Fan Reviews

Email your paragraph to reviews@velvetchain.com

This page is where we display your opinions about the live CD. In some cases the text is edited a little, but generally, it's coming straight from your emails. We sincerely appreciate those of you who have taken the time to communicate your thoughts.

If we've connected with you musically, and you write to us about it, that's a great thing for us. It's really very nice and it makes us want to figure out new ways to really blow your mind. We know what you like because you like what we like.... We know you know.

Whether there's one of you or one million of you, it's the same thing. It's us and you. The rest of them can go listen to the radio.

-- Jeff Stacy




Photo by Trifon Trifonopolis, Temple Bar, Aug. 4, 2000

I just finished putting the bonus material for the "Live" CD through it's paces and all I can say is Great Job! For those of you who are not lucky enough to be able to see the band live, this album is an absolute Must. (Of course you still won't get to see the outfit Erika wore at the release party, but L.A. hath its privileges). There are a million and a half disclaimers on the CD regarding the bonus material not working on all systems, but aside from a short sidetrip to apple.com for a fresher Quicktime version, I had no trouble. I have a pretty fast system, but its far from the most stable in the world. Good Luck and Enjoy!

QuirkyOne, Chatsworth, CA

Hey, I just got finished downloading the Come To Me live video... I'll tell ya.. I've got goosebumps. (I passed it around and other people did too. It's not just me). We're slowing it down frame by frame to see if there are subliminal goosebump messages buried in the video. Seriously though, the band is SO strong at this point. Whoever did your sound did a bang up job too. It's absolutely great. I ordered the new CD from the website and await almost patiently . Okay... I'm psyched.

Chris L., Manchester, NH


I just got the live CD, and it's fantastic.

David P., McKeesport, PA

Thank you for the most inventive CD I think Iv'e ever bought. It's really an incredible peice of work. You guys should win some kind of award or something for this thing...

Stephen Richterr, New York, NY

I can't believe this CD. It's amazing. What a very cool band Velvet Chain is. The music is so good. I love it.

Mary G, Las Vegas, NV



This live CD kicks major booty. I haven't been able to take it out of my players (luckily we got two cds), I've played it so many times I lost count. The band sounds great and Erika- your voice is awesome as usual, I really love your vocals on "My One Desire". The lounge versions of our favs are also such a yummy treat. Big thumbs up to all involved in the making of this audio visual candy, now I can't wait to see VC live again. - Jaime (a "hardcore" fan-as Erika mentioned at the last show).

Jaime G., Fontana, CA


As always this new album ROCKS! I really love the live version of "Don't Leave A Diva". The ending is amazing, especially when Erika goes into her little opera mode. I can't decide which "Come To Me" version I like better. They are both so differen,t yet a lot of like. Erika is right about "You Got Me" (lounge) being funky cause it's slower, but then again, I like the original too. This CD is certainly one that everyone should own!!

Jenna M., Arlington, TX


Very very nice. This brings back my faith that things might be improving in the music world.

Thomas S., San Francisco, CA

Illustration drawn on a large cocktail napkin at the CD release party for the Live Album, December 3, 2000, Baked Potato Hollywood. by Jeff Zugale, www.starshipwright.com

I love this album - it is pretty darn close to the real thing. It is one of those things... when a certain lyric or chord hits you just right you get shivers down your spine and all goosebumpy. Erika I envy your talent and ability to belt out a tune and have it affect people in such a powerful way. And I want to say thank you too Jeff because I just love the sound of the bass guitar. Keep up the good work guys! To get the full experience of a live show from this CD you must have a nice sound system and turn it up as loud as the laws/neighbors will allow. With a sound this good how can anyone resist turning it up loud and dancing around to the beat.

Megan M., Simi Valley, CA.



Photo by Trifon Trifonopolis, Temple Bar, Aug. 4, 2000



I live in Austrailia and have been a Velvet Chain fan for a number of years. It's so great to be able to put this CD in my computer and see the band play on my screen! I've always wanted to see Velvet Chain live, and the concert footage is so realistic -- the whole thing really kicks ass. You've made a great thing with this CD. What a great band.

