on December 12, 2006
So I knew this came out a few weeks back. I was intending to order it when I had the chance, but something weird happened:
At my local record shoppe, a place where I have never been able to find a Butch Walker record on sale, just a blank stare and a mumbled, "well, we can order it for you. I guess", however I came across "Live at Budokon", Butch Walker's new two hour DVD live concert extravagnaza. So yeah, I immediatly purchased it immediatly and headed forth home to watch it.
What you get here is a thirty minute live concert at the Budokon in Japan, obviously from one of Butch's opening dates with Avril Lavigne, and a ninty minute acoustic concert from Atlanta back in '03. Both are made up of material from "Letters", "Left of Self Centered" and some Marvelous 3 songs thrown in for good measure. If you are looking for stuff off of "The Rise and the Fall..." well, I'm sorry.
The Budokon concert is fine, fairly stock. The performance is excellent, as usual for the man, but as it is an opening show, by the time the band reaches their groove and energy level is at it's peak, the show is winding down. However, the song selection is excellent, mostly pulling from the more electric stuff from "Letters", and is defintley worth a look for Butch Walker fans.
However, the acoustic performance from 2003, is excellent. Butch is loose and funny, and his crowd interaction is excellent. The set list is great up and down, featuring some new arrangements of songs from "Left of Self Centered" and some old Marvelous 3 fans. As an added bonus, Jayce and Slug, bassist and drummer of the Marvies respectively, play on "Every Monday" and "Freak of the Week", and for fans this is makes the DVD a must purchase.
The sound quality for both shows is excellent and the editing/ camerawork is never too hectic or overstated. This is the rare live DVD that makes you feel like you're at the show, rather then watching some ninty minute music video.
Why the acoustic performance isn't the main item on the DVD I will never understand. But this DVD is worth purchasing if you are a Butch Walker fan or want to convert someone to the cult of B. Diddy. It is an excellent package for a decent price and will give you many repeat viewings.
One of the best live DVD's on the market right now.
I have been a fan of Butch's from the mid 90's. I've seen the Marvelous 3 play several times (3 in Jacksonville, 1 in Orlando, 2 in Chattanooga, and 2 in Atlanta). I was among those devastated by the Breakup of the Marvelous 3. When this DVD came out, I ordered it on multiple occasions and every time it was backordered for months. So much love to Amazon for finally getting the DVD into my possession.
Now for the review of the actual DVD:
First, there is no booklet, very little artwork, and no special features. (Not a picture of Butch ANYWHERE!!) The DVD starts out with a few songs of a show done in Japan when he was opening for Avril Levine. I was disappointed that this DVD's sound was made to play over a 2 speaker TV. I had high hopes for playing this over my surround sound and reliving the late 90's for 2 hours, no dice. However the sound quality IS good for a live performance. In the Tokyo show, you cannot hear or see the crowd, so a lot of his talking to them comes across a little strange as there is no response, no applause, nothing. In between the songs there are little bits of him and the band wandering around Tokyo, or getting their makeup done for the show, but nothing really telling about him.
The Budokan show was in my mind, only a so-so performance in comparison to what I have seen Butch do live. The camera shots were often to close to see his "throw the pick, kick it, catch it, and never miss a beat of the song antics). They also spent an awful lot of time focusing in on the other members of the band. As a whole, the set was not as tight or fluid as I was used to seeing from Butch.
Now the "Bonus Live Acoustic Set" was worth every penny I spent on this DVD. Butch in a "living room" type set, with an acoustic guitar talking to the audience, playing the songs I love along with his typical banter and mocking of other musicians. Here he is in his glory, belting out his heart and soul to the audience and sounding beyond incredible. In my opinion, this should have been the focus of the DVD with the Budokan show as a little bonus for those who wanted to hear a few electric songs. The almost orgasmic highlight was Jayce and Slug walking up on stage to play "Freak of the Week" and "Every Monday" with him. In this 90 minutes of the DVD Butch is brilliant, funny, and back to the Butch we knew with the Marvelous 3. This DVD is a must have for any die hard Butch or Marvie fanatic. If you know the orgasmic power of Butch picking up his red white and blue guitar, or know how to show "Too Much Rawk for just one hand" then you need to go ahead and order this DVD.
For the Budokan show - 3 Stars
For the Acoustic show - 5 Stars
In the end 4 of 5 stars... sorry Butch but you should have picked one of your better shows for the opening part of the DVD, Budokan was not one of your best performances.
Butch Walker: Live at Budokan (Fran Strine, 2005)
You know what? Everyone and their mothers has already told you that the acoustic set in Atlanta (which ended up being the source for the This Is Me...Justified and Stripped album) is better than the Budokan set, and I'm not going to be the voice of dissent on this one; the Atlanta gig is just plain better. Walker plays the rock star very, very well, as we've found out over the past quarter-century, but when he takes off the shades and sits down at the piano in a small club playing for the same people who've been coming to see him since the SouthGang days (and hell, probably even before that), obviously you're going to get a less scripted, more honest performance than you would opening for Avril Lavigne (and who thought up that pairing?) at a venue where every kid who grew up in the seventies dreamed of playing. Live at Budokan? You're makin' bank like Cheap Trick, baby. (That perception did change, thankfully, in the eighties; both Motörhead and Big Black releasing albums recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon made that the destination of choice until, well, 2005.) A hole-in-the-wall in Atlanta? You're home.
This is not to say the Budokan set, and the behind-the-scenes footage intercut with it, isn't good as well. You really can't go wrong with Butch Walker live, and I found this disc enjoyable from beginning to end; I imagine most Walker fans would. And if you haven't yet discovered the magic, this is as good a place as any to start. *** ½
on April 12, 2014
seriously. i can't stand concert videos. i have only recently learned to enjoy concerts at all - for me, music is to be listened to, not seen.
but this video effing rocked. the little outtakes in between songs not only broke it up, but it kept me engaged. very well done.
on October 2, 2013
The mighty Butch Walker live, for sure this dvd it's a win. Live at Budokan it's raw and just a few songs, but it's cool anyway. The acoustic set its a GEM, Butch at it's best.
GO AND BUY IT, u won't regret it!
on September 23, 2014
This is an incredible DVD of two performances. I agree with most that the Acoustic Show is really the headliner here however the Budokan concert is really interesting and a good contrast to the acoustic show.
on June 4, 2009
Anyone looking for classic quality rock-n-roll should check this DVD of his Japan 2005 tour out. If you didn't know, Butch Walker was the frontman for the undersupported '90's band, the Marvelous 3 (there's actually a brief 'reunion' during the acoustic concert that's included). It's a nice little starting point for anyone who has not been exposed to his music before. His musicanship is all around entertaining & I would almost guarantee that upon viewing this DVD you would be so inclined to investigate the rest of his 'body' of work.....
on December 12, 2010
I've never seen a live performance that comes close to what Butch does on stage. The second part of this DVD is priceless. Every Butch Walker fan should own this, and if you don't know who he is, then buy this and watch it now!
on August 3, 2013
Butch shows and incredible show in Japan and also in Atlanta. He can really sing and play. He can really move you. He's amazing. My favorite performer!
on May 13, 2013
Concert gives the sense being not only at the concert but backstage, footage was superb, highly recommend adding to your concert collection!