Few bands have tried as hard to let their fans know how appreciated they are as Third Day has. With already two live DVD projects chock full of extras under their belts and two worship records featuring some live versions of favorite Third Day tracks, it may have been a surprise to some to find Third Day releasing yet another live project. Live Wire releases just over six months after their latest studio project Wire was released to fans worldwide. The album marked the band's return to straight-up rock n' roll in years, and in a big way. At a glance, Live Wire appears to potentially be the special fan project of all projects. And, you know what? It just might be.
Live Wire consists primarily of a live concert DVD featuring five Third Day favorites accompanied by eight of the thirteen songs from Wire. And on this live DVD, fans are treated to an extensive behind-the-scenes look into the band's recording of the album, taking us into the studio and even giving us a peak at the song writing and evolution process. On top of this, a music video for a brand new fan-tribute song entitled "Thank You All" is also included, as well as a live photo gallery, DVD trailer, and World Vision featurette. But just when you think that might sound pretty good, the band has also included another disc. The second disc is a nine-track live audio CD with a bonus studio recording of "Thank You All."
The live DVD offers a crystal clear picture and a crisp sound. The show, recorded on July 22nd, 2004 in Louisville, Kentucky, is presented almost like a feature film with an isolated introduction complete with credits that soon launch the viewer onto the stage before the band for an up close and personal experience. While some concert recordings have been edited to death, spastically taking you across the stage in some sort of A.D.D. fashion, Live Wire is paced just right and knows when to linger just a little bit longer. The filmmakers take a little artistic license on songs like "Come On Back To Me" when they utilize a slow motion technique that works beautifully most of the time, only missing the mark once or twice. "It's A Shame" mixes feature portions of a video that shows behind the band on a large screen backdrop and shots of the band playing the song live. While it may be risky to not focus on just either the video or the band live for the duration (since you might be missing moments from either that you may want to see), the end result is effective and still retains the emotional impact experiencing it live offers. Given that this DVD is mainly an example of the "Live Wire" tour set, the song choices are nicely varied although understandably focused on cuts from Wire - and delightfully so.
Fans will undoubtedly enjoy the disc's "Rockumentary," if anything. While many times bands will give fans a little quick look into the making of a project, a substantial and realistic look into the writing process is seldom seen. Third Day's bassist Tai Anderson narrates this candid feature, with its highlight being a raw look at the making of the song "I Believe." We're given a taste of what the song was originally intended to sound like, as it originally featured portions of what was later used for "Til The Day I Die," and the struggle the band experienced in trying to decide what direction the final version of the song should go in.
The audio disc consists mostly of the songs from Wire (with the exception of "Blackbird" and "Sing A Song"), and merely features audio versions of the same recordings featured on the DVD. Many times I've watched a live DVD and wished an audio disc was also available and it's fantastic that the band decided to make this available to fans. The highlights of the audio disc are undoubtedly the newly refaced version of "Blackbird," originally from the band's 1996 debut, and the new Gomer tribute "Thank You All."
Live Wire is the project most fans only wish their favorite band would release. While, yes, it could have been taken even further to include all of the songs on the DVD on the audio disc or even more features, it's clearly not necessary. The DVD's extra features and the audio disc are already bonus highlights and fan treats as it is. Third Day humbly thanks their fans with Live Wire and after experiencing this project, you may feel the need to somehow return the same appreciation.
By - John DiBiase