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Foo Fighters - Skin And Bones - 7.97

Customer reviews (av rating: 5.0):

Rating: 5:
I caught myself at at least point playing air guitar, yelling out of tune and scaring the cat with a rendition of "Best Of You". : "Skin And Bones" is the first Foo Fighters live CD, though, to be blunt, the CD itself isn't by any means the main draw : it presents, in much the same way as "Unplugged In New York!" does, one night in the life of a band.

Whilst Dave Grohl is often at his happiest behind a black telecaster and screaming his lungs out (and come to think of it, who isn't happiest there?), "Skin And Bones" is an entirely different proposition : add an extra guitarist, an extra drummer, a keyboard player and a violinist, and perhaps the Foos are richer, yet poorer at the same time. The rich vein of massive riffage and chest beating vocals is ditched in favour of a tenderer, softer side. Previous arena stompalongs are recast as more delicate, gentle beasts. Sadly, this occasionally reveals the limitations of some of the songs, but overall, recasting the work in this basic and minimal setting exposes the oft-obscured melodic and lyrical strength of their impressive ouevre.

Forget the CD. The DVD edition is the biggest draw here : with two full length live shows (one loud in London, one not so loud in LA), it offers easily the best value package of the two on offer : the two hour acoustic show is presented in full - including an ill-advised drum solo and some interesting but inessential lengthy monologues on life with Kurt and Dave - but this is a benefit, for the 20 song setlist revisits all parts of the Foos quietly impressive back catalogue and even "Marigold", the ancient Nirvana b-side sung by Dave Grohl in 1993.

The second DVD presents a 80 minute live show from London's Hyde Park to 80,000 people : the show is a fantastic, raise-your-fist-and-yell adventure in one of contemporary music's richer pastures. The Foos rock like bastards and I caught myself at at least point playing air guitar, yelling out of tune and scaring the cat with a rendition of "Best Of You".

One cannot help but draw comparisons to the Nirvana unplugged set from 1993, and whilst, in many ways the Foo Fighters lack the compulsive, car-crash spectacle edge that characterised latter period Nirvana, "Skin And Bones" is as worthy a listen as "Unplugged In New York" for the same reasons - a fascinating view of the inner workings of these songs and a reflection of their ability to stand up in the most minimal of approaches. Buy the DVD, don't bother with the CD.

Rating: 4:
fantastic but....... : Was at the hyde park gig so obviously had to have this dvd!!!
Starts of fantastic but by the end of the gig dave's voice deteriates so much that you can't hear him at all....has this happened to anyone else or did i just get a dodgy dvd?????
The sound of the instruments is amazing but not hearing the vocals at all is really annoying and i don't know if this happens on all the copies.

Acoustic dvd however is fantastic....really shows off how talented they really are. Favourite song has to be skin and bones...first class.

Rating: 4:
Let there be rock! : I was wary of whether to buy an acoustic DVD of the Foo Fighters in the beginning, there really are few bands that can match the foo's live in the rock form but the acoustic stuff i can take or leave. Up until now that is, the acoustic show is bristling full of beauty and charm with each song treated like a story and a sound that will have the hairs on your neck stand on end. It's also Shot superbly too.

Buts it's the rock disc that really takes the entertainment level up a gear, Hyde park and 80,000 fans makes the Foo fighters determined to turn the rock up 11. A huge stage with a runway that sprawls into the crowed,a killer set list, Lemmy, and the real defining moment of a historic day, Roger Taylor and Brian May who join the Foo's in a superb rendition of the queen classic 'Tie your mother down'. By the end you feel as though you've witnessed a band at the top of their game realising what they've achieved. And boy it's fun finding out.

An absolute must for any rock fan.

Rating: 5:
Dave Grohl, Entertainingly Versatile Frontman : Quite a few eyebrows were raised last year when the Foo Fighters decided not only to release a double album, In Your Honor, but to split the two discs into seperate rock and acoustic albums. Those eyebrows should've reached the hairlines when it turned out that the acoustic material was probably a bit more meandering and monotonous than it should've been, at least to those more used to hearing all the guitars turned up to 11 and Dave Grohl screaming his bollocks off.

Regardless of whether you liked the results or not, there's no way the Foos would've put all that effort into the acoustic songs and not take them out on the road. So after a lengthy old school style rock tour, they decided to embark on acoustic tour, and the results can be heard on the Skin And Bones CD and DVD.

