Anathema - Were You There? review
|Album:||Were You There?|
|Release date:||November 2004|
Live In Krzemionski, Krakow, January 2004
01. Intro: Childhood Dream
06. Forgoten Hopes
07. Destiny Is Dead
08. Are You There?
09. One Last Goodbye
10. Pulled Under At 2000 Metres A Second
11. Parisienne Moonlight
12. A Natural Disaster
15. Temporary Peace
+ Pressure [video]
Acoustic Live In Liverpool 27/02/04
17. One Last Goodbye
18. Temporary Peace
Live In London, November 2002
Live In Hamburg
21. A Natural Disaster
Having spoiled my first experience of this show due to software audio problems I decided to start with a clean sheet. I picked a quiet evening, connected the big speakers, turned the volume up to caress my ears, fetched some red wine, made myself comfortable and let the experience begin.
From the first shots you can feel that a great audio-visual experience is beginning, a journey is starting out and you are a passenger that gets to see it. You'll find yourself admiring the Pink Floyd like virtuosity of the band at creating the beautiful atmosphere and filling the venue with different sounds. You'll find yourself speeding down the highway of the emotion-driven songs and see the band enjoying the show. But all in due order...
Starting slowly with quiet tracks from "A Natural Disaster" and "A Fine Day To Exit" albums, the show somehow doesn't really get off for me until the first tracks from "Judgement." Maybe it's because I love that album too much but "Forgotten Hopes" and "Destiny Is Dead" are the two tracks that got me into the real flow of the performance. Coming next "Are You There?" sung by Danny is a quiet before the storm, a great starter for a slow climb for the high peak of the show. "One Last Goodbye" forms a strong basis for the following "Pulled Under At 2000 Metres A Second" which sets the crowd really jumping.
After the first onslaught the pace is slowed with "Parisienne Moonlight" and "A Natural Disaster" and Lee Douglas with her beautiful voice is summoned on stage. And the crowd listens and enjoys it. "No matter what I say, No matter what I do, Can't change what happens, Can't change what happens." I can feel myself drifting away on a dreamy soundscape and slowly coming closer to what I've been waiting for from the start of the show -- "Judgement," a song that sends shivers down my spine almost every time I hear it. You have to see how Vinny screams before the song speeds off towards the horizon. Filled with similar emotions, "Panic" is stacked upon you just right after. And having crossed the high peak of the show the ending is made with "Temporary Peace" and "Flying," which is a good closing track and ties loose ends together smoothly.
The camera work is great, showing the band from different angles which helps make the show dynamic. Good are the shots of John Douglas playing drums, especially during the fast paced tracks. Also of Vincent while he's summoning the atmosphere for quiet tracks along with Les Smith on keys, or of the band playing flat out during "Judgement" and "Panic." There are a couple of close-ups that differ a bit from the overall quality but they don't really bother. All in all lighting is done superbly and the recorded show is visually very enjoyable.
Sound wise the production is also almost flawless, clear and clean and every instrument in place. There are some slight variations in sound level but being rare you don't really notice them. I was a bit bothered by the amplifier hiss at the beginning of "Release" but to my pleasure I didn't find such things later. Why I noticed it in the first place was because I had listened to the show with software that made my sound jump up and down and thus I involuntarily paid a lot more attention to the sound than I meant to.
Along with the main show in Krakow on January 31st 2004 you get bits from an acoustic live performance with string quartet in Liverpool on February 27th 2004, one song from London in 2002 and one from Hamburg. On top of all that a "Pressure" promo video clip.
To sum it up shortly the show is very good, but it needs a bit of concentration to get into it. At the beginning you sort of need to make yourself part of the show which is not the way it should be. But you're still presented with something great and as the show progresses the energy and emotions pour out. Let's say the band are slow starters. All in all you're going to have a good evening watching it -- so the DVD is worth spending time and money on. I think that it took me too long to get my hands on it but it was worth the wait.
Written on 28.07.2005 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
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