I about came apart the first time I saw This Is Spinal Tap, the quintessential band mock-umentary. If you'd ever been in a band or ever hung around a band, its portrayal of band dynamics and artistic delusion simply killed. However, Spinal Tap was a band on its way down. A band that had been famous and had sold albums and still had the ear, to one degree or another, of the public and the record companies. Even as they were losing it, they were in a place that you, the viewer, had probably never been.
Electric Apricot: Quest for Festeroo is about the band that I was in. These guys are a wannabe "jam band." They idolize The Grateful Dead and Phish and, indeed, Bob Weir and Mike Gordon are actually interviewed in the film. We didn't aspire to be a jam band as such, but twenty minute jams were considered the pinnacle of showmanship at the time. People thought you were really something if you could play for half an hour without stopping. They didn't realize that playing the same song for twenty minutes was actually easier than learning enough different songs to make up four forty-five minute sets. And, as it turns out, drunken frat boys, like dogs and goldfish, have no sense of the passing of time anyway. So, while this movie isn't as grand as This Is Spinal Tap, it hits a lot closer to where you, the viewer, might just have lived for a couple or three hideous years of your misspent existence. I was making those embarrassing little whimpering noises you make when you've laughed about all you can laugh and can't catch your breath to laugh properly anymore.
Like when they get a chance to record a few tracks in a professional studio and twelve hours into the first day of recording the drummer still does not have his drum kit set up and adjusted. The way it's written it's probably funny anyway, but if it has happened to you--more than once--it's hilarious. WHAT? He's STILL not set up? Does he know they won't PAY us if we don't PLAY? And just all of the horseshit that goes on with "artists" or, more accurately, people who think they are artists. Delusions of grandeur are even funnier when the people involved have never been, and will probably never get, within a thousand miles of grandeur.
They've really captured the essence of the wannabe band scene in this one.