One of the best reunions ever and a great trip down memory lane of one of the best bands of the early 1990s.
The Jesus Lizard – Club DVD
Back in the early 1990s, The Jesus Lizard were one of the best bands around during the noise/indie rock/punk times. They put out a handful of really good records on Touch and Go and they toured their asses off, taking their legendary live performances to any club that will have them. Like all great bands from that era, eventually the band fizzled out and called it a day.
Also like many bands, the end wasn’t really the end forever as The Jesus Lizard reunited a couple of years ago to do a small handful of reunion shows to coincide with their back catalog getting the remaster treatment. All the original members were present for these shows and some people had the good sense to document the first of these shows on film which is now available as the Club DVD.
Club was recorded live at Exit in Nashville, TN back on July 14, 2009. It was the first time The Jesus Lizard played together in over a decade. The performance that evening was so spot-on it was like time stood still since their last show in the 1990s. The band busted out all their “hits” and concentrated a lot of the earlier material (ie: their best stuff) and the method which they delivered it was no different from back when the band was at their peak. David Yow, pushing 50 years old, was every bit as energetic and chaotic as he was in his 20s. He was writing around, jumping, flailing, and crowd surfing. It is very impressive how a man can jump into a crowd, be passed around aimlessly by them, and still not miss a single vocal line or ever losing his mic. He was every bit the commanding front man that he was when the band was active and his performance alone should be the benchmark by which any reunion show should be judged.
The rest of the band wasn’t slacking either. They played with such precision that you’d think they never stopped practicing or playing together ever. They were a well oiled machine and every song sounded amazing and powerful. They played with a lot of energy and enthusiasm and they too channeled their younger selves to complete the picture. The end result was one of the best reunions in history and is probably the closest thing to owning a time machine you’ll ever find.
The show was shot on multiple cameras and the editing is pretty clean and done in a way that feels a lot like being at a show yourself for the most part. The video is 4:3 (full frame) which was an odd choice considering when this was shot, HD and 16:9 cameras were easily available. The video looks good but feels dated because of the format. The audio is straight stereo and it sounds excellent. The audio was full sounding and all instruments and vocals sound as clear as a studio recording. The audio alone is worthy of a separate release (which is coming soon in the way of a double LP!). The show is 65 minutes long and there’s not a boring minute in the entire thing. If you are a fan of the band it is likely that all of your favorite songs were performed at this show. Bonus material includes a photo slide show and mp3s of the entire show that you can copy to your computer/iPod! The later was a very nice touch!
If you are or were a fan of The Jesus Lizard, buying this DVD should be a no-brainer. I saw them a ton of times back when they were an active band and this DVD was a nice trip down memory lane that will help keep the memories of seeing this great live act alive in my aging mind.
I thought your review was right on target. The band is impeccably tight and killer. And Yow is still awesome. Most bands wish they could muster this much energy.