As DVD Videos increase in popularity in the general market for movies and music products, the Christian music industry is beginning to catch on to the latest digital phenomenon. In 2000, when DVDs were still starting to catch on, the Aussie quintet The Newsboys, in partnership with their record company Sparrow, decided to release their Live One Night In Pennsylvania video cassette in DVD format. Best yet, it was a free promotion with the purchase of the band's first greatest hits project appropriately entitled Shine - The Hits. Almost 2 years later, following a monumental performance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the band releases Thrive Live on DVD and video with a few tasty extras for the fans. The concert debuted the band's 2002 record Thrive and offered up live versions of eight of the ten cuts from the record to an audience that braved treacherous wintry conditions to come out.
The Newsboys have become know for their unique and high energy live shows. With the more mature sounds of Thrive, the band has toned down the performance just a notch, hindering nothing about their live performances. In fact, in many ways it is now enhanced. While the DVD's fast-paced music video style editing may be distracting or detract slightly from the live show feel, you get an all access experience at the event made available to watch at any time at your convenience. As mentioned before, the concert features eight of the ten songs from Thrive (excluding the favorite "John Woo," and thankfully "Cornelius"), and also features the hits "Who?" and "Joy" from their Shine project, as well as "Entertaining Angels" from Step Up to the Microphone, "Breakfast" and the title cut from Take Me to Your Leader, and finally the renowned "Shine" from their Going Public record. Several surprises include a rotating mini stage and backup Gospel choir for "It Is You" and a guest appearance by dc Talk's Michael Tait to sing alongside Peter Furler on "The Fad of the Land." While the duet was a treat, it tended to feel a little awkward as Michael didn't know the lyrics before helping on the song (and so had the album's CD jacket along to read the lyrics from).
A fun DVD experience to give the fans a backstage and behind the scenes treat they most likely won't get any other way, Thrive: From The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is an absolute must-have for any Newsboys fan.- written by John DiBiase
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