Top positive review
4 of 4 people found this helpful
Great show, recording very well done
on January 13, 2011
Presentation - 6/10
The good: The DVD menus are simple and easy to navigate. The packaging is standard DVD casing. The insert contains some cool pictures of the guys, and the crowd picture behind the cover art is neat. The full-page background narrative in the insert really helps set the mood, although it is cheesy at times and contains a few spelling/grammar errors.
The bad: Man, they really used that cover logo everywhere they possible could, didn't they?
The DVD menu and most of the titles look like a high school project. This is fine for a relatively low-budget DVD release, but I would expect something a little more glitzy on a Blu-Ray.
Overall it's certainly not a dealbreaker. I'm here to watch the DVD, not analyze the logos and menus.
THE CONCERT - 9.5/10
Overall production - 9/10
Both the sound and video are clear. You can really enjoy the show without being annoyed with the quality, as you are when viewing bootlegs. The camera angles highlight each player's contributions, so I'm never thinking, "damn it, why aren't they focusing on [x] right now?!" The quality is even more stellar on Blu-Ray. If you have the option, get the HD version. It's worth noting that, for the first time watching a live DVD, I don't feel like the drummer is being neglected. I love watching drums, and this DVD has plenty of Flip shots. Sadly I cannot comment definitively on the audio quality since I don't have a surround sound system, but I am overall very happy with the mix and clarity.
The black levels are really poor on the DVD, but I think this is slightly improved on the Blu-Ray. Still, sometimes the black areas on screen appear "brighter" than darker areas of another hue. There are a few times where the shots are completely out of focus; I'm not sure if this is for artistic effect, or a simple oversight, but either way it's kind of perplexing.
On the DVD - and I'm no expert on DVD video compression - it seems like they could've jacked up the video quality a bit more, given that the DVD clocks in at 5.5GB and a dual-layer disc can hold up to 9GB. That said, I have yet to notice any compression artifacts on the Blu-Ray.
Come To Life - 7/10
I love that little intro that plays before the band starts playing.
The band nails every single note, and all vocals are well on-pitch. Myles and Mark rock that dual guitar part, and Mark of course kills the solo. No idea how Mark plays it perfectly at such high speed. Although Myles does cut off and/or "speak" many of the notes, he confidently hits those high notes he actually does attempt.
Lots of energy. Damn this song is a good opener.
It's laughably fast. For this reason it's hard for the guitars to sound tight. I will say that I don't think it's fair to blame Flip for this -- if blame must be placed at all -- as Mark starts playing the intro up-tempo as well. I think it's the band as a whole getting so adrenalized that they don't even realize it.
Also I never liked when Myles yells the words to songs instead of singing them, and Come To Life has typically been the biggest manifestation of this tendency. I'm sure it's a combination of the nerves, the high tempo, and the intention to conserve his voice for the remainder of the show.
Find The Real - 9/10
Vocals are great. Mark's fills are murderous as usual.
I love the little breakdown they do between chorus #2 and the bridge, getting the crowd involved. Brian and Scott really hold the beat down during this portion.
I love that shot at the end of Myles hitting the final note from behind Scott.
A little fast, but that's not such a big deal with this song.
Myles' vocals during the bridge sound a bit sickly.
I wish Mark still did his whammy spins like when they played FTR on Leno, and during the ODR tours!
Before Tomorrow Comes - 10/10
I love the vocal interactions between Mark and Myles in this song; this live rendition is no exception.
I also love watching the drums for this song. As with most AB songs, they're more complex than they seem at face value.
The bad: ?
Brand New Start - 9.5/10
Myles hits all the high notes during the choruses! Usually he doesn't, which tends to bother me, but he really pulled it out for this show. The band just nailed everything.
Myles' low vocals sound a bit congested again, but I imagine it's tough to bring your vocals down into a softer timbre during such a high-energy show.
White Knuckles - 10/10
I like that little pre-song intro played over the speakers, building the tension before the song begins.
