Thrive: At the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- reviewed by Andy Argyrakis Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2002 1 Jul
The Newsboys have been one of the most electrifying live acts in Christian music since their Australian beginnings over a decade ago. From their natural on-stage chemistry to their breathtaking rotating drum kit, the Newsboys have earned flocks of satisfied fans in practically ever city they've visited. Besides possessing performance dynamics, the Newsboys often have gone where no band has gone before when it comes to touring plans. It all started after the release of
They followed suit two years later while on the road in support of
Granted, it's hard to outdo such feats, which have already earned the Newsboys cover stories on both
Like the CD, the DVD opens with the hearty rocker "Giving it Over," followed by the rollicking "Live in Stereo" (minus the whistling choir). The group performs 8 of the 10 tracks from the
Putting that painful moment aside, the Newsboys also featured two recently released cuts from their greatest-hits collection called "Joy" and "Who?" Both tracks serve as a bridge between the band's goofy "disco" period and their current state of more defined alternative rock and roll. And, of course, the group had to throw in a couple of oldies but goodies to remind fans of the past. They dipped back to their original days of co-writing with Steve Taylor to present "Take Me To Your Leader," "Breakfast," and the group's biggest smash "Shine." Even though the group has played the latter live thousands of times and has admitted they don't even like the song, Furler and company deliver a convincing rendition of "Shine" performed with just as much enthusiasm as their new material.
As if the full concert isn't enough, the DVD bonus features bring the program length to well over three hours! Unlike most DVDs that provide a lot of fluff footage and meaningless band member banter, every segment here makes sense and fits with the rest of the overall package. Interviews with various group members about the CD, the Hall of Fame performance, and an overview of the band's career progression are candid and interesting. The behind-the-scenes "band cam" shows the Newsboys getting ready for the big gig, giving diehard fans desperate for a backstage pass a very personal peek at the band. What's nice about this segment is the fact that it isn't sugar coated and doesn't show the band merely acting for the camera. Instead, it shows their ascent by elevator to the stage area, looking a bit nervous to be playing at such an esteemed location.
Perhaps the most enjoyable bonus segment is a brief tour of the museum. The Newsboys talk with a staff member about everything from concert outfits to original song lyrics that have been preserved and put on display. The only problem with the segment is that it's far too short, showing only a handful of the countless items on display with only about six minutes of the band and tour guide's enthralling dialogue making the final cut.