Relivin’ Indio

10.30.09 - Indio (G.Lucas)

If someone told me ten years ago that we would be reliving Phish shows in 3D movie theatres in 2010, I would have dismissed the idea a futuristic fantasy that belonged in Back to the Future II. But lo and behold, only a decade later, we find ourselves right here. Capitalizing on the newest fad in cinematic technology, Phish 3D, an audio collage of Festival 8 from Indio, California, is now showing in an exclusive one-week engagement around the nation. While fans have given mixed reviews of the feature length film, I felt the concert experience translated quite well to the big screen and beyond, providing a lasting memoir of an unforgettable weekend.

Indio Pollock

Split into three sections, nighttime Phish footage, the acoustic set, and the Halloween set, one obvious strength of Phish 3D is the film’s willingness to cover full songs from beginning to end, as opposed to the usual excerpts documentary-based features include. Without any narration, interviews, or external perspectives, Phish 3D allows the viewer to fully soak in the live concert experience. (I kept thinking that the film would be an excellent introduction to Phish for someone who has never seen the band and isn’t sure they could stomach a show.) Within a society catered to short attention spans, the extensive, uncut footage provided a relief from the modern era of sound bites and highlight reels. The ability to watch the band communicate and develop jams from such an intimate perspective provided a novel viewpoint for those not glued to the rail every show. Watching their eyes lock during the music and their seeing their expressions during peak moments provided a wholly divergent experience. Given the on-stage perspective of a fifth band member, one gained a virtual, first hand point-of-view of the band’s interpersonal dynamics and stage set up, things that  I, personally, never see during a show. Phish 3D allowed  most to view Indio from an 180-degree different perspective than the actual show, and the two together formed a complete experience. And with the crowd-perspective shots, it often felt like we were right on the plush fields again.

The track selection for the opening segment of the movie couldn’t have been better, featuring an opening run of “AC/DC Bag,” “Stealing Time,” “Undermind,” “Tweezer > Maze,” and “Mike’s,” all complete and uncut. “Tweezer > Maze” stood out as the highlight of this sequence, as it did at the show; and with the varying stage shots of the band slaughtering the jam provided a completely an all-encompassing visual experience. Trey’s passion translated vibrantly throughout the film, and especially during “Tweezer,” as his spirited playing matched his animated and fiery demeanor. Following the “Tweezer > Maze,” the movie didn’t slow down, choosing “Mike’s” as the final jam of the opening section. Any time I can go to the movies and see uncut 3D versions of “Tweezer” and “Mike’s” – it’s a win-win in my book!

The Acoustic Set (G. Lucas)

The second segment of the film featured brief non-stage footage, something the film could have used more of, before showing an extended excerpt from Sunday morning’s acoustic set. The clarity of the audio matched the clarity of the video in a pristine remembrance of a modern morning of lore. While this section may have incorporated one too many songs, the inclusion of “The Curtain (With)” made the entire segment worthwhile, bringing everyone back to the spiritual sunshine of November 1. The ability to see the crowd during the acoustic set really brought the festival to life, as theatre-goers tried to pick themselves out of the colorful ocean of people. This sequence painted a warm portrait of the acoustic set, providing unattainable perspectives of one of the most universally loved portions of Festival 8.

"Loving Cup" (Photo: Graham Lucas)

The final third of the movie covered Halloween, and Phish’s take on The Rolling Stones album, Exile On Main Street. While the footage of the selected songs provided some absolutely priceless moments, this is where the film would have hugely benefited from greater backstage access. Unable to get behind the scenes, less one practice session, the story of Phish’s Halloween tradition was implied but never explained, making the section somewhat confusing for the non-initiated movie-goer. The film only contained a small snippet of the on-site Exile rehearsals, a segment that certainly left the desire for more backstage footage, but for that we’d have to wait for the credits. Clearly a case of limited access, Phish should have foresaw this obstacle and allowed more leeway for the film crew to tell the story of the band’s Halloween tradition.

