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Tuesday, January 07, 1997

Live at the El Rey reviews

Bite Me

Collide is such an underrated band. They really don’t get the recognition they deserve. Just ask my kitties. Whenever I play a CD (good or bad) they hide under the bed. However, when I put Collide’s Live At The El Rey in the stereo for the first time ever they didn’t hide. If that isn’t a seal of approval I don’t know what is. Live At The El Rey is by far one of the cleanest live CD’s you’ll ever come across. It even blows the roof off of some major label live recordings. The mix is just right. (No doubt due to Statik’s technical genius). The instruments don’t drown out the vocals, nor does the crowd drown out the band. Collide fans will rejoice because all the favorites are here, and with the aid of newly added, talented musicians their tremendous electro-gothic-industrial sound is expanded to something even more magnificent on stage. kaRIN’s voice is pure perfection. If you ever doubted her talent, you’ll become a true believer after listening to this disc or viewing the band’s recently released DVD ‘Like The Hunted’. All in all, Collide’s Live At The El Rey is perfection at its finest. Visit www.collide.net and experience the euphoria for yourself. –NIN

Dark Realms Magazine

Essentially envisioned as a studio project, Collide has successfully made a name for themselves in the realm of darkwave music without ever performing live. Their seductive brand of dark digital rock is the product of composer and electronic wizard, Statik, and the sultry songstress, kaRIN. For this rare live performance, four additional musicians accompany the duo as they play for an intimate yet avid crowd at the El Rey nightclub in LA. The album contains many of Collide's most popular songs from their prior studio releases. Songs like "Beneath the Skin," "Slither Thing," and the band's rendition of "White Rabbit" take on a new dimension while watching kaRIN weave her musical spell with them. The band has also released a Live at the El Rey DVD that documents the entire concert and features various other videos, interviews and bonus material from Statik and kaRIN. It may be quite some time before Collide commits to a full-scale worldwide concert tour, but until then, this CD and video documentary of one of their rare performances truly captures the magic of the moment.-Devon King, Dark Realms Magazine

Godsend Online

Principally a studio electronic band, this document of Statik and kaRIN's 9th ever (!) live appearance presents them as a well-oiled rock machine capable of translating these songs ably into a live experience. From the driving dance-rock of the seductive 'Beneath The Skin' to the slinky trip-funk of 'Razor Sharp' to their modern re-interpretation of 'White Rabbit', COLLIDE prove that their songs are what count, whether it's electronica or guitar-and-drum-fuelled rock. This album works, to put it succinctly, and this is yet another new leaf turned for this independent group who continue to thrive on their own terms.Bravo!

Gothtronic

Last year the US darkwave band Collide did their first concerts while they already have 5 albums out. This is what you can call perfectionism. By the time they did El Rey in Los Angeles during the tour the band thought the show was perfected enough to do something more with it. This performance was directly filmed with very professional equipment and multiple camera angles, and of this a live album as well as a DVD release is out now. The cd recording is sold seperately from the DVD and of course has the same tracklist, with an extra bonus consisting of the video of ‘Euphoria’.

Collide clearly is in perfect shape and a concert is really recommended. This is very clear when you see the recordings and listen to the live cd. This recording could as well be seen as a best of by Collide. Tracks like ‘Beneath the Skin’ , ‘Crushed’ , ‘Complicated’, ‘Falling Up’, ‘Slither Thing’, the Jefferson Airplane cover ‘White Rabbit’, ‘The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum’ and ‘Euphoria’ are all performed and present on this cd. Now you hear the band live it is striking all the more that this is a very unique outfit. KaRIN’s voice is strong and musicwise Collide plays a powerful elixir consisting of heavy rock guitars, electronics, gothic synths, dance influences and triphop. kaRIN and Statik have selected some fine musicians for the live line up of Collide. This is enjoyment for over an hour, listening to a band this nice.-Review by: Steven Hurst

Gothic Paradise

What more of an introduction to this album can I give than what I have said about their DVD released at the same time. It was a big step for this studio project to step out, find live performers and convert their music into something that a six-piece live group could play. Through their respective talents and work they have pulled it off and this is their first live album released. It features live performances from tracks throughout their entire career including a nice hour-long set spanning fifteen tracks. This disc also includes a bonus track which is the "video edit" version of their recently popular piece "Euphoria".

