dc Talk - Welcome To The Freakshow: Live In Concert

Monday 1st December 1997
dc Talk - Welcome To The Freakshow: Live In Concert
dc Talk - Welcome To The Freakshow: Live In Concert

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
LABEL: Forefront FFD5184
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Martin Purnell

If this was Q magazine then this review would be on the same level as the writers of the "World's great music magazine" (TM!) listening and dissecting the first hearing of the new Prodigy, REM or U2 opus. DC Talk in Christian circles are big - but you already know that. So what is this review's aim? To give you an honest and frank account of what the music is like, compared to the original studio version. Also, it'll give you an insight into the subjective and objective viewpoints from a DJ's point of view. Your mission as a reader is to read and either file this as rubbish or remember for when you hear the album. Before I joined UCB three years ago I though CCM was trash. God soon made me eat humble pie. Two bands that stood out immediately were Split Level and the DCs (or The Talk or.well, you get the drift). The short video that was released at the time of the studio LP 'Jesus Freak' convinced me that this band must be seen in concert as well. So hello to Nynex Arena and the Alliance '96 festival. DC Talk headlined. They came on promising they would pull out all the stops. 20 minutes later a disillusioned DJ was on his way home. The sound was abysmal. The band gave me the impression that they'd played all these song 70 x 7 times and were now bored stiff with them. DC Talk couldn't work out whether they had to preach to 7000 unconverted Limeys every so often. It appeared to me that night they chose to evangelise after every song! DC Talk need to make a decision. Are they doing gigs to encourage or to save lives? You can't do both. If statistics can be believed, then numbers that are genuinely saved at a gig and then have an active faith life are small. We as Christians need to be as good if not better than rivals in the secular music media. DC Talk have a product that stands up with the best of any live recorded LP that is applauded by critics. (Dr Feelgood 'Stupidity', Molly Hatchet "Double Trouble Live', AC/DC "If You Want Blood".) It certainly isn't another Queen Live Killers (abysmal - and I was at this tour as well!) The packaging is first class and musicianship is mindblowing at times. Having listened to this CD a few times now, I applaud them. Each track is slightly different to the one you might know. This makes a refreshing change to certain bands who try to recreate the studio sound on stage. It is also VFM (15 tracks plus half a version of the Beatles' "Help" as opener). DC Talk also do one of my two fave REM tracks. "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" rocks and helps to introduce the band as well. Please don't even think to cover "Losing My Religion", there are certain songs that are sacred! I was surprised to have my faith in DC Talk restored. Buy it, you won't be disappointed even if they sound unprofessional at times. Two minutes of waffle to introduce "Colored People" backs up my views on the Nynex debacle. Yet two other songs get a 15 - 30 second intro which gives better impact. The 78 minute set was recorded at two US venues and features most of the 'Jesus Freak' album plus crowd favourites "Luv Is A Verb" and "Jesus Is Just Alright". Also included are two lesser known tracks, "Walls" and "Time Is". The excellent bonus/surprise track on the last album "Alas My Love" gets a total reworking as part of a lead into "The Hard Way". So are DC Talk evangelists or Christian entertainers? Whatever, they need to have our prayer support. This CD will certainly be played again by me and is a benchmark to any future albums I'm asked to review. The standard is now high. The secular market better be warned. You can sing about God's love for us without having to wear woolly jumpers and 1970's clothing! God gave us rock'n'roll. Thank you God.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by erni in Cape Town, South Africa @ 04:34 on Jul 17 2005

A classic. This is by far my favorite album ever. DC Talk is RAP(Toby Mac),ROCK(Tait), and SOUL(K-Max).This CD is dynamite, bringing in so many diverse sounds into the 16 tracks of which I could listen to each one over again.The sound is better than the studio recorded versions, it has so much more energy."Jesus Freak" should just be declared a Christian youth anthem, each track has its own share of great wisdom. Don't take my word for it - see for yourself.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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