Now is as good a time as ever for Thousand Foot Krutch to release a live album. The band now has a solid catalog of albums to pull from that encompasses five studio albums from their first,Set It Off,being released in 2001 to their most recent Welcome to the Masquerade(2009.) Having seen the band three times now (which ironically have all been in the last year), they always have a ton of energy live and a lot of solid hits with which to put on a great rock show. So the potential was definitely there for the band to have an awesome live album.
I’m usually always torn with live albums. They either give a great representation of the particular band’s live show or the mixing isn’t that great and it’s a poor representation of the show. On a few live albums I have noticed that the crowd is either too loud, vocals drown out the music, vice versa, or some other technical error that then just results in you sticking with the studio recordings of the songs. Usually the DVD that is packaged with the live audio is the real treat so that you can get the next best thing to seeing the band live.
In the case of TFK they bring everything that is characteristic of them in a live show to this live recording: the full rock sound, a ton of energy, great vocals, and an amazing rock concert.
I was really impressed with the production on this album; it is pretty much as good as you can get. The music and vocals are mixed at great volumes, with neither drowning the other out. The crowd noise is pulled in when you want to hear it and then toned down when you want to focus on the music. But don’t worry, the album isn’t overproduced. You get all the energy and impact of the live show so that it doesn’t feel like you are just listening to the band’s studio recordings.
As far as the musical quality goes, the band delivers 13 of their songs that almost could be considered a greatest hits release since it does a fair job of covering the band’s biggest songs. All of the hits and live favorites are here; of course, this brings up the debate of whether your own personal favorites are here, which boils down to personal preference. I personally was bummed that Favorite Disease” was not included but otherwise I have no complaints regarding the tracklisting. There is a heavier focus on newer material but in my opinion that is rightly so because I think that is some of the band’s best material. Those fit in perfectly with some of the band’s older hits or live favorites like “Absolute ” “Move ” “Rawkfist ” and “Puppet.” The songs all sound great and Trevor McNevan’s voice sounds amazing live. It’s always a plus when a band’s vocalist sounds great live because some can’t always pull off what they do on their studio albums.
All in all if you’re a fan of live albums Live At The Masquerade from TFK is worth picking up. Fans of the band definitely will want to add this to their collection to hear their favorite TFK songs live either to relive their concert experiences or check out what a TFK concert is like if they have never had the privilege of attending. I haven’t had a chance to check out the live DVD but generally that is the best part about these live album packages. So I’m assuming with how great the audio sounds and just knowing from seeing TFK live three times that the DVD will be a nice treat for seeing the band’s great live performance. As a whole this is a solid album and a great thing to tide TFK fans over till their next studio release.