Friday, June 17, 2011

Rarities #45: Dave Matthews Band - Live At Wrigley Field Double Play Box Set (2011)

Dave Matthews Band is one of the most consistent and successful live bands around. After touring non-stop for the past 20 years, they decided to take a hiatus in 2011 by not embarking on their usual summer tour jaunts around the US. Instead, they took the opportunity to organise their own music festival - the Dave Matthews Band Caravan.

They have so far announced four dates/venues: Bader Field, Atlantic City (24-26 June), Lakeside, Chicago (8-10 July), Governors Island, New York (26-28 August) and one of their favourite grounds, The Gorge, George (2-4 September).

The multi-day festival will see DMB headlining each night, with a host of great artists and bands playing throughout the day, such as The Flaming Lips, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Ben Folds, David Gray, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones and more.

It is a great idea to organise their own festival because these are the only live shows DMB will play this year, and the artist lineup they have secured demonstrates how much clout they have. It is definitely going to be a crowd puller as the hardcore fans will need to get their fix of DMB satisfied.

While they go on a break, the DMB factory keeps churning out live releases and the result is this live album, Live At Wrigley Field, recorded on 17th and 18th September last year. This special Double Play box set is limited edition and it contains the 4CD album of both nights. The regular 2CD edition contains only the full 18th September 2010 show.

The album is housed in a debossed box and it also contains a 24-page colour booklet and a silkscreened handbill. My handbill is numbered 1383/3000, so I assume there were only 3,000 sets manufactured. There is also "signature" on the bottom right corner of the handbill. I'm not sure whose signature that is, or if it is even a signature in the first place.

This Double Play box set is sold out, so I'm one of the 3,000 people in the world who has it. Hope to see DMB live in concert again...

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Friday, June 03, 2011

Collectibles #35: Take That - Progress (Limited Edition) (2010)

Progress is Take That's third album since their resurgence in 2006, and their first with Robbie since he left the band in 1995. From 1996 to about 2002, Robbie was practically the biggest male solo artist in the UK, releasing multi-platinum albums and hit singles back to back. Things took a nosedive after his Intensive Care album, which was followed by a string of lacklustre albums - Rudebox and Reality Killed The Video Star. After releasing his second greatest hits compilation last year, which featured the duet Shame with Gary Barlow, Robbie decided to rejoin Take That and rejuvenate his career.

The fans were clearly happy with the decision and propelled Progress to the top of the charts and becoming the second fastest-selling album of all time in the UK. Their sales dominance did not really cross over to radio, as only the first single The Flood made an impact on the airwaves. Follow up singles Kidz and Happy Now didn't get much airplay. However, the fans are clamouring to watch them live in concert, as their Progress Live tour sold out in record time, becoming the biggest tour in the UK.

On June 13th, they will be re-releasing the album as a 2CD set, titled Progressed, with eight new songs including Love Love, the theme song from the X-Men: First Class movie.

This Special Limited Edition of Progress I have contains the CD album and the DVD film Take That: Look Back, Don't Stare, a documentary detailing Robbie's return to the band and the recording of the album. They are housed in a nice box, but there aren't any additional bonus items in it.

Let's hope that Take That will come to Singapore one day. Would love to watch them in concert!