T.S.O.L. – The Early Years Live DVD
Despite their storied past that included going metal, lawsuits and other unpleasant things, there is no disputing the greatness that was early T.S.O.L. . Their first couple of records are now regarded as punk rock classics and they’ve cemented a place in punk rock legend.
This DVD compiles footage from two different shows and sources, both recorded in 1983. This was right around the time that the band started experimenting with things like keyboards and going in a bit more of a goth direction before the band fell apart and turned metal simultaneously. There is a great mix of really early material plus the songs that were new at the time from the Beneath the Shadows album. The main feature was shot by Flipside and likely ended up on one of the VHS tapes they used to sell back in the old days. It was shot on one camera from a somewhat close distance. The show was outdoors so the lighting is great. The image quality is pretty good for a 25 year old camcorder recording. There’s a few glitches here and there and the thing was pretty amateurish, but considering the technology and the era it is pretty good. The audio is very good as well especially considering the equipment.
The second feature on here is much shorter and was recorded around the same time, this time by Target Video. The footage is fairly similar in quality to the Flipside footage. There is also a healthy amount of bonus material consisting of an old interview from that Flipside show that lasted about 40 minutes, a live clip from 2007 and a reading from Jack Grisham from his forthcoming book. The old interview footage was particularly interesting just because it was so long ago that is was like going back in a time machine.
As a pretty big T.S.O.L. fan, I was excited to see this was coming out. It’s always nice to see these old documents being brought out for people to see what they missed or relive their punk rock past. If you are a fan of the band it’s worth the few bucks to add this to your collection.