A definitive record of one of the greatest bands in indie rock, THE ELECTRIFYING CONCLUSION is a chronicle of the last four hours of GUIDED BY VOICES. The film captures GUIDED BY VOICES' final concert at Chicago's Metro on... more » New Year's Eve 2004 - sixty-three songs - completely uncut. Excitement and nostalgia emanating from both the band and audience throughout the memorable evening are powerfully captured here in fantastic performances of both standard GBV tunes and special, seldom-played classics. The Players: Robert Pollard - vocals, Doug Gillard - guitar/vocals, Nate Farley - guitar/vocals, Chris Slusarenko - bass, Kevin March - drums With Special Guests: Beatle Bob (MC, dancing), Trader Vic (friend, bartender), Jim Pollard (brother, vocals), Tobin Sprout (former member, vocals, guitar), Greg Demos (former member, bass), Jim MacPherson (former member, drums), Don Thrasher (former member, drums), Jim Greer (former member, former Spin editor, bass), Matt Sweeney (former member, Chavez/Zwan, bass), Jon Wurster (friend, Superchunk, drums)« less
Actor:Guided by Voices Genres:Music Video & Concerts Sub-Genres:Pop, Rock & Roll Studio:Plexifilm Format:DVD - Color DVD Release Date: 11/15/2005 Original Release Date: 01/01/2005 Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005 Release Year: 2005 Run Time: 4hr 20min Screens: Color Number of Discs: 1 SwapaDVD Credits: 1 Total Copies: 0 Members Wishing: 3 MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated) Languages:English
"My favorite GbV recordings are Bee Thousand, Alien Lanes, and Under the Bushes Under the Stars. This is out of more than fifty releases by GbV, Robert Pollard or related projects: and, of course, I'm crazy enough to have bought every one.
All of the above will be familiar to GbV fans.
What's revelatory about this concert DVD is the reinterpretation of songs--dating back to the "classic GbV lineup"--by the most-recent incarnation of the band.
No disrespect intended to Tobin or Mitch et al. Their creative contributions were significant. But not crucial.
What made that triptych of records special was not the instrumental performances (nor the quirks of the lo-fi recording, interesting though they often were). What made them special was the songwriting and singing of "Pop Zeus" Bob Pollard.
Let's face it: most of the members of the early GbV line-ups are not great musicians.
Neither, of course, is Bob: despite his intuitive grasp of how to write one brilliant hook after another, effortlessly. The man--finally--looks comfortable on stage holding nothing but a microphone. Even without clinging to his formerly ubiquitous beer bottles and cigarettes. (In earlier days, he'd get restless when it was time for Tobin Sprout to sing one of his own compositions, leaving Bob with nothing much to do.)
I wouldn't want to hear should-have-been-hits such as "Goldheart Mountaintop Queen Directory" or "Motor Away" remade as slick studio productions.
(Not to imply, either, that the records made by later GbV line-ups were too slick. Except Do The Collapse--still worthwhile for the songwriting--but oh boy, that is one slick CD! I am able, though, to overlook Bob's effort to create a radio-friendly hit. He deserves that kind of success, but it'll never happen. He can't help it. He's too intelligent and too "weird". Meaning: he always writes songs with non-linear words; the meaning--yes, there IS meaning--isn't sufficiently obvious for mass consumption.
But hearing those songs performed live by skilled musicians? Now THAT is a welcome innovation!
It's the best of both worlds. To hear the greatest GbV songs, performed by a superior band. But in a live setting. Here, they sound anything but "slick". The immediacy of the music is...ummm...intoxicating. Let's play "Drinker's Peace" again...
I saw GbV live at about the time when Under the Bushes came out. The energy was infectious. But as the night wore on, and the band got more drunk, their performances deteriorated. Badly.
Yes, Bob's singing performance--however truly stunning it is, throughout most of the concert--begins to fall off toward the end of the disc.
But how many singers can maintain that kind of passion for (nearly) four hours? This is a marathon, and Bob is over forty. It's a wonder he didn't leave the stage on a stretcher.
What would I do without DVD? I'm almost as old as Bob; my disability has worsened...I can never go to concerts anymore.
Ahem...again, I digress. One of my worst habits.
Back to the review. Hearing tracks like "Chief Barrel Belly", it's amazing how Bob's vocal delivery is more emotional than on the original, ancient recording...yet his enunciation is clearer. Finally, you can comprehend great lyrics such as:
Every man in this world: get up and scream about it! Every dog has its day; I only dream about it
(Well, the first line, at least, always sounded incoherent to my ears. Might be faults in the "production", more than Bob's tendency--in the studio--to sing with the microphone nearly inside his mouth. Most GbV recordings "push the red" constantly. That's part of what makes them sound urgent and exciting.)
"Chief Barrel Belly" is from Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia: GbV's third LP, released independently in a tiny edition, years before the band were discovered by Scat Records, critics, and underground music fans everywhere. (Now available as part of "Box") The Matador label, of course, also merits props for making available most of GbV's best work.
