There are some bands you just have to see live. There are some bands who just consistently put on an impressive live performance. Even if you can't get into the show, you would have to admit the artist is great at what they do. Audio Adrenaline is one of those bands who consistently makes a rousing rock concert look like a walk in the park.
2003, the band's twelfth year on the CCM scene, has been a notably big and equally busy one for the rock n' roll quartet. The guys took home a Dove award for Rock Album of the Year, and rightfully so! Their 2001 album Lift was one of their best to date and the industry took notice. AudioA released another studio record, entitled Worldwide, and went on to headline some major summer festivals. This Fall, lead singer Mark Stuart participated in the recording and live production of the monumental !Hero: The Rock Opera, and as the band begins talking about a follow-up to Worldwide, they release a full-length live DVD entitled Alive. Alive was filmed at this year's Alive Festival in Ohio, complete with an audience of 20,000 people. The show's set list included 16 different songs from the band (including one cover), with a mix from all of their records except for two.
To give the event an especially unique touch, the concert was filmed using 26 different cameras that had been placed all over the stage. From Will's bass cam to a fuzzy side stage cam, fans are given an all-around look at an AudioA show that they normally don't get from just being in the crowd. So 16 great songs, 26 different camera angles, 20,000 screaming fans, 5 different musicians on stage, and 1 great band add up to a flawless DVD right? Well, almost... The only drawback to the Alive DVD is the editing. Whoever spliced the camera angles together was either working to meet a tight deadline or hyped up on a lot of coffee. Before you get a chance to take in one shot, you've immediately been whisked away to another. From the stage floor to Will's bass, to behind Ben's drum set to Mark's hat, you're being bounced back and forth across the stage like a tennis ball. While it keeps the view of the show fresh, it almost takes away from the live "you're there at the show" feel. It's often just a little too choppy for comfort.
The show itself, however, is a quality Audio Adrenaline live show. Having been to nineteen shows myself in nine years it's nice to finally have some live video to take home. The song choice is a good one too, including age old hits like "Big House" and "We're A Band" while introducing new favorites like "Dirty" and "Leaving 99." Speaking of song selection, fans will want to note a minor goof on the DVD packaging. For those who pick it up and notice hits "Chevette" and "Underdog" absent from the play list, have no fear! Somehow, the two songs were overlooked from the packaging and are hiding in between AA's performance of "Strong" and "Leaving 99." The song selection menu on the DVD and credits also overlook them, so you can either watch the show from start to finish to be sure to catch everything or you can select the chapter for "Strong" and watch from there on.
Despite some minor shortcomings, the Alive DVD is a must-have for AudioA fans and an energetic and inviting live concert performance that should not be passed up by anyone who appreciates good rock n' roll. And for being free with the purchase of their album Worldwide and Christmas on the horizon, you've got nothing to lose and a great gift idea on your hands.- Review date: 11/12/03, written by John DiBiase
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