Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
BoDeans live and at their roots-rock best.
Dennis Hawley | Asheville, NC | 03/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During the 1980s, there was a pronounced lack of quality rock music to be found. Big hair bands and boring pop/rock groups (Loverboy, Red Ranger) were dominant. Although many of the established, big names were still recording and playing concerts, they become so formulaic and `corporatized' that they no longer delivered the kind of exuberant, casual and party-friendly experience normally found at rock concerts in the past. There were, however, a few exceptions. BoDeans was a blast of fresh air, turning out album after album (beginning with their 1986 debut release) of great tunes, excellent musicianship and distinctive vocals. They were one of the very few bands that I would see in concert if they played anywhere within driving distance. As a consequence, I was lucky enough to see BoDeans several times in concert. Without fail, they gave the audience more than their money's worth, and remain to this day among the best live bands out there.
This new BoDeans DVD, `Homebrewed-Live from the Pabst', does a good job in capturing the band live, and allows fans to relive those fun experiences. Recorded on New Years Eve, 2004, in their hometown of Milwaukee, the disc offers 18 tunes (well, actually 21, including bonus material) culled from their earlier albums, from their first release in 1986 through their fifth release, 1989's `Home'. While there may have been material from later releases played at that concert (such as from the 1996 release `Blend'), none was included on the disc.
Ranging from a high-energy, blistering version of their first hit single `Fadeaway' to such melodious songs as `Sleep' and `Naked', with several radio favorites such as `Closer to Free', `Good Things' and `Good Work' included, this DVD delivers the goods. The band is made up of three original members: electric guitarist/vocalist Kurt Neumann, acoustic guitarist/vocalist Sam Llanas and bass player Bob Griffin, and are joined by keyboardist/accordion player Bukke Allen and ace drummer Kenny Aronoff. These guys play flawlessly together, and showcase just how talented each of them really is.
Sam Llanas' distinctive, gravely voice and shimmering acoustic guitar, Kurt Neumann's smooth voice and fluid, tasteful guitar work, the nice organ and accordion fill-ins by Allen and the rock-solid rhythm held down by the superb bass and drums of Griffin and Aronoff show how quality rock music should be played. I've already played this DVD twice, and I just got it yesterday. It's that good.
There is also some neat bonus material, which consists of a three songs performed on the roof of the Pabst Building in August of 2005. Whether this was an homage to The Beatles `Let It Be' rooftop performance or not, it was enjoyable. There is also some behind the scenes footage, instrument checks, etc.
There are a few minor criticisms. The structure of the concert material is not simply recording it from start to finish, but rather each song is presented separately, with fade-outs between selections, although each song is presented in its entirety (with one exception). For some reason, the rocking `Feed the Fire' is presented in an edited form. While it flows well, it seems to be missing the introductory part of the song (and this is one of my favorites too). There were a few songs that I would love to have seen included, such as `Black, White and Blood Red', `Beautiful Rain' and more songs from their superb second release, `Outside Looking In'. And, while the audio quality is great, it's stereo and not 5.1 surround. The video image, although fine, is certainly not high definition.
Still, these are minor quibbles. BoDeans was, and continues to be, a great band. To have such a concert on DVD is a treat (there is also a two-CD release of this performance). It joins a few other live concert DVDs I own (i.e.Roxy Music Live at the Apollo, John Hiatt Live in Austin, Traffic's Last Great Traffic Jam) that are guaranteed to get frequent play. No BoDeans fan, or any fan of great roots-rock music, will be disappointed with this DVD."
Could have been fantastic
John | Portola Valley, CA | 11/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Don't get me wrong. This is a great bodeans dvd, but it could have been fantastic. Why no 5.1 digital sound? And each song fades out and you don't get a continuous concert feel. It's a string of individual song live music videos. Individually, they're great, but to play it and try to recreate the concert feel, it's just not there. I'm still buying more to give as gifts, but it could have been GREAT."
High energy concert video - just one flaw away from being pe
Frank Garon | Breinigsville, PA United States | 05/19/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've really started digging The BoDeans - especially their live material. This video is really fun to watch - lots of energy and the band really plays their hearts out.
Only complaint is - who is the genius that decided to cut the songs into individual units and not leave it one concert from start to finish? It's like you lose momentum after every song. You get revved up and rocking, then a fade into silence, then a fade into the next song. It's concertus interruptus, and it's not good.
Having said that, I'd love to go see these guys on tour sometime. If you like good roots rock music, this DVD is well worth picking up."
Only option available
M A Sletten | Rome, NY USA | 03/24/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It's an okay music video, but since it's the only one that the BoDeans have out you have little choice if you want to watch them at home. The sound and video quality are ok. I have no idea why they decided to fade the tracks and rearrange the concert song order for the DVD release. It's annoying and distracting. Still, they are one of my favorites and I enjoy watching this video release."