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 Arc Angels - Living In A Dream (2009)

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Arc Angels - Living In A Dream (2009)

DVD5 | MPEG2 @ 8 Mbit/s | 720x480 | AC3 2CH @ 192 Kbit/s 48 KHz & AC3 6CH @ 448 Kbit/s 48 KHz| 90 min | 4.36 GB

Genre: Blues, Rock, Blues Rock | Label: CD Baby | Language: English | Subtitle: None

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Arc Angels - Living In A Dream is full length concert, an Arc Angels
documentary and more. The Arc Angels performances featured in Living In A
Dream were primarily filmed and recorded at Stubb’s Amphitheater in
Austin, Texas. Lots of pick-up shots were done indoors - at the
legendary Antone’s in Austin, the House of Blues in Dallas and
Galveston’s Mardi Gras. Documentary and interview footage was added for
context and historical interest. Arc Angels (Charlie Sexton, Doyle
Bramhall II, Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon).

The release of the ARC Angels' self-titled debut album in 1992 signaled a
promising rebirth for some of Texas' most talented musicians.
Singer/guitarist Charlie Sexton, a child prodigy who had released his
major-label debut album in 1985 when he was still in his teens, had been
the unwilling recipient of a ridiculously overinflated hype campaign by
his label that led to an equally vicious backlash, both of which had
seemingly all but ended his career. Bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer
Chris Layton had, of course, made up Double Trouble, the stellar backing
band that played with legendary guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan until his
tragic death in a helicopter crash in 1990, which left both musicians
seriously traumatized. As for singer/guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, he
was, like Sexton, another former child prodigy who had been kicking
around Texas music scene for a while but had only recently been able to
interest people in his music. When the four musicians joined forces as
ARC Angels (named after the Austin Rehearsal Complex, where they started
playing together), their resulting album, produced by Little Steven Van
Zandt of Bruce Springsteen's band, showed considerable potential. Sales
were decent and the band embarked on a tour that showed that they
weren't a contrived supergroup—they were a real band that worked
together. Unfortunately, the tour would also lead to the dissolution of
the band. Bramhall and Sexton, the band's talented but stubborn leaders,
butted heads constantly over every decision. Even worse, Bramhall later
admitted that he had become increasingly ensnared in a nasty heroin
addiction which the other band members wanted nothing to do with. By the
time the tour ended in 1993, the ARC Angels were finished with each
other, and the band members went their separate ways.

That's not the end of the story, however. As the years passed, the scars
from the band's acrimonious end slowly healed. Bramhall kicked drugs
and he and Sexton gradually began to work together again in various
combinations with Shannon and Layton. Finally, in 2004, the band
reunited for a series of one-off concerts around Austin, deciding in
2005 that the time had come for an official reunion. ARC Angels: Living
in a Dream is the result. It's a deluxe three-disc package containing
two CDs and a DVD of brand-new recordings and interviews. Disc One is a
CD and Disc Two is a DVD, both of which document two live performances
shot at an Austin club named Stubb's in March of 2005. Here is the set

• "Paradise Café"

• "Carry Me On"

• "The Famous Jane"

• "Good Time"

• "She's Alright"

• "Always Believed In You"

• "Sent By Angels"

• "Crave and Wonder"

• "Nadine"

• "See What Tomorrow Brings"

• "Shape I'm In"

• "Living in a Dream"

• "Too Many Ways to Fall"

The set list incorporates every song from ARC Angels (except for
"Spanish Moon") and adds a cover of Muddy Waters' "She's Alright" as
well as "Crave and Wonder," a brand-new song written by Sexton. This
gives a full picture of the band's music up to now, but it's more than
just a rehash. In many ways, these performances surpass the original
studio versions of these songs. Little Steven's deliberately minimalist
production sometimes flattened the band's music and rendered it somewhat
dry, but here, freed onstage in front of a lively crowd, the band cuts
loose ferociously. Sexton and Bramhall trade vocals so seamlessly that
they sound like one singer instead of two. Layton and Shannon's playing
drives the band, dynamic without being excessively flashy. It's
Bramhall, in particular, who really shines. His rejuvenation is complete
here, from his fierce solos to his passionate vocals. With the band in
better shape than it's ever been, it's no SPAMise that these
performances are absolutely stellar, especially on the Hendrixian cover
of "She's Alright" that marks one of the disc's many high points.

As good as the concert is, though, some fans might be put off by the
visual presentation. Though the 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer is sharp and
clear, the editing of the show is unusual, although in all fairness,
it's not by choice. The two concerts were shot on an outdoor stage, but
because of weather problems, there were several pieces of film missing.
Consequently, the editors were forced to fill in several holes with
random abstract images. This isn't some sort of Deadhead psychedelic
video—there's more than enough footage of the band-=but just be prepared
to see some randomly inserted shots here and there. At least the 5.1
surround mix is spectacular. It's spectacularly loud and perfectly mixed
and balanced, with no distortion. The accompanying audio CD of the show
is also perfect.

As for extras, the package is stuffed to the gills. The DVD includes a
30-minute documentary on the band, with interviews and footage dating as
far back as 1992. Though it tends to gloss over some of the less savory
stories, it's still a thoughtful and revealing look at how the band
came together, fell apart, and regrouped. There's also a 15-minute
tribute to Antone's, an Austin nightclub that hosted many of the early
ARC Angels concerts. The tribute ends with a live performance of
"Spanish Moon" recorded during one the band's first reunions that's
another highlight. Finally, the package is rounded out with a CD-EP
containing three brand-new studio recordings: "Crave and Wonder," a
newly written Bramhall composition called "What I'm Looking For," and a
cover of Paul McCartney's "Too Many People," as well as the live version
of "Spanish Moon" seen on the DVD. Sadly for fans, Shannon decided
shortly after the Stubbs concerts that his time with the band was over,
so these new studio recordings mark the debut of new bassist Dave
Monsey. The new recordings are agreeable, although too brief to really
give a full picture of what this new incarnation of the ARC Angels will
sound like. Nonetheless, these are excellent additions that will only
whet your appetite for more music. The package also comes with a 16-page
booklet that gives a history of the band and the making of these
recordings, although it is a little skimpy on some details.

Even so, this remains an impressive collection for a band that deserves
it. If anything, this is a far more definitive document of the ARC
Angels than the original '92 album: the performances are sharper, the
band in better shape, and the recording more exciting. Add the
well-selected extras and new recordings, and Living in a Dream is a must
for anyone interested in one of the most underrated and fascinating
groups in music history.

http://www.filesonic.com/file/446928521/AA-LIAD (2009) DVD.part01.rar

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