Sister Hazel is another band eschewing the major labels in favor of independently releasing their music to a considerable number of core fans. The band’s most recent studio album, Chasing Daylight, pioneered the strategy, and this double-disc live effort continues with it.
It’s a sensible move. The Gainesville band’s countrified, good-time rock garnered national attention once upon a time with the hit “All For You.” But these days, the band’s fanbase isn’t going to massively increase. Conversely, by serving existing fans albums like this, the number won’t decrease.
Despite being annoyingly split into two discs, Live expertly showcases the band’s middle-of-the-road appeal, and with songs as tuneful as “Everybody,” “One Love,” “Change Your Mind” and “Just Remember,” it’s an appeal that’s difficult to deny.
There are no real surprises in terms of performance and delivery, with the band playing a best-of set with note-for-note consistency. But judging by the rapturous reception from fans who don’t want ten-minute guitar solos, that’s understandable. It doesn’t matter that frontman Ken Block’s interludes are sometimes trite and often clich•d, because the fans are too busy enjoying songs like “Your Mistake” and “Killing Me Too” to notice.
Live doesn’t pretend to be Live At Leeds or any such seminal live album. It is what it is, and that’s honest, enjoyable southern-influenced rock.