Live Like A Homicide

I’m not trying to hate on Peter Frampton here, but I’ve been a bit leery of the entire live recording subgenre ever since I stumbled upon the devastating news that my favorite live album (Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide) wasn’t actually a live album. (What, was “Mama Kin” a song about the recording engineer’s “fuckin’ mutha”?!) Thus, it was really only my love for No Salvation and House With A Curse that initially compelled me to spin Live at the Atlantic — and, lord, am I ever glad I ignored my prejudices (for once). Coliseum manages to to expand the scope and power of their slightly off-kilter triumph pummelings on this record, providing new and unexpected perspectives into much-beloved tracks. After a few listens I got it in my head to ask guitarist/vocalist Ryan Patterson for a few of his live record touchstones, and he was kind enough to not only send along a list but also to offer Decibel an exclusive stream of the track “Perimeter Man.” Enjoy!
Coliseum: “Perimeter Man” by Decibel Magazine

Bad Brains — Youth Are Getting Restless

This has always been my favorite live album, not just because Bad Brains are my favorite band ever (along with Fugazi), but because this so perfectly captures the band at the peak of their career. It was recorded on the I Against I tour in Amsterdam so it includes most of the songs from that album in slightly more aggressive versions and also covers their earlier years filtered through their I Against I style – lots of whammy bar and reverb! The reggae songs are awesome too, the title track and “Day Tripper / She’s A Rainbow” medley are so great.

X — Live At The Whiskey

I bought this on cassette when I was a kid, it came with a super-cool woven X backstage pass sticker that I promptly put on my first guitar. I found the double LP version at a store recently, still sealed and with the sticker still inside! I put the LP on my turntable and couldn’t help but get misty-eyed when it kicked into “Los Angeles.” This recording unfortunately doesn’t feature original X guitarist Billy Zoom, but then-guitarist Tony Gilkyson does a pretty darn good job.

Black Flag — Live ‘84

The Who’s Got The 10 1/2 live album has a cooler title but you can’t fuck with this Flag lineup of Henry, Ginn, Kira and Bill Stevenson. Live ‘84 is an hour and a half of Black Flag at the height of their insane touring years. It opens with an eight minute long instrumental jam of “The Process Of Weeding Out” and gets deep into the darkness from there. All the songs from the My War LP sound way better on this recording, “Three Nights” into “Nothing Left Inside” is about as heavy a head trip as you can find.

Iron Maiden — Live After Death

Nothing against Iron Maiden, but I wouldn’t count them among my favorite bands. That said, this live album is purely unfuckwithable and probably their greatest moment as a band. It’s non-stop killers from start to finish. Nuff said.

Firehose — Live Totem Pole EP

This EP was a limited CD release in 1992 that happened to be on the shelf at the Disc Jockey store in my local mall. It was a quick follow up to their epic Flyin’ The Flannel LP and includes five of the best cover songs you’ll ever hear (Blue Oyster Cult, Public Enemy, Butthole Surfers, Superchunk and Wire) as well as a couple of songs from the SST years. Saying a band is “on fire” may be cliché but there’s really no other way to sum up this recording. The bravado they lend to all five of the cover songs is unreal and they truly blaze through the two older songs as well.

Honorable mentions:

Fear — Live…For The Record
Jesus Lizard — Show
Misfits — Evilive
Portishead — Roseland NYC
Shipping News — One Less Heartless To Fear