666 Live review by Billy Talent

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  • Released: Jan 22, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.9 (63 votes)
Billy Talent: 666 Live
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Sound — 9
Billy Talent are a very unique and skilled band, and it is always great to see when that transfers from record to a live environment. And with BT, it does in bounds. I had already seen them live and so knew what to expect from the CD and DVD. The band play through a storming collection of hits and fan favourites alike (for example, Standing In The Rain, Perfect World) and throughout, Ian D'sa's guitar is muscular and energetic, Jonathan and Aaron provide a steady but tuneful rhythm section and Ben is on top form for the most part, screaming every last word like he's being electrocuted. So pretty much like the band on CD, but with crowd noise and some added jams (as an intro to Prisoners of Today, and during the bridge of Try Honesty. I think there's one bum note in the entire 2 hours of CD and DVD combined. BT's music translates perfectly to a live show: They play punk-edged rock that's fun to jump around to but it's not all power chords either (Ian D'sa is one of the most original guitarists around today in my opinion).

Lyrics — 8
If the music from these chaps doesn't satisfy you, then maybe the lyrics will. From the commentary on the demise of a corrupt priest in "Devil in a Midnight Mass" to the pseudo-revolutionary lyrics of "Red Flag", Ben Kowalewicz can write a decent line or two. As much as some may dislike "Fallen Leaves" for being "overplayed" or whatever, that song is probably one of my favourite lyrically as it tells of desperate drug addicts: "Can't get no job, can you spare a dime? Just one more hit, and I'll be fine." There are a few occasions during the shows in which both Ben and Ian seem to struggle vocally, however this all gets forgotten due to the sheer energy the band exert. Ben is often yelping as if to incite the crowd to riot. The band writes such good vocal harmonies that despite a few slip ups, the singing elevates their already great songs to a higher level.

Overall Impression — 10
In my opinion, there aren't many bands that can write an engaging and interesting song and then pull it off live as well, but Billy Talent are one of those bands, and they have quite a few songs of that calibre to choose from. My personal favourites would be This Is How It Goes for the vocal bile that Ian and Jon add during the chorus "This is how it goes!" and This Suffering for the crazy riff at the beginning and the whole catchiness of the song. There isn't much about this DVD that I don't love. A different setlist would be nice on the second DVD but it isn't too much of a problem because the whole package is still great value. There's also an easter egg where you get to see exactly how long it takes Ian D'sa to style his hair. If I lost this CD/DVD, I would be peeved but would get it again just cos it's a perfect CD for in the car, all the best Billy Talent songs on one disc and then two live shows to watch when I get home. Overall it's the value for money and the quality of the songs and performance that means I give Billy Talent top marks impression-wise.