Trey and Saundra (Unknown)

Nonetheless, the shots of “Loving Cup” and “Shine A Light” provided powerful memoirs of an eloquent night in the polo fields of Indio, California. The up close and personal footage of “Loving Cup” provided priceless perspectives of the “all-time” version, while the inclusion of “Shine A Light,” the cathartic exclamation point to Exile, brought back the most poignant memory of the weekend. Phish and company knew they had nailed the album, and celebrated with its soul-drenched peak. The stellar shots of Saundra Williams and Sharon Jones gave us a much closer perspective of their own fun and enthusiasm, expressions that couldn’t be easily seen live; and they were loving it. After showing a short clip of the band and their guests rehearsing “Suzy Greenberg,” the Exile section concluded with its memorable encore rendition with full-on accompaniment. And just when one thought the marathon movie has come to a close, the film cut to the weekend-ending “Tweezer Reprise.” Perfect.

"Burble" (G.Lucas)

If one shot summed up the absolute exuberance of Festival 8, it had to be during “Suzy.” The camera filmed from behind Williams and Jones, looking out at the stage as the women danced and sang. Meanwhile, with his back to the crowd, Trey, sporting a child-like, aura-encompassing smile, watched Williams and Jones spice up his own concert as if it were part of his dream. And that same dreamlike quality that shone through the expression of our favorite front man embodied the collective spirit that characterized Indio’s blissed out festival; one of the most enjoyable events of Phish ’09.

On the other hand, many people have complained about song selection, camera work, editing, and the such. Really?? I have one question to these purveyors of negativity who complain that a Phish 3D movie wasn’t worthy of cinematic greatness – “Can you still have fun?”

Phish 3D Track listing: AC/DC Bag, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Undermind, Tweezer, Maze, Mike’s, Back On The Train*, Strange Design*, The Curtain (With)*, Sleep Again*, Train Song*, Wilson*, Loving Cup, Happy, Shine A Light, Soul Survivor, Suzy Greenberg, Tweezer Reprise


Jam of the Day:

Stash > Cities” 6.30.98 II

A highlight from the opening set of Summer ’98.

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7.18.91 Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach, NH < Torrent

7.18.91 Casino Ballroom, Hampton Beach, NH < Megaupload

A random stop with the Giant Country Horns during Summer ’91

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Foam, Runaway Jim, Guelah Papyrus, Suzy Greenberg, Stash, Take the ‘A’ Train, Cavern, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

II: Llama, Reba, Poor Heart, Split Open and Melt, The Lizards, The Landlady, I Didn’t Know, Possum

E: Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues

Notes: This show featured the Giant Country Horns. At one point during the show, the crowd was told by the promoter that they were dancing too much, prompting Trey to offer a date with Fishman to the fan who danced best on their chair!

Source: AKG 451 > D5

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541 Responses to “Relivin’ Indio”

  1. neemor Says:

    I meant Chuck.
    As in Chuck D.
    Threw my brain out before when I threw that fruit basket.

  2. albert walker Says:

    and 1 of the 2 Mighty Quinn’s I caught

    that would be a great little encore to bring back

  3. Chuck D Says:

    Apology graciously accepted.

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    AW- no bounce yet in this mkt. disclosure – short out the wazoo here.

  5. Selector J Says:

    Makisupa vs Have Mercy

    One is a joke (in a good way).
    The other is a great composition with beautiful lyrics.

    I think there is plenty of room for both on any tour.

  6. albert walker Says:

    Seem to be holding 1170 on the S&P Palmer
    If we can’t hold I think people are looking at 1150.
    I’d keep pressing if we break anything more technically

    I agree there could be more but being a new driven technical market you know how fast this shit can change.

    I’m looking at the last inbetween quarter pullback as kind of a guide.

  7. albert walker Says:

    sorry meant news driven

    GS, Euro, oil leak, regulation

    a lot of head winds this week

  8. Mr. Palmer Says:

    More Birds of a feather and . for the love of god, jam Free out or stop playing it!

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    1170 is the number, for sure. Everyone watching that.

  10. Selector J Says:

    Just inspired to add a “Have Mercy” folder to my mediafire (click my name to link).

