Sound: Even if you're not a fan of the material featured on Saosin's latest DVD/CD release Come Close, the visuals will likely leave you impressed. We are provided with concert footage that comes as close to the real thing as possible thanks to hi-definition cameras. If you've got any other concert DVDs in your library, the huge difference in quality should become immediately obvious. The15 songs taped at Philadelphia's The Theater of Living Arts back in November are entertaining on their own -- particularly when we hear unique takes on the band's older songs -- but it's the imagery that will likely hold your attention the most.
The DVD and CD aren't mirror images in terms of the playlist, but there are 5 live tracks that do pop up on disk 2. While the live versions are strong, the highlights come with the alternative versions of 3rd Measurement In C, You're Not Alone (both of which are piano versions), and the new acoustic Mookies Last Christmas. Out of the 3, it's most interesting to hear 3rd Measurement in C, which was originally performed with a full electric setup by vocalist Anthony Green. While it may not live up to the expectations of Green's fans, it's still a fascinating version thanks to the stripped-down piano and big crescendo at the end.
On the DVD end of it, the band does a solid job of keeping the momentum going during the hour-long performance, which includes the songs Lost Symphonies, I Can Tell, You're Not Alone, and Follow And Feel. There are also a few classic sing-along moments, with the best one featured in the encore Seven Years. The audio actually could have been a little better, and if you watch it on a laptop, you might have to turn it up pretty loud to get decent sound. When you do get the volume all worked out, there are some great little guitar nuances that come to the surface. And for the fans of both the Anthony Green and Cove Reber eras, having a large portion of the combined material all on one recording (now all sung by Reber) will likely be appreciated. // 8
Content: Saosin has given fans plenty of content for their buck with the 2-disk Come Close. While there won't be a whole of surprises during the show, you do get some new versions of songs from the self-titled album and the Translating The Name EP. The DVD disk features the hour-long concert of 15 songs, as well as 4 videos and some behind-the-scenes footage. Granted, when you break it down, there are really only 2 songs that have videos (a traditional video, a concert-inspired video, and behind-the-scenes footage for each song). // 9
Production Quality: This area gets the highest mark thanks to the hi-def camera work. You could have probably put an inexperienced cameraman in charge and it still would have looked incredible. The band definitely hired a talented crew to shoot the concert, however, and every camera angle is explored during the show. // 10
Overall Impression: Come Close does provide Saosin fans with some of the best-looking concert footage out there. There are not a lot of frills during the concert, and some might even feel that the hi-def work still doesn't add enough flavor to the actual songs performed. But in the end, fans should appreciate the down-to-earth nature that comes across during the onstage banter, not to mention the band's passion for playing. Saosin never ceases to put on an energetic, skillful performance, and it's just as entertaining to watch the enthusiastic audience (and it's sing-alongs). // 8