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Down - "Diary of a Mad Band" (DVD)

Down - "Diary of a Mad Band" DVD cover image

"Diary of a Mad Band" track listing:

Disc: 1
1. Losing All
2. Lifer
3. Lysergic Funeral Procession
4. Rehab
5. Temptations Wings
6. Ghosts Along The Mississippi
7. Learn From This Mistake
8. Hail The Leaf
9. New Orleans Is A Dying Whore
10. Lies, I Don't Know What They Say But...
11. Underneath Everything
12. The Seed
13. Eyes Of The South
14. Jail
15. Stone The Crows
16. Bury Me In Smoke

Disc: 2
1. Lysergic Funeral Procession
2. Lifer
3. Losing All
4. Rehab
5. New Orleans Is A Dying Whore
6. Ghosts Along The Mississippi
7. Learn From This Mistake
8. Underneath Everything
9. Temptation s Wings
10. There's Something On My Side
11. Hail The Leaf
12. Lies Listen
13. The Seed
14. Eyes Of The South
15. Jail
16. Stone The Crows
17. Bury Me In Smoke

Reviewed by on December 13, 2010

"It’s a diary of the live performance with brief interludes of the fun that happens before and after they perform."

With the lineup that Down has, featuring NOLA sludge masters and hard rockers, they have to have a good story to tell. And “Down: Diary of a Mad Band” is the story from 2006. After harsh times and strife from personal troubles, issues with the member’s other bands, and Hurricane Katrina’s devastation, Down reformed. With no record label and virtually no press, they toured throughout Europe trying to remember why they had made Down in the first place. The tour ended with a guest slot at the Download Festival in Donnington, England where Down performed in front of thousands of screaming fans. The movie is filmed in full screen to emulate classic 1970s concert films. The deluxe package comes with two live albums packed with songs that are performed very well. I suggest getting the whole package to fully enjoy and immerse yourself in one of the biggest metal bands today.

The hour and half long DVD follows Philip Anselmo , Kirk Windstein, Rex Brown, Pepper Keenan, and Jimmy Bower on this tour. The movie is packed with pro-shot and very exciting concert footage of songs from Down’s debut album “NOLA” and second album “II.” The venues they booked are by no means small, intimate bars. They have big venues and each show is packed to the rafters. Many of the fans pushed up against the barricades to sing along with “New Orleans is a Dying Whore,” “Hail the Leaf,” and “Jail,” along with their other favorites. Guitarist Pepper Keenan proudly wears his Defend New Orleans shirt to many of the concerts, showing his NOLA pride. It’s a must have for those who are proud of the world-famous metal scene of the South.

Between songs, there are short snippets of the down time on the road (no pun intended). You may see more than you want to see physically speaking, just warning you now. But you really get to see the guys interact and have fun. There are also some quick interviews with Down devotees before the shows. The DVD also includes bonus footage from offstage, a blooper reel if you will, called "Tyrades And Shananigans." You don’t get to see a whole lot of these candid moments, however. They are brief, and you’ll be left wanting to see more. “Down: Diary of a Mad Band” is all about the music and the concert experience. It’s a diary of the live performance with brief interludes of the fun that happens before and after they perform. But it is definitely a trip!

Highs: Tons of great live performance footage.

Lows: Not enough offstage antics and candid moments.

Bottom line: Exciting to watch and rock out to.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)