It's surprisingly tight for a fast song with so many notes. The drums for this song are so cool, and I love when Myles yells "so we scream!" Actually this performance is pretty much perfect. I think DC3 really nailed this song in terms of camera angles as well. The final few measures are just nuts with the amount of different shots. (I guess that's why they chose to post it as the youtube teaser.) And I've always liked the crowd interaction in this song.
The bad: None of which to speak.
Buried Alive - 10/10
Such a cool live song, so gritty and badass in every aspect -- the leads, the fillers, the pinch harmonics, the chord progression -- and the band just nails every note. The bridge harmonies are spot on. I'm also impressed with how Myles really brought his vocals down during that line right before chorus #2 ("what have I become?").
Maybe it's just me, but Mark's guitar sounds slightly out of tune for a moment during the intro.
Coming Home - 8/10
Brian's bass powers through! He is rockin' out during this song. And I love the shot of that Mark-Brian chemistry.
Another near-perfect performance.
Not sure why they picked the shakiest part of Myles' vocals to use for the DVD intro sequence.
Can't say why, but I just don't enjoy this as a live song as much as I might've liked to see some others.
One Day Remains - 8.5/10
Mark's guitar cam is just sick, really highlighting how intense this song is for the left hand. I can play ODR, but not for that long, that fast.
Good to see Myles off the guitar for a bit so he can walk around and engage the crowd a bit more.
As always, I'm loving the harmonies in this song.
Love how Ian comes out for a bit as well, haha.
Cool to see Brian mouthing the words toward the end.
Too fast = muddy.
Watch Over You - 10/10
Totally see why they chose to put this on youtube. I can't believe Myles gave such a perfect acoustic rendition under so much pressure and in the midst of such a high-speed show. You can tell he's played this song a few times before, to the point of near perfection, yet he doesn't just breeze through it as if he's sick of it.
With all the crowd shots you really get an idea of how large the venue is.
No, no bad.
Ties That Bind - 9/10
Performance was perfect in almost every way, and I was glad Myles not only attempted but nailed the high note at the end of the bridge.
I like how Mark and Myles get together and mirror each other for the matching guitar parts.
Nothing really. Myles yells some of the words, but that's not such a big deal in this song, since it adds to the energy.
Blackbird - 10/10
I've no idea how they are able to capture the emotion in this song in a live setting - it's like they take themselves completely out of the venue for 8 minutes. Unreal.
Mark's guitar tone, both clean and dirty, really sticks out in this song.
Absolutely superior musicianship all around.
A small case of Myles' scratchy vocals, but nothing worth getting my testes in a twist over.
In Loving Memory - 10/10
I like seeing an electric performance of this song.
Myles manages to engage the crowd while taking himself out of spotlight in order to maintain the honor of the song.
An incredible amount of power behind this performance. The raw emotion of the band -- and the crowd's response -- brings me to tears every single time. Mark seems really moved by the audience singing along.
The bad: Nope.
Metalingus - 9/10
I'm glad Brian got the bass-cam for this song, since this a bass-heavy song.
Top-notch drum work, even if you don't count the intro.
Guitar sounds a bit thin, and it's a bit fast, especially during the bridge.
Open Your Eyes - 9.5/10
Surprisingly strong low-octave verse vocals from Myles, and the harmonies with Mark are as solid as ever. A thousand lols at "how ya feelin today, Mark?" Mark, "...good.. haha". And then Brian waving the mic away. Classic AB lighthearted silliness.
To this day I get chills every time the crowd sings along during the bridge. All four band members love every minute of it.
This is probably the best showing of frontmanship from Mark I've ever seen, when he introduces the band and asks the crowd to sing along. Surprising, given the pressure of the live DVD recording and all. Either he practiced those lines a hundred times, or there's a true frontman hiding in there somewhere.
Mark's impromptu legato at the end of the solo.
The solo is not quite perfect, but I'd say that's as damn near close as I've seen it. Especially when compared to early performances like when they played OYE on Kimmell, you can tell how far Mark's chops have come.
Broken Wings - 8/10
This song proves that Mark has some of the best clean tone of all time; it's bright and full.
I love the crowd singing along during the choruses.
Myles' little falsetto during the outro is nice.
