I tried very hard for the last 10 days or so not to watch any of the teaser videos Phish has released from Phish3D. Since 8 I have been listening to the recordings repeatedly, so I was pretty familiar with them (or so I thought). There's something about a visual element to the music that changes the way you listen to it. Maybe you notice things you have never noticed before. Maybe there are a couple of notes that aren't as bad as you thought. Things that may have sounded unintentional take on new meaning when you get to see them floating a few inches from your face. I wanted to see these things for the first time last night. I was not disappointed.
Once the correct amount of pizza and beer had been consumed, we made our way to the surprisingly empty theater. We were informed that the previous night was pretty wild. This included dancing in the aisles and taking clothing off. It all sounded pretty normal to me, but Saturday night was apparently a little more subdued. The theater ended up maybe 1/3 full, and the crowd that was there was fairly lively with a couple of "Maze!" shouts at the screen when the room went dark. Sooner or later, the glowsticks and balloons came out. I thought this element was pretty cool, as there were times you couldn't tell if the balloon was in the theater or on the screen. Leave it to Phish fans to add another D to the viewing experience.
The film itself worked beautifully in 3D. I had been hearing terrible things about Don Wilson's editing, but I really didn't have a problem with it. Instead of hard edged jump cuts, some of the jumps were subtle fades. I think the editing was great! The cuts created additional motion and excitement, whereas a straight-ahead video of just the stage would have fallen somewhat flat. I thought the timing and choices in when to add those awesome wide shots was very tastefully done. Some of the shots from the stage into the crowd when the flames were going in time to Mike's Song were just amazing. I would have liked to have seen a little more of the concert area, but in the end, the focus is on the band and the music.
The best part was being able to share it with our friends and our kids...and then being able to drive right home afterwards.