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“Calexico are one of my favourite live bands. Their...”

Written on: 02/02/2007 by Mindy (82 reviews written)

Calexico are one of my favourite live bands. Their stunning blend of country, mariachi, folk and indie rock always makes for celebratory gigs with their enthusiasm and the uplifting horn section. I am, however, always extremely dubious about watching concert DVDs because they never fully recapture the experience of the live setting as a gig without crowds screaming, pushing sweating and singing along renders the whole experience extremely sterile. We have stacks of live DVDs at home that we bought and never watched because it's just not the same and we need to really be in the right mood.

Having said that, this DVD came out on New Year's Eve a couple of years ago. I was felled by the worst ever case of strep throat I'd experienced and we were unable to to partake in any sort of festivities and so Calexico seemed like a good option, as we'd enjoyed the band on this tour the previous year.

From the opening notes of "Wash," however, I knew I was going to enjoy this one. With the lights off and the sound up we were transported back to the concert hall, watching the band play through the mariachi rhythms of "Sunken Waltz" to the creeping dread of "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" to the melancholy indie hooks of "Not Even Stevie Nicks," a song I do not usually enjoy in its live form. By the time they hit the rowdy highs of "The Crystal Frontier" I was ready to jump up and dance, despite barely having the energy to breathe.

As concert DVDs go this one is a corker. You can see the energy that the band convey on the stage and their love of performing. Calexico gigs are like an epic where you can't tear yourself away from the giddy and intense highs and the dark depths. It's a wild ride of emotion with Burns and Covertino serving as charismatic guides.

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