by Alexandra Mrozowska
– Sr. Columnist —
“Listening to the live album is even better than having experienced the gig yourself,” said no one ever. The paraphrase of one of the favorite sayings of the Internet generation basically sums up all that has been ever said and written about any (un)successful attempts to capture the energy of a live performance on record. However, it may be a bit different in the case of The Dead Daisies and their new live album. Having considered the group’s tight concert schedule this year, chances are that sooner or later you’re going to end up headbanging and screaming in the front of John Corabi, Doug Aldrich, David Lowy, Marco Mendoza and Brian Tichy. There’s thus a certain point in Live & Louder hitting the shelves on the eve of the group’s another massive concert tour. An incredibly tight and highly energetic set of fifteen tracks performed live is surely more of a lure to see this collective live than a replacement of doing so.
The interesting thing about the tracklist – compiled of live recordings from The Dead Daisies’ recent European tour – is that it features a generous handful of cover versions of classic Rock songs, both those already included on band’s studio albums and not. And guessing by how convincing the Daisies’ takes on Grand Funk Railroad’s “We’re An American Band” or The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” sound, it’s much more than just an old concert gimmick.
However, this certainly doesn’t mean the band lacks faith in their own repertoire when it comes to playing live. Live & Louder is also the band’s entire output revisited. For many reasons – be it the thick, melodic riffs behind “Lock’N’Load” (originally provided by no one else but Slash on the band’s debut album) or the straight-in-your-face, raw vibe of the opening track “Long Way To Go” – these songs are simply at their best when played in concert. John Corabi’s rough voice fits the otherwise melody-driven material paradoxically well, something even the staunch adversaries of the singer must admit. Faced with a two-way choice between playing to the actual songs and showing off their instrumental skills, the band seems to go for the former rather than a latter. They storm throughout the set with Rock ‘n’ Roll swagger, but also with unbelievable precision – and only a handful of moments to quench the thirst of those eager for virtuosity (like “Last Time I Saw The Sun” or the final cover version of “Midnight Moses”).
The Daisies’ Live & Louder is simply what a live album should be. It’s loud, gritty and melodic, with at least a fraction of the band’s vitality and vibrancy captured on record. Overall, it sounds very authentic in opposition to the entire league of live records thoroughly enhanced in the recording studio – these enthusiastic roars of the audience simply couldn’t have been recorded elsewhere but in the midst of the hot show. And as the band celebrates the release of the album by going on the road one more time this year – if you try, you may then confront your listening experience with those of a live gig frenzy. There’s surely more than a handful of listeners for whom Live & Louder is a great concert souvenir – and there will be more of them in days to come. So, are your tickets for one of The Dead Daisies shows safely stashed in your drawer, waiting for the big day to come…? If not, you may leave it this way and settle for the album and the album only – but you may also regret having done so afterwards.
Genre: Hard Rock
Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio) – Guitars
John Corabi (Mötley Crüe, The Scream) – Vocals
David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink) – Guitars
Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake) – Bass
Brian Tichy (Ozzy Osbourne, Foreigner) – Drums
1. Long Way To Go
3. Make Some Noise
4. Song And A Prayer
5. Fortunate Son
6. We All Fall Down
8. Something I Said
9. Last Time I Saw The Sun
10. Join Together
11. With You And I
12. Band Intros
14. Helter Skelter
15. We’re An American Band
16. Midnight Moses
Label: Spitfire Music/SPV
Hardrock Haven rating: (8.5 / 10)