Duncan Sheik | On Stage at World Café Live (Decca Vision)

sheikWith a full band for most of the 12 songs, Sheik and his players deliver a short evening's worth of pleasant if not quite passionate performances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I came late to the Duncan Sheik game, and even now, I've not fully arrived. I avoided him and his early commercial success, finally picking up Daylight in 2002 when it was released to much critical acclaim. I didn't give the disc a fair shake until catching Sheik live in concert a few years later, just prior to the release of White Limousine. Then when I went back to Daylight, I got it; I was hooked.

Lucky for me, this live DVD draws on both of the above-mentioned albums. With a full band for most of the 12 songs, Sheik and his players (including Gerry Leonard, Doug Yowell and Milo DeCruz, with a special appearance by David Poe) deliver a short evening's worth of pleasant if not quite passionate performances.

Fellow singer-songwriter Poe's appearance on "White Limousine" is nice, as are Sheik's deliveries of "Good Morning," "For You" and the ever-brilliant "Genius." Still, the problem with the live DVD, for me, remains that Sheik's music, while often brilliant and catchy, is all too often plodding. I find myself getting bored, despite my appreciation for the man and his music. And that happens here; his band, sadly, is nothing to hold your attention, at least not on a small-screen format.

Also, although it seems blasphemous to hail a performer's delivery of a cover song, I find I must here. If you've ever seen a live Sheik show, you know it's his cover of Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" that brings the house down – and it's the same here. Too bad it's a closing number (and not an original song), but it really is beautiful, and brilliant, and a wonderful interpretation by a talented musician in his own right.

What ultimately dooms the DVD is its adherence to the apparent format of "On Stage at the World Café Live" releases: cheesy, cookie-cutter package design, an all-too-serious intro by David Dye, and interview footage intercut into the concert. Between-song banter is kept to a minimum, if not outright erased (discouraged?), probably to make way for the artist's words from the hot seat. And the extras? They aren't even worth mentioning. | Laura Hamlett

About Laura Hamlett 467 Articles
Laura Hamlett is the Managing Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. In a past life, she was also a music publicist and band manager. Besides music, books, and other forms of popular culture, she's a fan of the psychology behind true crime and violent criminals. Ask her about mass murder...if you dare.

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