After 20 years of being around, 'August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall' represents the first live audio/video release of the band. Recorded in 2007, the original idea for this album was to have a concert at Town Hall with friends of the band who had been involved in their career somehow. As an inside joke and as Adam explains in the 40 minute documentary included as the only extra of the BD, they toyed with the idea of playing their 1993 debut album in its entirety, they ended up liking this idea better and cancelled the planned collaborations, Jakob Dylan being one of them. This is worth mentioning in case someone was expecting to listen to the band's greatest hits live, this is a live presentation of their complete first album!
The album opens with an outstanding rendition of 'Round Here', in my opinion, the best version of the song I have heard from the band; the opening song is a perfect example of what to expect from the concert, the band sounding better than ever, Adam's heart-felt singing, a lot of improvisation with Adam adding lyrics on the go as well as using lyrics from other songs, specifically 'Raining in Baltimore' and 'Private Archipelago'. It is quite impressive and worth mentioning the synergy of the band, if you did not know they were improvising you couldn't really tell as it looks and sounds as if rehearsed.
One after another, the band delivers incredible an updated versions of all the songs from their debut album, going sometimes as far as including bits of Springsteen's 'Thunder Road' in between the lyrics for 'Rain King'
The HD video presentation is quite impressive(1080i, 1.78:1), while I did notice a few cases in which the image didn't look as good as a BD can look, those were a few and not worth worrying about. The performance looks as good as the PBS special for 'Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings' (which aired on HD and unfortunately has not been released on BD)
Audio quality is just amazing, the HD audio track included (DTS HD) will blow you away if you have a good sound system, no album from the band has sounded as good as this one does. They did a great job mixing the audio, additionally LPCM stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 are included.
This is a concert I know I will be watching over and over, now, bring on the VH1 Storytellers! or at least the PBS Soundstage special! If they could give the same treatment for all their released albums well, that would just be amazing and appreciated.