UG Team, on april 26, 2007 4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: For your latest DVD fix of Breaking Benjamin, you'll have to look to the release of the band's CD Phobia. Along with the regular CD track list found on the original release back from August 2006, fans are now treated to a limited edition DVD. While the bonus DVD is pretty much your basic live performance, the songs sound impeccable -- at times better than the recorded versions.
The Phobia DVD features 15 tracks in the live show, which was shot at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The band sounds just as strong on stage as they do in the studio, a credit to their ability to translate their work from a recording to the stage. The songs featured in the DVD span the length of the band's existence, so even those who didn't find Phobia as interesting as earlier works are likely to find a few jewels in the bonus DVD.
One of the standout tracks is Topless, which showcases some fantastic guitar grooves and vocalist Ben Burnley's versatility. It stands out a bit more because of it's energy and faster tempo, but even a lower-key song like The Diary Of Jane has an impact. One of Breaking Benjamin's greatest strengths is creating a mood with each song, and they do it rather effortlessly. It's actually in the darker, somewhat slower tracks that the band is able to relay the most emotion. When you look at the audience members singing along passionately to songs like The Diary Of Jane, it's evident that the band is making a connection.
Mixing-wise, the DVD manages to elude some of the problems that other bands run into when putting together a live video. It's rare that you're able to hear a good balance of all the instruments on a DVD, but Breaking Benjamin have pulled it off with this one. That's probably one of the best aspects about the DVD, and the sound systems never distract away from the performance. The clarity is exceptional in So Cold, and you can actually hear layers that were somewhat covered up in the studio recording. // 9
Content: Because this DVD is somewhat of a bonus in itself (an extra to the CD), it's probably not right to get too picky if it doesn't have as many extras as you might be used to. It may not live up to a lot of other DVDs out there in terms of behind-the-scenes material, but fans should still enjoy the 15-song live show. With a songlist that includes Breakdown, Until The End, So Cold, and Evil Angel, it's a well-rounded overview of the Breaking Benjamin's material. The band may not be the most charismatic onstage, but the music stays strong for the entire performance. // 8
Production Quality: Rather than using fancy video equipment or artsy camera shots, the band has chosen a pretty straightforward way to shoot the DVD. That actually works to the band's advantage, allowing viewers to get clean shots of the guitar playing and general facial expressions. The vast majority of shots are of Burnley singing, but again, that helps express a bit more of the emotions behind the songs. Most importantly, the audio is flawless on the DVD and that's half of the battle in live performances. // 8
Overall Impression: As DVDs go, the Phobia limited edition bonus material might not blow everyone out of the water. It really does have more of a CD listening feel about it at times, and that's a compliment to the band's consistent quality onstage. It doesn't necessarily make for the most interesting video footage when compared with a lot of bands out there, but there is a strong setlist to make up for any shortcomings in the video portion. The DVD is really meant as a gift of sorts to the dedicated fans out there, and the band's devotees will undoubtedly be satisfied. // 8
Colton165, on may 23, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Breaking Benjamin's live DVD on the Phobia Collector's Edition impressed me with how well the band performed their songs live. Their wide use of studio effects would have been a setbact, I thought. The band, however didn't let that stop them. They performed almost every song perfectly. Ben Burnley, vocalist and rhythm guitarist, did mess the intro to "Had Enough", one of my favorite songs by the band. The rest of the song, however, was performed flawlessly. They open with their first single from their "Saturate" album, Polyamorous. The fans there loved it and sang along with Ben the entire time. "Home" then follows, giving a very good opening to the concert and letting the fans know the general vibe of the set list. The best part of this DVD extra is the way the tracks are organized. They are organized in a set list where each song sets up a great spot for the next one. // 10
Content: This DVD is strictly a concert, giving fans a 1st as an extra, as this is their first bonus to come issued from the band. There are no extras, it is a simple "watch concert" type disc. The only choice you really have is between sound outputs. An interview with the band would have been very nice as I, a fan, would have loved to hear from the band. I also would liked to have known the eqipment they used as I am sort of a gearhound. The DVD is content in itself though, as it does not come with every copy of "Phobia", just this Collector's Edition. // 6
Production Quality: The camera angles really focused on the band, and, from time to time, the crowd, showing how well they loved the show. Some of the tricks they used with guitars effects and even microphone effects were used very well and accentuated the band giving them a near perfct performance. The band's interaction with the fans was there, as Ben asked them to sing along with him and as he and Aaron, their lead, threw picks to the audience. // 9
Overall Impression: Breaking Benjamin put on a great show for this DVD, and I would compare it with groups such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana, with their liveliness and feel of the music. I loved the set list and it's arrangement. Also, the band's interaction and energy were very much felt, and I was only watching the performance. If I were there live, I would have enjoyed it ten times more. That's not saying I didn't enjoy it, though. The only thing I did not like was the lack of extras and cover songs. I would have loved to see them do a Nirvana or Depeche Mode cover like they did when I saw them in 2005. If this DVD were lost or stolen, I would panic, and most likely buy another. this is a great DVD and I reccomend it to anyone who likes modern rock. // 9