When veteran alt-rock band Bush performed live last August in Tampa, Florida few if any thought at the time that the concert in question would go on to become the band’s latest live recording. The performance was part of the band’s “ALT-imate Tour,” which was in support of its then forthcoming album The Kingdom. That album was released late last month through independent label Zuma Rock. Only three months prior to its release, Cleopatra Records released the noted Tampa, Florida performance on a deluxe three-disc package simply titled Live in Tampa. The 12-song performance is a presentation that audiences will find is worth experiencing at least once. That is due in part to the noted set list, which is a positive and negative. The only other negative to the recording is its editing. This will be discussed a little later. Making up for the minor concern raised through the editing is the recording’s overall production. It will also be discussed later. Each item discussed here is important in its own way to the whole of the recording. All things considered, they make Live in Tampa a presentation that gives hope for future live recordings from Bush.
Bush’s latest live recording Live in Tampa is an interesting new offering from the band. It is a presentation that audiences will agree is worth hearing at least once. That is due in part to the recording’s set list. The 12-song list features works from more than half of the band’s catalog. Specifically speaking the set list pulls from six of the band’s eight albums. This comes across as a positive on the surface, and to a certain extent, it is just that. It could be argued to be a career-spanning work to a point. A deeper examination of the set list paints a slightly different picture though. While more than half of the band’s albums are represented here, half of the set list is composed of songs from the band’s 1994 debut album Sixteen Stone. The Kingdom, the band’s most recent album, is represented by only one (yes, one) song. Considering the fact that the band’s ALT-imate Tour was at least in part in support of The Kingdom, audiences may find it a bit disconcerting that the band’s latest album is so minimally represented here. The band’s 1999 album The Science of Things meanwhile received two nods. The Sea of Memories (2011) and Black and White Rainbows (2017) each received one nod respectively. Golden State (2001) and Man on the Run (2014) were both ignored in this set list. So in the bigger picture, the concert’s set list does pull from a wide range of the band’s catalog, but is in reality not as in-depth as it could be. In the band’s defense, Live did join Bush for the tour, so maybe each band’s set time was limited. To that end, it might account for the lack of real depth to the set list. It could in turn make that aspect forgivable. Adding to the set list’s positives is that the set list is presented in the same order on its Blu-ray, DVD and CD platform. That is important in that it means audiences will get exactly the same concert from one platform to the other. Keeping that in mind, the set list the set’s only real negative is its editing.
The editing is a problem specifically in the matter of the interweaving of the interview segments into the concert. This approach is nothing new for live recordings from Cleopatra Records (or for recordings from other companies). The same approach was taken in Cleopatra Records’ 2017 live recording from Jane’s Addiction, Ritual De La Habitual Live. Unlike that recording, the audio balance between the live and interview segments is worthy of applause. The problem is that it would have made more sense for the interview segments to have been included as bonus content separate from the concert. Given, they do serve to break up the concert, but some audiences might find those breaks unwelcome. Those audiences will agree that they starkly change the concert’s energy, which can be detrimental to the recording. Adding to that is that the fact that the interview segments are also interwoven into the set’s CD platform. It would have been easier to feature the interview segments after the concert on the CD. By just transferring the concert’s audio to CD, audiences are just getting the exact same result on that platform as on the DVD and Blu-ray, resulting in the same end. While this is clearly a detriment to the set’s presentation, it is not such that it defeats the recording. It is just something that hopefully the people at Cleopatra Records will take into account with its next live recording (which apparently is that of “hippie metal” band Boyhitscar).
While the editing of Live in Tampa is at least somewhat of a detriment to its presentation, it is the recording’s only concern. What’s more, only some audiences will find it problematic, as some might even appreciate this aspect. To that end, it could be just as easily considered a positive as a negative, depending on the viewer. Adding to the recording’s interest is its production. As already noted, the sound mix in the recording is actually relatively stable, despite what some have said as to the surround sound mix. The video quality and general cinematography play into the production, too. Thanks to those behind the cameras and the boards, audiences watching at home get the best seat in the house. There are even little effects tossed in that enhance the experience even more. The work put in by those who handled the video and audio during and post concert are to be commended for their work, as it really serves as the recording’s foundation. When it is taken into consideration along with everything else noted here, the whole of the elements makes the concert recording worth experiencing at least once among Bush’s most devoted fans.
Bush’s new live recording is a presentation that the band’s most devoted audiences will find worth experiencing at least once. That is due in large part to its overall production. The work of those behind the boards and cameras collectively put audiences in the best seat in the house. The recording’s set list, while problematic in that it does not necessarily richly represent the band’s catalog, still does at least make an effort to represent the band’s body of work. It deserves that much credit. The editing is also a toss-up in its own right. The interweaving of the interview segments into the bigger concert presentation breaks up the concert’s energy considerably and abruptly. Some viewers will find this a positive, others will find this a negative. There is nothing wrong with the information in the interview segments, but it would have made more sense to have featured the interviews as bonus content. Regardless of pro or con, every viewer will agree that taking this course is the right course. When this aspect is considered along with the concert’s set list and its production, the whole of said content makes this presentation one that Bush’s most devoted audiences will find worth experiencing at least once. Live in Tampa is available now. More information is available on the recording along with all of Bush’s news at :
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