AbsolutePunk.net

AbsolutePunk.net (http://www.absolutepunk.net/forum.php)
-  News (http://www.absolutepunk.net/forumdisplay.php?f=165)
  -  Thursday Discussion: Live Albums; Love 'um or Hate 'um? (http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=2677152)

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:22 PM

Thursday Discussion: Live Albums; Love 'um or Hate 'um?
 
A few day ago, I was searching for something to listen to in the car ... doing one of those "scroll through everything in the iPod and still can't really figure out what I want to hear" things. I ended up putting on the Foo Fighter's live album, Skin and Bones. I've always loved the renditions of the tunes, and the sing-a-long-ness of the live recording. While listening - I got into a discussion with my wife about live recordings in general. Her take was that she just preferred to hear the studio recording, that while listening to a live album, most of the time, it just spurred her desire to go listen to the album instead. Understandable in some ways. Nine times out of ten, I'd probably prefer to just put on the studio album. There are, however, some live albums (and bootleg performances) that blow me away. So, in a moment of marital-rebellion, that's what this week's "Thursday Discussion" topic is about. My top 10 favorite live albums (and I'm including bootleg sets for two very apparent reasons).

Feel free to join in and include your own favorite live performances/albums. And if you want to get into the whole debate about if you even like or listen to recorded live performances in the first place ... I'm all about having the discussion with someone that won't make me sleep on the couch if I disagree too stringently. Ummm ... kidding.

1) Jesse Lacey - Live at The Downtown (Bootleg)

NoteThe kind of thing that makes me totally get bootlegs. The recording isn't perfect - not all the notes are hit just right - but it's just Jesse, a guitar, and one helluva performance. Do a google search for it if you don't have it. You'll be singing along in no time.

2) Blink 182 - The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (Live Album)
NoteIgnoring all of the "is this really live" and "they cleaned it up in post" drama -- I'm just going to say it's obvious the songs have been tweaked in post (at the very least), I've seen them enough times live to know that. However, the album is still fucking great. The banter is hilariously stupid. I memorized all of it. Satan makes an appearance and the songs are played faster? Do I really need to sell you on it? You already own it.

3) MxPx - At the Show (Live Album)
NoteMxPx was one of the first bands I ever saw live. When this album came out - I ordered it from some fan-club mailing list thing or something. This was during my full time obsession with Blink and MxPx. I've always loved the renditions of favorites, the "KKK Took My Baby Away" cover, and the pure energy in the album. Pretty sure they're the band that got me into live music and live shows. I'd grab this CD daily on my way to the bus stop (holy fuck I feel old) because it was like a good mix of my favorites.

4) Thrice - Live at the House of Blues (Live Album)
NoteThis gets bumped up the list just because the DVD was also undeniably awesome. The track-listing on this is perfect. The way the songs all play together ... I think the Alchemy Index tracks work better in this sequencing then they did individually.

5) Foo Fighters - Skin and Bones (Live Album)
NoteThe album that I was listening to that got me thinking about this entire topic. It's the Foo Fighters. They just don't release crap. Ridiculously consistent - and a great album.

6) Butch Walker - Leavin' The Game on Luckie St. (Live Album)
NoteButch Walker live sets the bar very, very high. Ridiculously good performer. Great vocals. I love this album (and DVD) with a weird passion. There's a certain kind of emotion that this album captures perfectly.

7) The Format - Live at the Mayan Theatre (Live DVD)
NoteI have the audio from this DVD on my iPod - that's how much I love The Format, and this performance.

8) Dustin Kensrue - Ursus Veritas (Bootleg)
NoteThe second bootleg to show up on my list. No one should be shocked it's by one of my favorite songwriters, ever. This was from when Dustin was performing under the "Ursus Veritas" name -- before he wrote his solo album, I believe. It's got a bunch of great covers, Thrice songs, some solo stuff, and the production quality is top notch. Honestly, not even sure how one would find this bootleg now ... but the songs/listing are here for those searching.

9) Acceptance - Sessions at AOL (Live Sessions)
NoteThese count as live album. Or, for my list they do at least. The tracks basically serve to showcase how ridiculously talented Jason's vocals can be. The acoustic/piano renditions of "Different" and "Take Cover" are jaw dropping good.

10) Peter Frampton - Frampton Comes Alive (Live Album)
NoteExqueese me? Have I seen this one before? "Frampton Comes Alive"? Everybody in the world has Frampton Comes Alive. If you lived in the suburbs you were issued it. It came in the mail with samples of "Tide."


jhotmann21 03/22/12 03:26 PM

Never been a big fan of live albums...except the Mark Tom and Travis show...maybe because back when I was 15 my mom wouldn't have approved of all the cussing and sex/gay jokes.

