‘Alive At 25’ Is Enjoyable For Its Visual, Not Audio, Experience

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

This past August, veteran rock act Jane’s Addiction marked a major milestone with the 25th anniversary of the release of its seminal 1990 studio recording Ritual de lo Habitual.  Originally released Aug. 21, 1990, the album has gone on to become one of its most important albums if not its most important album.  In celebration of its release, the band released Alive at 25 Aug. 4 of this year.  The recording captures the band performing Ritual de lo Habitual in its entirety at Irvine, CA during its 2016 Silver Spoon Anniversary Tour.  There is plenty to say good about this recording.  As much as there is to say to the positive about the recording, it is not without at least one major flaw.  That flaw – the recording’s audio – will be discussed later.  Getting back to the positives, the very fact that the band is performing one of its most important albums in whole in one set is obviously the most important of the recording’s elements.  This will be discussed shortly.  The recording’s other positive is, interestingly enough, its collective cinematography and video editing.  Each of the elements noted here is important in its own right to the recording’s whole.  All things considered, they make Alive at 25 a concert that is okay, but sadly could have been better.

Jane’s Addiction’s latest live recording Alive at 25 is an enjoyable recording, but only to a point.  The recording’s audio is a factor that cannot be ignored.  It would of course, be unfair to focus only on that negative in examining the recording in whole.  Keeping that in mind, the recording does have its positives as well as its negatives, not the least of which being the fact that the concert presents the band performing Ritual de lo Habitual in whole in one set.  From start to finish, audiences get the band’s landmark album in whole plus some of the band’s more recent works to boot.  What’s really interesting to note in the concert is that front man Perry Farrell makes more than one mention of the band playing at Irvine “one last time.”  Considering that the band is still touring, such statement leaves one wondering what that statement might have meant since there is currently no word on any new music from the band on the way.  Regardless of whether or not that means anything for the future, the very fact that the band has presented here one of its most important albums in whole is still undeniably critical to the recording’s whole.

What’s more, audiences will enjoy the stage presence of guitarist Dave Navarro, bassist Chris Chaney and drummer Stephen Perkins throughout the show.  The trio puts on quite a performance, thankfully making up for Farrell’s seemingly blasé demeanor as he sways around the stage almost listlessly throughout the show.  Their collective work, coupled with the recording’s set list, cinematography and editing serves to give the concert what energy it does have and in turn giving reason to watch the recording at least once.  Of course even with the noted positives, the recording does suffer from the previously noted negative of its audio.

From start to finish, it is clear that this recording was recorded at an extremely low level.  Audiences are forced to nearly max out the volume on their televisions in order to be able to hear the concert.  This is the case even with the pre-show interviews with the band members and applies regardless of the sound setting on viewers’ televisions and whether or not they have home surround sound systems.  Audiences should not be forced to nearly blow out their televisions’ speakers in order to enjoy a concert and then push that volume all the way back down before switching the television back to regular settings.  This may not seem overly important on the surface.  But when examining the recording’s overall presentation, it is just as important to note as the recording’s cinematography and editing, which proves far more impressive.  It is part of the recording’s overall production values, and should have been addressed far more seriously than it apparently was here.  Keeping that in mind, it is the one element that could potentially keep this recording from being named among the year’s top new live recordings by critics next month.  Despite this, the recording is still not a total loss. The aforementioned cinematography and video editing make up for the problems caused by the recording’s audio issues.

The cinematography and video editing exhibited throughout the course of Alive at 25 serves as one of the recording’s cornerstones.  Thanks to the work of those behind the cameras, audiences are presented with a concert experience that visually is not just another run-of-the-mill recording.  Certain fades and visual effects are used throughout the concert to keep audiences engaged and entertained — effects such as black and white shots, slow fades and dissolves, and even the use of slower shutter speeds.  The editing mixes those elements and shots, which are largely presented around the stage, to make the concert here not just a concert, but a standout visual cinematic concert experience. When that is considered along with the previously discussed stage presence of Farrell’s band mates, the two elements together make even more important the concert’s visual elements.  It is that overall visual experience that, when coupled with the show’s set list, makes this recording worth at least one watch.  If the audio had been better, it would have been worth far more.  Ultimately though, that one negative keeps the concert from being worth more than that much.  Keeping all of this in mind, Alive at 25 likely won’t be alive in audiences’ minds far beyond that one watch.

