Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Patty - Top of the World in NYC
Russell D. Weaver | Dallas, TX United States | 11/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD seems to have a very clear mission -- to showcase both the exceptional talent and the endearing qualities of Patty Griffin. I think it succeeds well in this mission. It nicely blends many of the songs performed by Ms. Griffin during a special February 2007 concert at a converted synagogue in New York City with short excerpts of an interview of Ms. Griffin conducted before the concert. Each interview excerpt is timed so that its content fits nicely in the sequence of the songs performed. During the best of those excerpts, Ms. Griffin notes that she goes through a brief mourning period after she records a song adding that her songs "do have a life of their own. I mean they're mine for a little while and I know what they are to me, when I have them, initially, and then they go out into the world and it's completely . . . it's a personal experience for every listener so, um, they don't belong to me anymore, you know . . .". That sentence fades immediately into the blue-lighted stage for the first note of "When It Don't Come Easy", a powerful song, as many of hers are, that certainly has a special meaning to her, but is clearly open to many potential personal meanings for the listener.
A special moment occurs when Ms. Griffin, alone on the stage, starts strumming the opening for "No Bad News", while her band hastily rushes onto the stage to become a lively rhythm section grouped to one side of her as she sings and plays along. Another is the interplay between the electric guitar of the talented Doug Lancio and Ms. Griffin's vocals during the gospel sounds of "Love Throw a Line". And then there's an awesome cover of Sam Cook's "Get Yourself Another Fool", something you're not going to get from any of her albums.
The movie is short, perhaps too short, and, expectedly, is heavy on songs from her latest album "Children Running Through", but, unexpectedly and perhaps disappointingly, includes nothing from two of her brilliant albums (they are all brilliant), "Flaming Red" and "1000 Kisses". Fortunately, it does include two songs from her debut album, "Living with Ghosts", one of which opens the movie and provides a nice touch in the background at the beginning of the movie and for the credits at the end of the movie. There a few editing mishaps, although you have to be paying more attention than is necessary to see them. Also, the editing is on the aggressive side with a lot of camera switching, something I like, but which others might find annoying. The sound, lighting, and general atmosphere, however, are consistently superior.
If there are any shortcomings in the movie, they are more than overcome at the end with Ms. Griffin's performance of "Top of the World". That was enough for me to move from 4-stars (which I might otherwise have given it due to the editing on other songs) to 5-stars. For this song, the camera work (particularly at the very beginning of the song), the editing, and, certainly, the performance are "top of the world". If you've seen Ms. Griffin in concert or if you've been a long time fan of hers, I suppose you may find this DVD to be a bit disappointing, simply because it is too short. For everyone else, and I do mean everyone, I think it is well worth seeing. When you see it, you'll almost certainly understand not only why she has such highly-devoted fans, but also why those fans refer to her simply as "Patty"."
Eric Schenk | Mill Valley, CA United States | 02/05/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Patty has really come into her own since finding a new record label. She is neither the Lilith-type of her first album, Living with Ghosts, or the angry young girl from Flaming Red. Beginning with "1000 Kisses," she's found her "voice" (sorry, Hillary) There are great songs on every album and her deliver is confident.
This live performance captures that confidence and, consequently, the wit in her music. My only serious quibble is: this show does not come close to matching the range of songs and the performances of her backing band from the tour featuring this same material and band. She has one of the seminal keyboard players, Ian McLagan, playing with her and her guitarist had a great sense of the appropriate sound for her songs. But she does not let either of those performers show their chops (sorry about the cliche) as she did during her touring show. As a result the show on this dvd never really opens up. It is a nice souvenir for those who already love Patty, but it does not offer those less familiar meaningful insight as to what she is capable of.
Many of Patty's songs serve other performers well. The Dixie Chicks did great work with "Top of the World" and "Truth No. 2" (the second song was part of the unreleased Silver Bells album; here's hoping Patty finally releases it.) But the vulnerability and fragility that Patty brings to "Top of the World" is cathartic.
I hope she puts out a dvd with a longer show and better use of her backing band. But for now, this is a fine presentation of one of the top singer/songwriters around."
Must-Have for Patty Fans
J. Nusholtz | Maryland, USA | 01/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, I'm a bit obsessed. I can't get enough of Patty Griffin and this DVD is just irresistible to me. I've purchased other DVDs and NEVER watched them more than once. I've already watched this one three times. Patty has a strong, beautiful and emotive voice. The band is tight, the arrangements creative and fun. Oh... and she's the best singer-songwriter anywhere. I could go on, but I have a feeling I'm preaching to the choir. Buy this DVD!"