Zack Zarrillo 03/22/12 03:26 PM

Have never heard The Format one. Would love that

MTTS is definitely my favorite live release of all time. Lacey's is also wonderful

A few months ago an "approved" bootleg of a Kevin Devine show at Maxwell's in NJ was released as well and that's incredible. I love KD live

Alex_Burton 03/22/12 03:26 PM

In general I don't care for them, with two exceptions: NOFX - I heard they Suck Live and the Phoenix - Live 30 Days Ago. That NOFX one was a soundtrack to my formative years and the Phoenix one was just so impressive in how incredible the band sounds.

I'm not totally opposed to live albums, but there should be something that makes them special.

brook183 03/22/12 03:27 PM

Oh my lord, I NEED that Ursus Veritas set as a whole. I have like half of those on my pod now.

Yeah, Live at the House of Blues is insanely good.

georgedcc 03/22/12 03:27 PM

Live albums are never an essential listen for me. If it's somebody I really like, then I'll buy them, but 99% of the time I prefer the studio versions of the songs. That said, here are some of my favourite live albums;

The Who - Live At Leeds
MC5 - Back In The USA
James Brow - Live At the Apollo, 1962
Sam Cooke - Live At the Harlem Square Club
Bob Dylan - I like a lot of the many Bootleg Series that he's put out, I'll go for number 4 as my favourite overall
Bruce Springsteen - Live 1975 - 85

And more recent ones:
Green Day - Bullet In A Bible
Thrice - Live At The House Of Blues
Tegan and Sara - Get Along
NOFX - I Heard They Suck Live / They've Gotten Even Worse Live!
Bad Religion - 30 Years Live

Chris_B 03/22/12 03:27 PM

I listen from time to time. Finch's live album was pretty bad though.

t.web4 03/22/12 03:28 PM

TBS's Live at Orensanz is the only live album I own. It's pretty solid. In general though, I'm not really a big fan of live albums.

The Revisionist 03/22/12 03:28 PM

Rage Against The Machine - Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium.
Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland
Bruce Springsteen - whatever, really
the Weakerthans - Live at the Burton Cummings Theatre

trojanick 03/22/12 03:28 PM

I really like TBS's Live From Orensanz - makes you wish we heard more of Fazzi's vocals on New Again.

And of course, Dashboard's Unplugged set.

KenneyBN 03/22/12 03:28 PM

Literally came here to say Live at The Downtown.

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex_Burton (Post 105149262)
In general I don't care for them, with two exceptions: NOFX - I heard they Suck Live and the Phoenix - Live 30 Days Ago. That NOFX one was a soundtrack to my formative years and the Phoenix one was just so impressive in how incredible the band sounds.

I'm not totally opposed to live albums, but there should be something that makes them special.

That NOFX one is hilarious.

I have never heard the Pheonix one. I'll check it out.

Raarzipan 03/22/12 03:29 PM

I only like live albums if something has changed in the music: IE Enter Shikari - Mothership/Motherstep.

If a band modifies a song for the better, or even covers a song they didn't write themselves I love to hear the song, and the bands never go in and re-record the songs/record covers most of the times. In those cases I like getting copies of the live music but I prefer the studio sessions any day. That or if a band tends to scream more live then on album I like that.

Charles777 03/22/12 03:29 PM

Love em. Sometimes the live versions are better than the original.

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jhotmann21 (Post 105149222)
Never been a big fan of live albums...except the Mark Tom and Travis show...maybe because back when I was 15 my mom wouldn't have approved of all the cussing and sex/gay jokes.

It's gotta be on everyone's list ... even if they don't generally like live albums.

I will admit, the whole live/bootleg thing is definitely for more of the die-hard fans. I doubt I'd go listen to a live set from someone I don't listen to all that often. But for my favorite, favorites ... it's just more material to get into. Kinda explains this list.

oneeightytwo 03/22/12 03:31 PM

I searched for ages when I younger for TMTATS, and only recently have I found it in the stores haha. It was out of print for a while iirc right? Or something like that.

Brand New's 'Southside Festival' Bootleg/Soundboard is awesome too. Great sound quality.

Live albums are good in some ways; giving you a chance to experience the show, but at the same time you still feel a bit removed from the atmosphere, which is a given really, seeing as you aren't there. They are a good substitute for not going to a show, although it can be bittersweet, listening to a great show and acknowledging that, but at the same time you wished you could/should of went.

