Review Summary: With a lack of quantity, Incubus' Look Alive makes up for it with quality
When purchasing a live DVD, a band should realize that since their is barely any original material, The DVD should be loaded with features and footage. Incubus unfortunately have failed at that, but we must remember that Incubus' live is ***ing pwn.
Incubus have had quite the lengthy career, Their debut album, Fungus Amungus, a quite wierd album but showing how talneted and versatile the band is. S.C.I.E.N.C.E, which is similar to Fungus, but better in my opinion. Redefine is amazing and I'm glad it's on here. Make Yourself showed a very different side of Incubus, With a more mellow rock sound, it is a slight disappointment because i found their old sound unique and interesting, but Stellar and Drive are amazing.
Morning View was released in 2001, and is another amazing album. It was definitely more mellow and toned down, but also had some rocking tracks like Nice to Know You, to the beautiful Aqueous Transmission made the record truly great. A Crow Left Of Murder is their second latest released and is quite possibly their worst. The political songwriting was overly angst and a tad bland, but it was nice to see Incubus change up the sound with a heavier tone and a darker angrier way of doing things. Light Grenades is again a great record. Released last year, it had a very good mix of power songs to ballads. Rogues and Paper Shoes are magnificent songs. It had the right amount of everything in it to make it near perfect. Now enough blabbing about their career and let's get to the actual thing I'm reviewing.
Look Alive is a live DVD that showcases one of their concerts over their last tour, and in between songs showcases events that have happened to the band since the release of Light Grenades. This includes Mike Einzinger breaking his wrist and having to go under a massive surgery. Starting out the disc is a tripped up video that has different visual effects and a trippy yet calm track going on. It shows the band doing random things until the video making its way showing a recording studio. It is here where the trippy music ends and the opening riff to Rogues kicks in. the song is balls to the wall and is one of my favorite songs of all time. It would have been nice if they saved this track for when they were actually on stage and performing in front of a crowd. They perform it in a recording studio and it doesn't serve the song justice. Still a pwn song.
After the recording studio version of Rogues ends. Its up on stage where the eerie Quicksand starts in. The song is the starter of Light Grenades and i would have much rather have liked this to be the very start of the disc and saved Rogues for later. Just like on the album. Quicksand bleeds into A Kiss To Send Us Off perfectly. While no where near my favorite Incubus song, they execute it perfectly here, just an example of how talented the band really is. Anna Molly is done superb as well. The picture of the entire thing is tremendous. Using different fillers and such to give different visual styles through the songs.
The DVD the cuts to one of their amusing trips to Iceland where Brandon shows his funny personality. "When going to Iceland I was expected beautiful swedish girls everywhere and breasts at every turn, but the only breasts i've seen are those on over weight, middle aged men." The live show then resumes with Redefine, a complex chaotic song that is caught rather well and makes me appreciate S.C.I.E.N.C.E. even more. The show is stopped and a clip of the band going through Europe is shown. I didnt find this too interesting and I dont see why they needed to show it. It then shows to where Mike has his surgery performed. it seemed his wrist had been out of place for a while so he finally had it fixed. A hilarious scene of where Mike is given morphine, and then him seeing flying cows and indian tribes in his head. His wrist is fixed and he is able to play again.
Pistola resumes the concert. It wasnt the strongest song off of A Crow Left of Murder and isn't the best performed song either. I found the guitar was a little sloppy at times and the chorus i just dislike. I found Love Hurts to be warm and emotional, but terribly clishe. The performance is done well and Brandon really shined on this track. Paper Shoes is an amazing song and The way the very staticcy guitar solo is mixed perfectly with the soft guitar pattern is great. Some static sounds from Mike and mute bass riffing from Ben eventually turns into the opening to Megalomaniac. Chris puts in the right mixing and the song is done very well. At the second chorus, Brandon puts the mic out to the crowd to sing, spectacular. The entire atmosphere of the show just adds to the music. The night air just makes everything look and sound cooler.
The show is on pause while a clip from touring in the US is shown. They cut to a album signing and a girl starts balling her eyes out when she sees Brandon. Brandon just modestly shrugs. the tripped up Nebula starts in and the band gives a spine tingling performance and is one of the highlights. I dont know why Earth to Bella was chosen for here, it is not a great track, but not bad, just not up to the standard of some of the other incubus songs that were left off here. A clip of Israel is shown and isn't too interesting. Enough said. The epic Sick Sad Little World is quite the sad song. the feel and effects used by Chris is a great addition. I love Jose's drumming in this song.
The emotional and bitter sweet Oil and Water is performed and Ben really shines here. When Dirk left, I thought the replacement bassist would suck. But Ben Kenny doesn't at all. he's almost as good as Dirk and wrote quite a good riff for Oil and Water. The soft Dig is performed and is probably Incubus' prettiest song. It is nicely done like everything else. the concert stops and they show a clip of the band in Dubai. It is cool enough and I liked how this isn't just completely a live DVD, they also have these nice little clips.
Punch Drunk is a great heavier song that is led by Jose on the drums. The guitar is a little simple but i still found overall the song to be great. And finally ending the show is the perfect song to do it with, Aqueous Transmission. I wondered what the instrument Mike played looked like and now i see. It is like a guitar but way bigger and is chinese like. The song is so soothing and great and is a true ending to the concert.
The wierd music and stange visual plays again until the video is found once again in the recording studio where the only original piece of material is played, Look Alive. The song more complex and reminds me of days from Fungus Amungus and S.C.I.E.N.C.E. It has the same odd feel to it but with a bit more melody and sung chorus. It's a magnificent song and I pray that songs like Look Alive are going to be on Incubus' next album.
So while not having many songs on it, Look Alive showcases the career of a great band, and captures one unforgettable night. It's great to see Incubus release a little gem like this. I would have liked to seen a bit less from Light Grenades and more balance over all the albums. Nothing from Make Yourself, and only one from Morning View. Light Grenades was good but too many from it. A few bad track placements and off performances keep it from a 5, but then a again anything live really doesn't deserve much more then a 4, no matter how great it is.