this live realization of select tunes shows that shame are at the top of their game.
shame’s set contains engaging versions of specific highlights from ‘drunk tank pink’. these live highlights include “snow day”, “born in luton”, and “water in the well”.
shame unexectedly released this live album; their third overall project to date, and first live album. it is fantastic. they are completely succeeding with the european post-punk trend, and this recording sounds effortless. they must have put extreme amounts of practice into preparation for performances like this.
‘live in the flesh’ begins with an unrecognizable electronic sound for an intro before “born in luton (live)” starts. “bil (live)” is a thrilling song with a great swelling of drama. the band has great backing harmonies alongside steen’s angered vocals.
“water in the well (live)” is a tight, well thought out track. there’s a sense of heralding in the song, as throughout the number, it consistently feels like something major is inbounding and about to happen.
there are new, indecipherable vocals in the background of “water in the well (live)”; the new addition is in accompaniment to the recreated moments from the original recording. the percussion seems advanced, and shame completely deliver on this new version.
to close the album, shame present arguably their best sound on ‘live in the flesh’ with the ending to “snow day (live)”. shame destroy this live performance.
the band boldly close the rather brief album with “snow day (live)”. the intensity and explosiveness of the music feels like a shooting cannonball. charlie steen’s annunciation is very audible and noteworthy.
around three and a half minutes into “snow day (live)” shame recreate my favorite moment from the original album!
the studio version of this key moment is that shame have the rock band equivalent of a bass drop. as the rhythmically entertaining volume suddenly dissipates, shame present some near silence on the break which follows. steen’s voice is isolated as he shouts “in my mind!”, and then the drums kick in quickly followed by the quality bass and ensuing fire instrumentation.
the live version of this ending from “snow day” shows shame presenting the gap in chaotic instrumentation with four drum hits, and some sonic difference, in preparation for the full percussive elements. the gap in dynamics happens around 3:30 and again around 4:25.
‘live in the flesh’ is a concise amount of songs that are all taken from shame’s most recent effort, ‘drunk tank pink’, which dropped three months prior in january 2021.
recorded four days after their sophomore record released, shame’s ‘live in the flesh’ is a live performance of the tracks on ‘drunk tank pink’. they made the concert available for streaming in march, and dropped it seemingly randomly on a monday in april.
there are specific moments of the songs that i really enjoy the live version of. that is to say, i enjoy a different take on the familiar music, and some moments that impress in the live setting are as follows:
the beginning of “born in luton”, which surprisingly kicks off the album. also, the backing vocals on the track. the breakdown of “human, for a minute (live)”. the live transition between “6/1 (live)” and “harsh degrees (live)”. also, ofc, the near silence of “snow day” before all instruments resume their showmanship, marking the end of the song.
‘live in the flesh’ sounds as if it is one singular recording which spans the album’s entire runtime. it is a solid live outing, in which the band remained constantly together.
sadly, i believe that this live album is overall worse than ‘drunk tank pink’. there is not the technical wit of the studio recordings. this live album does not have the benefit of limitless production. there is only so much material to touch up upon from a live recording, whereas a studio work has much more possible material that may be edited, fixed, and changed into a final results.
this mechanical process of studio recordings helped shame sound nearly perfect on ‘drunk tank pink’. however, they cannot fully recapture that energy and quality in this live performance.
with all of this said, i still can’t wait to see what shame’s future discography will sound like.