Sound — 7
Taking Back Sunday has put out a limited edition of their new record Louder Now: Partone that features a DVD with two hours worth material. Even though the DVD goes like a bonus to the band's new album, it is almost a proper DVD worth to be an individual release, not an addition. It has everything a real DVD should have -- a concert, introduction of the band and the crew, backstage footage and on-road stories, music videos (Liar (It Takes One To Know One) and MakeDamnSure). Almost stands for a short concert though -- it doesn't even reach the 20-minute barrier. Just wondering -- did they save the rest for the good times or that's it what is worth seeing?.. The concert was shot in L.A. during their Louder Now support tour and features songs from the new album. The sound is pretty well mastered and it's not too far from the recorded version. It may seem overproduced at times as kills the live atmosphere of the concert. The DVD is tightly stuffed and shows the guys from different sides -- in bed, in the studio, as tourists in other countries. The member insight section goes into ridiculous with the guys talking about each other how special and unique everyone is (there are no alike people on earth, so everyone of us is unique, isn't it?) and how they can't live without each other. You get to the point when you see them talking about the producer of Louder Now Eric Valentine -- he's such a nice person and so fun to deal with and stuff. And then the camera shows you Valentine starring at the studio window with a gloomy face.
Content — 7
I guess the guys don't have something really intriguing to show or to tell people except of how funny they are. There are almost interesting parts of the video like Lazzara showing his old houses he used to live in and his parents' place as well in North Carolina -- his first electric guitar, first Taking Back Sunday sticker, his younger brother's pic... There are actually some more interesting stuff to be heard on the background (like Lazzara doing singing exercises) than stories about taking girls out they're saying to the camera. In the video you are to witness the process of Lazzara highlighting his hair and becoming blonde. There are two Adams -- before and after on the DVD and you can choose which one you like more. I choose the black-haired one!
Production Quality — 8
Yes, the concert part is pretty small, but at least it is fun to watch and even those who buy Taking Back Sunday album for the first time won't be bored. There are a lot of close-up views and plenty of different camera angles, showing Lazzara galloping from one edge of the scene to another, sometimes maybe even too much. It leaves you wishing for more general view of all band members to get the whole picture. Most of the intense moments are showed close, but it's the problem with lighting as it's flashing too often and it's usually dark during a guitar solo. The drummer is shown from a weird angle and you can always see his used towel in front of the camera... The footage on the DVD is pretty well put together. Even though it was taken by an amateur camera, the quality is quite good and it flows smooth within the episodes. The guys even have their own rock documentalist! I've seen the DVDs of some other more famous bands that were of a much worse quality!
Overall Impression — 8
In video the guys claim that the reason they are making a DVD is they want people to know them. I think they quite got what they were aiming! By the end of the DVD you know about Taking Back Sunday so much that it feels like they are somebody from your family. The guys have tried to show as much of their insight as they possibly could. The DVD is divided into chapters and sections, which makes it very convenient to watch and easy to search. You can either watch the whole thing from the beginning to the end, or the chosen chapter or a few chapters combined into a section! Even though I was grumbling about bad lighting, there are still a lot of close views of guys playing guitar (well, as much as you can get out of 19-minute show) and you can watch the technique, which is what matters most for any guitar fan.