Blur – Live at the Budokan

Kids from Bangkok to Bang Cock know that Blur are great, but as a completionist I must urge all forward-thinking individuals to avoid this expensive two-CD, released-in-Japan only album. The concert is from The Budokan theatre (surprise!) in Japan, except for “She’s So High” from a different show, for no apparent reason. It’s a perfunctory live album, with the Japanese aspect pretty minor. The packaging in neat, but here’s why it’s not exciting:
The song you haven’t heard, “The Great Escape” is the theme from the old timey movie played by the brass ensemble (there’s also at least one violinist), not a new Blur song.

The crowd interaction is nearly nil. Nearly all of it is as follows:
“They’ll kill me if I throw water on ya…So I’m not gonna do it.”
“So this is the Budokan…an d we’re all here, aren’t we?”
Damon says “arigato” four times, one time mocking it afterwards, and the crowd always cheers. Plus he tries a little Japanese after “Globe Alone” and “Parklife,” which is nice of him, but not a concerted effort.
There’s a “karaoke” session on “Girls & Boys” but it’s ruined by the fan only being audible for about three seconds. Damon apologizes for it, but come on, fan, you just ruined the live album!
Damon sounds tired, especially on choruses.
It’s the “The Great Escape” tour, and that isn’t their best album, so it’s a detriment that there’s nine songs from that album (nine from Parklife), and only three from MLIR and three non-album tracks (plus a one from “Leisure”). “He Thought Of Cars” and “Globe Alone” aren’t encore-worthy songs!
“To The End” misses the French bits; it’s also the song the crowd goes craziest for.
The bass is pretty far in the background, which hurts “Country House.”
The band wearing Engrish shirts in the liner notes kinda makes them look like bags.

So I hope you learned something from this review! Thank you very much!
The audience applaudes uproariously as Myles Stocker, Canada’s handsomest music reviewer, bows graciously and weeps one tear out of each eye in solemn appreciation.

6 / 10

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