When you listen to their studio albums, the listener is often lulled into a sweet sense of euphoria through the downtempo tracks that vary between this euphoric sense and the onslaught of electronics and guitars. One thing that comes out of their live performance is a lot more energy, more grinding guitars and percussion. At times this can really be over-the-top, which is great for an energy boost, especially while there in person, but I found the crashing cymbals at times began to wear on me while listening to the album, because the listener isn't always in a position where the adrenaline is pumping and you want to be right on the front row. However, through all of this, kaRIN's vocals remain solid, strong and clear as if she were still right in the studio recording them. Of course you're not going to get a lot of the vocal processing that goes on in the studio albums, but the overall mood is still there very solid and steady.

The track selection for their live playlist is an excellent choice of tracks including many of their popular tracks and featuring many of the more upbeat pieces. Of course it just wouldn't be complete without "Razor Sharp", "Crushed", "Slither Thing", "Wings of Steel", their awesome cover of "White Rabbit" and the fun piece "The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum". Their performance of this last track is awesome and is a great way to wind down the show, but it just wouldn't be complete without their finale "Euphoria", and so they close the show with this piece and once again we have another great work to enjoy for a long time to come. Rating: 4/5

Legends Magazine

Live at the El ReyFor years – over ten actually – Collide have been creating music from their studio. Statik and kaRIN have always remained outside the world, reachable only by closing your eyes as you spin their released CDs. It wasn’t until 2004, nearly a decade after the duo of kaRIN’s vocals and Statik’s extra-sensory noise came together originally, before Collide appeared and played any venue.

The crown jewel of the recent live endeavors of the group has given us two assortments of media wonderment. The first is the CD, Live at the El Rey, and the second is the DVD Like the Hunted, which I will talk about in more detail sometime later. To form their live outfit, Collide needed to find others that would help them realize the sound that they could create in the studio. Thusly they’ve enlisted Rogerio Silva (guitar), Chaz Pease (drums), Kai Kurosawa (guitar/bass) and Scott Landes (guitar). Live at the El Rey plays like a best hits collection. Beneath the Skin opens us before moving into Crushed and Complicated. All throughout the recording is masterful with the only audience sounds being during the breaks between songs rather than a muddied unprofessional sound you expect with most live recordings. And the sound is full and glorious, rivaling even Collide’s previous studio work, with the full assortment of live musicians that played.

The CD was recorded on April 14, 2005 at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles, California. One of the most striking things about the CD is Karin’s humility – her short talk between Complicated and Falling Up shows how thrilled she is to be making music and to have people listen to it. She’s astounded by the fact that Collide has been making music for ten years successfully, and just as astounded at the fact that they really do sound that good. One of the few truly approachable figures in music history.

Her voice is phenomenal as always, high and sultry and laced with bitterness and sexual energy all at once. Falling Up sounds gorgeous with her voice like this, and the multiple guitar work and live drums brings power to the track like never before. Razor Sharp has always been a favorite of mine, found here on track 9, just as sultry as ever with a great job on bass by Kurosawa – live bass gives the track a punch that wasn’t there before.

The Grace Slick cover, White Rabbit, elicits screams from the crowd at its onset. Guitar work here is brilliantly done live. Again a lot of stock must be placed in Kurosawa’s bass breakdowns as well. The El Rey set is closed with Euphoria and Live at the El Rey has the bonus track of Euphoria’s video edit to close the album with sixteen tracks.

Collide has always been a studio project. But if you can find the right combination of people you can take even the most studio-enclosed sound to the stage. I’ve seen many acts fail at this, trying to turn an electronica band into a live outfit and looking more like a couple of gonads lost on a huge stage alone. And studio music can easily lose its power when put in a live venue. Collide has added musicians, increased the sound and is not only just as powerful outside the studio in front of you as it is within – it’s even moreso.-By Marcus Pan

Prognaut.com

Collide has been a duo act for many years so when word of a live album and dvd were made on their website, I began to wonder how will they reproduce the studio tricks live. My suspicions soon flew out the window upon hearing their live album from April 14th, 2005 simply entitled, Live at the El Rey. The set list is the same as on the dvd, “Like the Hunted” with the exception of a extra edit version of Euphoria. Other than that, the listener will be able to live or relive the live experience Collide has to offer.

The line-up is also the same, with Scott Landes and Rogerio Silvio on guitars, Kai Kurosawa on warr guitar / bass and Chaz Pease on drums. Again I was really amazed to hear a warr guitar played within a metallic based band. This, to me gives the music more dimensions. Kudos to Kai! Also kudos to the main duo kaRIN and Statik. Both of them over the years have created such beautiful music together. The twin guitars of Scott and Rogerio also add their style into the fold as well. I was surprised to hear the “live” drum sound within the songs, Chaz does them much justice.