41 comments sorted by best / new / date

    brian_s
    Billy Talent is one of the best bands today and Ian is one of the best guitarists in modern rock. I never heard anyone play like him.
    devinbryndel
    they died after their first album...the sequel to their first album had almost the same guitar riffs..
    skaguitarist53
    At lease now they should be ashamed to sing lines like You can steal my body but you can't steal my soul / Cause this is how it is and this is how it goes.
    Nothing to be ashamed of. If im not mistaken this song is about some disease, which explains it killing your body. and as for the second part its alliteration, a simple writing technique.
    TheZookeeper
    I love Billy Talent and they are excellent live, but wtf is the '666' about. They're so black metal right now /sarcasm
    FelixJZ
    Actually not a bad band, saw them live at a concert just an hour away, decent sound live (although the singer was pretty crap). I have to admit, I like a few of their songs, but I also laughed at people saying how the guitarist was one of the best modern guitarists, hahahaha thats funny.
    CapnKickass
    there are definately a lot of guitarists today that are way better then Ian, but for their genre/style I'd say he's still outstanding in some aspects. Ben sounds even funnier(stupider/annoyinger?) live, I like his vocals on their actual albums but live isn't quite as good.
    CapnKickass
    FelixJZ wrote: Actually not a bad band, saw them live at a concert just an hour away, decent sound live (although the singer was pretty crap). I have to admit, I like a few of their songs, but I also laughed at people saying how the guitarist was one of the best modern guitarists, hahahaha thats funny.
    lol I inversed what you just said XD
    hobo467
    They're definitely overexposed in Canada, which makes you overlook how awesome Ian D'Sa is at guitar. Their music is just too catchy for me on their latest album. Still, people should learn to know good talent when they see it.
    george92
    billy talent is so refreshing. there are better guitarists out there than ian, but a lot of them dont have the unique sound that ian possesses. also ian created a style of his own.
    guitar_hero543
    billy talent..well...they're decent i'll give em that, they're not really all that mainstreamish..they have a unique sound although some songs may seem repetitive (pins and needles for one)...they're guitarist definetly isnt one of the best although he's decent, they suck live i have to say, anybody who says they rock live never heard any classic bands like the beatles or led zeppelin or peter frampton especially...i think ben pays way too much attention to jumping around and that affects his singing way to much cause he's out of breath and thus the singing kills it...then he has to take off his shirt and show his no muscles (lets face it, he's not jacked, and if you're not jacked then dont take your shirt off) otherwise d'sa and gallant and especially solowoniuk do a good job...but ya, billy talent definetly arent the best live, a singer with energy doesnt mean good..it means panting and more panting in the microphone..i like a band that focuses on their music more and has moves that dont waste their energy and breath..billy talent just doesnt do that live so i just have to say, they suck live..
    mystical_ace
    Everyone seems to be forgetting about the other 2 amazing aspects of the band. Johnathon Gallants bass playing is very distinctive. I play bass and love Billy talent songs because he isn't just playing some stupid ass bass line that sucks the guitars riffs dick.....and their drummer is quite good too....i love his use of high hats, and he knows how to hit those sixteenth notes.....o and by the way, if u don't like Billy Talent, fine...but do u really have 2 rain on everyone else's parade(y post)?
    guitar_hero543
    btw i dont think he'll get ashamed of singing "you can steal my body but you can't steal my soul!/cause this is how it is and this is how it goes!" because that song is actually about aaron solowoniuk (the drummer) because he has multiple scerlosis(i dont know the spellin') and it says that although ms can take his body away, his soul and spirit will still be there...paul mcCartney would probably not mind those lyrics to tell you the truth
    george92
    devinbryndel wrote: they died after their first album...the sequel to their first album had almost the same guitar riffs..
    i hate idiots
    mulletman39
    BILLY TALENT RULE! Seen them live twice(once at manchester academy & once at leeds fest last year!)& both times they prwn'd! =D ...also, Ian is a really inventive guitarist & whoever says he's rubbish either doesn't play guitar/know about decent/different guitarist or is just ignorant & thinks that playing guitar is all about wicked fast solos!! (btw i love everything from paul gilbert/rusty cooly, etc... to death/black metal, to punk, to rock, to some pop & even DnB n classical!) Music & Guitars are made to both be versatile so don't be a douche just because u don't necessarily like something!!! ...end of rant/comment =P actually i lied; p.s. i agree with 'bcrguy41' ...why DO ppl read reviews on stuff they hate then comment!? =S ...surely that's not ONLY a waste of time but down right retarded!?
    guitar_hero543
    lol ok, ian's ok i'll tell you that much, he's original, but he just doenst even come close to eric clapton or george harrison or joe satriani or jimi hendrix or peter frampton or slash or the guitarists from the dragon force or protest the hero or the human abstract(especially) he just doesnt, and if you think that all us "ignorant" guys think that guitar is all about wicked fast solo's, think again, everyone here who digs mathmetal and such also digs songs such as stairway to heaven and songs that have good guitar with good singing and that can be played live without sounding like a piece 'a shit...ive heard billy talent so much and played so much stuff of theirs, i am hereby sick of 'em and im gonna stick with my velvet revolver an audioslave ect.
    billysgottalent
    The-13roken wrote: Billy Talent is so lame.... "666"? Wtf really? I wish this band would hurry up and die... such a lack of talent and creativity...
    ok... first of all the quality of the sound in the video sucks thats why it sounds "nasaly", and also its called 666 because there were 6 songs from the three shows