Jane’s Addiction’s latest live recording Alive at 25 is a valiant effort from one of the rock community’s most pivotal bands.  It offers a set list that presents one of the band’s most important albums in whole in one setting, and a performance of that album by most of the band, that is certain to entertain audiences.  The concert’s video work is just as certain to entertain audiences.  Even with all of this in mind, it still is almost not enough to make up for the problems raised by the recording’s audio issues.  If audiences have to nearly max out the audio on their televisions in order to hear the concert, there is not a lot of point to even take in the show. At the same time, audiences should not have to push the volume on their televisions way back down after the concert ends in that continued effort to not blow out their televisions’ speakers.  Keeping all of this in mind, Alive at 25 sadly likely won’t be alive in audiences minds after just one watch.  That is painful to say considering the quality of the band’s past live recordings.  Hopefully the band will take all of this as a learning experience for its next live recording, when and if there will be another live recording from the band.  Alive at 25 is available now in stores and online.  More information on Alive at 25 is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.janesaddiction.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JanesAddiction

Twitter: http://twitter.com/janesaddiction

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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Jane’s Addiction Announces Release Date For New Live Recording

Jane’s Addiction has a new live recording on the way.

The band will release its latest live recording Alive At twenty-Five: Ritual de lo Habitual this summer.  The recording features the band’s Sept. 23, 2016 concert filmed at the famed Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre, the last stop on the band’s 2016, 20-city worldwide “Sterling Spoon Anniversary Tour.”

The 90-minute recording is the product of a partnership between MVD Visual, Cleopatra Records, Rock Fuel Media and Sonic Films.  It featured the band’s original lineup of Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Stephen Perkins and Chris Chaney performing its classic 1990 album Ritual de lo Habitual in its entirety as well as a number of other Jane’s Addiction hits.

The recording was captured using 20 cameras throughout the arena and mixed in 5.1 Surround Sound.  Audiences can check out a trailer for the new recording online now here.

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

The recording will be available on a DVD/CD combo pack and exclusive Blu-ray/DVD/CD combo pack.  The DVD/CD combo pack will retail for MSRP of $24.95 and the Blu-ray/DVD/CD combo pack for $29.95.  Both can be pre-ordered online now here.

More information on Alive at Twenty-Five: Ritual de lo Habitual is available online now along with all of Jane’s Addiction’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.janesaddiction.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JanesAddiction

Twitter: http://twitter.com/janesaddiction

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Concert For Ronnie Montrose Is As Good As Any Major Label’s Live Recordings

Courtesy:  RoMoCo

Courtesy: RoMoCo

2013 has seen quite the surplus of live concert recordings.  Bands the likes of Jane’s Addiction, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and so many others have been released to the masses.  Each of those live recordings has proven to be exceptional in its own way.  These recordings will be seen by countless audiences thanks to being released via some of the music industry’s biggest labels. It doesn’t mean that they’re the only live recordings to hit the market this year.  One independently recorded and released live concert event that deserves just as much coverage as those aforementioned recordings is the Concert for Ronnie Montrose.  Recorded April 27th, 2012 at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, California, this live concert event will impress anyone that is a fan of true, pure, guitar-driven rock and roll.  This applies to even those that might not be so familiar with the work of Ronnie Montrose.  There is much to like about this new live recording.  The most obvious of factors is the concert’s audio and video mix.  For a show that was independently recorded and released, it looks and sounds surprisingly good.  The show’s set list and guest lineup collectively make up another of the reasons to check out this concert.  And while it is something relatively subtle, those charged with finalizing the concert included names and titles for each artist on each song.  For those that might be unfamiliar with the artists, this inclusion will help to introduce the artists to said new audiences when they look up each name.  In turn, it could open audiences’ eyes and ears to a whole new world of music.  Together with the aforementioned factors, the Concert For Ronnie Montrose proves to be just as enjoyable as any live recording released by the industry’s major labels.

The Concert for Ronnie Montrose is an independently recorded and released live concert event.  The automatic thought that might be raised in some audiences’ minds upon reading this is that it probably doesn’t match up with the live recordings released by the record industry’s major labels.  That belief could not be any more wrong.  The reality of this concert recording is that it looks and sounds just as good as any of the countless other live recordings released on said labels already in 2013. The camera crews charged with capturing the concert expertly carried out their duties.  Home viewers get the best seat in the house.  They are taken right on stage with the musicians and even above the crowd to see the full extent of the audience in attendance.  Seeing how packed the house was on the night of April 27th, 2012 just goes to show that while Ronnie Montrose might never have been one of the biggest names in the industry, he was and still is one of the most respected individuals to pick up a guitar. It is truly a telling statement, and one that any Ronnie Montrose fan will appreciate when they watch this concert for themselves.

