Has it really been three, almost four, years now since Mike Patton and John Kaada released Romances? Apparently so! Live chronicles the first and only live performance of Patton and Kaada’s music of Romances at the Roskilde Festival in 2005 on DVD format. The two constructed a band that contains members of Kaada’s band Cloroform to perform the album, and the result was nothing short of magical.
The performance itself is the band performing the entirety of Romances from start to finish. This gives credence to the order and structure of the album, but then again, it could have just been easier to play from opening to end. As the band play through each song from the album, it becomes immediately apparent that my original assessment of the album was greatly underscored - and I gave it a very high score. The sheer skill of musicianship that must have went into constructing songs like “Pitié Pour Mes Larmes” and “Seule” is mind-boggling. When you see Patton, Kaada, and company working together, very much like an orchestra with Patton and Kaada co-conducting, it is a sight I’ve only seen live one other time outside of an actual orchestral setting - Fantômas. Every note of music from Romances is carefully recreated and executed with the utmost attention to detail. As a little bonus, the band rounds out their performance with a rendition of Cloroform’s “The Cloroform Theme” from the band’s 1999 release, All Scars.
Visually, Live is spectacular. The entire set was shot in a black and white color palette. Matched with the grainy filters, the two act as an extension to the eerie and dramatic tone of the music. The packaging of the DVD compliments that of Romances, almost as though this is a supplement to its release.
The extra features of the DVD are pretty nice. There is a twenty-minute rehearsal video of the band hashing out songs and interacting with each other. It’s cool to see them working out structures to these songs from recording into a live form. There is also a photo gallery, which contains some beautiful shots from the performance.
Live easily ranks towards the top of my list of live performance DVD’s. I’m normally one that tends to stay away from these types of releases unless they are from artists I truly enjoy. If you’re a Patton or Kaada fan, grab this. If you’re not sure, listen to Romances first; if you enjoy that, you’ll enjoy this thoroughly.
9.0 / 10
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