As a big fan of the Circle Jerks, I can definitely say Kung Fu did a good job on their latest live DVD featuring longtime LA hardcore legends the Circle Jerks. While I'll nitpick over a few things, overall, it's worth the buy.
Right off the bat, there's a light blue tint over the film, which I'm not sure is due to the lighting on the stage or what, but it's annoying for the first few songs. But you get used to it after awhile. Other than that, the production, the sound, the editing and the overall quality of camera shots is great. When I watch any live footage of a show, I want to feel like I'm actually at the show. You get that and more. There's probably half a dozen or so different camera shots of the band and it even goes down to the bass drum. There's also a good balance of shots of the crowd as well which is nice to see. The circle pit is congested with some big, scary looking skinheads and punks. And as you might expect, the crowd goes off the most for all the Group Sex-era songs. Throw in some stage divers who got lucky enough to get past the security and you've got your typical Circle Jerks show.
For a bunch of 40-something year-olds, they can still get it done live. Keith Morris, the alcoholic/cocaine addict/prick/asshole and his dreadlocks are as intense as ever while the rest of the band get a nice workout jumping around on stage. The sound is crisp and clear with no member of the band drowning each other out. The band tears through 27 songs in under an hour. Not surprisingly, the band focuses on their first (and best) 3 albums, Group Sex, Wild In The Streets and Golden Shower Of Hits. The rest of their catalog gets 1 or 2 nods per album. The highlight has to be Keith introducing the next song as "A sing along for the summertime. It goes like wild, running, wild, running…" and the crowd going insane. I won't write down the whole set list, but all the classics and live staples are here with the exception of "Live Fast Die Young." They also throw in some Weirdos and Flesheaters covers and finish it all off with Black Flag's "Nervous Breakdown" as only Keith can do.
This DVD is basically just a live show. The extras aren't really too much to rave about. There's a short preshow backstage introduction with Keith stretching and Greg Hetson doing this really cool magic trick. The band commentary is pretty lame for reasons Keith rightfully points out. There is one feature that allows you to watch 5 simultaneous different camera angles for 3 songs, so if you just want to focus on the people beating each other up in the pit, check out the upper left corner.
While I had a hard time finding this DVD, I'm just glad the Circle Jerks got their due on film with a proper, professionally shot live show . If you missed out on them in the 80's or never got to see them live on the last few tours, then be sure to pick this one up.
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