Sound: Back in March, the Toronto quintet Silverstein booked four nights at their hometown's legendary El Mocambo. The band played their entire discography, with one album played in its entirety each night, while the band brought their friend and director Robby Starbuck along to film the whole thing. The result is the live CD/DVD, entitled "Decade". While the CD is simply an audio version of what can be found on the DVD (although I will mention that the audio quality is nothing special for a live album; it's exactly what you'd expect), albeit with a few extra songs on the CD, this review will focus solely on the DVD portion of the package.
Unlike Coheed and Cambria's concert DVD released early last year, "Decade" does not feature the four concerts in their entirety. Instead, the band hand-picked a "best of" for the DVD, ultimately finishing with the 17 (22 for the CD) best songs from those four shows. Also, the band has occasionally placed short vignettes in between songs, which discuss the band's lyrics, as well as album concepts and being on the road. Some will think that this takes away from the energy the band display onstage, but it does offer a nice glimpse into the lives of the band members. Overall, the DVD does not offer anything new or original to live albums in general, but it is definitely a must have for fans of the band, and at an average price of 15$ for the package, it's hard to say no. // 8
Content: The setlist for "Decade", hand-picked by the band, is as follows:
01. "Smashed into Pieces"
02. "Red Light Pledge"
03. "The Weak and the Wounded"
04. "Your Sword Versus My Dagger"
05. "Discovering the Waterfront"
06. "Call It Karma"
07. "Bleeds No More"
08. "My Disaster"
09. "Still Dreaming"
10. "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow"
11. "Already Dead"
12. "Smile in Your Sleep"
14. "American Dream"
15. "Born Dead"
16. "I Am the Arsonist"
17. "My Heroine"
The order of the songs on the DVD is based upon the album on which they originally appeared. This nicely shows the evolution of the band, while keeping all of their best songs for the DVD. Any fan of the band should be satisfied with the setlist; they truly didn't leave anything out, really. The concert also features some special guests, with Scott Wade (ex-Comeback Kid) and Kyle Bishop (The Black Maria) joining the band on stage for the tracks Born Dead and When Broken Is Easily Fixed, respectively.
The DVD's only special features are the inclusion of all 10 of Silverstein's music videos, including the new video for their recent single "American Dream". // 8
Production Quality: The production quality of the DVD is typical of live albums, although the band could only use about 3 cameras due to the small size of the venue. The audio is pretty good, with each band member clearly audible throughout the entire show. The band do accomplish one thing quite nicely, however, utilizing as many different shots as they can, and not trying to do too much editing (this, in my opinion, can make the DVD seem too much like a really long music video). While there are a few slight hiccups (I think the worst you'll find is a missed note during My Heroine, which to me, being a guitarist, sticks out like a sore thumb), but the band still makes a very solid live DVD. // 9
Overall Impression: Overall, "Decade (Live in the El Mocambo)" is a pretty solid release from a band that has grown from emotional teens into one of Canada's top post-hardcore acts. While it doesn't offer anything extraordinary (except maybe the super cheap price), it perfectly showcases the band doing what they love. A great celebration of a decade as a band, "Decade" is a must have for any fan of the band. // 8