March 23, 2001

People Like Us Should Be Stopped - Live Volume One
6 / 12

It was only a few years ago that I was really against live recordings. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to listen to a band live, in such an uncontrolled environment, when they could listen to the band's studio recordings. Don't get me wrong--I loved live shows at the time--I just found the recordings of live performances to be lacking enough quality to be worth my time.

Thanks to some amazing live recordings of the Black Heart Procession and Low, my opinions changed quite quickly, and I starting buying and listening to a lot of live shows; enjoying the differences in the songs, and the uniqueness of the performances, and even the variance of recording quality.

So, that said, I was extremely excited to buy Idaho's People Like Us Should Be Stopped - Live Volume One CD. When I first listened to the album, I also began reading through the liner notes. The recordings are from before the Forbidden EP when Idaho was still a 4-piece band, and they are taken mostly from an Arizona show and from various shows in Scotland and England. The songs mostly come from Idaho's 1993 Caroline album Year After Year, including "Here To Go," "Gone," and "God's Green Earth." At the time of these recordings, the band was experiencing quite a lot of problems including in-band fighting, heroin addiction, stolen equipment, drinking, fist fighting, etc. Since Idaho have been basically a 2-piece band since, this gives some probable insight the other members parted ways.

While the liner notes are interesting, I couldn't bring myself to enjoy the actual recordings. I listened to the CD over and over, hoping that it would finally grip me like all of Idaho's recordings do, but it never did. The songs sound like they are being played by a band on the brink of destruction; loose performances, and a mixture of frustration, hopelessness, and anger all in the way the instruments are played. The vocals are more passionate than ever, but in a way that doesn't flatter the songs or the original vocal parts. In summary, it is the exact type of recording you would expect from a band experiencing all the difficulties that the band was living through.

People Like Us Should Be Stopped - Live Volume One is an interesting document of the misery of Idaho's tour, and on that level I can appreciate it, but it has certainly dropped my enthusiasm for live recordings and has reminded me why I used to dislike live albums so much.

daron gardner

this review is/was online at FakeJazz
and is available here for archival purposes only