• D.O.A. – To Hell N’ Back

    Released by: MVD Visual/Sudden Death Records
    Released on: March 11th, 2014.
    Director: Marcus Rogers
    Cast: D.O.A.
    Year: 2014
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Movie:

    Joe ‘Shithead’ Keithley and D.O.A. have been going strong for over three and a half decades at this point and as the band is currently on their farewell tour, and a lengthy tour it’s been, it seems only fitting that they’d release a concert DVD celebrating their accomplishments. And thus, ladies and gentlemen, we have D.O.A. – To Hell N’ Back, which is roughly ninety minutes of live material shot over four nights at various dates on the leg of the tour that took them across western Canada between 2011 and 2013. Here’s what you’ll find on the DVD…

    Welcome To Chinatown - June 2011 - Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver BC:

    The first set, which is about twenty minutes or so, features Keithley on vocals and guitar, Dirty Dan Yaremko on bass and Jesse ‘The Kid’ Pinner on drums. They deliver a solid set to a decent crowd at Vancouver’s Rickshaw Theater and the hometown heroes perform as tightly as ever. The crowd is into it, singing along to pretty much every song, but the energy level that makes some of the better material on this disc more fun isn’t quite as high. Regardless, it’s D.O.A. live and that by itself is reason enough to pay attention.

    Police Brutality / 2 + 2 / World War 3 / General Strike / Race Riot / The Prisoner / Disco Sucks / Fucked Up Stephen

    Fucked Up Stephen, obviously a reworked version of their classic Fucked Up Ronnie retooled to suit Canada’s current conservative Prime Minister, is probably the highlight here but given that the set list is made up of entirely ‘classic’ material there’s not a stinker in the bunch.

    You can check out three tracks from this set below…

    Cowtown Chaos - September 2011 - Palomino Club, Calgary AB:

    The lineup is the same for this show, which takes place on a small stage in a packed room where the crowd is completely nuts. This set is the best one on the disc, at times the band look a little nervous as the beer swigging audience gets closer and closer, making physical contact with Shithead and Yaremko more than once. Bouncers get in there and keep people from taking over the stage but there’s that awesome sort of intensity here that you can only get from seeing a rowdy band like D.O.A. play a small venue like this. Most of this is classic material as well but Atheist, from the Talk – Action = 0 album, is a great recent track that works its way into the set.

    Nazi Training Camp / That's Why I Am An Atheist / Human Bomb / Marijuana Motherfucker / Class War / Fuck You / The Prisoner

    Rocky Mountain High - September 2011 - Canmore Hotel, Canmore AB:

    This is just a quick collection of two tracks from a show at the Canmore Hotel, not a whole lot to add here but the band sounds good and it’s cool to hear another more recent track, Rebel Kind, worked into the set. Again, it’s the same lineup as the two earlier sets.

    Rebel Kind / Death Machine

    Return To Chinatown - January 2013 - Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver BC:

    Last but not least, we find the band, this time with Floor Tom Jones back on the drums, returning to the Rickshaw. This is the longest set on the disc and again it’s mostly earlier material, the exception being I Live In A Car. The band’s classic take on B.T.O’s Taking Care Of Business is fun and this time around they return Fucked Up Ronnie to its original form. Former band member Ford Pier joins the band for the last half of the set and pretty much goes off, almost like he’s trying to outdo Joey here. At one point he’s jumping off the drum riser and at another point he’s rolling around on the floor. Clad in a one piece mechanic’s jumpsuit he looks pretty goofy here but it’s a kick to watch him do his thing.

    We're Drivin' To Hell N' Back / Liar For Hire / I Live In A Car / America The Beautiful / Waiting For You / The Enemy / I Hate You / I'm Right You're Wrong / Woke Up Screaming / War / D.O.A. / Taking Care Of Business / Fucked Up Ronnie

    Each one of these sets was shot with a four camera set up so most of the action on stage is covered from an appropriate angle. Each of the four sets is pretty much non-stop, there’s a bit of banter from Joey to the crowd but for the most part they launch quickly from one song to the next, Keithley’s trademark growl up front in the mix with Yaremenko and whichever drummer is playing at any given time anchoring things done nicely. These guys are pros, they’ve been at it for years. It won’t convert those who aren’t already fans but for those who are? Great stuff.


    Each set is shot in 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen and like a lot of live concert DVDs, there are times where the stage lighting messes with detail a bit but for the most part, the material here looks just fine. There are some minor compression artifacts noticeable in spots but other than that this is clean and colorful.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix on the disc is also pretty good. It’s front heavy and the rear channels are really only used for audience reaction sounds but that’s fine for a concert DVD, it wouldn’t make sense to spread it out any other way. Levels are balanced and there are no issues with any hiss or distortion. Things sound quite good here, you can differentiate the bass from the drums from the guitars from the vocals easily enough.

    There aren’t a ton of extra features on this disc but there is a ten minute featurette here called In The Studio With D.O.A. which is, as you’d guess, a quick look at Shithead and company in a recording studio in Vancouver as they work on finishing up the We Come In Peace album. It’s an amusing look at the behind the scenes working of the band off stage. There’s also a one minute clip of Shithead not being interview that’s kind of funny. Aside from that, some animated menus and show/song selection round out the supplements on the disc.

    But wait! There’s a second disc in here… containing the entire We Come In Peace album from 2012. It’s kind of superfluous if you already have it but if you don’t it’s a nice addition to this release (which we reviewed in full here). There’s also an insert inside the DVD case with credits and info for the DVD content on one side and a track listing and credits for We Come In Peace on the alternate side.

    The Final Word:

    D.O.A. – To Hell N’ Back is a pretty solid collection of clips that demonstrate why the band is one of Canada’s longest running and proudest musical exports. Raucous and rowdy the way a good punk band should be but experienced and socially aware enough to have something important to say, they’ve kept things going on their own terms for a long time now. It’s a shame that the end is near, but at least with their back catalogue and great live releases like this, when they really do call it a day they’ll have left behind one Hell of a legacy.

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Christian Bates-Hardy's Avatar
      Christian Bates-Hardy -
      I've always hand a soft spot for D.O.A. The first in-person interview I ever did was with Joey Shithead at a D. O. A. concert in Kelowna B.C. in the early 2000s. He gave me a Pilsner, and insisted I note that in the interview. His book "I Shithead" is a pretty great memoir about life in the early 80s Canadian punk scene.
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      Nice! I hung out in the back of a van with Joey in 2010, and he gave me a beer too. He's a pretty nice guy. It's cool when you grow up with a band, meet them, and it turns out that they actually are nice guys.
    1. Christian Bates-Hardy's Avatar
      Christian Bates-Hardy -
      Haha that's awesome! I can't remember where exactly but I know he ran for mayor at least once, and possibly as a provincial Green Party candidate in B.C. Yeah it's great when people in bands you admire turn out not to be dicks (especially in the Hardcore community).
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      He's run for office more than once, yeah. And that's why they're winding things down with D.O.A., so Joey can concentrate on politics.