When a band decides to release a DVD of its live act, it usually has something to offer for the viewer at home.
Maybe it's a laser light show, maybe it's a giant plastic bubble or maybe it's make-up and elaborate costuming. The best is when it's just the power of the performance.
Unfortunately for post-rock/metal band Pelican, its live DVD, "After the Ceiling Cracked," has none of these qualities.
For one thing, there is no interaction between the band and the audience in attendance at the 2005 show in London.
Since there are no vocals in the music, there aren't even microphones onstage and the set moves from song to song in an impersonal way with no endearing or funny banter in between.
Camera angles are also limited and there are few cuts to change up the visuals.
The biggest detraction, though, is that nothing really exciting happens.
Don't get me wrong - the songs are heavy, technically proficient and the dudes are into it, head banging to their one-mile-per-hour tempos.
But that's about it.
The one thing the disc has going for it is exceptional audio quality, but without something to hold the eye, it begs the question of necessity, especially since all the songs are recorded at even better quality on their albums.
Film can take a lot out of a live experience though, so it's extremely unfair to say Pelican is boring live.
You can judge for yourself, as the band is set to play at Common Grounds tonight. Tickets are $12 and doors open at 9 p.m.