The Concert for Ronnie Montrose was captured just as expertly on video as any live recording released via the industry’s major labels.  It is crystal clear.  And the camera work itself is just as impressive.  Having examined the recording’s high-quality video, the next logical step is to examine its audio mix.  Having been recorded in the semi-intimate setting of San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom, it goes without saying that it was extremely important that the audio be perfect.  Those that are more familiar with the science of acoustics will appreciate the painstaking efforts taken to ensure that the concert’s sound was on par with any major live recording.     Not one of the guitarists overpowered the other at any point throughout the evening.  And none of the musicians overpowered their fellow guest vocalists, either.  That set alongside the equally top notch camera work and video editing serve as the foundation for a concert recording that proves in the long run to be just as good as any of the year’s major concert recordings.

The audio and video mixes in the Concert for Ronnie Montrose collectively make for a solid foundation for this recording.  Having examined both, the next logical step in examining the presentation is to look at the collective set list and the guest lineup.  The set list that comprises this tribute concert spans the late guitarist’s rich career before his passing.  From his days with the Edgar Winter Group to his work with the band that bore his name to his solo career, this concert is front loaded with more than its share of great music.  Even audiences that might perhaps be less familiar with Montrose’s work will likely recognize the Edgar Winter Group’s hit songs ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Free Ride’ and the cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Connection.’  What’s more, those that might be fans of Dream Theater will hear quite the similarity between the concert’s opener, ‘Overture’ and certain work by Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci on the first of Liquid Tension Experiment’s two records.  Petrucci wasn’t one of the artists on hand at the Concert for Ronnie Montrose.  However, some equally big names were in attendance. And their presence is sure to impress audiences just as much as the show’s set list.

The lineup of artists on hand to pay tribute to Ronnie Montrose is just as eye-opening as the show’s set list.  Classic rock fans will recognize former Journey band mates Steve Smith and Neal Schon and Tesla front man Jeff Keith.  Also on hand were two equally big names in the form of Montrose’s former band mate and friend Sammy Hagar (Montrose, Van Halen, Chickenfoot) and world renowned guitarist Joe Satriani (Chickenfoot).  Hagar and Montrose’s fellow former band mates were on hand for the concert, too.  Anyone that was a fan of the band in its heyday will appreciate seeing its members back together if only for a one off show.  If the set list that makes up the show isn’t enough for audiences, then this megastar lineup of artists is certain to convince audiences to check out this recording.

So much has already been noted as to what makes the Concert for Ronnie Montrose such a joy of a live recording, even having been recorded and released independently.  There is still one factor in the recording to examine.  It is a subtle, yet important factor to examine.  It is the inclusion of what is called “supers” (or superimposed images) highlighting the names and titles of each musician to take the stage throughout the concert.  Their inclusion is important for those that might happen to be new to each musician.  The names and titles are placed right in front of each musician.  This allows audiences to directly link a name with a face.  Audiences that are less familiar with said artists can in turn link the names and faces when looking up information on each one online or otherwise.  The latent effect of all of this is the potential introduction of a whole new world of music to new audiences.  For that alone, those charged with making sure the supers matched with each artist deserve their own round of applause.  And together with the camera crews, sound editors, and performers themselves, it all comes together to make the Concert for Ronnie Montrose a concert that any purist rock and roll fan will appreciate no less with each watch.  It is available now and can be ordered online at http://www.ronniemontrose.com/merchandise/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65&products_id=238.  More information on this and all things Ronnie Montrose is available via the official Ronnie Montrose website, http://www.ronniemontrose.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Garbage One Mile High Live Anything But Garbage

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

Seven years passed between the release of Garbage’s 2012 album, Not Your Kind of People and its 2005 release, Bleed Like Me.  Seventeen years have passed in the time the post-grunge band released its 1995 self-titled debut record.  A lot has changed in the music industry in that time.  But one thing that hasn’t changed is fans’ love for the band as is proven in its brand new live Blu-ray and DVD, One Mile High…Live.  The performance is a career spanning performance that proves that while the band’s members—Shirley Manson (vocals), Butch Vig (drums), Duke Erikson (guitars), Steve Marker (guitars) and ex-Janes Addition bassist Eric Avery (touring bassist)—are much older now, none of them has lost a step along the way.

