Sound — 8
I Killed The Prom Queen's music is borrows many elements from the forefathers of melodic death metal and adds a touch of melody with clean singing. This live DVD was made after their most successful album (Music for the Recently Deceased) was released. Similar to Swedish melodic death metal godfathers At The Gates, Prom Queen would disband soon after their 'best' album was released. Prom Queen's vocalist Ed Butcher would depart back to his homeland in England. Prom Queen went through a cycle of singers before finally deciding that it was time to call it quits. Guitarist Jona Weinhofen joined US metalcore band Bleeding Through and drummer JJ Peters started his own solo act named Deez Nuts. Luckily, Prom Queen decided to arrange a final farewell tour in Australia and mark my words, they do not disappoint. They hire their original vocalist Michael Crafter who screamed on their debut album for the farewell tour. Although Michael Crafter arguably lacks the vocal intensity of Ed Butche, he makes up for it with his incredible stage presence. However, it can be noted that Crafter's hardcore screaming sounds somewhat muffled and Jona's clean singing is off tune sometimes. The guitars crunch through nicely and the drumming by JJ Peters is fantastic. The band manages to keep their sound extremely tight and focused. Both Prom Queen's energetic live shows as well as their rise and fall are documented well in this DVD.
Content — 8
Sleepless Nights and City Lights is a live compilation album The DVD starts off with a bang with the dissonant intro to 'When Goodbye Means Forever' and the title is taken quite literally with Prom Quee. Michael Crafter gets the hometown crowd pumped easily by saying "Adelaide, what the f--k is up?" followed by "Lets see this whole f--king place jumping" and the crowd obeys. The set list does not disappoint with good songs spanning from both albums such as 'Upon a Rivers Sky' and 'Say Goodbye.' Some decent tracks such as 'Portraits, Dreams, and Memories' are notably absent though. It also includes in depth interviews with each member discussing their career and break up. Most interesting to note is how bassist Sean Kennedy originally befriended Jona as a fan and would eventually playing bass for his favorite band. Band tension with singer Michael Crafter is also mentioned and it is nice to see that initial shortcomings have cleared. I was not altogether pleased at the origins of the band name as Crafter stated 'oh that one will do, it's kinda emo.' The band does present a rather biased view on ex vocalist Ed Butcher as Crafter repeatedly criticizes Butcher's personality. The band are still very much in touch with their fanbase as shown through signing sessions. Last but not least are funny episodes involving the band's merchandise man and the joys of alcohol all caught on tape. I Killed The Prom Queen are indeed a band that likes to have fun.
Production Quality — 7
The vocals are not clear enough as previously mentioned and that is the main fault. Though this could be a fault with Crafter's delivery. The camera work is good as it shows each exciting feature of the concert. From crowd surfing to fights, not a breathtaking moment is missed. The angles are done quite nicely but the DVD is definitely not the most state of the art live concert DVD you can buy.
Overall Impression — 10
The impression I Killed The Prom Queen gives in this DVD makes you wonder why any band like this would call it a day. They are simply mesmerizing. Band members take several stage dives and the guitarists head bang fiercely and pull off amazing stage moves. They come across the screen as nice and sincere people and it is truly a shame that the band is over. Interesting Highlights included the crowd chanting "Prom Queen, Prom Queen" and the fights that break out between security and the audience. There is nothing I personally dislike about the DVD except might have been better to have Ed Butcher on vocals. This DVD is a must buy for any fan of I Killed The Prom Queen or Aussie hardcore in general. I Killed The Prom Queen truly deliver in this glorious farewell tour.