You can tell how much they're trying to push the acoustic concept if you pick up the UK edition of the DVD. This version comes with another DVD, featuring their sold-out headlining show at Hyde Park, London in front of 85,000 fans - their biggest show ever, or at least one of their biggest. That in itself would've been reason to put out a dedicated DVD, but here it's as if they stuck it in there as an afterthought. Which isn't to say it's a bad show - on the contrary, it displays the power of the Foos as an excellent live act, with kick-ass sound and lighting. But despite guest appearances by Lemmy Kilmister on "Shake Your Blood," the track he did on Grohl's side-project Probot, and Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor playing on a cover of their own "Tie Your Mother Down," basically it's your average Foo Fighters show, but in a much larger scale than you might've seen.

Skin And Bones, on the other hand, is anything but your average Foos show. I bought the CD first, and I was blown away. Recorded at the intimate Pantages Theater in Hollywood, it does a better job in making you reassess the Foos than In Your Honor was supposed to, with the help of four ace additional musicians, namely Nirvana and Foos alumni Pat Smear on guitar, Rami Jaffee of The Wallflowers on piano, mellotron, organ and accordion, Petra Haden on violin and mandolin and Drew Hester on percussion.

The acoustic songs from In Your Honor such as "Razor" sound more fleshed out, vibrant and less of a snooze-fest, and their older stuff get a new lease of life, most notably an alt-country version of "Big Me" where violinist Petra Haden duets with Dave. Obviously Nirvana Unplugged is a reference point, what with Pat's presence and the performances of the Grohl-penned Nirvana b-side "Marigold" and the Kurt Cobain tribute "Friend Of A Friend," but where that show and album had a sullen and morbid vibe - especially in light of what happened soon after - Skin And Bones is about as joyous as you can get.

For the past few days after buying and listening to the CD, I've been going around singing its praises. "An acoustic show with electric energy!" has been my sales pitch. Well, yesterday I finally got the DVD, tastefully directed by rock photographer Danny Clinch (who steps out from behind the camera to play harmonica on "Another Round") and I have to say that the CD is just the tip of the iceberg. Not only are there more songs on the DVD due to the CD format's space limitations, but you also get to witness Dave Grohl, Entertainingly Versatile Frontman. His voice sounds good throughout even though he has to actually sing instead of belt it out (though he does get to howl with just his own acoustic on "Best Of You"), his guitar-playing is pretty nifty and he even does a drum solo on his guitar.

But most of all, this DVD showcases his comedic talents. You may have seen it before from his acting in the Foo Fighters' music videos or from his cameos as Satan in Tenacious D's video for "Tribute" and their movie The Pick Of Destiny. In Skin And Bones, however, he shows that should he ever give up music, he could have a future as a stand-up comedian. You can tell that hanging out a lot with Jack Black has rubbed off, from the way he has Drew attempt to solo on his various percussive instruments, or brag that he's next door neighbours with Ronnie James Dio. When introducing "Friend Of A Friend," he relates a long hilarious tale of his first phone call to Kurt Cobain and his early days in Nirvana. The music always comes first, but this is some pretty sweet icing on the cake.

In terms of bonus features, neither the Hyde Park disc or the Skin And Bones one have any whatsoever, save for the latter's rather pointless language options for the main menu. But this DVD package is so excellent that you won't really care. Highly recommended.

Rating: 4:
Fantastic acoustic gig, ok rock gig. : The LA acoustic disc is fantastic and does include 5 more songs than the cd, however, both the cd and dvd still missed off Miracle, Virginia Moon and Floaty. All amazing songs particularly Floaty where Petra Haden (violinist) takes lead vocals. I saw the London Victoria Apollo gig and she was outstanding so why they cut this song is beyond me. Overall though the LA gig is very enjoyable and sounds great.

The Hyde Park gig on the other hand could have been better. I have been fortunate enough to have seen the Foo Fighters on numerous occasions and this has been their most mediocre gig to date. Due to Hyde Park regulations a strict cerfew is in place and unfortunately they came to the stage later than planned and this forced them to axe a few songs from the setlist which is a real shame as they only played for 1 hr 25 mins as apposed to all their other shows where they played for around 1 hr 45 mins.

I should note that 'The One' was played at Hyde park but is not included on the disc for reasons unknown. The same thing happened with their previous DVD 'Everywhere But Home'!

A real pain that plagues this hyde park release is that whoever authored the DVD managed to get the audio slightly out of sync and I am one of those people who notices even the smallest of sync issues and it bugs me no end.

A quick note: Although Amazon states this is Region 2 I can confirm it is Region 0, as are all UK music DVD releases, so this will play on any DVD player. So if anyone wants to import this dvd, say from America, you can play it on your Region 1 player providing that your TV can handle the PAL TV signal.

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