Protest the Hero
Gallop Meets the Earth CD/DVD

I’ll admit I am a Protest the Hero fanboy. I love both Kezia and Fortress and having met and interviewed the band after a local live show, I found a new appreciation for them, not just as a band, but as a pretty cool group of kids. That all being said, I wasn’t sure about a live effort and how it would translate to CD, especially considering the bands complex style and vocals.

Recorded at a sold out show at the Sound Academy on Toronto, Ontario, the  11 track audio CD is as you’d expect for a live CD; enjoyable and full of between song banter and crowd interaction. The bands renditions of songs from both Kezia and Fortress are tight and well played, especially tracks like ‘No Stars Over Bethlehem” and personal favorite “Psalms Read”. However, much is lost by simply listening to the material, without actually being there.

Much like last years Colors DVD by Between the Buried and Me, where the band shine is actually watching them perform on this release. The Hi –Def DVD of the show allows you to watch vocalist Roddy Walker do his high energy performance as well as haze fans and rant about hardcore dancing (his whole go a the “ginger” kid unable to grow a real chinstrap is hilarious) and the magical fingers of bassist Arif Mirabdolbagh.  Admittedly, some songs like “Bloodmeat” and “Sequoia Throne” lose some of their clarity without the studio helping Walkers multi faceted vocals, but instrument wise, the band are fucking tight and the graphics, editing and lighting are all top notch.

Included on the DVD is a “’Directors Cut’ of the show- a sort of redundant behind the scenes look at the concert with footage of the band setting up, rehearsing and other rather needless filler. There’s also a video for the single “Spoils” (where’s the “Bloodmeat” video?). The there’s plenty of old and new road footage that includes expected band shenanigans from a group of 20-somethings living on the road with a video camera and some live performances.

The final bonus is the “Golden Gods” part of the DVD where the band could not make it to play at the 2008 Golden Gods Awards in Salt Lake City due to a broken van, so they proceeded the drink and dance (and film). So then in the 2009 show, they showed up in spandex and perform said dance routine to make up for missing the show. Pretty funny stuff from a pretty funny group of kids.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
December 7th, 2009

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