Review Summary: Despite a few obvious flaws, Colors Live is a must-have for any fan of Between the Buried and Me.
Between the Buried and Me’s Colors
has been making plenty of waves in the metal and progressive world since its release in 2007. It’s also one of my favorite albums of all time. So after seeing the band play the entire album a few months back, I was ecstatic to hear they would be releasing the entire album live in concert. Throw in a second set with (almost) all of the classic BTBAM tunes and you’ve got yourselves an incredible package. While Colors Live
has really high quality filming and an almost flawless live performance, the overall presentation of the performance left a bit to be desired.
For starters, we can always talk about the band’s stage presence and live performance. It’s definitely improved from what it used to be, which was essentially none of the band moving save for Tommy Rogers’ over-the-top hand gestures and bug-eyed facial expressions. The band has improved their overall performance technique courtesy of guitarist Paul Waggoner and bassist Dan Briggs singing additional vocal lines, headbanging and interacting with the show’s very receptive and enthusiastic crowd. Tommy is just as crazy as ever, and his vocals are spot-on for almost the entire time.
If you were to listen to the CD that accompanies the DVD package, it sounds almost exactly like the studio recording, save for a few changes in guitar distortion and a less-mechanical vocal performance. That was what the selling point was for me; the show has plenty of energy while still being very close to the record. I can’t think of a single time where the band makes any obvious mistakes with their playing, even during the incredible technical passages of “White Walls”, which is by far the highlight of the concert.
The DVD, however, is marred by a few obvious problems. The main problem that struck me was that there simply wasn’t an even distribution of coverage of each band member. The cameramen simply love to focus on Tommy and Paul due to their stage presence and guitar dweedles, respectively. Drummer Blake Richardson is criminally under covered, even during the really obvious drum breaks. The opening drum fill for “Sun of Nothing” doesn’t focus on him, but rather shows an unnecessary crowd shot. Dan Briggs’ bass work, which is probably the most interesting part of Colors
, is also not shown enough here. While he does get his breathtaking solo spot in “Viridian”, the majority of the time his inventive and impressive bass work goes unnoticed because we’re just too busy watching Paul Waggoner sweep. While that’s good fun for the majority of the DVD, it will always bother me because Between the Buried and Me’s rhythm section is one of the most amazing in metal today. Dustie Waring is just as apathetic and boring here as ever, so there’s not much to expect from him. Luckily, he’s rarely seen here. The coolest thing you’ll see him do here is wear a Dillinger Escape Plan t-shirt.
The second set was definitely well chosen by the fans, because there is plenty of variety and covers ground on Between the Buried and Me
, The Silent Circus
, and Alaska
. While the first set was meant to impress, this one seems to just be the band entering a world of nostalgia and plain fun. “Mordecai” and “Shevanel Cut a Flip” are the choice cuts from this portion of the concert, and for obvious reasons. They’re simply some of the band’s best songs still and have some of the most vulnerable and powerful musical moments I’ve ever come across. The show also ends strongly with the crowd favorite, “Selkies: The Endless Obsession”, courtesy of Waggoner’s most well-known and celebrated solo.
The recording quality is great, the set is close to perfect (no "All Bodies" is frowned upon) and the band has come back with improved their stage presence while still maintaining the tightest musical performance around. It’s a must-have package for a fan of the band and is also a good starting point for someone interested in BTBAM.