October 13, 2005

DVD Review: Taste of Chaos

The Taste of Chaos festival was put together by the same guys that do the Van's Warped Tour. This was a new package that brings punk, hardcore, and metal together under one roof. The big question is "did it work?" My answer: sort of. I admit, a lot of this new hardcore punk stiff is not me, I'm the metal guy. I was supposed to have seen this tour when it passed through Poughkeepsie, NY, but due to circumstances beyond my control I could not make it. This DVD puts me in the action and shows me what I missed. The band I was really looking forward to seeing was Killswitch Engage, whose End of Heartache album is fantastic. Anyway, on to the disk.

The concert footage was filmed early in the tour at Asbury Park, NJ. The disk mixes in interview clips with the bands in between each of the performances. The interviews allow the bands to give some of their thoughts on the tour and the crowds. The bands come across as genuinely excited about being on this big package tour, playing different venues with friends, new and old, and playing front of huge sold out crowds.

The performances are kicked off with a pair from the lone metal act on the bill, Killswitch Engage. I loved the pair of songs from them, High energy and heavy riffs are the order of the day, and the delivery is noticeably different than the bands that are yet to come. Their interviews talk about how different it is playing this type of crowd than their usual metal shows. They are followed by Underoath. Their energy on stage was commendable, but the music just didn't do it for me. Sadly, it didn't bode well for me and the the bands that lay ahead.

The third band was My Chemical Romance. I had never heard these guys, but have heard a lot about these guys about how good they are. I liked the dramatic presence they had on stage, they made me think of The Cure, if they had gotten into distorted dissonance. Not bad. They were followed by Unearth. They have this hardcore sound that was pretty good, guitar work was heavy, reminiscent of Slayer. Not my favorite of the night, but better than a lot.

I saw Atreyu once before, when they opened up for CKY a couple of years back. I wasn't terribly impressed by them then, and my opinion holds. I will say their stage presence has improved, I just don't think much of their music. However, they are a good fit on this tour, the energy was apparent, and the kids in attendance ate it up. After them was Senses Fail. Not too bad, closer to what I normally associate with punk. Although they didn't really standout, it was nice to hear a bit more actual signing on the stage.

After Sense Fail was a segment on the second, acoustic stage that featured My American Heart, Bleed the Dream, Opiate for the Masses, Nicky P, and Bedlight for Blueeyes. This was a cool idea, it adds a little depth to the show, an alternative to the main electric stage. We don't get any complete performances, but some clips and interviews with bands and what they gained by translating their songs to the acoustic side of music.

Back to the main stage we get A Static Lullaby. These guys didn't impress me all that much. But again, the energy was still high, and the crowd was still alive for it. Last but not least, The Used comes in to close out the disk. I was never much interested in checking them out, but I admit, the performance here was good, a mix of rock, punk, and hardcore. The crowd was crazy, and loving every minute of it. Good way to close out the show.

Don't forget that in addition to the music, all of the bands get to speak on their experiences, and that is almost as much fun as the performances themselves. These bands obviously have a love for what they are doing, and are not afraid to let the fans know it.

Video. This is presented in anamorphic widescreen in a ratio of 1.78:1. It looks pretty good, the lighting shows up well, all of the colors separate with deep blacks. It isn't the best quality I have seen, but it does the subject well.

Audio. Three flavors, Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0, and DTS 5.1. I listened to the DD 5.1 track and it sounds very good. I am able to pick out the separate instruments and that is important for a concert disk.

Extras. There is a decent selection of extras.
-Extended interviews. This is over a half hour of interviews with the bands from which the snips used in the main program were taken from. They are all pretty interesting, most notably Killswitch Engage. They discuss the difference between this and metal shows, where the metal shows have the drunk men driving home, this has the kids getting picked up by their parents. Good stuff.
-Backstage with The Used. This is a brief clip of the band messing around backstage.
-Bleed the Dream Van Tour. This has one of the band members showing us around the van. The best part was the story about the van breakdown that caused them to miss the Poughkeepsie show (where I was supposed to have been).
-Photo Gallery. A collection of tour photos set to music from, I believe, The Used.
-Trailer. A trailer for this DVD release.

Bottomline. While a lot of the music on this disk is not for me, it is a well done collection for the tour. Fans will love it, to relive the bands live moments and to get a glimpse into them offstage.


Performance listing:

  1. Killswitch Engage - “A Bid Farewell”
  2. Killswitch Engage - “The End Of Heartache (featuring Ken Sussi from Unearth)”
  3. Underoath - “It’s a Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door”
  4. Underoath - “Reinventing Your Exit”
  5. My Chemical Romance - “Give ‘Em Hell, Kid”
  6. Unearth - “Black Hearts Now Reign”
  7. Unearth - “This Lying World”
  8. Atreyu - “Right Side Of The Bed”
  9. Atreyu - “Lip Gloss and Black”
  10. Senses Fail - “Bite To Break Skin”
  11. A Static Lullaby - “The Shooting Star that Destroyed Us”
  12. A Static Lullaby - “Lip Gloss and Letdown”
  13. The Used - “Take It Away”


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