right in front of you.

That’s certainly better than how the thousands of fans who attended the concerts saw and heard it. The 3D concert movie features footage from Phish’s Festival 8 three-day Halloween weekend performance in Indio, Calif., last fall, including songs from the Halloween cover set of the Rolling Stones’ entire Exile on Main Street album as well as a full acoustic set.

The movie will only receive nationwide release for a one-week run beginning on the April 30 date, so the band seems to realize that perhaps not many more than its niche following will buy tickets, but I’m expecting it could be among the slew of 3D Blu-ray releases we should see as the flood begins to open following the recent Monsters vs. Aliens release. Plus Phish hasn’t released any concerts on Blu-ray yet so it’s a good excuse to join the party.

It could also be a good barometer for other musical acts to test the 3D waters. U2 received rave reviews from critics and audience members (an 8.4 out of 10 average on with its 2008 U2 3D theatrical release that seemed to capture an intimacy and some cool camera angles better than a traditional concert DVD. That’s a bit better received than other 3D movie concerts from Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus (2.7 out of 10) and the Jonas Brothers (1.3 out of 10).

Also, clocking in at 2 hours, 20 minutes, Phish 3D should give fans plenty of bang for the buck as music bounces around the room and video beams through the fog that surrounds. One complaint of the U2 film is that it was only 85 minutes, while Hannah Montana was only 74.

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Arlen Schweiger - Contributor, Electronic House Magazine
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for and Electronic House magazine.

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