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  • Phish - Live in Brooklyn
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Phish - Live in Brooklyn

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Live in Brooklyn was filmed on June 17, 2004 at Keyspan Park at Coney Island in Brooklyn, NY. It marked the start of what would be the final Phish tour and was the first date after the emotional news of their breakup was announced. The show was simultaneously broadcast to movie theaters nationwide-arguably the most successful live theatrical broadcast to date, with legions of loyal Phish fans reportedly dancing in the aisles across the country. Included on this DVD are the two complete sets the band performed that day along with sound check footage and three full peformances from the second Brooklyn date. Phish were a cultural phenomenon-touring and recording for 21 years with a remarkably dedicated following who cintniue to celebrate everything Phish.

Track Listings:
A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing
Dinner and a Movie
Curtain With
Sample in a Jar
Moma Dance
46 Days [Disc 2]
Possum [Disc 2]
Oh Kee Pa Ceremony [Disc 2]
Suzy Greenburg [Disc 2]
Axilla I [Disc 2]
2001 [Disc 2]
Birds of a Feather [Disc 2]
Kung [Disc 2]
Mike's Song [Disc 2]
I Am Hydrogen [Disc 2]
Weekapaug Groove [Disc 2]
Divided Sky [Disc 2]


Phish phanatics will probably debate the merits of Live in Brooklyn ad infinitum, but while this June 17, 2004 show from what was apparently the quartet's final tour is neither their best nor their worst, it's certainly representative: two long sets (a total of more than three hours, on two discs), some exuberant, uplifting highs, some stretches that are less than spectacular, and lots of jamming. Guitarist Trey Anastasio and his mates are good players with decades of experience together, and when they get into the groove in the course of their many lengthy improvisations, the results can be inspiring (cf. "Moma Dance > Free" and "Maze"). But the band also suffers from the same shortcomings that often afflicted both their jam-minded predecessors (the Grateful Dead being the most obvious) and contemporaries like Widespread Panic and the String Cheese Incident. Simply put, Phish's singing is weak, and their songwriting is frustratingly inconsistent. Their best tunes are either the ones they didn't write (like their arrangement of Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra," here called "2001" and directly copped from the hit version by Deodato) or the ones most closely resembling someone else's; comparisons to the Dead are no doubt tiresome, but the bluesy "Possum" and the country lope and cracked three-part harmonies of "Nothing" make them unavoidable. On the other hand, give these boys credit for actually using words like "ensconced" and "rescind" in their lyrics. Kudos also go to director Eli Tishberg, whose work is interesting but never edit-heavy or reliant on extraneous bells and whistles (the steady downpour that drenched the crowd through much of the Coney Island show is its own special effect), and to the folks responsible for the splendid digital sound. Bonus material includes songs from the band's sound check and June 18th show, as well as a few backstage minutes with Anastasio. --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Mike Gordon, Page McConnell, Phish, Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Rhino
  • DVD Release Date: July 11, 2006
  • Run Time: 221 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BH4Z2G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,820 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By B Brown on August 1, 2006
Verified Purchase
This is not a very good show, but it still beats just about any other live act that was around in 2004. By this time Trey had pretty much stopped listening to the other three members of the band and arrogantly wanked off on solos that stretched for far too long while the other guys awkwardly kept the rhythm going. Any fan of Phish knows that the essence of their beautiful, transcendent jams was based on their ability to listen to each other, "connect" with each other, and build stunning new creations in unison.

Many of the songs in this show rock, for sure. But it's not just about the buzz, the party, and the shredding. What made Phish special was their unique ability to jam as one. By 2004 it was mostly Trey tearing the crap out of his guitar and using the rest of the band as a backing unit. What's worse is that the band had obviously gotten lazy and cut way back on rehearsing, and it shows, as many of the more intricate tunes are flat-out butchered. Still, it's Phish, it's pretty good, and probably worth the money, depending on how diehard you are.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By CM on July 15, 2006
Thought about going for 1 star to counteract all the mindless 5-star [cough] reviews [cough] on this page.

Here's the rundown. Fanboys and girls will eat it up. 5starz, ez! Jaded heads will talk about how phish peaked, and it's been all downhill ever since 90/93/95/97/Big Cypress. Whatever.

Truth, as always, is in the middle. This isn't a bad show. But it isn't a particularly good one, either. The first set is hit or miss. Aside from "Dinner," the first 45 minutes are mostly forgettable. Moma>Free is a genuine highlight. Maze, Fankenstein are hollow shells of their former selves. 2nd set starts well. 46 Days > Possum, Oh Kee Pah > Suzy are all strong, without too many strey notes. From that point on, though, it's fairly disappointing as several would-be climaxes fizzle, failing to live up to potential. The encore is brutal.

Ignore the hype; this is not "the one." Buy it for Moma and the first 45 minutes of set II.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By anon. on July 17, 2006
"Jaded head" checking in here :)

Yes, the lights are pretty. And the production quality is *way* better than the Vegas release. That alone makes this release worth considering, as the only high quality complete show release on DVD. And no, it's not about the songs. It's about the execution. I'm not writing a review to bash LiB, and I'm not going to praise it uncritically either. That's a waste of time.

I'd describe this DVD as a well-packaged, well-produced release of a show that, well, is what it is. It's got some highlights and some lowlights. Kung is performed so ironically that it pains me to see folks taking it seriously. Mike's Groove and Divided add nothing to this release. It's as if the band is trying to put an exclamation point on what began as a really good set, but they just can't do it. They keep reaching. And keep coming up short. And in the end, it really is sad to see them unable to put together even a serviceable, workman-like performance of the classics that once made them. Instead of trying to do more than they were capable of, it might have been more effective just to play a fast and loud Piper that nobody would have expected anything more from. This shouldn't be a controversial point. After all, the band didn't disband because they were tired of success; it was their respect for the fans, and their unshakable conviction that the vitality that defined their rise to greatness was gone.

My bottom line: This release shows *both* what made phish great, and what made them eventually pull the plug. I agree that it has $20 worth of material on it - easy. But it still leaves me hoping that we might someday get something that really shows what made this band great. Maybe something along the lines of, say, an anniversary reissue of the Great Went on DVD. I think the band deserves it as much as the fans do. So, for me, it's disappointing to see them embrace mediocrity when greatness is out there. Subject line says it all.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By The Delite Rancher VINE VOICE on September 3, 2006
"Live in Brooklyn" is a good DVD with issues. True, the show choice is odd considering that there are probably more worthy shows within the Phish vaults. It seems that in the previous reviews, the musical quality has been exaggerated to both extremes. The simple truth is this is an average show -even if it was during their decline. It is true that this performance features unexpected sloppiness. While one would expect a DVD concert to be above average, let's remember "Live in Vegas" -the show where phans actually cheered the impending hiatus. Add that to "Bittersweet Motel" and the band has a lukewarm video offering. Yes there are issues, but let's also remember that on such an average night, Phish still outshined most of their musical peers. Highlights include 'Moma Dance,' 'Free,' '46 Days' and 'Weekapaug Groove.' While the music may have issues, the video is high quality. Without bells or whistles, the camera work and video editing is straight forward. Listening to Phish in 5.1 surround sound is deeply satisfying. Especially during the jams, the audio editor spread the psychedelic sounds around the room to maximize the experience. Some believe that it is their duty as real phans to hate this DVD because it shows a moment long past the band's climax. Instead of being hypercritical, appreciate "Live in Brooklyn" for what it is: an average night. While not as strong as "It," "Live in Brooklyn" is an entertaining snap shot of an emotionally charged time in Phish history.
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