Live albums are novelty items. Oftentimes they're something a fan is excited for, snags the album on the release date, listens to a few times, and before the listener knows it, it's old news. Every once in awhile, a live album hits shelves that blows you away. Supertones Live! Volume One is just that record.
Production is kept raw and the live feel is ever so evident. The overall aura put off by the project is likely to pump up the listener almost as much as if they were at the concert themselves. It's live, it's raw, it's rocking -- it's the Supertones. The album opens with the crowd chanting "Supertones," setting the mood nicely for the hard-hitting and slamming "Unite" from their Supertones Strike Back album. The Tones then give the crowd a taste of 'old school' Supertones with "Unknown" from their debut album. For fans, it's awesome to hear their original tunes in a live, raw, straight-rock feel. The energy is captured very well with the power of the crowd noise (not too loud, not too soft -- so you know it's still live), the excitement of the band and just the all-around buzz the band gives off live. The live sound completely revives the original classic songs which, when recorded, suffered slightly from poor production.
The album accurately captures a Supertones live show experience. After such favorites as "Resolution," "What It Comes To," "Grounded," "Sure Shot," "Jury Duty," and even the classic "Adonai," the band moves slowly into their more worshipful set with "Away From You" before switching roles and picking up the acoustic for some classic worship songs. (in "Adonai," I love the lyrics replacement of the original line "make my heart beat all fast like the girl from Plain Jane..." -- listen closely) Trumpet player Darren Mettler leads the crowd in some excellent worshipful renditions of "You Are My King (Amazing Love)," "Holiness," and "Open the Eyes of My Heart." But as they do in concert, the quintet returns their high energy ska-flavored rock with "Little Man" and ends with "Return of the Revolution." Like all good encores, the band exits, leaving the crowd to cheer wildly before lead singer Matt Morginsky returns for the acoustic "So Great a Salvation" from their Strike Back record. The album closes with the classic "Who Can Be Against Me" and the fan favorite hit "Strike Back."
An excellent live album for fans like myself, and maybe a good introduction collection for fans-to-be. Don't miss this one.- Review date: 2/8/02, written by John DiBiase
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