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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ordinary, 6 Oct 2011
Sordel (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I'd count Ani's official live albums - Living in Clip and So Much Shouting, So Much Laughter - as two of the best live albums I've heard, but, honestly, she is not the most consistent of performers and this DVD/CD set does not show her to best advantage. In a celebratory mood in front of a devoted, hometown audience, Ani tosses off her songs with less concentration than needed; "Fuel", for example, is transformed from an icy urban commentary on its original album into a lightweight riff.

It doesn't help that the other musicians on stage (all from her regular touring band) seem under-arranged. Mike Dillon noodles around on vibes & glockenspiel as though he has nothing actually to play but is determined to make a contribution. Alison Miller on drums does well, but Todd Sickafoose's bass is not well recorded and is only obviously present when messing around with effects pedals or bow. It doesn't help that the video is only stereo (no 5.1 track), so sound separation is not the best.

Too often one is left wondering why the audience is cheering: what's to cheer about the line "My fingers are sore and my voice is too"? Yet up come a couple of appreciative whoops anyway. If the audience were mixed to the back channel, you could do away with them, but instead you're stuck with them.

It's not all bad: "Shy" & "Hypnotized" are sweetly performed, and both "Gravel" & "Alla This" gives hints of Ani's usual fire. Overall, though, this disc gives the (quite wrong) impression that Ani is a rather ordinary performer.
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