One of my favorite songs of Collide has always been Crushed, so to hear it in a live setting was a treat. They beefed up the song to make it, dare I say, better than the original. I can see this band becoming a household name very soon withing the gothic/industrial genre. They have the makings of being one of the best of the newer modern music. This along with the companion dvd, Like The Hunted are essential for both new and old fans alike. One can only wonder what Collide has in store for us on their next studio album. I’m sure all of us fans will be waiting eagerly. -Ron Fuchs on February 4th, 2006

Virus

The optimum completion to Collide’s "Like The Hunted" DVD is their "Live At The El Rey" CD...

In crystal-clear, voluminous sound quality, the CD offers us the chance to listen to 15 live songs, i.e. such classics as "Beneath The Skin", "Somewhere" or "Euphoria".

Even without pictures, the recording transports the kind of magical mood that must have filled Los Angeles’ El Rey Theatre on April 04, 2005. Supported by bassist Kai Kurosawa, guitarists Scott Landes and Rogerio Silva as well as drummer Chaz Pease, kaRIN’s and Statik’s compositions sound profound and equal to the original electronic arrangements that the band performances are based on. Statik managed it exquisitly to re-arrange the original tunes and add some rock feeling to the songs.-Dom, 06 Feb 2006

The Collide Experience (Live At The El Rey Review)

Sometimes, when composing a live album, bands take serious risks. Live venues are, by and large, are simply not the best for recording quality and many live albums that I've heard have left me wanting. There have been a scant few exceptions to this rule, of course.

KISS: Alive III, Marilyn Manson "The Last Day On Earth Tour" being two of the ones I considered exceptions. The great thing about live albums is that they tend to capture the most essential elements of the rock and roll experience. It's the reason you show up, dress your best (or worst) and go. You wanna be up front, feeling the sound rattle your body. You wait with trepidation for that one member of the band to point at you, touch fists with you, blow you a kiss...something...anything personal. One connection that you know the band member may forget but a moment you'll remember forever. That's where it matters, doesn't it? Then there are The Rock And Roll Moments that you look forward to. Maybe a lyric gets screwed up, maybe they say something that will be remembered forever, no matter, that part can be captured and forever immortalized in digital electronic media and with certain permissions, can be used for a variety of ends.

The Collide Camp informed me that their DVD "Like The Hunted" had been sent to me but I never expected "Live At The El Rey" to accompany it. What a pleasant surprise. The only shame of receiving the items when I did was that I had to work. The next morning would prove to hold no moment free for me to properly listen to it either but then came the moment. I woke up for work...my last day of the week to be twisted on Stackers to survive another dull and boring night at work. I took a few spare moments while in the shower to let it spin on my CD player which needs to desperately be replaced. I heard the near-doomlike sounds of the intro flowing in and the music built. The funny part was that I could barely hear the crowd. Normally, the crowd either adds or takes away from the recording but with this particular Live compilation, they added even as far in the background as they sounded.

Then I went sideways. kaRIN's vocals came in loud and true, blending and harmonizing perfectly with the music. There was no doubt in my mind that this album was going to be good but now, my suspicions were cemented and forever sealed. kaRIN, Statik, Kai, Scott, Rogerio and Chaz went all out in their performances and nothing was held back...no quarter asked, none given. AND THIS WAS ONLY THE FIRST SONG!!!!

I was able to listen to about two or three tracks before I went to work and all through the night I waited and quietly bided my time. I wanted to hear the rest of the disc. I couldn't wait!!!

Finally home this morning I finally was able to sit down and listen to the rest of it...I can honestly say that, as a fan, "Live At The El Rey" will join that once-duo of KISS and Marilyn Manson in terms of the best live CDs of all time. Performances never lacked. Nothing was missing. It was everything I'd hoped it would be and much much more than I expected.

The live cover of The Fun Boy 3's "The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum" was great, their cover of "White Rabbit" far surpassed the original, Beneath The Skin, Crushed, Slither Thing, Modify, Razor Sharp and Euphoria were done more than beautifully. Collide took away my power over my own ability to describe the performances. I think the whole disc can be brought to two words...Simply Excellent!!!!

I walked away from the CD once it was over wishing I'd been AT the El Rey the night of that concert. This disc is a must-have for anyone proclaiming themselves to be a fan of music within the gothic genre or even of Collide in general. I can't believe you're still reading this....GO GET YOUR DAMN COPY!!! And THAT's The Genocydal Maniac's Bottom Line.-jen (dj.ste.mairet)

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