L7

Live: Omaha to Osaka

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Until late 1998, bootlegs were the only place that L7 fans could go if they wanted to hear live recordings by the band. L7 wasn't bootlegged as extensively as Hole, but the alternative rockers certainly weren't ignored by them either. The first live L7 album that wasn't a bootleg came in December, 1998, when Man's Ruin put out Live: Omaha to Osaka. This generally excellent CD, which was recorded at clubs in Omaha, NE and Osaka, Japan, gets off to an amusing start when a high school marching band from Omaha performs a medley of L7 favorites. The high schoolers provide a good laugh, but the real fun comes when L7 takes the stage and tears into such punk-meets-metal gems as "Bad Things," "Death Wish," "Non-Existent Patricia" and "Slide." Unfortunately for L7, the Omaha gig came on a night when Megadeth was also playing that city. After a gutsy version of "Shitlist," the CD takes us to Osaka for five songs, including "Fast And Frightening," "Andres" and the goofy "Loranza, Giada, Allesandra." The sound quality isn't as sharp on the Osaka material as it is on the Omaha recordings, although L7 sounds equally inspired in the Japanese city. Live: Omaha to Osaka isn't perfect, but the disc's strengths by far outweigh its weaknesses -- and it was nice to finally hear a live L7 album that wasn't a bootleg.

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