The Vandals – Live At the House of Blues (The Show Must Go Off Volume 9)

The Vandals – Live At the House of Blues (The Show Must Go Off Volume 9) / 2004 Kung Fu Records / 22 Tracks / / / 

I only have been able to review The Vandals’ last album and see a few of their videos on the Kung Fu compilation before throwing myself into an hour of Vandals music, so I had a vague idea of what I should expect from the band. Kung Fu really knows how to jam-pack a DVD with extras, this coming with a CD of all the songs played, as well as a video for their “43210-1”, a camera angel just for Josh Freese, their virtuosic drummer, as well as subtitles for the songs. The quality of the video on this disc is easily that of broadcast cable, and the sound in-song has one of the best captures, in the sense that they are able to cut down so much on the crowd noise. Something that really shines through even more than their studio albums would show is the Vandals’ extreme sense of humor and camaraderie – while it is prevalent on the albums themselves, just seeing the interaction between all of the members of the band really show that these individuals love playing music with each other.

While I’m not sure of it, the on-board karaoke/audio transcription seemed to be done with someone who had English as a second language, with a handful of error during each and every song. Some easily discernible background noise, important enough to merit its own few lines on the captioning, are left out, as well as having a number of the lyrics screwed up. This is really a minor issue to stress, but really, that is probably the only fault I can come up with about this DVD – the audio commentary is something to talk about as well, poking fun at individuals and pointing out minor things that individuals may not see, all while the action in the background is turned down a little. Key notes with this DVD, though, come with the dedications to a few of these songs: “Too Much Drama” to Dexter Holland (who completely copped the chorus for “Drama” on Americana’s “Walla Walla”), as well as Disproportioned Head (going out to the bass played of Blink 182). Overall, the traditional elements of California punk are exemplified in the Vandals: the epicurianism of Fear and the irreverence of Descendents are spruced up with some extra goofiness. This DVD shows two things: first off, that The Vandals are not going anywhere, and that the “The Show Must Go Off” series, already 9 in, is at the top of its game with four more installments planned (The Adolescents, Goldfinger, Zebrahead, and The Matches).

Top Tracks : Soccer Mom, Too Much Drama

Rating : 9.1/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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