So about a year or two ago this band was one of my favourite bands. "Fables..." is one of my favourite albums ever, and the new one's pretty great, too, though maybe not quite as amazing as "Fables".
They were one of the best live bands, with one hell of an impressive frontman.
About a year ago their drummer and bassist both quit and were replaced. Around that same time they filmed a live DVD, which I bought, and was kind of disappointed by the performance. The new guys were decent enough, but it didn't feel like the same band. Even worse, Darroh, the singer, seemed to be drunk off his ass, and not in an entertaining or exciting way. His performance wasn't up to what I was used to seeing of them in videos, or even what I saw personally when I saw them live (which hadn't been their best show ever, but I figured it was because most of the crowd left after Periphery and they were a bit burned out from being on a tour with less than receptive crowds).
I got curious and looked up live footage from this year, and now I'm just depressed.
[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUoNghU1CHc]Fair to Midland - Dance of the Manatee - Clicks, Tyler, TX 04-27-2012 - YouTube[/VIDEO]
Now, I know Darroh suffers from pretty extreme anxiety (to the point of hair loss), and I know they're all drinkers, but compare that performance to this (the video that got me into them in the first place):
[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhd5bh5V1og]Fair To Midland - "Dance of the Manatee" (Live 10-06-2007) HD - YouTube[/VIDEO]
Or any of these from somewhere in between, where they seemed to be getting even more solid:
[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2gHa6Ngu74]Fair to Midland "Tall Tales Tastes like Sour Grapes" HOB, Atlantic City 5-21-10 live concert - YouTube[/VIDEO]
[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCOkPoNDsA8]Fair To Midland "Walls Of Jericho" Live at The Troubadour in Hollywood, CA January 6, 2010 - YouTube[/VIDEO]
[VIDEO]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNvq7k0kq0k]Dance of the Manatee - Container Performance - YouTube[/VIDEO]
Plus side is that the DVD of mostly fan-shot live footage they also put out captures them when they were far better than they are today.
They put on a solid performance when I saw them earlier this year here.