Released: 2005, Century Media Records
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Shadows Fall is one of the best-selling bands on Century Media Records and are an absolute torrent of energy and talent on stage, so their first DVD, THE ART OF TOURING: DRUNK & SHITTY IN EVERY CITY, should be a showcase of everything that makes this band so great, right? Wrong. At 114 minutes in length, only eight original songs are played live and the bulk of the time is wasted on guess-you-had-to-be-there moments that are tedious to watch. See a drunken Matt Bachand try to make himself throw up on a car from his hotel room window by sticking his hand down his throat! Watch the band let off fireworks!! And don’t miss the faux insults thrown at the band by members of God Forbid, Mudvayne, Zakk Wylde (“Shadows Fall have hot asses, suck great cock and will sleep with eight guys at a time”), David Ellefson, Max Weinberg and Charlie Benante!!! If these “shenanigans” don’t have you frantically clicking over to your local e-tailer to purchase this already, read on…
Filmed between 2002 and 2004 in Europe, Japan and on various stops through the U.S. during Ozzfest, the footage is purposely rough. Video is grainy and filmed with hand-held cameras from the backs of clubs or at the helm of shaky roadies. The audio presentation is equally lackluster but expected under the circumstances. The live material is all tracks from the OF ONE BLOOD and THE ART OF BALANCE albums but six music videos from THE ART OF BALANCE and THE WAR WITHIN albums are also featured. Two “bonus features” include an especially poor-sounding cover of Motley Crue’s “Live Wire” and the band is joined on stage by Jason McMaster for a decent cover of his band’s (Dangerous Toys) “Teas’n Pleas’n.” A tribute to Dimebag Darrell along with a drunken jam with Damageplan to Pantera’s “Walk” (don’t miss SF drummer Jason Bittner dressed up as Vinnie Paul complete with do-rag and fake hair and sideburns and beard made from electrical tape) is also included but while the essence is there and its cool to see one of Dime’s final performances, the video footage is hard to watch because of the endless camera shake. Seeing footage of Killswitch Engage’s resident madman, Adam Dutkiewicz, get KISS makeup a la Paul “Porn” Stanley or a roadie do a Napoleon Dynamite-worthy dance in a gay bar to Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” is amusing to watch…once. After that, it’s like watching a four-year old tell you the same stupid joke over and over again.
Now that Shadows Fall have jumped ship for a major label (Warner Brothers), it will be interesting to see what happens. Their five year run on Century Media produced three albums of killer music and as a live act, they are tough to beat, so it’s disappointing to see that they didn’t put out a better DVD for fans. Don’t go in expecting a slicked-up, big budget production because it’s not here. If anything, bootleg quality is a step up! Instead, viewers can revel in the mundane idiocy that bands partake in to pass the long hours between gigs. The live footage is worth checking out and the videos are a nice touch but unfortunately, the bulk of the footage on THE ART OF TOURING: DRUNK & SHITTY IN EVERY CITY might be hilarious to the band and its inner circle but to everyone else—the target demographic—this is two hours better spent doing something, well, less shitty. This is recommended for real completists only.