Live recordings/albums have their place but most never make it into a band's most prolific work. Of course like anything else there are exceptions. Bands like Phish and The Grateful Dead have made careers from releasing live albums many of which fans consider being far superior to the studio recordings. Then you have albums like James Brown’s Live at the Apollo (1963), Johnny Cash’s At Folsom Prison (1968) and Kiss’ Alive! (1975), which are considered cornerstones to the artist's career.
The career of LEEDS maybe far from over so it's hard to put into context but when comparing their live release entitled Live At The Bitter End with their other studio albums and EPs I would argue that the former is just as good if not better than the latter. When it comes to live albums I think it’s safe to say a cardinal rule is to listen to it in sequential order. You want to try to experience what the audience did as the band takes you through their set-list for that night.
The band kicks off with “Let's Raise Hell” which is indicative of the energy you can expect from the majority of the songs. Imagine if AC/DC jammed out to ‘70s punk rock and that's what “Let's Raise Hell” would sound like. It’s fun, unpretentious and slightly ominous. Pretty much good rock n’ roll if you ask me.
The band does justice to the track entitled “Best I've Ever Had” off their album Symmetry and Sin while the blue/hard rock hybrid “You Know I'm Wrong” seemed to be a crowd favorite. As the set-list continues the band rocks out to songs from both last year’s album Symmetry and Sin and their 2013’s self-titled release LEEDS.
Have you heard a record you really liked then went to go see that artist in concert and thought to yourself “this sounds bad”? It happens all the time and it isn’t just contained to local indie acts. Some musicians just aren’t very good live and luckily LEEDS isn’t one of those artists. The band plays tight and brings an undeniable energy to their live performances. I can’t say I prefer the live album more than their studio release but I could see myself choosing to listen to Live At The Bitter End just as often.
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