If I may digress a bit: Forever Since Breakfast and Devil Between My Toes have their moments. (The latter is also part of "Box". The former is available only in the Hardcore UFOs box set: unless you have hundreds to throw away on the original vinyl EP, assuming someone would actually sell their prized copy on eBay.) Sandbox is nearly disposable (though "Everyday" is an early gem). Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia is the first consistently great GbV recording.
OK...back to the concert. Don't miss Bob's monologue before "Secret Star". It's a rambling, dead-on-target spit-in-the-face to everyone who ever told him he was immature, wasting his time trying to be a rock star.
Those new to GbV: buy Bee Thousand. Now.
This disc is for the fans. It's much more than a mere document of their historic final show.
Many will--like me--find it too taxing to watch the entire thing in one sitting. But the only reason it's an endurance test is the astounding running time (probably the longest concert video ever made which features only one band, with its more-than-65 songs packed into a single DVD). Electrifying Conclusion is a joy to watch, from start to finish.
Consider this disc another public service from distributor Plexifilm, who also released a DVD of Decasia: with its hallucinatory images of decaying film, accompanied by music which seems to be played by a decaying orchestra. Another unique pleasure rescued from possible obscurity."
GbV ends on a high note
N. A. Scribner | Hudson Valley, New York | 11/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well it's about time Guided By Voices fans get a professionally done live concert video. And just any GbV concert this is not; this is their last show of their "Electrifying Conclusion" tour, putting an end to 21 years of GbV. Having the concert done on New Years Eve, playing just back-to-back songs from their entire catalog, you will feel exhausted when the four hour show comes to an end.
Longtime fans will enjoy the guest appearances of the former band mates, including "14 Cheerleader Coldfront" performed with Tobin Sprout. They play a wide array of songs from all their albums and some more obscure stuff from demo's and EP's. Of course they also do their more commercial-friendly hits like "Glad Girls" and "Teenage F.B.I."
I was suprised by the overall sound quality of this DVD: sounding like it was recorded right out of the onstage mixers. This was not done with just a shaky Hi-8 camcorder from someone in the crowd; this was done with professional equipment from several stage cameras from all different angles.
GbV concerts will always remain as a sentimental opus for the hardcore fans. They involve Pollard and all the band members getting drunk and playing slopilly (just compare the first songs on this DVD to the last). But this is just why they were able to build up such a dedicated following over the years.
This DVD is the last thing people have to remember GbV by. Which is done just right to get the next generation of GbV fans hooked."
Filmed in Grain-o-vision
Anon. | Michigan | 02/03/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Some of the shots were clear but then they would switch to another camera and it would be grainy again! Hard on the eyes. Super fans will want this for the historic value, others might want to get "Watch me Jumpstart" instead. Watch them both in a row and see Bob age 20 years in the space of 10 actual years! Shows you what too much booze will do, not a pretty sight.
"Flamboyant careers in alcoholism" The GBV story
R. Klingenmaier | Fullerton, Ca United States | 12/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD captures the legend of GBV in the only way that seems fitting. Having seen them several times over the year, I can say that it wasn't whether or not the band got drunk on stage, it was how drunk were they going to get...
The final show captures the fun of the band with appearances by many of Bob's friends who have played in GBV throughout the years. There is a bar on the stage serving shots (mostly to Bob) throughout the show. Between the shots, the many beers, and the several bottles of champagne consumed GBV cranks out an amazingly long set.
I got a bit teary toward the end realizing that this really does represent the end of an era of sorts. I look forward to Bob's solo material, and I imagine he will sneak in a couple GBV classics here and there when he comes around with Tommy Keene (!!!) and company next year, but it won't be the same.
This is definitely not the DVD to show someone who has no knowledge of the band. It is long, even for the die hard fan. (I watched it in three sittings...) For those who knew and loved GBV and their live antics, it is a fond remembrance.
Guided By Voices RIP"
Don't Stop Now
John A. Nieves | 01/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have been to hundreds of shows in my lifetime, seen thousands of bands. One band always took it one step further than I thought possible. Their set lists often included fifty or more songs and lengthy multiple encores. I saw them play in Orland 12/13/04 for the eleventh and final time. It was moving and amazing. This DVD captures the 12/31/04 show, the last show. Here you will see the people that created the GBV mythology, minus Pete. Here you will see a surreal tribute set to Window of My World and Bob looking like a gray-haired teenager. The setlist includes many of the GBV favorites, but also some rare nuggets like "Chief Barrel Belly" and "Do the Earth." From the opening chant at the beginning of Over the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox" to the chilling and touching final notes of "Don't Stop Now" this is a concert that will be hard to forget. This is legend. Pollard has his first post GBV solo album, "From a Compound Eye," coming out 1/24 on Merge records. This DVD is the essential segway."