Review Summary: A great quality package but not a classic live album...
Benjamin Kowalewicz (Vocals)
Ian D'Sa (Guitars and Vocals)
Jonathan Gallant (Bass and Vocals)
Aaron Solowoniuk (Drums)
When I hear about live albums those come instantly in my mind: Iron Maiden – Live after Death, Rush – Exit Stage Left, Pink Floyd –Pulse, etc. Those were great because of the incredible performance, the passion and the intensity. Today, bands are now approaching the live album with a new perspective. Technology saved the live album format since they can now add DVD’s to the package which force the customer to buy. That’s why releasing a live album in single CD format is almost a commercial suicide today.
This package remind me a lot of ‘’Rammstein – Volkerball ‘’and ‘’Amon Amarth – Wrath of The Norseman’’ which is a good thing. A music fan like me prefers to get as much content as possible. That’s what you get on this CD/DVD package. You get 2 live DVD’s and 1 live CD. For a total of 39 tracks on the DVD’s and 17 tracks on the CD. Add to that a 20 minute documentary about the show and a photo gallery. The first DVD is a full rendition of their show in Brixton UK and the second one is a full rendition of the Dusseldorf show plus 6 songs from their performance at Rock Am Ring Festival. The CD is the Dusseldorf show in audio format.
So what’s bad about this package? It’s really easy to see that both setlist are 99% identical. I know Billy Talent have not the biggest discography ever but some of the songs could have been switched for the cause. You’ll get hits like: Try Honesty, The Ex, River Below, Devil in the Midnight Mass, Red Flag and Fallen Leaves. The rest features song from their 2 albums. What’s weird about the package is that both shows are almost the same. The visual, the songs and the performance is exactly the same. That’s one of the big turn off for me. At least you get the Rock Am Ring footage which is completely different.
Enough talking about the bad things. The performance itself is worth buying. I actually saw them 3 times and I could tell that this is a good representation of their live performance. Energy, passion and fun are keyword for Billy Talent. The singer is a complete character onstage. He acts like a mad man especially in songs like ‘’Line and Skinker’’ and ‘’Devil in a midnight mass’’. His voice is not perfect and you could tell it when you watch ‘’This Suffering’’. His vocals during the chorus seem to be rushed. Talking between songs is always a fun thing about live shows. Benjamin is also throwing so good ones about his ex and George W. Bush. Ian guitar playing is one of the highlight for me. This guy seems to be so passionate about his music. His tricky riffing is interesting to watch. The two other members also give a solid performance but you could tell that they are not the front members. One thing that makes Billy Talent amazing to see live is the vocal interaction between the three guys. ‘’The Ex’’ and ‘’Perfect World’’ are good exemples.
Quality wise the package is top notch. Featuring both 5.1 sounds and regular 2.0 Stereo sounds. The sound is crystal clear. Every part of the drum is clearly audible. The guitar and bass are well isolate. You’ll hear every note from the low ones to the high ones. Finally, the vocals are top notch and you’ll hear everyone’s voice even when they are singing at the same time. Visually, the DVD is one of the best I’ve seen. The lighting is bright and clear so it helps seeing everything and not missing the performance. The stage does not offer a lot visually but that’s the kind of thing you could expect from a band like Billy Talent. Everything is focused on the band performance. They are not Pink Floyd or Genesis. There’s no laser, videos or fireworks.
Overall this live CD/DVD will never make history. It’s not ‘’Live after Death’’, ‘’Exit Stage Left’’, ‘’Live ***: Binge and Purge’’ or any classic live albums. It’s a solid package with quality footage. Every fan will be please by this release. I suggest you getting the deluxe edition since it’s only 3$ more and you’ll get 21 more live tracks.
-Nothing To Loose (Brixton)
-Red Flag (Dusseldorf)
-Try Honesty (Brixton)
-The Ex (Brixton)
-Great quality package
-Lots of live footage
-Great energy and performance
-Setlists are basically the same
-the venue and stage settings are too similar (it's like watching the same show)