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Staring Down the Brilliant Dream Live

4.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers celebrate their long-standing passion for live performance on their upcoming release, Staring Down the Brilliant
Dream. The 2-disc CD features 31 songs, each hand-selected by the GRAMMY®-winning duo to capture the most memorable moments of their 2006 2009
shows. The CD reflects the spontaneity of a typical Indigo s concert and includes a mix of solo performances and other numbers backed by their full band,
plus vocal collaborations with such guests artists as Brandi Carlile and Jill Hennessey. Staring Down the Brilliant Dream encapsulates the wide range of
emotions that fill their shows with fire and wonder, from the warm, sing-a-long spirit of Saliers' Closer to Fine to the political combustion of Ray's Go.
With two decades and countless concerts behind them, it would be understandable if the duo now found it hard to
distinguish one concert from the next. Instead, as this CD proves, they remain as engaged and present onstage as ever.
For each track, Saliers and Ray have penned personal notes on how they wrote the song, what they remember about
that specific show, and why among the thousands to chose from they value this performance so much. This 2-disc
set is a brilliant reminder of all those concerts we were lucky to catch and consolation for the ones we hated to miss
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Digital Booklet: Staring Down The Brilliant Dream
Digital Booklet: Staring Down The Brilliant Dream
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 29, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Welk Music Group
  • ASIN: B003LWLG9S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,983 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
How do they do it? After a few live albums and DVDs (including the amazing "1200 Curfews"), the Indigo Girls deliver another gift to their fans.

"Staring Down the Brilliant Dream," like "1200 Curfews," isn't a coherent concert, nor is it meant to be. Instead, it's a collection of live recordings, each chosen for its particular energy, and man, does it connect. We get the passionate arena rock of "Go" and "Tether," two tracks that really need a stage to come alive; we get the plaintive melodies of "Come on Home" and "Moment of Forgiveness" (which really shimmers as a ballad); we get the inspired country folk of "Ozilline" and "Watershed"; we even get some choice covers and great guest appearances.

The Girls have been playing together for 25 years; we could forgive them if they went through the motions now and then. In fact, some of their recent studio cuts have been missing that spirit that made the Girls gel; while their harmonies and interplay remained strong, they have at times sounded less like a band and more like professionals backing each other's solo material. But "Brilliant Dream" is the work of a band who loves to sing and play together. Listen, for example, to Amy and Emily spiral around each other in "Fill it Up Again" - this is the most joyfully coherent the Girls have sounded in years. And while they've each grown technically proficient, both as writers and performers, there's never a sense of slick professionalism. These songs were chosen for obviously personal reasons, and both Amy and Emily sing like they're genuinely trying to communicate, which gives true resonance to songs you may have glossed over.

Listening to the artistic and emotional growth of the Indigo Girls over the years has been a true pleasure.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Amy and Emily interact with their band and guest musicians to create more depth and complexity to each of these songs. Nearly all of these live songs eclipse their studio versions. The addition of Julie Wolf's keyboard and vocals on many of these tunes creates a softness that allows for a lot greater musical experimentation than you might see if only Amy and Emily were on stage.

Even the dedicated Indigo Girls fan will likely be surprised by the beauty of "Salty South," the foot-stomping meditation of "Devotion," the musicianship on "Closer to Fine," and the new twists in "Shame on You." It's awesome to see that this duo has been making music together now for 25 years and are still able to keep it fresh while crafting new material that, in special moments, far eclipses much of their earlier work.
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Format: Audio CD
ANOTHER LIVE album ?! Right on the heels of the 'LIVE @ The Roxy' DVD ?!
Can't say that I was all that excited about this release when I saw it.
BUT....after reading a few of the Reviews here from True Fans who KNOW
'The Gospel' as only us True IG Concert-Goers know it,
I figured I needed to check this one out.

The first thing that is striking is the SOUND QUALITY.
--- Absolutely Stunning for any LIVE Recording !
I guess we sometimes don't notice the HUGE LEAPS Technology has been taking all around us
until you hear something 10 years apart, and it hits you right between the eyes.
Friggin' WOW ! (and very little flutter !) :P

Then as you get into this Package, and see how lovingly it was put together,
with all the Guest Artists & Special Moments, you realize that this is not
just another Live album just for the fun of it. This is more like a carefully
packaged GIFT for loyal Family & Friends, (kinda reminds me of "KISS Alive!" in a way, in that vein)
and a celebration of how far Amy, Emily, & Company have come since their aloof & modest beginnings.

There is PROOF here also, that some nights with The Girls, are absolute MAGIC, and all the Stars
& Planets seem to align themselves together and beam their Light right down upon The Stage, The Band, & The Fans,
as if God Him/Herself was smiling and grooving and watching and listening in approval that very Evening,
and it is uncanny how The Girls seem to have pinpointed and selected Highlights from those particular nights,
in this Collection.
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I was fortunate enough to see both ends of this tour. The Harrisburg concert (which is represented in this collection)and the Tower theater in Philadelphia. I knew that there would be a recording of this tour because of the vibe that was given at the shows. The Indigo Girls were at the top of their game and they were having fun. The audience picked up on this and really gave it their all. This is a very loyal fan base. They sing on tempo and on pitch! This recording is a wonderful collection from a great tour. The packaging is very nice and reflects the care Ms Sailors and Ray put into their music.
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Format: Audio CD
Don't get me wrong, this is yet another worthy addition to the Indigo Girls catalog and I will certainly be playing this one often. Staring Down The Brilliant Dream is the second essential collection of live recordings from the Indigo Girls (the first being the 1995 release: 1200 Curfews. Like 1200 Curfews, this 2 disc set features numerous (31 of them!!) live tracks of IG songs spanning the past decade of albums. Yes. Some of the "old" favorites are here as well. The songs Closer to Fine, Kid Fears and Prince of Darkness are all-time IG classics and are always good to hear. A nice bonus for any "Girls" fan is that you get to hear some live tracks from their latest album as well (something their recent DVD release "Live at the Roxy" didn't have). Ok. So why only four stars? Because this CD lacks a little bit of the edge, rawness and intimacy that 1200 Curfew's had. On Staring Down The Brilliant Dream you get plenty of live songs, but on 1200 Curfew's, you got all this plus some of the story before the songs, you got more songs that weren't on any of their albums and the result is, 1200 Curfews captures a much more significant moment in the IG's career. Maybe the intent was to fit in as many live songs as possible on 2 discs. I wholely appreciate that, but as a fan, I must draw the comparisons to 1200 Curfews and in that, Staring Down The Brilliant Dream comes up a little short. That being said, there is still much to like about this collection and it is still a very worthwhile purchase. I should mention that the packaging, pictures and notes on this disc are superior to that of 1200 Curfews.

To conclude, I'll repeat what I've said in some of my other reviews: I think the Indigo Girls are the best American songwriters today. Do yourself a favor and listen to their music.
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Topic From this Discussion
is this the "deluxe" edition?
I think it's the ONLY edition. I did purchase from Amazon. Yes, there are notes with each of the songs and there are also some photos. (Well worth the price, I might add).
Jul 8, 2010 by music fan |  See all 2 posts
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