Live At The Gods 2002 | review

Well Where do i start??? This review covers both the CD and DVD versions of "Live At The Gods 2002". This show was fantastic, and this release is one killer live album for the fans and it also could be a very excellent showcase to introduce someone to the band. Harry Hess is definilty a charismatic front man who likes to have a good time on stage, and as usual Pete Lesparance plays his axe like theres no tomorrow and continues to be, in my honest opionon one of rocks most underrated guitar players. Considering the amount of harmony and guitar layers that Harem Scarem use on record, its pleasing to see how they faithfully recreate the same energy and sound on stage, just proving how excellent this band really is.

The show consisted mostly of tunes from Harem Scarems latest album at the time "Weight Of The World" plus a variety of 'Harem' hits all the way back to the self titled debut album and even including a few tracks from the 'Rubber' period. For those not overly familiar with the band, they are kind of a mix of the no-nonsense rock bands like Thunder and Tesla, with a mix of the Def Leppard style harmonies, layering and song structuring.

"Change Comes Around" - originally from "Mood Swings", is a straight ahead rock track with an awesome groove and HUGE chorus. Excellent opening track that portrays the level of energy that Harem Scarem brings to a show.

"Killing Me" - from "Weight Of The World", a more uptempo rocker good track to introduce the new album. Great chorus, great groove. Keeps the vibe of the opening going.

"Stuck With You" - from "Rubber" self titled, a track from when Harem Scarem became a more 'modern sounding' band, and yet strangely enough this song sounds more Harem Scaremish and fits in with the show perfectly. Great up tempo number which keeps the show rolling.

"Hard To Love" - originally from "Harem Scarem", one of the first HS tracks I ever heard and still one of my favorites, one of those hard rock ballads, yet again a huge chorus, high energy performance.

"Who-Buddy" - from the "Rubber" album, yet another rocker followingonfrom "Hard To Love". This track you can definitley hear some more of the 'modern' type influenses that the "Rubber" stuff was based on. Not a stand out track, could have easily been replaces by any number of excellent HS tracks but still holds its place in the set list quite well.

"You Ruined Everything" - from "Weight Of The World", one of the more 'modern' sounding tracks, not one of my favorites, i dont really like the chorus lyrically or the track musically, has that "Blink 182" feel to it i think but overall is still a good song.

"This Aint Over" - from "Weight Of The World", one of the ballads which is absoultly FANTASIC live, and displays the maturity that Harry and Pete have developed in their song writing over the years. Very sentimental and emotional and beautifully arranged and has an excellent solo from Pete.

"See Saw" - instrumental track from "Weight Of The World", adds a nice little groove break to the flow of the show and really helps build the pace of the performance.

"If You" - also from "Weight Of The World", yet another more modern sounding track from the then latest album, has a similar vibe to "You Ruined Everything", very fun song, great lyrics. Background vocals here are a bit out of tune and aren't up to the rest of the show, but that just being picky.

"Warming A Frozen Rose" - from "Voice Of Reason", one of my favorite tracks from said album, its a mid paced track, quite dark, and an interesting song to have live. Yet again the live rendition is very faithful to the album track, and live really adds to the intesity to the song, one of the highlights.

"How Long" - from "Harem Scarem", yet another excellent track from the classic debut album, similar to "Hard To Love", in energy and intensity, hard driving melodic rock at its best.

"Honestly" - from "Harem Scarem", is the definitive HS ballad.This rendition was breath taking, just Harry on vocals and Pete on the guitar, it had a beautiful haunting feel to it, keeps building, leaving you waiting for the big kick in of the bass and drums...

"Outside Your Window" - yet another track from "Weight Of The World" and the last one thats performed during the show. This one really reaches back to the classic HS sound, and is one of my favorites of the album. Moody track with a great chorus. The band really gets the emotion across with this performance.

"So Blind" - from "Big Bang Theory", picking up the up tempo rocking again to head toward the end of the show. So Blind is one of the tracks which does really well live, has a great driving rhythm to it and an incredible intesity, really gets you rocking.

"The Paint Thins" - from "Voice Of Reason", yet another interesting choice of track, is kind of a 'dark' rocker, turns up the intensity another notch from So Blind.

"No Justice" - from "Mood Swings", ends the show the way it started, highenergy high octane performance, of another classic HS track.

Harem Scarem as a live band are absoultley fantastic, there not all over the place and are very composed and professional. During the show you can tell that they are light hearted guys who really want to give the crowd a great sounding show. They can recreate the atmosphere from their polished studio releases, they are a band who can sing. Really great show, one to watch or listen to over and over again. It would have been nice to hear a few more of the older tunes, but they were promoting the new album, so you cant really fault that. HS perform fantastically, and its really good to watch althought its really 6 of one, half a dozen of the other as to which would be a better purchase the DVD or the CD. I like live shows so I bought the DVD, its only Dolby Digital Stereo so im gathering that the soundtrack is the same as the cd. The show sounds great, its well mixed, all levels are up, every instrument is in its proper place and nothing gets in the way of anything else. The standout tracks are, "Change Comes Around", "Hard To Love", "Warming A Frozen Rose", "Honestly" and "How Long".
RECOMMENDED :)

Review by Patrick Rankine
Originally posted at theloudestrock.com