I am a fan of this band, I have been from the beginning. That being said, I’m not going to fawn over this live CD/DVD. Like I mention in my subject heading, it’s not bad, but it’s also not good. Let me explain.
I judge the worth of a band on both the quality of their music and the quality of their live performances (after all, what’s a rock band if they can’t tear it up live?). “Fallen” is both a well-written and well-recorded album. In terms of their live performances (and I have seen them three times), Evanescence isn’t all that impressive. They are entertainers more than musicians. While Amy Lee is an incredible singer, and the music her and Ben Moody wrote is compelling and catchy, it doesn’t translate very well into a live setting. Anyone who has seen them live knows the band relies heavily on samples, pre-recorded synths, and taped over vocal parts. That being the case, they never perform the songs any different than what they sound like on the album. Some people value that; I suppose I value seeing a band improvise and prove their worth as musicians more than simply performers. All this being considered, their live recording sounds like the album with a less satisfying sound quality. They don’t do anything other than perform their music faithfully to its original version, which I find relatively boring. I do give them props on their cover of Korn’s “Thoughtless,” which proves that they do have some live musical creativity up their sleeves.
So by now I’m sure anyone reading this wants to know what I consider a good live recording, since I just spent a paragraph criticizing Evanescence’s. I recently bought Incubus’ live CD, “Alive at Red Rocks.” Now there’s a live CD worth owning. Incubus finds the perfect balance between performing their songs as we best know them and altering them to highlight their individual musical talents. It really is a great disc. Another good live disc is Tool’s “Salival.”
I often find that band’s release live CD’s to pass the time between the end of a tour and the recording of a new album. Evanescence seems to have done just so. Again, the CD/DVD isn’t bad, it just isn’t good. You’d probably be best off getting this as a present (so you can feel good not having paid for it) or downloading it somehow (if you can live with that ethical dilemma, and considering the fact that these guys are multi-millionaires, it shouldn’t be too hard!).
These are just my two cents.
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