Tilde 03/22/12 03:31 PM

It's a tricky one, I'd say it's usually never as good as actually being there; atmosphere makes a huge difference... it might be enjoyable to listen to but when you're listening you can't help but feel you're settling for second best.

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by brook183 (Post 105149282)
Oh my lord, I NEED that Ursus Veritas set as a whole. I have like half of those on my pod now.

Yeah, Live at the House of Blues is insanely good.

It rules. I think "bsides r us" had it at one point. I did a quick google search for it - but couldn't find it.

Alison1488 03/22/12 03:32 PM

I don't really like live albums, unless I happened to be at the show it was recorded, like the Starting Line's final show in Philadelphia on April 18, 2008. I like being able to connect a memory to what I'm hearing, and if I can't do that, it just loses its luster.

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by georgedcc (Post 105149302)
Live albums are never an essential listen for me. If it's somebody I really like, then I'll buy them, but 99% of the time I prefer the studio versions of the songs. That said, here are some of my favourite live albums;

The Who - Live At Leeds
MC5 - Back In The USA
James Brow - Live At the Apollo, 1962
Sam Cooke - Live At the Harlem Square Club
Bob Dylan - I like a lot of the many Bootleg Series that he's put out, I'll go for number 4 as my favourite overall
Bruce Springsteen - Live 1975 - 85

And more recent ones:
Green Day - Bullet In A Bible
Thrice - Live At The House Of Blues
Tegan and Sara - Get Along
NOFX - I Heard They Suck Live / They've Gotten Even Worse Live!
Bad Religion - 30 Years Live

The Bob Dylan bootlegs could be ranked completely separately. Heh.

You know, I don't think I ever heard that Green Day one. Weird. I remember it coming out - and I just ignored it I guess.

The MixChange 03/22/12 03:33 PM

The Weakerthans - Live at the Burton Cummings Theatre

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by t.web4 (Post 105149372)
TBS's Live at Orensanz is the only live album I own. It's pretty solid. In general though, I'm not really a big fan of live albums.

TBS have a live album?

I did not know this.

RyanFTW 03/22/12 03:33 PM

Face to Face's Live Album is one of the best live albums ever. Every track is so solid.

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Charles777 (Post 105149442)
Love em. Sometimes the live versions are better than the original.

Found that in a few places as well. It's always a weird thing for me ... it's that, "Why didn't the album version sound like this" moment.

RyanFTW 03/22/12 03:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Tate (Post 105149742)
TBS have a live album?

I did not know this.

TBS also has live at Bamboozle.

texan4lif281 03/22/12 03:34 PM

I'm a fan of the live album.

Flogging Molly Live at the Greek Theatre is a really good.

deanster321 03/22/12 03:34 PM

City and Colour's live album is far better than Sometimes in my opinion.

Jake Denning 03/22/12 03:35 PM

Not a huge fan of live albums, but I'll blast this album when i'm killing the weights.


Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RyanFTW (Post 105149792)
TBS also has live at Bamboozle.

I didn't know this either.

Feel like TBS is something better experienced live - than listened to live. Is it any good?

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by deanster321 (Post 105149852)
City and Colour's live album is far better than Sometimes in my opinion.

Fuck, so good.

sajamie81 03/22/12 03:35 PM

For me, I love live albums of bands I might not ever see.They can put you right there in the shows and you can feel the energy of that band live. The Fat Wreck "Live in a Dive" Series was awesome, and I own No Use for a Name, Lagwagon, Strung Out, and even Swingin Utters Live in a Dive. Sure studio albums can get you the quality of the band. But I think energy and intensity of a band beats quality any day of the week.

Adam Pfleider 03/22/12 03:36 PM

That My Morning Jacket one is gold. Forget the correct spelling, so I won't even wing it.

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:36 PM

So far - seems live albums are not much loved.

RyanFTW 03/22/12 03:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Tate (Post 105149892)
I didn't know this either.

Feel like TBS is something better experienced live - than listened to live. Is it any good?

Well Live at Bamboozle and Live from Orensanz are both with Matt Fazzi.

There are some really good versions of "You Know How I Do" and "Set Phasers to Stun" on live from Bamboozle.

georgedcc 03/22/12 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Tate (Post 105149702)
The Bob Dylan bootlegs could be ranked completely separately. Heh.

You know, I don't think I ever heard that Green Day one. Weird. I remember it coming out - and I just ignored it I guess.

The Green Day one is pretty good as a CD on its own, but its the DVD that's the best part about it. I think that's true for a lot live albums, if it comes with a recording of the show and maybe a documentary about the band, I'd be much more inclined to check it out.

