Jet - Family Style Review
If you like Jet – and their recent success suggests that more than a few of you do – then this DVD should look quite tempting indeed. As well as containing a self-labelled “smorgasbord of Jet concert footage”, shot when they played a tour-date in London earlier this year, the disc also features six promo videos, and even a documentary of their recent tour.
Right from the well-designed, retro menu layouts, you can tell that a fair amount of effort has been put into this. Assuming that you want to listen to the live section first, you can either launch the concert and listen to it chronologically all the way through, from the band first stepping on the stage to leaving just under an hour later, or alternatively, you have the option of jumping straight to any of the 13 songs on the set list.
The band open with an extended version of their recent single Cold Hard Bitch, a catchy rock’n’roll anthem that gets the crowd moving straight away. They keep the tempo up, following on into Get What You Need, a track from their album Get Born, which, judging from their drum skin, they’re meant to be promoting. Next they inject their own style into their cover of the Chocolate Watchband’s psychedelic composition Sweet Young Thing. Then it’s promptly onto their breakthrough single, the infectious Rollover DJ.
It’s time for the obligatory ballad, and sure enough it appears, coming in the form of the wonderfully Beatles-esque Look What You’ve Done which has the crowd singing along. Lazy Gun is a misfire, but all is forgiven when Lust For Life kicks in. Oh my mistake, it’s just Are You Gonna Be My Girl. Despite the near-identical riff, it’s not quite Iggy Pop, but it’s still great fun and one of the high points of the set. Guitarist Cameron Muncy, complete with Flying V, then takes to the vocals for my personal favourite, Hey Kids. The next few songs, Last Chance, Get Me Outta Here and Take It Or Leave It (all album tracks) seem to slow down the pace, but then, since they are meant to be promoting the album on the tour, this is excusable. For penultimate song Move On even the tambourines and harmonicas come out in full force. They finish off the concert with somewhat of an odd choice, a cover of Elvis’ That’s Alright Mama, which comes off as drawn out, and more than a little anticlimactic.
The concert is shown from a variety of cameras positioned all around the venue, and unfortunately also several clichéd angles such as the tiresome “down the guitar’s fretboard” shot. Split screen, long exposure, and other effects are used occasionally, but never anything distracting. More often than not they fit in with the hazy nature of the songs, and camera cuts are synched in well with the rhythm of the faster-paced songs.
Concert footage is rarely of great quality, especially in the conditions of certain venues, and this is no exception. There’s plenty of grain, it’s frequently soft, and the constantly changing flashlights at the back of the stage mean that the cameras are always having to readjust. Colour tones are subdued, but this works with the setting, and helps to simulate its intimacy.
The audio is possibly the most important aspect of any music DVD, and with the options of Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, and L-PCM 2.0 tracks, there’s no let down here. All are excellent, and although most likely down to the equipment set up rather than the audio tracks, the bass and drums during the concert could have been louder.
Assuming that the live concert is the main feature, the promo videos and documentary must be supplementary materials. The first music video listed is Are You Gonna Be My Girl (3’34”), a stylish B&W blend of live action and 2D faux-ink drawing. Look What You’ve Done (4’02”) is a slow and simplistic, suiting the ballad perfectly, if hardly making compelling viewing. Cold Hard Bitch (4’18”) is a more exciting affair, full of bright lights, animated graffiti, and pinball machines. In Take It Or Leave It live footage is interspersed with shots of the band playing a game of pool. Badly. Finally there are two promo videos for Rollover DJ (3’49”). The first, the version that aired in Australia and the UK, is simply black and white live footage, whilst the international version takes place on a Japanese television programme which I’d guess to be made-up, but then I thought that Lost In Translation’s show was false too…
There’s also a Tour Documentary (10’48”) filmed shortly after the release of single Are You Gonna Be My Girl but before album Get Born. Too short to be insightful, it’s mainly a case of style over substance, and comes off as simply an excuse to use leftover clips of footage.
Other than the solid live performance, there’s not much material here that Jet fans won’t already have. However, with that as well as all their promo videos, it is an excellent starting point for those who don’t already have the album but want to hear more of the band.
Also worth noting is that whilst listed in most places as Region 2, this DVD is actually Regions 2/3/4/5/6.
Last updated: 19/04/2018 10:54:42