on 23 May 2009
Wilco fans have been waiting for some time for a document of just how good a live band the current Wilco lineup is. The problem is, a mere concert DVD will never suffice, given the inevitable comparisons this film wlll endure with Sam Jones's superb "I am Trying to Break Your Heart" documentary. That film, shot in black and white, had a story to tell and chronicled a very creative, yet turbulent period in the band's history.
This film does not try to compete, but still aims to make things interesting. As a result, several classic American venues were picked for the concert footage, which was filmed in a claustrophobically close-up fashion. This means that the wide shots or larger stages (Mobile, Alabama) seem almost welcome relief.
However, the film captures in almost minute detail, the experience of being on the road with Wilco. It also vividly portrays the individual brilliance of the performers. All I can really say as a recommendation, is that watching this DVD is exactly like being at a Wilco show. If you can persuade someone to sing all the lyrics tunelessly somewhere behind you and also get someone to dance, insanely, right in front of you, then I just wouldn't bother going to a show - you're there!
Superbly filmed, great sound, great songs and currently the greatest American live band - enough said.
It's good to have a road movie-style DVD from Wilco in colour, following the monochrome I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. There's not quite so much of the road in this one but the interlinking sections between the live footage are interesting and add a lot of depth. The main feature though is the live performances which are, as you'd expect from this band, electrifying good. They're all on top form and the sound quality does it justice. There's even some amusing banter and a delightful incident with a bra.
All in all, if you love Wilco you'll really like this. If you don't know who Wilco are this wouldn't be a bad starting place but you will end up wanting the albums too!
on 16 July 2009
Just as you might expect from such an apparently laid back bunch we see the true highs and lows of life on the road. At times amusing the film serves to temper the myth that "rock 'n roll" is a glamorous pursuit. Relatively intimate venues help to showcase one of the finest live acts around today. If you appreciate musicianship of the highest order then I urge you to invest, you won't regret it. Truly five stars.(even with the assistance of painkillers!)