Two words: Shit sandwich.
Okay, maybe a few more...
Based on the music DVDs I've seen, it's apparently pretty difficult for a band to put together a decent DVD. I've seen DVDs that range from really good to complete shit.
This is complete shit.
When I heard MxPx was going to be playing three nights in a row at the Graceland, I thought I'd go to one of them just for old time's sake. I even thought they'd play some older stuff so they could throw that on the DVD. I loved MxPx five years ago, but the only thing they've done consistently the last few years is make bad music. Sure enough, they played a TON of older stuff. At one point during the show I went to (the second of the three nights), Mike even mentioned that they were playing almost their entire catalog over the course of the three nights.
Too bad they didn't put most of it on the DVD.
The bulk of the DVD is a 45-minute documentary on the band with only five songs from the three nights thrown in. Twelve years of being a band and this was the best they could do!?
Let's focus instead on what is actually ON the DVD rather than what's not. The documentary is done well enough, with lots of interview footage with the band and some behind-the-scenes footage from over the years (but nothing that old, from what I could tell). I've certainly seen better executions of this interview/show approach, but I've also seen worse.
But the handful of songs from the Graceland are actually some of the best concert footage I've ever seen. Nicely shot and very well edited, though the sound leaves a bit to be desired. It's not to say that the sound quality is bad, but they seem to alternate between actual live sounds and a soundboard recording of the shows. So when the band is interacting with the crowd, it sounds completely different from when they're actually playing songs. I personally preferred the way the live mics sounded, but I just wish they would have stuck with one and not switched back and forth.
Also on the DVD is a handful of extras, none of which are really all that interesting or noteworthy.
Included with the DVD is the EP, five songs recorded acoustically over the course of the three nights. Again, not all that interesting, but probably worth a listen for those who still consider themselves fans.
On the plus side, this DVD/EP set is pretty cheap. I managed to pick it up at Best Buy for about $8 on release day. So if you feel you MUST get it for yourself, at least you won't feel too ripped off.
The bottom line is that I wouldn't actually recommend this to anyone, not even their biggest fans. The DVD really feels like a missed opportunity, especially considering they documented three nights worth of shows (including a lot of old songs they don't often play anymore) and only put a few performances on the disc. The EP may get a few listens from hardcore fans, but the casual listener won't bother with it more than once.
Two words: Shit sandwich.