Thursday, May 7, 2009
...and it's about time. After years of bootlegs, live albums of new songs and a performance recorded in Amsterdam released by High Times (yes, that High Times) and almost 25 years later, Fishbone have an official live album. Not only is it a live album but there's a live dvd to accompany it. If you don't mind ordering it in French, this is a good thing...a very good thing.
Shot in April 2008, Fishbone Live is both a great example of what Fishbone is like live and where the band is at and has been musically. Performance wise, the shows aren't the rowdy, crazy shows they were in the 80's to mid 90's but still Fishbone is one of the most exciting live bands to witness. Every show, they bring forth a level of energy usually reserved for younger punk bands and a level of musicianship that is as tight as possible yet remaining loose enough to jam as if it were a normal element to their songs. The DVD does a great job of capturing the excitement of the band and the energy passed back and forth between the band and their audience.
Musically, the set covers almost every album (minus the It's A Wonderful Life and Live From The Temple Bar And More releases) from their first EP (read "Soundtrack To My Life: Fishbone") to the most recent album, Still Stuck In Your Throat and a really good example of their overall sound and its schizophrenic brilliance. There's something for everyone here whether it's Ska, Funk, or Rock and that is the key to their musicial greatness. The ability to transition between genres with very little effort and without sounding like a completely different band in the transition. The same thing applies to them as a live act. The songs flow into one another without any of the strangeness that should exist when a band does this (like Sugar Ray performing the earilier, heavier material then playing songs from every album post-Floored). This is a testament to their abilities as a band and as songwriters. Also, it is a great live recording. If fact, I would say if you had to start with a Fishbone compilation-type recording, this is the one to go with if Fishbone 101 isn't available.
Chances are, this live album will never see a US release or if it does, it'll be sometime down line (much like Still Stuck In Your Throat) which is sad but lucky for you, the DVD is region free. You can order Fishbone Live here. Hopefully, your French is up to par. If not, make friends with a French person and order this awesome CD/DVD set. I'm sure there plenty of ways to spend two hours of your life but not many as incredible as spending them with Fishbone