Review
The Murder City Devils
The End

Music Video Distributors (2005) Kevin Fitzpatrick

The Murder City Devils – The End cover artwork
The Murder City Devils – The End — Music Video Distributors, 2005

Cost of ticket: $15.00

Cost of gas to drive to Seattle: $23.50

Doctor bill from cracked ribs received: $89.10

Seeing the Murder City Devils perform their last ever show: Priceless

October 31, 2001. The Showbox, Seattle. I was there, kids and let me tell you, it was a sight to behold. For almost four years I've been telling everyone within earshot that it remains to be one of the best shows I've ever seen, and now, thanks to the good folks at Music Video Distributors and King of Hearts Productions, I have the video documentation to prove it. This is essentially the same concert released on the R.I.P. album in 2003, and while that was a very good recording, the DVD supplies all the visual aides and does all the justice that an audio recording simply wasn't able to do, making this the perfect companion piece to the album and the previous Murder City Devils documentary Rock N' Roll Won't Wait.

For those who love the slick, polished Wayne Isham-esque concert footage, it's best to look elsewhere. Although the footage is raw, the camerawork and editing is excellent, showing a warts-and-all show from start to finish. The group's entire career is well represented - performing 19 songs culled from the band's three albums and one EP, as well as two new songs, "Waltz" and "Grace That Saves". This is the Murder City Devils at their finest.

See! Singer Spencer Moody in all his mic-swallowing glory. Watch! A duet with Pretty Girls Make Graves' Andrea Zollo. Be Amazed! At Derek Fudesco commanding the stage like only a tall bassist in a sailor suit can. But it doesn't just end there, oh no - there's super special added bonus features including four tracks from previous shows. While listed as bootlegs, the quality is better than what one would expect.

Also included is a nifty photo gallery and for you commentary whores, a full length commentary from Moody and MDC merchandise impresario Corey Brewer, once known as Merchbot 2000 who, with Moody make up the new band Triumph of Lethargy Skinned Alive to Death - yes, that's the name. You wouldn't think that a singer and the dude that worked the t-shirt stand would make for a good commentary, but darn it all if they don't make for an insightful overview of the last show and the group in general.

The one unfortunate thing in all of this is the notable absence of keyboardist Leslie Hardy, who left the band three weeks previous. It was this event in particular that wound up being the catalyst in the dissolution of the band. Replacing Hardy would be Nick DeWitt, drummer for Pretty Girls Make Graves, dressed as Mark Mothersbaugh, no less.

The Murder City Devils were often called by the media as "The Saviors of Rock and Roll", which in today's day and age sounds like a laughable and unattainable achievement, but watching The End it becomes clear that every so often, even the press can get it right.

The Murder City Devils – The End cover artwork
The Murder City Devils – The End — Music Video Distributors, 2005

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