Worth the Price...
D. Plank | Ft Worth, Tx United States | 10/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD has two government issue shows from the mid 1980s. They are a good example how the same band can sound in two different venues. The first show has the warm fuzzy feelings of an intimate show. The band is much more comfortable and the crowd definitely feels like they are part of the show. The second show is from a much larger venue and really shows that the band is uncomfortable playing on that stage so far from the audience. The audio and video quality is what you would expect from Flipside video. B+ camera work and sound. The band plays great in both shows, but unfortunately since the shows are from the same tour there is a lot of redundancy in the set list. However, do not let this dissuade you from purchasing the DVD, it is well worth the money."
James F. Day | Pittsburgh, PA | 10/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After 20 years, DC's own "Government Issue" or "GI" to its fans, has finally uncovered and released video material from two of their live shows from 1985 on DVD. Thanks to the folks from Flipside and MVD, fans of GI finally have a chance to see the band perform live on screen and reminisce of the old "salad days" of DC punk.
Based on material from their albums "Joy Ride" and "The Fun Just Never Ends", there is good news and bad news here for this recently released DVD.
Basically, if you are in need of top of the line, D.A. Pennebaker level video, you may be out of luck. The two live shows captured here are shot on home videocam from back in the day and the overall sound quality of the shows is less than average. However, if you were part of the scene at the time, you'd expect nothing more and actually relish the style (or lack thereof) in which it's shot. This is true-to-form punk rock here and anything that could be deemed "pretty" would be inaccurate for it's time, for this style of music and for this band as a whole.
Still, the DVD has several quality merits as lead vocalist, John Stabb is true to form here and displays his passion unlike many other lead men of his time. His energy and style is different than most of the other mohawked, burly, tattooed shouters of this era as he comes across more honestly than others. Stabb shows a more insecure, delicate and human side in his performance of the self destruction, pain and anger of his lyrics. Songs of disassociation, angst and regret are accurately performed here by Stabb and his performance shines through the more distant showing by the rest of the members.
Regrettably, this DVD only displays their earlier material, much before the lineup changes that brought a more progressive side to the band and their more influential recordings. Nevertheless, GI does aptly perform "World Caved In", a track that shows shapes of things to come for their more commercially and critically successful material.
The good news here is that if you can handle a lower quality recording, you'll enjoy Stabb heroically leading GI through a few guitar brain freezes and supporting cast snoozes to accurately show Government Issue as a band in its pre-progressive and more stripped down, punk rock roots.