For those of you who don't know, The Dance Hall Crashers were originally an offshoot of Operation Ivy, Tim Armstrong and Matt Freeman left in 1989, and this band has never looked back. A great combination of power pop punk and ska, with duet female vocals, DHC is a great band with an amazing sound and this album will show you that you don't need Lint and Matt to be a great punk/ska band.
The Live Album... is one of the best live albums I've ever heard, and at 25 tracks, it gives you all the music you can handle, but you'll love the hour+ of pure unadulterate punk/ska this band serves up. If it wasn't for the crowd cheering and singing along, or the girls talking to the crowd between songs, you'd have no idea it was live. The production on this album is astounding.
This album also carries you through all the Dance Hall Crasher albums of the past. To make things fun, it's got a lot of humorous conversing between Elyse, Karina, and the audience. This album is what all live albums should be judged upon. There are no breaks in the album, the set rolls on, the fluidity is a constant, the sound is amazing, the bands is funny, the music is fun and interesting, and best of all, the energy is in tact.
The album begins with "Go" which is one of my favorite DHC songs after hearing this. It's got a nice power pop intro, and the ska breaks are totally sweet. A nice song to dance to, fast a one point, and slower at others. Gives you a chance to heat up and then cool down. Sweet song.
"Make Her Purr" runs back to the newer material, and rocks just as hard as anything they've ever done. They even do "Triple Track" which was on the Short Music For Short People compilation. That's a fun part because as soon as it's over they go directly into "Enough" which adds to the exhibition of power and tightness this band achieves. Being a Tom Petty fan, I totally dug their version of "American Girl". One of the most humorous parts of the album was the girls talking about how men who like to watch women fight suck and everyone cheering before they said it sucked. And as if you don't know, this is the lead into "Cat Fight". The band whips though song after song, with very little to no errors, and you are totally into the album from start to finish.
The only complaint I have about this album is that DHC isn't playing my city tonight and everynight. The evening ends with "D.H.C." which was written with Tim Armstrong. This song rocks. The crowd is totally into it, you can hear them singing along and the energy of the album hits it's pentacle.
Despite the album being over one hour long, I never once got remotely bored listening to it. Usually you are stuck with pieced together live albums from various shows, and you lose the fluidity of it all. By cutting and pasting live cuts as opposed to recording an entire set from start to finish, you lose the feel and the fun of being at a show. The band's being able to pull off a well played set is just as, if not, more important. That's what was amazing about this album, it just flowed from 0:01 to 69:09. It was an enjoyable album to review, and hasn't left my CD player in 3 days. This album also shows you what to expect from a DHC concert, over an hour of tight, poppy, fun-loving punk-ska. Thanks to Sara and Black And Pink Records for an amazing CD. I highly recommend you buy this album when it's released on June 6, 2000. It's worth every penny.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.