Bad Brains Live at CBGB’s 1982: DVD

This DVD has its low points and good points. It takes place over a three-day hardcore festival at CBGB’s. For the first few songs, it’s a little slow and the awkward framing of the shots takes a little to get used to. The sound a little off too, but half way through, the pace picks up. The CBGB’s stage is hardly off the floor, so there are a bunch of good shots of the crowd leaping around and havin’ fun. It’s charming because it’s so old, back when everyone was so excited, the chicks wore incredible amounts of eyeliner, and the boys shaved off all their hair. H.R. puts on a good performance. Although he looks tired and sweaty, he continues to keep it high energy in correspondence with the fast beat. I liked his vocals on their reggae songs especially. They hardly showed the bassist or the guitarist ‘cause it was filmed at such an odd angle, so that was kinda a drag. The Bad Brains are one of the only bands, I think, that can get away with playing a song called “Shitfit” and then go right into a religious Rastafarian reggae song without looking like assholes. It’s a good watch, but if it were any longer it would’ve been a little too much. There is a very short extra interview with a few fans that gave me a few laughs. This DVD is something to watch; it makes you wish you had been there. The Bad Brains are definitely one of my favorite hardcore bands, but if they aren’t one of yours, you might not dig this DVD as much. –Hannah Cox (Music Video Distributors, 422 Business Center H-840, N. Circle Dr., Oaks, PA 19456)