Another month, another installment of The Show Must Go Off!, this time featuring the band that started the whole thing - The Vandals.
Live At The House Of Blues is the band's third video documentation, the first two being a DVD of their annual "Oi To The World" concert, and the second being the classic film Sweatin' To The Oldies. This DVD serves as sort of the conclusion to the Vandals trilogy, as it covers all the ground the band has made since 1992, when Sweatin'... was originally released.
The band's 22-song set pretty much covers all their albums from Live Fast Diarrhea up to their newest, Internet Dating Superstuds. Only "Pizza Tran" is carried over from the band's set a decade ago. New[er] classics such as "43210-1," "Marry Me," "I've Got An Ape Drape," and "It's A Fact" are peppered throughout the DVD, and all sound remarkably tight, thanks to the masterful drumming of Josh Freese.
Which brings us to the special features, most notably the "Josh Freese Cam." If you posess one of the best drummers in the world, might as well showcase him, right? Right. On this DVD, you can watch the entire performance through a camera focused just on Josh's drumkit. Even better is the inclusion of a picture-in-picture box of *just* his bass drum. For those of us who are drumming geeks [or for those who get reaaaaaally sick of Warren's "zany antics" really quick], this is the way to watch this DVD.
The band commentary is pure comedic genius, and is much funnier than the band's onstage banter. When the Vandals finally hang it up - and frankly, that day should be nearing, since their schtick is getting painfully old - they could all go on a stand-up comedy tour together and make a killing. The only other special feature worth noting is when you press the "Subtitle" button on your remote, you can get lyrics for every Vandals song being played that night, in karaoke form. Dorky, but in a cool way.
The band has proclaimed that this is the longest set they've ever played before. Whether that is true or not, I can tell you that 22 songs is about a half songs too long for the Vandals. This DVD's song selection is spotty at times, with a few too many filler tracks and the exclusion of some gems - where's "Let The Bad Times Roll," "Stop Smiling," "Allah!," "(But Then) She Spoke", or "Go?" All would have been better choices than the six [!] songs off the disappointing Internet Dating Superstuds.
It is a well-filmed DVD, though, and it does complete the Vandals trilogy. It's not a perfect show by any means, but it's enjoyable and worth a view or two.