Review by Sammy Key: I like going to shows. I like the throngs of people, the noise of a crowd, the sweat. I like dealing with surly merch people, and I like coming home at 2 am with my ears ringing and my hair looking like I just got into a fight with a large animal. Because it’s worth it. There’s nothing like that post-show euphoria (and sometimes the consequent depression that follows the next morning when you wake up and realize that no, you aren’t actually a rockstar and yes, it’s now time for school/work/shitty activity of your choice).
But there’s also a lot of potential for disaster at shows. It’s possible you might leave with a bloody nose or a lost wallet. You and your person are not always guaranteed to leave in one piece (cracked iPhones, anyone?) And with all the delicious sensory overload I crave at shows, there’s also an equal amount of distraction that comes along with it. And this is why live CDs/DVDs are so awesome. They give you a chance to see everything – without being crushed and sweated on by somebody twice your size.
In this sense, The Devil Wears Prada have triumphed once again with their release of Dead&Alive, a live recording of their December 13th, 2011 performance at the Palladium in Worcester, MA. To put it simply, this DVD makes you wish that you had been there. But it also makes you feel like watching it at home in the comfort of your own living room (or in my case, bed) is just as good, if not better.
Filmed at what is often claimed to be one of the best venues in the Northeast, this DVD is chock full of crowd shots, close-ups, and choice angles that, from the very beginning, enhance audience experience tenfold. Perfectly timed wide angles combined with the most electrifying moments of the setlist will make the viewer feels as if they are really there – except this time they will have the chance to see everything at once; frontman’s Mike Hranica’s signature growl face, drummer Daniel William’s frantic bashing away at the drums, and the occasional body being thrown into the air above the crowd are all right there for fans’ thirsty eyes to drink in. While some live DVDS flounder in their attempt to capture the energy of a band’s live performance (and let me say, with a band like TDWP on the bill, this is definitely a tall order), Dead&Alive has no such trouble and is equally as enthralling as watching it happen real time. This DVD has a great mixture of the visual you want from a show plus the sound quality everyone secretly wishes they were getting in the crowd. The live CD won’t disappoint either. With a setlist that covers material spanning Prada’s entire career, including songs such as “Dead Throne”, “Outnumbered”, and older fan favorites like “Assistant to the Regional Manager” and “Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over”, this is a perfect mix for the car. Or for just listening to anytime. Because it’s that much fun.
The only thing I didn’t like about this DVD is that I can’t say I was there to see it live. As a fan of a few years who has done a crap job at keeping up with the times, this recording reminded me why I came to love TDWP is the first place. This band is so talented, creative, and thankful towards their fans; and you can see it in the meticulous care they took in making this release the best it could be, from the performance itself to the behind-the scenes footage that follows (and was edited by the band’s very own guitarist Jeremy Depoyster!) I recommend this DVD to every fan of TWDP. I’m serious, you really should see it.