Back in March, the buzz started to build when jam-band rockers Phish announced the official dates for their new Phish 3D concert movie. And tonight the movie debuts in a limited engagement screening in select U.S. cities.
The two hour and 20 minute 3D concert movie is presented by Action 3D Productions in association with Network LIVE and Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. The movie highlights Phish's Festival 8 three-day, eight-set, 16-hour concert in the Southern California desert where more than 40,000 Phish fans jammed out while the band performed in their "musical costume" which what the band calls it when they cover a band, and this time it was the Rolling Stones' album Exile on Main St. Also featured in the movie, is the band's first ever full-length acoustic set, behind-the-scenes rehearsal footage and never before seen cover songs.
Back in December AEG Live and Action 3D released Larger Than Life in 3D, featuring Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, and Gogol Bordello during their Austin City Limits 2009 performance. Though all the performances were solid and stellar, the movie itself didn't have the same engaging power or entertaining payoff because it lacked the unique storyline you'd expect from a theatrical concert film.
Yes, 3D technology has the power to revolutionize how regular movies are made — just ask anyone who's seen Avatar. But as all concert fans know, simply seeing a concert in 3D doesn't replace the real feeling of being at an actual concert. And like Larger Than Life, Phish 3D faces the same challenge.
So, if Phish 3D is going to improve on Larger Than Life, it needs to be completely unique from what fans experienced at Festival 8 concert last fall. And most of the movie needs to have an engaging storyline woven through it if fans are going to sit down for over two hours. I know fans are going to want to get up and dance and twirl around like they would at a normal Phish concert, but in a darkened and seat-filled theater that probably won't be an option.