RIDING IN VANS WITH BOYS (DVD)

3 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 85 minutes
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Whether it’s to clear up decade-old controversies or to offer behind-the-scenes of touring, when MTV and VH1 air specials about musicians, there’s an underlying story that appeals to a fairly wide audience. DVDs that bands and solo artists frequently release don’t always come with a “story,” therefore most of the people who would enjoy a Linkin Park live concert disc or a Marilyn Manson music video compilation are fans. Since music DVDs are marketed towards a specific singer’s fans, and not the largest consumer audience possible, it’s rather difficult to appreciate and fully enjoy an on-tour-with DVD if one is neutral towards or not really into the relevant artist’s work.

“Riding in Vans with Boys” (Matthew Beauchesne) follows Kut U Up as they toured around the US with Blink-182, Green Day, and Jimmy Eat World in 2002. While it is almost always fun to watch rock musicians drink, interact with devoted admirers, and display signs of stupidity, it takes a fan to laugh along genuinely. The filmmaker figures that you probably never heard of Kut U Up prior to viewing the disc so he begins the documentary with a short introduction. There’s no bio on the band, but you do learn that the members have been friends with and were invited to join the tour by Blink-182. The Centennial Garden in Bakersfield, California is the first stop on the fifty-city tour.

This Bird Entertainment DVD runs about eighty-five minutes and develops along a structure where each of the cities featured includes footage of what the bands experience in each destination. For instance, in the set change between Green Day and Blink-182 in Phoenix, Arizona, two blondes kiss each other and flash the cameraman. Micah Mattson, one of Kut U Up’s guitarists, also tongues random girls from the audience. The Las Vegas show reveals that Brendan Raasch, Kut U Up’s drummer, frequently and voluntarily throws up (but he’s not bulimic, he just ran out of Listerine). In Toronto, Green Day’s Billie Joe utilizes a heated poker cue and brands the right butt cheek of Kut U Up’s vocalist Chris Cote.

“Riding in Vans with Boys” isn’t just over an hour of Kut U Up and Blink-182 doing crazy things. It actually conveys something meaningful as the members of Kut U Up summarize their thoughts on the sixty-three days, forty-six shows, and 10,723 miles spent on the road. They feel more like a band instead of just four guys playing together. More importantly, they survived—they earned the respect of the roadies and nobody got arrested.



Posted on April 15, 2004 in Reviews by
Buffer


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