Armor For Sleep had a real solid year. What to Do When You Are Dead marked a definitive step forward for the four-piece, and their relentless touring really helped to get their name and music out there. However, their DVD, A Comprehensive Guide to Touring, is a an exercise in how not to make a music DVD.
Point blank, it's boring. If you're going to buy this in hopes of catching some real good live footage of the band, I'll tell you right now, save your cash. There's virtually no live footage of the band, which is really pretty unfortunate, as they're one of the more enjoyable live acts within their genre. One would infer that a comprehensive guide to touring would include a hefty amount of why you tour in the first place, which is to play shows, and that's simply not the case.
What you have instead are a lot of candid moments of the band, individual interviews and general hijinks of tour and being out on the road with your friends. If nothing else, you do get a much closer look at the dichotomy and day-to-day dealings of the band than most other DVDs would show. The problem with going this in depth is that a good amount of the time, there's nothing to really see. Bands can't be exciting and entertaining all the time, so what ends up happening is a lot of shots of the band sleeping or driving in the van, sitting in hotel rooms, or just telling stories. Which would be fine, but the stories are really nothing that amusing. Each of the band's four members has plenty of time to share funny happenings, or the tough and fun times of the road and being away from home, but when it all comes down to it, they're really not exciting people.
I will say though, the fight between two tall lanky men in girl pants that resulted in one of said men being drug down a hallway by their wedgie was one of the more entertaining things I've seen in a while. The rest of the DVD though, is rather uneventful; there's some funny moments, and it's not tough to watch or anything, but there's just so little to truly grasp your attention that it becomes a problem after a while.
After the main portion is over, there's a decent amount of extras to keep you watching. Three music videos, bonus footage, tours of each of the band member's rooms, and a few other things that aren't quite as interesting. It's nice that they did throw a few extras on, even if the content is marginally entertaining.
When it comes down to it, you'll have to really be a big fan of the band to get a lot of enjoyment out of the DVD. It's well made, it's got tons of content and extras, but the footage suffers from a severe lack of live performances. Even just a song or two would put the DVD in better standing than it's currently in, but it was simply not to be. Huge fans of the band, pick this up, the rest of you, I'd advise just stick to the albums.