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The Chemical Brothers - Don't Think

posted Apr 8, 2012, 11:47 PM by Vu Nguyen

(26 Mar 2012)

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS: DON'T THINK (2012) (10' Book+CD+DVD) Astralwerks
(26 Mar 2012)

(26 Mar 2012)
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The Chemical Brothers
The first time I heard about The Chemical Brothers, they were known as The Dust Brothers, named ...
I got this DVD for review.

Let me tell you, I've seen The Chemical Brothers live before, at Coachella, and what I saw on Don't Think was nothing like what I've seen in person. I saw them in a field with 10,000+ other people, seeing just two ant-figures on stage with their hands in the air … it was not a great experience. What the concert film, Don't Think does well is to capture the excitement and energy of 50,000 people at Japan's Fujirock Festival, as if you were actually there.

It would seem that director Adam Smith had certain visions of bringing the concert to DVD and Blu-ray, that it wasn't necessary a straight concert. There are some pros and cons to this, and I'll start with the negative: I personally think there was too much focus on the audience. Let's not forget the real stars here: the superstar DJ's Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons, yet the film rarely show off the two guys. Instead, you're given footage of a couple of audience member walking around or showing their expression/reaction to the music.

The good parts are when they show the light show off and kept it interesting enough with all twenty cameras from various angles, so you feel like you were actually in the audience (complete with special shaky camera effects). Sometime you get some really interesting camera access, like the view from the top or inside/through some filter lenses.

As for the music, on the film portion, you get the whole show. Each song medley into the other, with hardly any breaks/silence between the songs (this is a sign some good DJ work). On the audio CD side of things, because of the limitation of 74mins of music, they did leave off one or two songs to fit on the medium. I got to listen to the CD in my car, and I couldn't really tell you exactly where they edit out the song, it sounded complete to me. I felt they could've toned down the audience's massive hand claps or random "wooo", because hearing it as pure audio isn't the same as seeing the video version.

All your favorite hits are played, including my personal block of "Leave Home/Galvanize/Block Rockin Beats", although when "Star Guitar/3 Little Birdies Downbeats" combined with "Hey Boy Hey Girl", I had to bop my head.

So yeah, it's tough to make two dudes behind large equipments, pushing buttons and turning knobs to be interesting. And I know from seeing all of the Chemical Brother's music videos that they rarely appear in them (per their requests). That's why they hardly appear in their own concert film, I get it… but I still wish they had occasionally some close-ups, like typical concert films.

Hardcore Chemical Brothers fans, don't think, buy it now. You should get this on either Blu-ray or DVD, I believe both are Region 0, which means any country can play it. Be sure to get the "booklet" release, which is basically a book with DVD and CD. There is a 10" coffee table style book, but I think it's pretty limited. I only got the standard jewel-case CD/DVD for review, and if you're fine with just the visual and music, then it's the cheapest and most compact of all the different versions. Prices on amazon.com ranges from $19 to $32.

The brothers are gonna work it out.