RELEASE DATE: APRIL 7, 2009
et’s admit it, you’re not buying this particular product for the CD. Third Day doesn’t need yet another live event CD. We’ve heard them. We know they’re good. We know it’s going to be excellent. And you can only compare them against themselves. That being said, the album portion isn’t all that special. It’s good. So what. What you really want is the DVD portion of Live Revelations: On Stage, Off Stage, Backstage, which is phenomenal.
While I have been a Third Day fan since I was in high school some 12 years ago, I wouldn’t call myself a rabid fan. I say that because I am not sure whether this DVD project is Third Day’s first documentary video. I own all of their albums, but I’m sure that a “true” fan would know whether this was the first behind the scenes expose of the band or not. As it stands, this is the first one I’ve had my attention called to. And if it is the first one, it’s not a bad start.
The packaging states, “This 75-Minute Documentary offers an unprecedented real life look at one of Christian music’s most loved bands “on stage, off stage, and backstage.” I love language like that. While I suppose a documentary could be staged, as a video/tech guy, I don’t think it would be too hard to accomplish something like this. You follow the band around with a camera, make sure you get the right shots. It’s the second statement that gets me, though. “Follow the band around the clock as they try to balance life on a tour bus, performance demands, and family relationships in the midst of constant commitments.” This part is so true of what is communicated in this DVD. And if that is what you are looking for, you will get it in spades. Yes, you’ll get concert footage, too. But, the strength of this project lies in the authenticity of the artists.
Viewers are allowed to see what goes on backstage as the artists participate in meet & greets with their fanclub and press, shaking hands with strangers. Sometimes they come across as elated to be doing this. Other times they seem haggard from having been on the road all night long in a cramped bus. I think this was important to show. Yes, Third Day is one of the biggest Christian bands ever. But, they’re also human. The band members get tired and weary, just like the rest of us. We are also given a glimpse of the band as they talk about what they liked and what they didn’t like about a particular set, things that went right, things that went wrong. What fascinated me about these particular exchanges was that, while the band members were going about critiquing themselves in order to make themselves better in the future, most people in the crowd likely didn’t even notice any major faux pas during the show. This commitment to their craft is especially impressive to me. Third Day is at a place in their career where they could “get by” and put on a show that takes very little out of them creatively. Yet, despite their success, they choose to continue to work hard to be the best they can be for their fans.
I think one of the more important things about this DVD is what you don’t see. In some documentary type television shows and the like, the main “character’s” families are put on display, often to their detriment. While the member of band’s families are shown, it is only briefly. You never get the sense that the band is not being genuine, rather that family is their last refuge from fame and attention-grabbing fans clamoring for an autograph, picture, or soundbyte for their fledgling podcast (thanks Mac and Mark—I stillappreciate the 1 minute ya’ll gave me…seriously). Either way, I like the protective hedge. That may not even be what they were going for, but it was the sense I got from the film.
Of course, for those who can’t get enough Third Day concert footage, there is plenty of that to be had on this DVD. The band covers 9 songs—some new, some fan favorites—and delivers each with their signature, electrifying southern Georgia style. Again, not much different from other concert footage, with the exception that they cover songs from the new album. However, when they welcome Robert Raldolph to the stage to for “Other Side?” Whoa. Just…whoa. Awesome stuff. When that brother sits down to plat the pedal steel and Powell busts out the tambourine…it’s just…I mean…what do you even say to that? It’s frickin’ sweet and gooey as Georgia peach cobbler. Powell’s vocals pop and Randolph makes that steel talk. I have a hard time not using stronger language to describe how awesome I think it is. I’ll leave it at that.
Also included on this DVD as bonus features are a music video for “Revelation,” extra concert footage, outtakes, and exclusive HD content for iTunes users.
Overall, I loved the DVD. I could take or leave the CD, but that’s only because it’s not as good as some of their other live efforts. But, the DVD is well worth the price and the CD is kind of thrown in for good measure. Worth the buy.