It has always been widely known that, since their inception, Fugazi has been keeping a running library of their live shows. While it has always been rumored that at some point the band would oversee the release of said material, no one was really quite sure when or how these tapes would see the light of day. Thankfully, with the band on temporary hiatus, Fugazi were able to release 20 of the shows through an Internet site devoted to the venture, www.fugaziliveseries.com. Each of the 20 volumes contains an entire show, including all the interruptions and introductions, allowing each to stand as a pure document of the band in the moment. The sound quality varies from disc to disc based on the recording technology of the time, and the cover art maintains continuity by using one image repeated on each disc. Vol. 3 of the series, recorded in Germany in 1990, is a pretty searing show. The band fires on all cylinders, tearing through a set list that makes the recorded versions appearing on 13 Songs, Margin Walker, Repeater, and (at the time unreleased) Steady Diet of Nothing sound relatively tame by comparison. Unlike many of their shows, which are usually interrupted by unruly fans, the Beilefeld show is pretty straightforward. Outside of Guy Picciotto's friendly poke at those who couldn't make it (this show was recorded for radio), the flow of the show is uninterrupted and dynamic. But what it displays best is a band that had shown amazing growth in three short years. And, frankly, that's one of the purposes of this series.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Chris True