Michael D., Melbourne Australia

Wow! So, I got MGM & VC Live today (not to mention stickers and pen). Let me say that MGM is really not fair -- it is just TOO good. Erika, you say that you want us to get friends hooked on VC? How do you expect me to get friends hooked if I'm not taking the CD out of my stereo for the foreseeable future? You really need to stop making such good music. Oh, and the VC Live video is really cool. I really haven't gotten a chance to listen to the rest of the CD. PS: You've got a really good french accent.

Andrew J., Abington, PA

Photos (above/below) by Laurie Steiner-Halperin, Temple Bar, Aug. 4, 2000  

The only negative thing that I can find with this album is that it reinforces that I've never seen Velvet Chain live. I've always wanted to, and listening to this CD only makes me crave it more. Velvet Chain ROCKS!!!!

Mike H., Anchorage, AK


Dear Velvet Chain: Being a fan of the band for the past 2 years, I decided to catch up on my CD collection with the latest two albums. After all, my "Warm" CD has seen its fair share of playing time. It became a natural ritual to come in from a long day at work and listen to Velvet Chain.

Last night, after receiving my new CD's, I kicked back and pressed play on the CD player. "Live at the Temple Bar" shocked the hell out of me! I couldn't believe how realistic and fresh the sound quality turned out to be. All this time I've been dying to fly out to L.A. just to hear Velvet Chain play, and now I had the opportunity to get comfy, close my eyes, and literally feel like I had a front seat. The music really is "groovy", especially topped by Erika Amato's incredibly awesome vocals.

I'll continue spreading the word about this band. The way I look at it, discovering Velvet Chain is like the discovering silky chocolate mousse. What would the world be like without the taste of chocolate? And how incredibly boring and distasteful it would be without Velvet Chain! Grrrrrrrrrreow! Velvet Chain, you never let your fans down, and that's what I like about the band. We've come to expect good music, and that's exactly what you deliver! Happy Holidays and warmest blessings.

Paladori, Birmingham, AL


I was impressed with the quality of the singing on the live CD but I didn't have any doubts that it would be good. This is Velvet Chain we're talking about here! I'm very fortunate that someone had the good knowledge to first put this group into my favorite TV series, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," and then onto the soundtrack -- which first started my mania with this group. I will definitely continue to buy anything that they put out. =)

Amy R., Vancouver, WA


MY CD IS SO AWESOME! I played it yesterday in the car on the way to rockclimbing and didn't want to get out of the car. I love the fact that, because it's live, I can sing the harmonies for Erika (does anyone else do this?) and pretend that I actually sang with her. Thanks so much Velvet Chain! Lots of love and good cheer and happiness and stuff from Tamyka.

Tamyka B., Queensland, Australia


Hi - I just want to say wow and VC you are awesome live. I have waited in anticipation for the CD to come through my door, just so I could catch a glimpse of the live video. And finally after praying through the pages of the gallery, I turned to the video and was just plain amazed. Erika, you truly are a Diva and Jeff, David, Arif, Brian, Brett and DJ Swerve...all you guys are brilliant. We are not worthy of your music... everything else pales in comparison!

I know one of the reasons for the video is to give your worldwide fans a taster of your live shows... But now I just need to see a show in person even more. I hope you find a way to get to the UK (hopefully one day you will! - preferably the north-east part too!) In the mean time, I will just have to make do with all 4 albums that have now melded to my faithful CD player! Loved the country version of Strong and, well, just all of the tracks on the CD. Thank you so much for this CD. I am now going to convert everyone I know to VC lovers!) All I can say is, the 'Frenchie' lyrics come to mind when I try and describe how much I want to see a real, live Velvet Chain show.

Jacqui N., Newcastle, UK


I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!  Just got mine in the mail and came home asap to pop it in the computer to watch the video, slide show and to listen to it =)  My daughter obviously loves it too as she's jumping in her walker (she has good taste). 

Thank you SOOOOOOOOOO much to QuirkyOne for my Christmas present of the CD, since he had an extra one and I wasn't able to get one for awhile. 
Thank you so so so ....tons =)

OK...back to the CD - which didIi mention it rocks!

Sheryl F, and Kalilia, Phoenix, AZ (& Samantha - perhaps your youngest fan??  6 months old?? any fans younger than that?? =)


I just got my live CD and I LOVE it! It just might be my favorite CD of all. I still desperatly wish that I had gotten to go to the release party! Too bad I'm on the east coast. Anyways, Happy belated Birthday Erika.

