Phish captured the August 14-15 shows at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre on film. A box set contains all of the first night on both DVD and CD, while a few tracks of the second night have been added DVD extras. While not the most adventurous of shows the three-part segue of Down With Disease > What's The Use > Scent Of A Mule went down as a memorable one - a jammed Mule is pretty rare. A few day prior to the Alnine tow-night run, the band had unearthed Fuck Your Face, an off-kilter Mike Gordon one-off that had been played at Nectar's in Burlington, VT on April 29, 1987. Fans had been hoping for a second outing for decades and the band gave in during their Charlotte show on August 7. It went down pretty well and they reprised it at Alpine. This blast form the past is followed by Alaska, proof of the more mainstream melodic course that guitar player Trey Anastasio has set for the band.
After the band reunited in 2009 after a 5-year hiatus, musical prowess is slowly evolving. Gone are the long jams - no five or six songs sets, but at least taking risks on stage is no longer avoided. Songs like Run Like An Antelope and Reba are moving again, not wandering around aimlessly. Bass player Gordon is pushing, inviting Anastasio to sidestep the main melody off if he feels like it. Drummer Jon Fishman is more solid than last year, but keyboardist Page McConnell is the MVP during both nights - jazzing it up and singing his head off.
Alpine Valley 2010 is a document of a band on the way up. The fun is back, new material and cover songs have sneaked in into the setlist on a regular basis this year, albeit not on this set. For historical purposes the Led Zep-fest in Atlantic City on October 30 would have made more sense as a DVD/CD release. Still, this is an honest portrait of what Phish sounds like in 2010.
|DVD1 - Set I: (trt 1:27:14)
||DVD2 - Set II: (trt 1:21:33)
|CD1 - Set I: (trt 1:17:41)
||CD2 - Set II: (trt 1:19:52)