By Sean Wendell Alive and Transported is the first ever live CD/DVD set released by TobyMac. This performance was captured during the Portable Sounds Tour in Houston, TX. It is certainly one of the best live recordings I have ever heard.
What makes this recording remarkable is the way they were able to isolate each instrument and vocal part with studio precision. Sometimes this precision does take away from the live feel of the album. The crowd microphones are often very low in the mix which reduces the reflections from the rear of the building. These reflections help the listener’s mind decode the size of the room. You often times can’t tell how big the performance space was. Despite this fact, the CD is a great listen. The CD/DVD really showcases the talent of TobyMac and his band, and all the songs are delivered with energy and an intense passion for God.
I caught the Portable Sounds Tour recently when it stopped in Albany, NY, and this DVD captures all the energy of TobyMac’s live show. You really get a great perspective of the concert. The show I went to was general admission, so at times it was hard to get a good view of the stage. The DVD let me see some of the things I missed when I was at the concert, using interesting camera angles. There are a lot of flashing lights during the performance, which is something to consider if you are sensitive to it. Mandisa, a former finalist of American Idol, has a guest performance on “Lose My Soul” that is magnificent.
A few of my favorite performances from Alive and Transported are:
- “Boomin’ ” – I love this track. The choreography on the DVD is wonderful to watch. The on stage light show that emulates the output meters of a stereo is another nice touch.
- “Gone” – This a great song that was performed to perfection. You get lots of great views of the crowd on the DVD.
- “I’m for you” – This performance is full of interesting camera shots, including many from backstage looking out over the stage. TobyMac reads from 1 John 1:5 at the end of this and transitions into “In The Light”. This is a really great moment during the concert.
- “Made to Love” – With the crowd chanting “ONE MORE SONG!” the band appears on stage and starts this song. The shots of the crowd show people singing with their eyes closed and hands lifted, worshipping God. This is a beautiful sight.
- “Jesus Freak” – TobyMac sets the crowd on fire when the band starts playing this song. Everyone is jumping and singing. I could feel the energy from my couch. It was awesome.
Anyone who was at one of the Portable Sounds Tour stops should get this set; it's also a necessity for fans of TobyMac. I will enjoy watching the DVD and recapturing the feelings I had when I went to the concert.