    gareno
    billy talent is trying to be like all the satanic bands by calling their cd 666, wow thats pathetic, you gotta agree with me there they certainly dont mix with bands like ozzy osbourne, seether and metallica
    j-walk
    Thanks for clearing that up billys. Some people like to b\harp about things they know nothing about.
    guitarfreak79
    hey jammyninja, you want to know why your review got held up for a shitty UG review? It's because they don't get payed when you do a review. It's a featured eview so they are most likely getting payed for writing it.
    Confetti
    A thousand lol's for people saying that the guitarist is such a rare talent and the greatest guitarist out there right now. I say it again - lol! They seem ok otherwise. One of the most original sounding emo rock bands i have heard. The singing doesen't irritate me that much.. Just a little.
    pavel
    billy talent is absolutely brilliant...i am not a fan of punk at all but billy talent really does it for me
    Draconey
    This CD/DVD were very good I have had them since mid-December and all the listening I have done seems to be very good. Most live albums I have listened to sound like junk (mostly because of recording equipment is not that sound sensitive). Well this album is a good buy for whoever likes 'punk' rock or just Billy Talent.
    Doonan
    i disagree with ug on his voice being "nasally". its unique style of singing and near screaming and they are definetly one of the best bands in a live show because of theyre intense energy. although, i agree with the ug team on the topic of adding the george bush comment. i think bands should get off that topic and find something new
    jammyninja
    The grammar and structure in the UG review is awful! My review got held up so they could put their overly pessimitic and snidey review up first. Bollocks to that.
    bognorboy
    brian_s : I don't conisder them to be punk at all.
    yeah and speaking like that you know what punk is
    The-13roken
    Billy Talent is so lame.... "666"? Wtf really? I wish this band would hurry up and die... such a lack of talent and creativity...
    jammyninja
    dantheman123 wrote: punkrockr30 wrote: there's no doubt that billy talents guitarist has one of the most unique stlyes out there. i mean i had to get used to stretching my pinky across five frets and three strings every two seconds when i first started learning to play their songs. and when i played pins and needles in a guitar center one time, everybody just kinda stopped and stared at me cuz theyd never heard anything like it. if by unique you mean repetative and crappy then yes, but i guess if all you listen to is mainstream they might seem a bit unique?
    Typical UG-er right there. Always bitching about the mainstream and thinking they're oh so special because they listen to "underground" stuff. Billy Talent are hardly repetitive. They have few if any riffs that sound the same (I can only think of one comparison that could be made)but I guess you're allowed to over look that as you're so special and non-conformist. End sarcasm.
    aliceinnirvana
    ^Piss off. Ben's voice is really nasally, but I still like it. I'm gonna pick this up just because I haven't seen them live. Can't wait for the new album.
    tands
    The-13roken wrote: Billy Talent is so lame.... "666"? Wtf really? I wish this band would hurry up and die... such a lack of talent and creativity...
    LOL so trueeeee I saw them live they sounded awful, there singer can not sing without studio magic
    bognorboy wrote: brian_s : I don't conisder them to be punk at all. yeah and speaking like that you know what punk is
    and you do?
    vanished267
    the guy saying worker bees is a silly song is stupid. if you know how to read into lyrics, youd understand what the song was about without a speach about bush
    punkrockr30
    there's no doubt that billy talents guitarist has one of the most unique stlyes out there. i mean i had to get used to stretching my pinky across five frets and three strings every two seconds when i first started learning to play their songs. and when i played pins and needles in a guitar center one time, everybody just kinda stopped and stared at me cuz theyd never heard anything like it.
    bcrguy41
    tands wrote: The-13roken wrote: Billy Talent is so lame.... "666"? Wtf really? I wish this band would hurry up and die... such a lack of talent and creativity... LOL so trueeeee I saw them live they sounded awful, there singer can not sing without studio magicbognorboy wrote: brian_s : I don't conisder them to be punk at all. yeah and speaking like that you know what punk is and you do?
    if u dont like them, then why are u reading the review on the album??
    dantheman123
    punkrockr30 wrote: there's no doubt that billy talents guitarist has one of the most unique stlyes out there. i mean i had to get used to stretching my pinky across five frets and three strings every two seconds when i first started learning to play their songs. and when i played pins and needles in a guitar center one time, everybody just kinda stopped and stared at me cuz theyd never heard anything like it.
    if by unique you mean repetative and crappy then yes, but i guess if all you listen to is mainstream they might seem a bit unique?
    willy_99
    billy talent are so sweet live. im not a huge punk fan but they are awesome and the energy live is great
    olimajor123
    Confetti wrote: A thousand lol's for people saying that the guitarist is such a rare talent and the greatest guitarist out there right now. I say it again - lol! They seem ok otherwise. One of the most original sounding emo rock bands i have heard. The singing doesen't irritate me that much.. Just a little.
    People say Ian is a great modern guitarist because of his style of play is completely unique within their genre. The guitaring in Billy Talent is much more interesting and different to other emo/punk bands. Ian gets so much credit because its unique within the mainstream, not because he can do sweeps with the guitar on the other side of the room or something stupid. I agree that Ben's vocals aren't that great live but he focuses much more on giving a performance as opposed to giving perfect vocals. im sure if his vocals sounded exactly like the cd then people would be saying its crap cos it sounds like the cd.