Courtey: Fearless Records
Forthy-three years ago, famed author Stephen King published what has gone on to become one of the most well-known novels of all time when he released The Shining. Its creation came after King visited the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Three years later, that novel went on to be adapted into a movie that while disliked by King himself, has become beloved by horror movie fans. In celebration of the 40th anniversary of the movie’s premiere, metalcore band Ice Nine Kills released a performance Friday that it held late last year at the hotel. The surprise release is streaming through Fearless Records’ official YouTube channel. The intimate performance serves as the foundation for its presentation. Resting on that foundation is the matter of the concert’s set list, which while brief will still engage and entertain audiences. The songs’ production and mixing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. All three elements are key in their own way to the whole of Live From The Overlook Hotel. All things considered, they leave listeners wanting for more in the best way possible.
Ice Nine Kills’ new live recording Live From The Overlook Hotel is another enjoyable presentation for audiences who are looking for their live music fix while stages are dark and silent. That is due in part to the concert itself. Rather than being a full-on, amped up concert, this performance was a more intimate, acoustic set from the band. Adding to the interest is that the performance was held to mark the 40th anniversary of the debut of the movie spawned from Stephen King’s timeless novel by the same name. Considering the alleged nature of the hotel – numerous stories have been told over the years about paranormal activity that has happened at the hotel – it was a surprise that nothing happened during the course of the concert, which was held in support of the re-issue of the band’s 2018 album The Silver Scream. The re-issue, dubbed The Final Cut, was released Oct. 25, 2019, only weeks ahead of the band’s performance at the Staley Hotel. The fact that the performance was so intimate and that almost no one was at the hotel when King and his wife Tabitha visited the business decades earlier adds to the interesting juxtaposition. The question and answer session that was featured with the performance is removed from the EP along with the other mid-song interactions with the audience, in favor of just the songs. Even despite that, the performance still offers its own share of engagement and entertainment for audiences. Maybe one day audiences will get the performance in whole through an official release on DVD and/or Blu-ray. In the meantime though, that the band would at least present its song performances from the concert is reason enough to check out this digital-only EP.
Speaking of songs performed during the intimate performance, the concert’s set list is of its own interest for listeners. Composed of five tracks, the concert focuses mainly on the acoustic tracks that are featured in The Silver Scream’s Final Cut re-issue, which would make sense, considering that the performance, again, came only weeks after The Silver Scream: The Final Cut was released. The acoustic take of ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ is here, as are the acoustic takes of ‘A Grave Mistake’ and ‘Savages.’ The band’s acoustic take of ‘Stabbing in the Dark’ was replaced in this concert with an acoustic take of ‘Love Bites.’ That song was also featured in The Silver Scream, but was not featured as an acoustic take on The Final Cut. The set’s closer, ‘Enjoy Your Slay’ also was not an acoustic work presented in the original album or its re-issue. Even with that in mind, it was still a strong performance in its own right. Considering the mood of the overall concert and its setting, the performance was a good fit. There was a certain eerie, somber nature in the performance that just enhanced the overall mood of the performance. Given, it would have been nice to have had more songs in the set list, but again, the concert was part of the supporting tour in support of The Final Cut. So to that end, the acoustic takes were naturally the point of focus here. To that end, the set list in itself is still engaging and entertaining. Together with the show’s setup, it makes the overall concert even more noteable.
While the concert’s background and its set list do a lot to make it worth taking in, they are only a portion of what makes the performance stand out. The recording’s production and mixing rounds out its most important elements. They are important to note especially because this is an all acoustic performance. This might not seem important on the surface, but in the bigger picture, making sure all of the sound levels are precise in an acoustic setting is just as critical if not more so in an acoustic setting as a fully amplified performance. That is because the sound is softer, so even more attention has to be paid to every bit of sound balance. Those behind the boards and editing are to be commended for that attention to the finer details, too. Their efforts paid off in each song, putting the final touch to the presentation. Together with the noted set list and the setting for the concert and its background, all three elements come together to make Undead & Unplugged: Live From The Overlook Hotel a good first live outing for Ice Nine Kills that gives hope for a future full-length live recording from the band..
Ice Nine Kills’ new live EP Undead & Unplugged: Live From The Overlook Hotel is a positive offering from the band. That is especially considering that it is the band’s first live recording. That is due in part to the concert’s setup and background in itself as noted here. The set list, though brief, adds its own interest to the EP’s presentation. The recording’s production and mixing puts the finishing touch to its presentation. All three items are important in their own way to the whole of this live EP. All things considered, they make Undead & Unplugged: Live From The Overlook Hotel a positive live debut from INK, and a presentation that gives hope for what a full-length live recording could look and sound like. The recording is streaming now through Fearless Records’ official YouTube channel.
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