God bless the Aquabats. It's nice to know in this day and age with every band seeming to try and outdo the other in the "poor pitiful me" department that a group as wonderfully ridiculous as this can still exist, and can also have the presence of mind to document their zaniness via video camera over the years. This double disc DVD set contains over three hours of live footage from shows spanning the band's whole career [and all 7 dozen or so of their members], and is a fun retrospective for a band that definitely exists to have fun.
The main part of disc one is a live show recorded in Pomona, CA earlier this year. The 12-song set covers all four of the band's studio albums [including their b-sides and rarities comp], and is well-recorded both video and soundwise. The crowd is rabid, and the band's antics are spot-on. The disc also contains a video history of the ska-pop group from 1996 to present, including footage from their very first show. It's a cool little documentary to include, although I wish it was slightly longer. Lastly, the disc has the music video for "Super Rad" as well as the previously unreleased music video for "CD Repo Man." More for completists than anything else, but it's still a fun watch.
Disc two is where all the real fun is - a smorgasboard of of clips from a number of different shows over the years. Each clip includes one performance as well as one of the comedy/fighting bits the Aquabats are known for live. The majority of the footage is of decent quality, considering that a lot of this stuff came from handheld cameras in the audience, not from a production crew. The bits and banter in-between songs had me bursting with laughter time and time again, and remembering just how much fun I used to have listening to the Aquabats.
Also, for those of you who are obsessed with all things Travis Barker, there are a number of clips on here from his time spent with the band, and they once again prove that this guy is superhuman when it comes to drumming ability.
He also looks really, really silly in an Aquabats uniform, but that's beside the point.
Probably the funniest - and simultaneously most disturbing - part of the entire DVD set is the easter egg on disc two. I won't tell you how to view it, as I seriously think it will damage the way you think, but I will say this - the easter egg is a video of three members of the Aquabats, presumably on a cable access show, singing "Music Of The Night" from Phantom Of The Opera with a grown man suffering from Down's Syndrome. Somehow, they keep a straight face for the 6+ minutes the song runs.
I'm pretty sure I'm going to hell for laughing at this, but anyway.
Serious Awesomeness should hopefully revive interest in this band's waning popularity, as this DVD shows they still have relavance. More importantly, this band is goddamn funny live, and people need to know that. A worthy buy if you're a fan or if you're looking to discover the Aquabats for the first time - all of their bests songs are on here in one form or another, and the Bat Commander is in rare form in these concert pieces.
In short, pick it up. Pick it up pick it up pick it up.