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Dare
The Power Of Nature...Live In Munich
MTM Music
0681-128
· Produced By: Darren Wharton

· Running Time: 53.20

· Release Date: April 11

· Released: EU

· Musical Style: AOR

· Links: MTM Music
86%
DVD: 60%
Dare punctuate studio releases with this new live album, recorded at last year's Munich Deep Impact Festival, and is in support of their last studio album Beneath The Shining Waters.
I'm a longtime Dare fan and I like this release – it's nice and raw and live as it happened on the day. Not all the vocals are perfect and not all the lush instrumentation of the studio versions is possible, so the tracks seem to have a little extra energy to them.
It's nice to hear things stripped back a little and delivered in a more organic form – even though a keyboard still triggers necessary backing tracks (and guys, it's time to get a bass player!).
I note several tracks from this performance are from the band's last studio album – notably Sea Of Roses, Silent Hills, Where Darkness Ends and Storm Wind.
These tracks are delivered with a passion and an energy lacking on the studio counterpart. I upset Darren with my review of that album, but it has never been about the quality of the music – rather an issue of energy and the fact that album sounded all too similar. I think these songs have been given a breath of life on stage.
Surrounded with some other tracks of varying pace and style, the newer tracks are given further individuality.
As for the remaining tracks of the set – this is a very well oiled performance to an enthusiastic crowd. The tempo remains fairly laid back as expected, but thoroughly enjoyable – more so with the extra roughness and the odd vocal fluff intact.
I have noted that the set is in support of the band's current album - the majority of the set is comprised of tracks from that and the last album Belief.
A couple more early classics might have been even better and it's a shame the band didn't have more than just one hour to perform.
Classics such as King Of Spades, Into The Fire and Some Day go down a treat. And yes, despite the published track listing - these tracks are present.
One major disappointment from the show is the axing of Abandon from the release. Said not to be happy with the performance, Darren cut it from the official release. It remained on the promo copy that I'm listening to, and I have to say that I think it sounds fine – great even. Sometimes little errors are part of the live experience and recordings should reflect that. It should have remained on the official release.

DVD:
So, that's the good part of the review completed…now for the DVD. What can I say about this release? Sadly I have to say that it is not great.
Here is the scenario. You plan, organize and pay for an outdoor festival. You plan, organize and pay for a crew to come and film/record the gig for later CD and DVD releases.
It then pisses down with rain all day and filming becomes restricted and at the end of the day the label is left with the task of putting something together to recover costs.
Ok, so the band and label are not to blame, but I really don't think fans purchasing this are going to get what they expected.
If you are just looking for a visual Dare experience, perhaps you will be happy – but his is not a DVD equivalent of the audio release.
Once choice that could have been taken is make use of the video footage available. That is not the case here – instead the basic stage footage of the band is relegated to the background, while a screen size image of Darren Wharton's head is displayed singing the songs. Except it ain't a blow up Darren on stage – its studio recorded footage of Darren miming the songs played on the day – with the footage laid over the concert footage. And that's for the whole concert. The girls might like it, but the guys might tire of it rather quickly.
If a camera angle was not available for the front-on shots, then so be it, I am not fussed about close ups, but I would like to see the band perform. And as it is, the close ups dubbed over "drown out" the performance, as if it is more important for viewers to be able to see a close up of Darren's head over the actual band on stage.
Not only that, but additional visual passages of Welsh countryside are included, the DVD turning to those parts whenever a lyrical tie-in presents itself. We get hills, clouds, water and roses, not to mention Darren taking in the countryside with a pleasant walk.
It's certainly something to look at, but in no way, shape or form is it a live performance and the overdubs and studio performance take away from anything that vaguely looks like it is happening live.
For me it is far too messy to watch over any period of time. It would make a stunning 5 minute video clip, but as a performance or full length release, I can't imagine watching it from start to finish again.
The interviews make for a nice additional bonus, with Darren talking in detail or Dare's history, but perhaps the audio quality of the interview could have been a little better.
The Bottom Line
A nice live CD that covers some classic and new tracks and generally speaking is well balanced and definitely well performed. Certainly recommended for all fans of the band and its music.
But the DVD – not sure I'd recommend that without first checking out it to see if it was indeed what the buyer was looking for or expecting. I understand the concet and the aim - but I did not enjoy it.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Out Of The Silence
· Blood From Stone
· Calm Before The Storm
· Belief
· Beneath The Shing Water
· The Power Of Nature...Live

Line Up
· Darren Wharton: Vocals
· Andrew Moore, Richard Dews: Guitars
· Gavin Mart: Drums
· Marc Roberts: Keyboards

Essential for fans of:
· Dare - Beneath The Shining Water & Belief
Track Listing
· Sea Of Roses*
· Storm Wind
· Where Darkness Ends
· Silent Hills
· Some Day*
· Silent Thunder
· The Fire*
· We Will Return*
· Song For A Friend (The King)*
· White Horses
--*Best Tracks



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