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DVD is ok, but live CD shows up flaws
on 16 January 2005
The problem with live albums is that is very difficult to capture the atmosphere and energy of being at the concert. It is very difficult to reproduce songs in a live setting to the same standard of the ones you hear on the bands CD. Most live performances will not be perfect, but the energy, and atmosphere when you are there at the gig often hide these imperfections. So without the sense of occasion of actually being there, the flaws are clear to hear when you listen to a live album, and you basically just get imperfect versions of tracks you already have on the studio albums.
This is sadly the case with 'Anywhere But Home's' live CD. Evanescence are a very good band and put on a great live show (I've seen them live and they were fantastic), but this live CD doesn't do them justice. If you never heard Evanescence before and heard this you would think it was pretty good, and if you were there in the crowd I am sure you really enjoy the performance. But anyone familiar with 'Fallen's very slick, highly finished production listening this CD could easily pick out the inperfections.
On a positive note, the inclusion of 'Breathe No More', 'Missing' and 'Farther Away', 3 songs left off the 'Fallen' album are all very good songs and any Evanescence fan who never heard them is really missing out. Also the piano led cover of KoRn's 'Thoughtless' is very interesting as Amy Lee twists a familiar song in a totally different direction.
The DVD is very well presented, the menu screens and the way the live footage is cut works very well. The DVD roduction in general looks very cool.
The concert on DVD is a lot better than it is on the CD, the visuals do go some way to recreating the concert atmosphere and hide many of the flaws so clearly heard on the CD. With the best moments coming during Amy Lee sits down on the piano for the heart felt 'Breathe No More' and 'My Immortal'. It is still by no means perfect but it looks good, sounds a lot better with the visuals and is overall very watchable.
The DVD extras are pretty much Evanescence messing around back stage, it does throw out the myth that Amy Lee is miserable and moody and that she has no connection to the rest of the band. These extras are quiet watchable and do have some funny moments, but they are hardly relevant or essential viewing for any fan. It also includes the Evanescence music videos for 'Bring Me To Life', 'Going Under', 'My Immortal' and 'Everybody's Fool'.
The DVD is pretty good, while the live CD is not the best. For all the hardcore Evanescence fans I am sure you will find enough here to justify the purchase (the 3 unreleased songs in particular), but for the passive fans there is little here to convert you into a hardcore fan and you might want to give this a miss.