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Their first DVD in North America was recorded over a three night stint at NYC's Webster Hall. This footage showcases MSI at their best - fiercely independent, stunningly visceral, and ready to show their willingness to put themselves on the line every night. Features over twenty live songs, music videos, unreleased concert photos, illustrated storyboards, fan interviews, and more.
Since one of my fellow reviewers decided to review the Alice in Chains Unplugged DVD recently, I figured that I might as well review a concert-on-DVD release as well, and what better choice than the newly released debut DVD from one of my personal favorite bands? Yes, as much as I may despise the Hot Topic fans that seem to flock to this group, I just can't get enough of Little Jimmy Urine and his cohorts in the band known as Mindless Self Indulgence. Filmed live across a span of three shows at New York's Webster Hall in July of 2005, Our Pain, Your Gain boasts a 23-track set and loads of bonus features that goes a little something like this:
Review by Chad
Added: September 22, 2007
-MSI In One Word
4. Shut Me Up
8. Golden I
9. Stupid MF
10. 2 Hookers and an Eightball
11. What Do They Know?
12. Planet of the Apes
13. Capitol P
17. Bring the Pain (a cappella)
18. I Hate Jimmy Page
19. Tom Sawyer
20. Kill the Rock
22. Straight to Video
Save for the last item on the above list, the segments preceded by dashes are brief interludes in which fans discuss the topics at hand. Well, "discuss" may be too strong of a word, as they basically consist of random fans uttering single words; for example, the "Curse Words" segment shows us about a dozen fans saying "fuck", "shit", and "cunt" over and over, and needless to say, I think that the DVD release would have been much better without these things inserted between the songs.
Aside from those minor blemishes, the feature presentation of the disc is almost flawless. An MSI show is known more for the on stage antics and the insults hurled towards the crowd by the vocalist than it is for the actual music being played, and this seventy-minute feature captures the feel of a typical show perfectly. Now, that's not to say that the music side of things is lacking; far from it, as the two lads and two ladies put on a great show while going through all of the crowd favorites and some of their lesser known tracks. I particularly enjoyed the performance of "Bring the Pain" that was found here; Jimmy sings it completely a cappella (no instruments and no music whatsoever) with a little - well, a lot - of help from the crowd. Listening to his rendition of the song here shows how great and varying his voice actually is, and listening to the crowd sing along throughout the entire song was simply amazing. The rest of the songs are just as good and there's not a single blemish on the entire set, but that particular song was definitely a highlight of the disc.
The only thing that really irked me (aside from the features that I didn't enjoy, but those are easily skippable) was the way that the concert video was edited together in a MTV-style presentation. Instead of simply capturing the evenings on tape and letting us watch, the editors thought that it would be best to show us two seconds of the vocalist, two seconds of the guitarist, two seconds of the crowd, two seconds of the bassist, and two seconds of the drummer before starting the routine all over again. I don't particularly enjoy concert videos where the camera just focuses on the center of the stage for the entire time and I certainly wouldn't want to miss the other members of the band doing their thing, but going a little slower on the cuts would have worked wonders for me.
Moving on to the rest of the disc, we find ourselves with quite a few bonus features to keep us happy once the concert has ended. There's five music videos here, including "Straight To Video", "Shut Me Up" (both the original and final edits), and two fan response videos that come to us courtesy of YouTube. I had low expectations for those last two items, but surprisingly, they were pretty damned entertaining. There's also four sets of photographs included, which are entitled "Live Stills", "Making of 'Shut Me Up'", "'Shut Me Up' Storyboards", and "Making of 'Straight To Video'". Personally, I didn't care for these, but I rarely enjoy still galleries anyway so your mileage may vary.
The final section of the disc is entitled "Some other shit that ya probably just don't need or want", and it pretty much lives up to the title. The first thing included here is "Fans Singing MSI Songs", and it's exactly what you think it is based on the title. Stupid and pointless, but again, you may like it more than I did. The second portion of this is entitled "Autographs", and again, it's just what you think it is: we watch as the band members live up to their "We don't leave until everyone has an autograph and a picture" policy. Fun to watch, but nothing special. Finally, we have "Kisses For $1", which is actually pretty funny. You see, Jimmy Urine routinely charges audience members (male and female alike) a buck to kiss him, and this segment captures a whole bunch of those kisses on tape. Again, it's nothing that'll sell the disc on its own, but it is amusing.
So, there you have it: a damned good set from a damned good band with a damned good stage presence and a damned good connection with their fans. Although I did have some issues with the editing, this is definitely a disc that will get more than just the initial run in my DVD player, and I'd imagine that MSI fans will feel the same way. If you haven't heard of the band, give it a shot anyway; you may easily discover that you love them as much as I do. 9/10 for the overall disc, and a perfect 10/10 for the actual performances.
- added 09/22/2007, 07:28 PM
I do love me some MSI, and that is a great track
listing. I'll have to hunt this one down.