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Bryan Beller Releases Wednesday Night Live Concert DVD

Bassist/composer and sideman extraordinaire Bryan Beller (Dethklok, Steve Vai, Mike Keneally) has released his solo project’s first live concert DVD, Wednesday Night Live. An up-close-and-personal 4-camera document of the Beller band’s one-night-only 2010 show at the Baked Potato in Los Angeles, the DVD is a serious statement from an artist who’s quickly establishing himself as one of the elite bass playing and compositional voices in the rock/jazz fusion scene today.

The DVD shares a basic running order and band lineup with the live CD of the same name, but also includes special features such as between-song dialogue not present on the CD, additional videos from previous shows with an expanded lineup, interviews with each of the band members, a rare live video of the impossibly difficult “See You Next Tuesday” from the very first Bryan Beller Band gig ever, and four new remixes of studio tracks from Beller’s first album.

The origin of Wednesday Night Live was organic: With two critically acclaimed studio releases under his belt: 2003’s View (“A solo album so good it makes you wonder why he bothered doing anything else.” – Bill Leigh, Bass Player ) and 2008’s Thanks in Advance (“A bonafide entry for bass album of the year.” – Chris Jisi, Bass Player), Beller embarked on a mid-2010 tour with his band opening for longtime compatriot Mike Keneally’s band using the same five musicians (including themselves) for five shows in the Northeast U.S. The plan was for the Keneally/Beller “They’re Both The Same Band” tour to then hit the west coast, but scheduling got sticky. “We were able to confirm one date that worked for everyone: Wednesday, September 15, 2010, at The Baked Potato,” says Beller, who just turned 40. “And I said, screw it, let’s record it and see what happens. This is what happened.”

This isn’t Beller’s first foray into video. He released a special-edition DVD in 2008 called To Nothing, which was a documentary of the making of Thanks in Advance. “To Nothing was a sprawling story,” Beller explains, “with over three hours of studio and candid footage, and really introduces the viewer to Rick, Griff, Mike and Joe, how they work, and why they’re such special musicians and people. So I went back to the same guy who directed that movie, Dave Foster, and said, ‘Let’s make a traditional concert DVD that shows these guys in their live element, and what the band really sounds like.’ The videos from previous shows are interesting artifacts that feature some tunes that weren’t played on the tour, with some secret special guests. And there’s also some rare live audio buried in parts of the DVD that I think people familiar with the material will really appreciate.”

Though there’s plenty of intensity in the funk/fusion workouts “Greasy Wheel” and “Seven Percent Grade” (to say nothing of the emotional low-to-high rollercoaster segue of “Life Story” and “Get Things Done”), Beller’s landmark ten-minute composition “Love Terror Adrenaline/Break Through” stands out as the live set’s high point. “We’re talking about a studio cut with tons of tracks and layers and overdubs, and a ridiculously complex melody played by Mike Keneally, and we condensed it into a five-piece arrangement that I’m quite proud of. The band played their asses off on that. They played their asses off all night. That’s why I wanted to put this out – because I think the way they played this material really deserves to be heard.”
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