Ian MacKaye and the rest of the people over at Dischord have been promising a Minor Threat DVD for sometime now, and finally on Nov. 11th it was released. This very full DVD includes 3 full length concerts, a hilarious Q & A with Ian and a very oblivious reporter and a 16 page booklet featuring lyrics, a history of the D.C scene, some photos of the band and 2 pages full of flyers from various shows.
OK, onto the show, the first show is a taping from one of Minor Threat's first shows ever (only a week after forming) at the D.C. space on December 17th, 1980. Unfortunately, the video quality of this concert is very poor, as it was shot in B&W and very long ago. With the exception of that though, the sound is very good as is the excellent performance. It's a great collectors piece, being a very rare and extremely early show. From here, though, things get much better.
The next concert takes place at the Buff Hall in New Jersey on November 20th, 1982. This time we have full color footage and even better sound quality. The band blasts through an 17 song setlist. Some highlights include a frenetic "Sob Story", the always pleasing, blistering cover of Wire's "12xu" (which sends the crowd into a violent fit of excitment and ends with an altercation between a guy who pushes a girl off stage.). Ian, as always, keeps his cool throughout the concert, even when the crowd is knocking into him every second. He gets a little pissed, asking the crowd several times to "give me some fucking room", which is completely understandable - I would have smacked some of those fuckers. Anyway, the concert goes on smoothly, with Ian trading vocals off with several different kids, some actually snatching the microphone from him for brief periods of time. This concert represents Minor Threat's music perfectly - it is chaotic, loud and totally out of control. The audience seems to be part of the performance rather than just watching it. This, at times, can be irritating to the band, but overall it works well.
The next and final concert of the DVD is of better video and sound quality than either one of the others. It takes place on June 23rd, 1983, shortly before the band called it quits, at the infamous 9:30 Club in Washington DC. The show begins with an extensive introduction curtousy of the always amiable Ian MacKay. They first play "Stand Up", then break into "Seeing Red." It's interesting to see the progression of the band over the DVD's different concerts, in this final one the band is at it's tightest and most focused. It's a joy to watch. They rock through a host of 15 other killer tracks like "In My Eyes", "Out Of Step", "I Don't Wanna Hear It", "Filler", and closing with "Stepping Stone".
Along with the concert footage is an interview with Ian circa July 1983. The whole thing is rather humorous, considering the reporter has no idea what anything in the punk scene is about. Some of these goofball questions are "How do you want people to dance?", "Why do you scream?", "Why do you play so fast?", "Why do people dress like you?", "Why are you doing what you are doing?", "Are you the hippies of the '80's?", and, finally, "Are you an angry person?" to which Ian silently nods his head... classic stuff.
Overall, this is DVD gem and a must own for Minor Threat and hardcore fans.