Judge Bryan Pope can make a pretty good monster face. Making monster faces is one of the requirements for watching this performance DVD.
This DVD will make curly cheese fries of all potential couch potatoes.
Last I checked, I hadn't turned into a curly cheese fry, but Roger Day's clever, catchy, and downright fun children's songs did have this confirmed old couch potato tapping his toes and singing along. If this, his first concert DVD, doesn't have the same effect on your little tyke, make haste to your pediatrician, because something is seriously wrong.
For the uninitiated, Day is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter who has performed for young audiences nationwide, including such venues as homeless shelters and orphanages. His commitment to children and community service has earned him the Harry Chapin Award for Contributions to Humanity, and his music has been lauded by both Parents' Choice and National Parenting Publications.
I went into Roger Day Live knowing none of this, and, folks, I'm here to tell you that this is one gifted musician. His wonderful melodies capture the carefree exuberance of childhood, and his lyrics have the simple wisdom and unabashed silliness of the best children's literature. The guy's also handy with an acoustic guitar.
Of the 13 songs featured on this DVD, my favorites were the soaring opener "Ready to Fly," "If You Jump on Your Bed," and "Parachute Girl." That last one has been stuck in my head since my first viewing. (I'm up to three so far, in case you were wondering.) Incidentally, I discovered that I'm capable of making a pretty good "Monster Face"—not as good as some of the kids in Day's audience, perhaps, but still not bad for a 31-year-old.
The concert itself is very straightforward, with minimal set design. Clearly, Day and his music are the main attraction here, and that is how it should be. He has a natural and gentle stage presence perfectly suited to this type of entertainment, and he has a remarkable knack for getting kids and adults to join in the fun.
As for the DVD itself, the full-frame presentation is passable, with some occasional fuzziness and slightly washed-out color. Audio, on the other hand, is pretty darn good. The packaging doesn't say, but I suspect the audio is Dolby 2.0. You would typically want something more sophisticated for a concert performance, but here it complements Day's style and minimal orchestrations. Anything more might have actually undermined his music's charming simplicity. As it stands, the disc delivers just the right level of fullness and power.
As I said, Day and his music are the big draw here. This DVD is no great shakes in terms of video and extras, but these aren't things that are going to diminish your child's enjoyment of Day's fun performance. You can probably find it for around $15, so jump up, turn around, put down that mosquito burrito and pick up this delightful DVD for your family. Case dismissed.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Roger Day Productions
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