    Have Mercy folder includes:

    Have Mercy- The Mighty Diamonds
    (from 1976 Right Time LP)

    Have Mercy Version- The Revolutionaries
    (dub of ‘Have Mercy’ from Revolutionaries compilation called ‘Maxfield Ave. Breakdown’)

    All Gone- Trinity
    (deejay version on the ‘Have Mercy’ riddim from compilation called ‘Well Charged’)


  11. voopa Says:


    The Hangout Music Fest has commented on the recent oil spill effecting the Gulf Coast. The festival, which is slated to take place from May 14-16 in Gulf Shores, AL, will take place as planed. A note from the festival’s promoters posted yesterday reads, “Like everyone on the Gulf Coast, we are monitoring the clean-up of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. We are relying on updates from the official response team, made up of the US Coast Guard, NOAA, Homeland Security, Dept of the Interior, BP and Transocean for our information. If there is any change to this situation, we will offer updates immediately through the website, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages.”

  12. SOAM Says:

    Best call I ever made-(know I used to go by the name of “the east coast tune caller” was Scarlet-Fire at the Rosemont Horizon in March of 94..

    I smoked some rednecks mind out there….

  13. lastwaltzer Says:

    Just wanted to point out that today is the fortieth anniversary of the tragedy at Kent State.

    Amazing how the our similar our foreign policy situation is today yet how different the climate of society is.

  14. Halden Says:

    I do not know the chore in Harpua and I feel shame…

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    there’s no shame to be had, halden. it isn’t the most obvious thing unless you think about it.

    There’s a dog in the station
    With an ugly mutation
    And it needs lubrication each day

    guess you’ll be handling the lubricating then…

  16. BTB Says:

    Harpua bassline = rediculous . Quite possibly my favorite Cactus bass line. Very unique IMO.

  17. Selector J Says:

    re: oil spill
    NYTimes does yet another amazing job with the (animated) graphics here. Hopefully, the spill can stay this well behaved for another few days, as far as invading coastal territories goes.

    I’ve really got my fingers crossed hoping for minimal impact. Seems like every available resource is working on this. Just hope they can stop the flow soon maybe even before the containment dome gets there.

    Pretty good reporting in the associated article, too. Geologists in Texas are pretty connected to this and all the things I’ve been hearing about the causes were covered. The accusation of them drilling too deep is new, tho. fwiw, I’ve been hearing 18,000 ft from day one.

  18. Mr.Palmer Says:

    7.6.98- Mics in hat guy again. This is the show w/ that scorching Ghost of youtube fame. I’m grabbing it now.

  19. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Palmer

    You have the LP release???

  20. Mr.Palmer Says:

    El dude- i do not. I didn’t even realize it was a LP release.

  21. Stupendous Says:

    Imaginary Setlist:

    I: Wilson, Tweezer> Foam, McGrupp, Poor Heart, Joy, Birds of a Feather

    II: Mike’s> Makisupa Policeman> Simple, Harpua> Miracles*> Harpua,
    Liquid Time, Shine A Light, Undermind> I am Hydrogen> Weekapaug Groove

    E: Kill Devil Falls> Tweeprise

  22. EL Duderino Says:

    These two sources just came out yesterday. One is a fresh transfer without the drop out. The other is a new source to circulation with better sound on the first set:

    Fresh transfer:

    11/20/94 Dane Co. Coliseum Madison, WI.

    New source to Circulation:

    11/22/94 Jessie auditorium – Columbia, MO.

  23. Lycanthropist Says:

    Here’s one:

    I: Back on the Train, Punch You in the Eye, Liquid Time > Its Ice > Aint Love Funny > Its Ice, Wolfman’s Brother, Poor Heart, Stash, Kill Devil Falls

    II: David Bowie, Wilson > 2001 > Light > Taste, Joy, Piper > Slave to the Traffic Light

    E: Torn and Frayed

  24. jay Says:

    my fear is the oil spill will get picked up by the gulf stream and sent around Florida, the keys, and up the east coast.

  25. BTB Says:

    They better play Miracles this summer 🙂

    “Magnets, how do they work?”

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