Alive at Red Rocks
Brandon Boyd (voc), Mike Einziger (gui), Jose Pasillas II (drums), Ben Kenney (bass), Chris Kilmore (tables)
Some general impressions
So this is the 'First live DVD' by Incubus, as the packaging states. Kinda wrong to me, as I wonder what the other Incubus DVD of mine is then ('The Morning View Sessions'). Nevertheless, I was very curious about this when I first saw it, as it features the set list of the 'A crow left of the murder'-tour, and thus is what I saw ona concert in April. The concert at Red Rocks was recorded was on July 26 2004.
The concert gives a good tour through the last four albums by Incubus (SCIENCE, Make yourself, Morning View, A.C.L.O.T.M.), with a bit more stuff from the latest release. But that was to be expected. The scene of the concert is breathtaking, and I think the DVD can not in part give you the impression and atmosphere that must have been there at Red Rocks. The illuminated walls are a great scenery, and when you see the shots of the crowd and the surroundings, you wish you could have been there. :) If you ever have been on a concert of the last tour, you get a good reminder of what you expirienced. I at least wished me back in April ;)
The sound quality is upper class. The mix and quality of all instruments is superb, still you can tell it's a live performance. Excellent work. Picture quality is good as well. The 'airtime' of all band members is almost equal, you get to see everyone of 'em a good time, though the main focus is on Brandon. Not much extra stuff on there, the only extras you get on the DVD are a bunch of photos and 5 computer animated visuals to various songs of the set list. But, not the big thing. On the other hand, it's good they saved up on the extras, and put the full lenght concert on there. Playtime is 1 hour and nearly 50 minutes. That is a bit more then twice the length of 'The Morning View Sessions' concert. That rocks. Big time.
What I really like about the album:
Especially the older songs are amazing. They give songs like 'Drive', 'Nice to know you' or 'Wish you were here' great new twists. This is mostly because of the bass lines Ben plays, When I saw and heared it for the first time with the ease of sitting on my couch, I thought: "****, not a bad bassist after all. No, not AT ALL!" The pinacle of the whole live thing is probably 'Sick Sad Little World'. It was the glorious moment of many on the latest album, and it will surely be on this DVD. It had a playtime of almost 7 minutes on the album, and I take a rough shot: I guess it has over 10 minutes in this concert. It's incredible. 'Drive' as well. Instead of the acoustic performance, Mike takes it out on a piano track. Add that insane bass line Ben plays... golden.
Another plus are the great Interludes they all play between the songs. Best there would be an interlude that develops to a drum and percussion trio of Jose, Ben and Brandon. It was a killer when I saw it live, and it is on this DVD as well. I don't know what I could point out further, this is in general, just really great stuff.
What was not so good:
Still, some little things that I did not like, but those are really minor. Ben did so much great stuff to the older material, but on 'A certain shade of green' it's really cheap. One of the things I always loved about that song was the slap part during the verse. But he just skips it! A bit poor... Plus, the sound of his bass sometimes does not fit for me. It does on 98% of the time. But on one or two songs I thought to myself: "That would sound so much better with another bass..." But apart from that, everything cool.
The Bonus CD:
Ok, there is a five track EP in there as well. It is nice material, but nobody should even think about buying this bundle only because of this EP. You get a studio version of 'Pantomime', and the song from the Halo 2 Soundtrack, 'Follow'. Nice idea, as Brandon picks up the choir sounds of the Halo Main Theme on the beginning of the song. 'Monuments and Melodies' is a more quiet song, it could be compared to songs like 'Here in my room'. Hm, the Live versions of 'Are you in"' and 'Circles' speak for themselfs. Like I said, nice material, and the Extra stuff that the DVD itself lacked.
Though I probably have not mentioned all great aspects of the concert, I'm 100% sure that this is the stuff to get if you like Incubus and have a DVD player. I have not got many DVD in my hands that were so great, and feature such a great concert and such a long playtime. If 'Morning View Sessions' was great, this is twice or thrice as good as that one. I can only suggest it to everyone that ever saw them live, and wants a great reminder of that time. Sadly, the DVD can not catch the great atmosphere of an Incubus gig, or if only in parts. Neither can it, IMO catch the atmosphere of the scene at Red Rocks. So for a better expirience, it's good if you saw them on the last tour. When I saw the concert for the first time, I felt that certain feeling around my stomach I had while standind in front of the stage. Nice.
So, if you're looking for a great concert DVD by Incubus, get this. It's the one and only. If you would like to see more background stuff, abut the band, recording of albums etc, you should rather get 'The Morning View Sessions' DVD.
Nothing less then 4.5/5 :thumb: