Illinois math/indie-rock legends, Braid, decided to break up in 1999. Before they went their separate ways they booked five final shows in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Champaign where Braid was from. These shows were documented in the original “Killing a Camera” video that was released in 2001, two years after the band broke up.
In 2004 they decided to re-release it as “Killing a Camera 2004” on DVD. This time around it comes with some extra goodies and two hours of new footage. The DVD is separated into three sections.
The first section is the original “Killing a Camera” as it appeared in the three year old VHS version. It’s mostly live footage from that last five shows, intermingled with some commentary.
The second part is entitled “KAC 2004 Retrospective.” The retrospective consists of some live footage that either wasn’t on the first KAC or has been re-edited, as well as loads and loads of new footage. There are outtakes, new interviews with the band (as a group and individually), and some interviews with some of the people that have been close with the band. The original KAC does a good job of telling the story of the last five shows. The retrospective does a better job of telling the story of the band. By the time you get done watching both of them you feel like you know the band personally. No joke, as they show the footage of the last song of the last show and Bob Nanna is bent over shaking kids hands in the crowd during a break and the whole crowd is singing along, I got a little choked up.
The last section is their commentary on the original KAC. In the very beginning the commentary is kind of dry. As it progresses they start to get a little loose, and probably a little drunk, and begin to make jokes and poke fun at each other. You can really tell that they are all very close. As I watched the first one I thought about how it would be more enjoyable for people who were already fans of the band, considering the fact that there aren’t any studio versions of Braid songs on the DVD.
After watching the whole thing, even if you come into it having never heard a single Braid song, you’ll come out being a dedicated fan. It’s a great watch for longtime Braid fans, and those soon to become ones.