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A Live Commemoration to the Dandy Warhols' Best
Posted by: Parkas4Kids from: Dundalk, MD on
Okay, I really don't understand all the hate for this album. It's a live record, and all live records have their flaws. As for the audio quality of this concert, I have no idea what the other reviewers are talking about; this recording is practically flawless in its clarity. True, in some areas Courtney's vocals get a little buried underneath the drums and guitar, and Zia's keyboards are not as audible as the other instruments, but that's what happens with live recordings. And, as the liner notes stated rather clearly, the show was recorded live with no overdubs, so any mistakes are simply part of the package!
'Thirteen Tales from Urban Bohemia' is quite possibly the last great rock 'n roll record to be recorded in the 20th Century, and it's easily one of the best albums released in the 21st Century to date. It also heralded a new era of exposure and popularity for the band and brought them global exposure. In the end, though, their relationship with Columbia Records soured with subsequent releases, and the Dandy Warhols went back to writing, recording, and releasing their music their own way. Regardless, 'Thirteen Tales...' is a gem, and to commemorate its release, the Dandies took the album on tour to celebrate its thirteenth birthday.
"Godless," "Mohammed," and "Nietzche" sound very much like they did on the record though perhaps a bit slowed down in tempo. Courtney's vocals get a little lost in all the effects on "Country Leaver," which isn't as strong a performance as on the original album, and the vocals continue to sound a little weak as "Solid" gets revved up. As the band jumps into "Horse Pills," they up the tempo a bit, and Courtney more talks his way through the song than sings. "Get Off," in my opinion, is a little weak compared to the record and doesn't quite have the same feel. However, once "Sleep" starts up, the band gets back in the groove, slows things down a bit, and start to sound more like they did on the album. "Cool Scene" is just as excellent as it was on the album, though "Bohemian Like You" falls short of its initial grandeur. "Shakin" also leaves a little to be desired compared to the original record, but "Big Indian" and "The Gospel" really manage to bring it all back home again.
All in all, if you enjoyed 'Thirteen Tales...' for the big radio hits, this live recording isn't for you. The songs that really shine here are the lesser-known songs, the less popular tracks, but this is a far cry from a terrible live recording. Could it have been better? Sure, it could have, but I've listened to a lot of live albums that sound a LOT worse. You also have to take into account that this was one of the last of a marathon set of shows--thirteen shows at thirteen venues in thirteen days, if I remember correctly--so the band was also probably a little road-weary. And they absolutely KILLED IT, flaws and all.
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