Even for what seems like a smaller venue in comparison to others (at least on film), the Ogden Theater in Denver, Colorado is a fitting setting for this performance.  The show was recorded on October 6th, 2012.  Considering that this was in the “Mile-High City”, that means that the weather had likely already turned pretty seasonal.  But even as cold as it might have gotten outside, things were pretty warm inside the theater thanks to the energy exuded by the band and the audience’s reaction to the band’s performance.  Right from the show’s opening number, ‘Automatic Systematic Habit’, the band engages the audience with its mix of vocal tricks, bombastic beats and solid guitars.  From there, the band launches into a full set of songs that spans the mass of its catalogue.  This includes the massive radio hits, ‘Queer’, ‘Stupid Girl’, ‘Special’ and ‘Only happy When It Rains’, just to name a handful.

The full-on set list is just one part of what will make this performance enjoyable for any fan of Garbage.  Audiences will especially appreciate what can only be called an unexpected moment late in the show when Manson has to get security into the crowd.  This is such an interesting moment as she gets security into the crowd without missing a single beat through the band’s performance.  IN an age when so many singers are accused of lip synching, this single moment proves without a shadow of a doubt, that Manson was not lip synching.  One might ask why this is important.  This is important in that it proves just how solid her vocals are even almost two decades of performing.  What’s more, it’s just one of many moments that prove that the band as a whole is just as solid a unit as ever.  This, even as the band had taken a seven-year break between albums.  And this in itself goes back to the show’s set list.  Through the course of the near two-hour long concert, the band proves exactly why its fans have been so loyal.

The band’s solid performance from start to finish will impress fans especially considering that its last tour in 2005 was canceled due to what was then called burnout.  There is more to consider in this recording than just the band’s performance.  Also to be taken into account with this show is the recording itself.  The audio and video mixes prove once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains as one of the leaders in releasing live recordings.  This is especially the case with the Blu-ray presentation.  So often, it is thrown around that some recordings make viewers feel like they are really there in person.  This is especially the case with this new recording from Garbage.  The footage is crystal clear to the point that viewers will feel like they are looking less at a TV monitor than a window.  And as has been noted with previous releases, those with a surround sound home theater system will especially appreciate the solid audio mix.  The audio was expertly balanced throughout the performance.  And combined with the audio, the pair adds to the show’s enjoyment with each viewing.  One Mile High…Live is available now on DVD and Blu-ray.  It can be ordered online direct via the Eagle Rock Entertainment website at http://www.eagle-rock.com/product/ERBRD5190/One+Mile+High.

While waiting on the DVD and Blu-ray to come in, fans can keep up with the latest news and more from Garbage online at http://www.facebook.com/GarbageOfficial and http://www.garbage.com.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jane’s Addiction announces third leg of “Theatre of the Escapists” tour

Jane’s Addiction has announced the third leg of its “Theatre of the Escapists” tour for the Summer.  The band is currently touring in support of its most recent release, “The Great Escape Artist.”  The Summer leg of the band’s tour kicks off in Cleveland, Ohio.  From there, the band will perform a handful of shows throughout the New England area before swinging back to the Idaho Botanical Garden in Boise, Idaho.  From there, the band will move on to play Reno, Nevada and the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino.

Pre-sale ticket sales will begin at 10am on May 16th for all Citi card members through Citi’s Private pass Program.  It will run through 10pm on May 17th or until the show sells out.  More information is available online at http://www.citiprivatepass.com.  Fans can also go to http://www.janesaddiction.com to purchase pre-sale tickets.  Fans who buy tickets through the official Jane’s Addiction website will also have the pportunity to bundle their tickets with a special unsigned special tour edition lithograph and 20% discount at the Jane’s Addiction online store(excluding media and bundles).  Regular ticket sales for the band’s Summer tour begin May 18th and 19th.

Jane’s Addiction won’t be alone on the third leg of its “Theatre of the Escapists” tour.  it will be joined by Mutemath, Band of Skulls, and Die Antwood on specific dates.  Full information on the band’s upcoming Summer tour dates is available online at http://www.janesaddiction.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/janesaddiction, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/janesaddiction.