Over the years, live shows from jam band Phish have been legendary and the new four-hour DVD/CD box set Alpine Valley 2010, arriving December 14, is a pretty good indicator of exactly why. Recorded in a seven-camera shoot and 57 channels of digital multitrack before 37,000 fans at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre in Wisconsin, the four disc collection captures an extraordinary performance from a band that simply demonstrates what being a "band" is all about. We could throw around words like "intuitive" and "synergy" but let's just say that Phish is like a fine tuned musical engine, all cylindars firing in perfect sequence, the subtle interplay of the band taking their original studio versions to a rapturous new level.
We're not what you would call "Phish heads" here but it's hard not to be impressed by the creative skill set on display with the Alpine Valley set. Classic tracks are stretched and reinvented, pushed and expanded during the complete three-hour August 14 set (and August 15 highlights), including "Bug", "Scent of a Mule", "What's the Use" and "Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan". A few prime covers are also on hand with versions of "Quinn the Eskimo" and Little Feat's "On Your Way Down" proving -- again -- why few bands can match Phish's ability combine such a heady and freewheeling mix of genres and influences. Complete tracklisting and videos after the jump.
Phish - "Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan" (from Alpine Valley 2010)