Review Summary: A great live album with dynamic instrumentation with mostly powerful vocals, but frequent out of tune slip ups and a lack of variety in the setlist are it's downfall
Despite constantly being compared to, and in the shadow of the commercial success of Muse and Radiohead, The Pineapple Thief are the most diligent of the three, churning out the most albums whilst being the youngest. Their latest live album, 'Live at the 013', is the recording of their show at Poppodium 013, Tilburg, in the Netherlands to support their 9th album 'All the Wars'. Naturally, this means most of the concert is comprised of songs off 'All the Wars', however the other half is mostly their previous album 'Someone Here is Missing' with only one other song, 'Snowdrops', off 'Little Man'; this is a bit of a disappointment for those looking forward to some variation.
These guys surpass their studio albums when it comes to instrumentation performing live, with even heavier bass tones and more aggressive guitar riffs; lead guitarist Bruce Soord even goes the extra mile to improvise licks and more ambitious and reckless solos. At the concert I went to earlier in May, Bruce broke two of his guitar strings during a solo and kept on playing just by transposing onto the other strings whilst flailing the his guitar around and almost taking someones eye out with the renegade stings; I wouldn't put it past Bruce that it didn't happen in this live recording either. If that isn't slick I don't know what is.
The main elephant in the room are the occasions of disjointed singing. Most of the time, Bruce and the backing singers sing in tune -and- have a decent tone to it, but then there are brief slips into being out of tune harmonies and having sharp, whiny tones that make your eardrums wince, especially during 'Last Man Standing'. It's easy to criticize their mistakes, but the real moments of vocal prowess such as the band's chorus in the middle of 'Give it Back' sticks a giant middle finger up to that.
A great aspect of their stage presence is their involvement with the audience: during 'Snowdrops', the whole band bar the keyboardist gets the audience to clap in unison during the keyboard fill and the same during '3000 Days' in the guitar breakdown. Despite being a small venue, there is a strong connection between the band and the audience, especially with Bruce's small talk between the songs that makes the show just that little bit more enjoyable.
Overall, it's an amazing and dynamic example of what The Pineapple Thief are capable of musically, however some moments of the vocals are off and if we're being especially picky, there isn't enough variation of albums in the setlist.