Bad Brains Live at CBGB 1982 DVD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bad Brains Live at CBGB 1982 DVD Review

Bad Brains Live at CBGB 1982 Bad Brains were one of the most influential punk bands on the scene in the early 80's and this DVD captures the band at its prime. It is compiled from a three night stand in December of 1982 at CBGB and features a number of songs from the then soon to be released Rock For Light LP.

The three shows are filmed in a semi-pro style with two cameras so this DVD really captures the feeling of what is was like at a Bad Brains show in the early days. My only complaint is that predominately only one camera angle is used during the final show so there seem to be equal number shots of the crowd (and the mosh pit) as there are of the band. There is some really great footage of HR, Earl and Dr. Know across all three shows. What is a little strange is that Daryl Jenifer is rarely, if ever, seen.

All complaints are minor as the band is on fire during these shows and lives up to their legend. It is somewhat amazing to watch the crowd sway in place as the band switches from hardcore to dub/reggae. The power, energy and aggression of the band make this DVD required watching. Watch the trailer below and see for yourself.

I was at the first of the Bad Brains reunion shows at CBGB last month and the biggest difference between the 1982 and the 2006 version of the band is HR. On this DVD, HR rules the stage and covers all corners of it. On both Riot Squad and Coptic Times, HR is all over the stage dancing and singing with the crowd. At the show last month, HR barely moved and it seems that he is in a "different place" now. In an interview last year, Daryl Jenifer said "It's hard for us to do shows...That's mainly on H.R., with his mental and emotional state. He's my man. He's a weird dude and I love it -- there's freedom right there. I've really come to that conclusion, that the dude is the [most free] person you'll ever meet."

Below is a YouTube clip of Pay to Cum , which was the encore from the first night of the reunion last month.