Thursday's - Kill All The House Lights is the best way to do it. It comes with a CD containing B-sides, Demos and a few new songs, a DVD containing a full show and a big documentary about the whole history of the band. Somebody has ripped the audio from the DVD as well, so I've got a bootleg of sorts from the show as well. Great value for money.

KidASquared 03/22/12 03:39 PM

Kicking Television: Live in Chicago - Wilco
I prefer some renditions of songs on that live album over their studio version

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by georgedcc (Post 105150082)
The Green Day one is pretty good as a CD on its own, but its the DVD that's the best part about it. I think that's true for a lot live albums, if it comes with a recording of the show and maybe a documentary about the band, I'd be much more inclined to check it out.

Thursday's - Kill All The House Lights is the best way to do it. It comes with a CD containing B-sides, Demos and a few new songs, a DVD containing a full show and a big documentary about the whole history of the band. Somebody has ripped the audio from the DVD as well, so I've got a bootleg of sorts from the show as well. Great value for money.

I totally forgot about that release.

That is a good package.

KidASquared 03/22/12 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Adam Pfleider (Post 105149932)
That My Morning Jacket one is gold. Forget the correct spelling, so I won't even wing it.

Okonokos! yes, that album is tight

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RyanFTW (Post 105150032)
Well Live at Bamboozle and Live from Orensanz are both with Matt Fazzi.

There are some really good versions of "You Know How I Do" and "Set Phasers to Stun" on live from Bamboozle.

Ah, so I wouldn't like it much. Hah.

Alex DiVincenzo 03/22/12 03:40 PM

I love live DVDs, but I don't like live albums at all. If I want to hear the music, I'd rather listen to the CD. If I want to get a live feel, I want to watch a DVD. I only really enjoy live material when it's something rare (cover, acoustic, etc.), but even then I'd much prefer a studio version.

That said, The Mark, Tom & Travis Show is one of my all-time favorite albums because it was how I first heard Blink's pre-Enema material. I also attribute much of my immature sense of humor to that record.

sleepyseanzzz 03/22/12 03:41 PM

Dashboard's unplugged live album with the people singing along sounds SO AWKWARD.

My votes go to
Blink - mark Tom and Travis show
Both NOFX
Both Green Day
NFG This Disaster live in London (got the rip from bsides r us)
Less Than Jake - Live in Minneapolis (whole thing was on pure volume years back)
Taylor Swift's live CD and DVD of her world tour my mom got me for Christmas is pretty good too

RyanFTW 03/22/12 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason Tate (Post 105150162)
Ah, so I wouldn't like it much. Hah.

Not a Fazzi fan? I thought the writing on the only Fazzi album wasn't good, but I enjoy his voice very much so.

Charlesieiy 03/22/12 03:42 PM

Reel Big Fish - Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album is the only one I ever really cared for. It's funny and the songs sound better on there than on the records themselves...
Besides, it even says it on the tin.

CemO 03/22/12 03:42 PM

I dig Muse's live H.A.A.R.P album, awesome stuff

Jason Tate 03/22/12 03:42 PM

I need more live DVDs.

Panic's is pretty cool.

irthesteve 03/22/12 03:43 PM

Unless the tracks are drastically changed or altered when played live, I skip live albums

JimmyAveningo 03/22/12 03:43 PM

The problem with live albums is they don't capture the vibe of a show...usaully. The Thrice live DVD is easily the best one I have ever seen but I cant say I like watching it more than the Itunes visualizer on my TV with Alchemy playing in the background. If somehow they could bring the 3D mosh into my living room I might be down. Rather pay the $25 and actually just go see the band.

_veges_ 03/22/12 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alex DiVincenzo (Post 105150172)
I love live DVDs, but I don't like live albums at all. If I want to hear the music, I'd rather listen to the CD. If I want to get a live feel, I want to watch a DVD. I only really enjoy live material when it's something rare (cover, acoustic, etc.), but even then I'd much prefer a studio version.

That said, The Mark, Tom & Travis Show is one of my all-time favorite albums because it was how I first heard Blink's pre-Enema material. I also attribute much of my immature sense of humor to that record.

I couldn't agree more

redfalcon431 03/22/12 03:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Charlesieiy (Post 105150242)
Reel Big Fish - Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album is the only one I ever really cared for. It's funny and the songs sound better on there than on the records themselves...
Besides, it even says it on the tin.

YES I have listened to that album so much and the jokes are great, doesn't get much better than the live version of SR

Say Nothing 03/22/12 03:45 PM