DVDisc: Ian Moore


Texas Platters

Ian Moore

Live From the Cactus Cafe (Music Video Distributors) The very last thing a concert film should be is boring. It can be self-indulgent, it can even be too long, but it should never be both of these and then boring, too. To be sure, Live From the Cactus Cafe was captured gracefully. A trio of camera operators gives the evening a sparkling glow, and audio engineer Britton Beisenherz captures the acoustic set in crystalline form. The star himself, guitarist Ian Moore, even delivers a nice performance, evoking Jeff Buckley at times. The biggest problem with Live From the Cactus Cafe is a lack of direction for the filmmakers and a lack of energy from Moore. Director/editor Tamara Stepanek sticks with the same simple camera angles, little editing between them; she seems to think we don't want to see anything other than the same shot of Moore, the first glimpse of the crowd coming midway through, during "Bastards." It turns out to be merely a brief tease. Between songs, Moore takes little time to address the audience, one of the best aspects of both small club shows and concert films. Later, after watching some of the playback, he admits, "I don't talk anymore." Meanwhile, the inexplicable inclusion of material from a full-band set at Houston's Satellite Lounge only illustrates how dull the acoustic portion really is. Live From the Cactus Cafe doesn't even try to steal the best tricks of MTV's Unplugged or VH1's Storytellers. Moore introduces "What I've Done" by saying it takes a Texas songwriting cliché and "turns it inside out." If only he and the filmmakers had attempted that here.

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