TobyMac: Bringing The Energy
Posted July 08, 2008
Concert CD's are a bit hit or miss. Most can succeed by drawing the listener into the audience, and make them part of the experience, with the energy, sing-a-longs and the like. However, if you just do a straight up live CD and don't try to bring the energy or new material, you'll flop every time. Thankfully, when it comes to Christian Music Mistro TobyMac, you don't have to worry about a lack of energy.
During uptempo songs, he'll be jumping on the stage, in the air, and in the concert's most satisfying moment, into the crowd. And it's not just Toby; his band is as energetic and get their party on just as easy, and every member gets their moment. I especially enjoyed Toby's guitarist, Tim Rosenau, with his great work on the guitar and the trumpet. He looked like he was having a pretty good time, getting into the action and the energy, all while strumming at the guitar.
But, to experience this high energy atmosphere, you have to watch the DVD, because this energy is only amplified by the camera works that zips, zooms, jumps, and then zooms again. It's like everybody took a can of Red Bull before starting the concert.
There are some problems with the collection though. You might listen to just the CD portion, maybe twice when you own this collection, even if you're a hardcore Mac fan. By the contrast, the CD actually seems a bit sleepy, and a bit devoid of a jolt. But even if you watch the DVD, there are a few songs that just don't translate to this live CD. "Boomin'" was meant to be boomin' out your car studio in full surround sound stereo in your car. Live, it just sounds like it's missing something.
The song selection is pretty good. All the hits, and a few favorites from DC Talk. However, all those songs you didn't really care for on the albums, your opinion isn't likely to change on them with this CD. While I did like "J-Train" a little better, I only liked that crazy energy with the others.
But wait, that isn't all, I must either criticize the audience, or the sound guy, because when Toby had the crowd sing along to a couple songs, the crowd sounded pretty weak. Whether the mike just didn't catch it, or this was a Monday concert, we might never know.
Overall, a must for Mac fans. It's energetic and you get the feel when you're watching the DVD. And while the CD won't serve you much use, the DVD will be your companion for all those sleepy study nights. I don't know what TobyMac will do next, but he always seems to have something new up his sleeve, and it's usually something pretty good. But next re-mix CD, is going to have a lot of ground to cover.
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