IZZ are a New York-based band that already recorded five brilliant studio albums, namely Sliver Of A Sun (1998), I Move (2002), Ampersand, vol. 1 (2004), My River Flows (2005) and The Darkened Room (2009). The current line-up consists of Paul Bremner (guitar), Anmarie Byrnes (lead and backing vocals), Brian Coralian (acoustic and electronic drums, percussion), Greg DiMiceli (drums, percussion), John Galgano (bass, guitar, lead and backing vocals), Tom Galgano (keyboards, lead vocals, acoustic guitar) and Laura Meade (lead and backing vocals).These musicians can also be heard on the excellent live album Live At NEARfest (2007). This performance has also been filmed and was lately released on DVD called simply Live.
When you start to watch this disc you'll see that it has been divided into four chapters. The first chapter contains the concert at the NEARfest Festival and this is undoubtedly the most important part of this DVD. Chapter 1 is a brilliant one-hour long performance that was shot with professional cameras. The good stereo sound and the quality of the images make it worth watching. In addition the close-ups are very well done and make sure that you can watch the musicians play at close range. The most striking aspects of this concert are the band performing with two drummers and two female backing singers who occasionally sing some of the lead vocals as well. It's obvious that the seven musicians on stage form a strong collective that wholeheartedly play the music from their first four albums. The fifth album wasn't released yet at the time this concert took place, so consequently you won't hear any music from it.
People who aren't familiar with the music of IZZ probably want to know how their music sounds. Well, they play progressive rock with a variety of atmospheres; from light ballad-like passages to heavier and darker instrumental parts wherein the keyboards and guitars have a leading role. The vocal harmonies bring an interesting counterpoint to the complex music of the band. And on top of that we have a solid rhythm section! It's also nice to see that both drummers show their talents especially during the drum solo on Late Night Salvation.
The second chapter contains footage taken from a show in 2002 at the ProgWest Festival. On this DVD we see thirty minutes of this show that was shot with three cameras and with an audience bootleg sound. The quality is less than the NEARfest images and therefore only four tracks have been included. Although the quality is rather poor it doesn't mean that the performed songs aren't worth listening to. The excellent music of the band makes it much easier to watch it until the last track.
I think the third chapter will be more interesting. It includes a live-in-studio webcast from 2003 that lasts seventy minutes. It was filmed with only one camera, but it has a decent sound. These images give you a unique insight view of the band. Moreover a variety of songs can be enjoyed taken from almost every album the band has recorded, but also from solo albums of the band members. The footage once again shows how talented these musicians are! The fourth chapter contains 25 minutes of material shot during rehearsals and recordings in a recording studio. This chapter also includes songs that later on appeared on their latest studio album.
If you decide to buy this release you'll get a very good DVD with many enjoyable moments. Especially the NEARfest concert is a feast to watch. Despite the fact that the quality of the other items were of a lower level, they got my attention all the way. Therefore I can only be positive about this DVD. Well done, indeed!
**** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013