Why the hell did this song not do better on the radio?! The crowd loves it; it has such a sing-along melody.
Some gargly low vocals from Myles, although they're mostly fine.
New Way To Live - 9.5/10
I'm just thrilled to hear/see this song played live. This song has a sweet vibe to it, that translates really well to the live setting. Brian's bass line really stands out, as it does on the album. Myles destroys the vocals, perhaps because they've only played it a handful of times, and he has yet to figure out how to "cheat" on some of the lines. (Remember the early performances of CTL? They were much more accurate than later renditions.)
Myles messes up that one line during the second verse, but that's just funny.
Traveling Riverside Blues - 6/10
This song is a fun little break from the heavy AB songs, and a lighthearted segue into Rise Today. I think it gets everyone in an elevated mood before the set is over, and it really highlights Myles' vocal technique.
I like when they throw all the green lights on Myles.
I never quite understood this song being part of an AB set, and it might be a turn-off for the casual fan. Then again, the casual fan won't have bought this DVD.
Rise Today - 9/10
While not one of AB's stronger songs, I think it makes a great set closer.
For some reason I really like Scott's cymbal work during the bridge, even though it's not particularly technical. The harmonies are perfect. And Mark must've played this solo before, haha -- it's very solid.
The bad: Nothing really.
Overall - 9.5/10
I love that the band is able to pull of such accurate performances while maintaining a live energy. It's obvious that the guys are giving 200% for this show; they are truly focused on intensity the entire time. There are a few minor grievances, but nothing that makes this anything less than a fantastic DVD.
THE DOCUMENTARY - 9/10
I don't want to give away too much, so I won't get too specific, but I think the documentary is really well done. The whole thing seems to build up to give the viewer an idea of just how big this Alter Bridge thing really is. At 52 minutes it could be longer, but at least it is not longer -- and consequently boring -- just for the sake of being long. DC3 have done a great job of choosing interesting and relevant pieces to fit together to make this documentary. There are some minor nitpicks (like "Alter Bridge Plays an acoustic set..." -- why is "Plays" capitalized?) but nothing major. The band are portrayed very positively and there is very little I would change about the documentary as a whole.
The documentary opens with some footage of the audience chanting, while a bit of background information is printed on screen. The first few minutes show some band testimony about the band's connection with the European fan base.
We then see a glimpse of an acoustic set the band play in Milan, Italy, including an incredibly raw and emotional performance of "Hallelujah", interspliced with various other tour clips. It's absolutely goosebump- and tear inducing, more than any other live footage I've seen of Myles doing this song before. Myles is completely immersed in the song, and through shots of his bandmates you can see how much admiration they have for him. This whole segment provides a unique glimpse into the incredible connection that Alter Bridge have with their fans.
Following that we see some day-of material, illustrating the band's thoughts as they arrived in Amsterdam and at the venue on the morning of the DVD shoot. It's also an interesting look into some of the gear that had to be brought in to do the shoot, and the process of setting it all up. We see the band's pre-show warmup routine, and some other miscellaneous behind-the-tour footage.
Then there are some shots of the fans waiting in line and telling us their favorite AB songs, and some more band interview footage about various particular songs. That leads into a glimpse of the soundcheck experience, and some of the guys that got to play along with the band.
Next up the documentary moves back into the topic of AB's genesis, how Myles was selected to sing, and how the whole thing got started. Moving on we hear about the switch from Wind-Up to Universal, the discovery of Myles as a guitarist, and effects of these things on the writing/recording of Blackbird.
After that the guys talk about who they are as people, and how they interact as a band. Then we meet the guitar techs and the drum tech, and what their responsibilities mean. Back to the band, the guys tell us about their backgrounds as musicians.
Following that we go back to the fans, telling us what they expect from the upcoming show. Finally we see some shots of the band on the night of the show, preparing to rock the show, walking onto the stage, and hitting the opening notes of CTL.
All-in-all it's a pretty comprehensive documentary. It definitely isn't a quick 52 minutes, and it hits a ton of topics relating to Alter Bridge, their fans, and the night of the DVD shoot.