Kelley M., Cumming, GA


I listened to the new Live CD this weekend. The live tracks really do capture the energy of a live show; they are an excellent introduction to the VC vibe, and, given the quality of the performances, confirm that this is a band of musicians who need no studio technicians to make them sound good. But the best tracks in my view are the "lounge" versions of the songs, as well as the country-swing version of "Strong." With their variations in tone and invocation of wide-ranging musical styles, those tracks reveal, more than anything else, the musicality and talent of the band's members, and the creative force underlying their work. They demonstrate that the band is in this for the love of music, and that their songs are something the members play with, tweak, and constantly evolve.

By allowing its fans to take a peek into this creative process, the band creates a unique sense of intimacy and familiarity with its audience. We all know other bands thatt create different versions of their songs, but they don't usually let us see it being done. Thanks for the insight. (I have not had time to engage the enhanced aspects of the CD, although they sure arecool!) Again, thanks for the new great sounds, and I will be in touch about that benefit concert next year with Pink Martini. I'm still working on that .....! MC

Mary-Christine S., Encino, CA


Dear Erika - I'd just like to say that you have an amazing voice, and thank you for signing my copy of the live album. I live in the UK and got into your band through (surprise surprise) Buffy, and am addicted to the music you and the rest of the band create. Keep up the good work.

Mark W., Rugby, UK


Thank you, thank you, thank you! I received my CDs, t-shirt and posters ( ;-) ) today! I imagine you're probably bored with people singing it's praises everytime they see you, well, sorry but I'll have to add to that - it is nothing short of unbelievable. You've managed something that no other artist in any musical field has even attempted. You should all be thoroughly proud of yourselves. Hearty handshakes and slaps-on-the-back to the guys, big hug to you. Fantastic! I haven't even finished listening to it for the first time yet, but it is remarkable. The videos are inspired. They almost sate my urge to jump on a plane to fly out to see you. I feel like I almost have seen you live. I have converted many friends to the English Cult of the Velvet Chain. Another friend has converted her sister and soon to convert all her friends in Oxford University. We are an ever growing clan. Thank you for making the music that you do and for being the people that you are. I just hope that one day I will be able to fly out - we could have a cup of tea or something. Cheers, and with love.

Rob C., Poole, England



I'm not one who usually likes live albums, but this one is excellent! I keep playing it over and over. I have never had the privilege of seeing VC perform and this is a real treat. I especially like Come to Me and Don't Leave a Diva. They are both even better live. Good job and keep up the good work.

Christine R., Canfield, Ohio




Review by Erik Deckers, fan and journalist. Erik writes for www.indie-music.com and other online magazines.

"Velvet Chain Live at the Temple Bar"

Velvet Chain is proving to be one of the hardest working bands, and is on the cutting edge of indie music today. One of the first bands to successfully and completely embrace the Internet and electronic distribution of their music, VC is at it again with a complete multimedia CD, featuring audio tracks, plus a Flash presentation, and even a 22 minute video of four live tracks.

AS always, V.C. handle their groundbreaking very well. "Live at the Temple Bar," is their fourth album, and the band is showing no signs of resting on their laurels. 7 of the 12 tracks were recorded live at -- where else -- the Temple Bar -- in Santa Monica on August 4, 2000. And with those 7 tracks, Velvet Chain again proves the old adage that most bands sound better live than they do in the studio (with the exception of a few boy bands I could name). But what impressed me most about their performance is that they were able to create the same full, rich, throbbing sound on stage that they've been able to create in the studio -- it's a testament to their musical ability to produce and record such a big sound live.

Type of Music: Alternative/funk/groove/rock. Notable: When most bands do a live album, they usually record it over several shows, because trying to capture the essence of the ultimate live performance usually takes more than one try. Bassist and band leader Jeff Stacy hoped that there would be at least 4 or 5 tracks solid enough to put on the CD from one performance. But to round out the rest of the album, the band decided to play live in the studio the night before the show -- no overdubs, no playing separate tracks -- and they played "unplugged;" lounge tracks, in other words. What came out of the recordings were 7 live tracks, 3 lounge tracks, and one fully-mixed studio track.

Highs: One of my all-time V.C. favorites, "Frenchie," was kicked up a notch with some different musical styles. At one point in the song you would think the band was channelling Korn. Combine that with lead singer Erika Amato's sexy (yet simulated) French accent, and it's easy to see why "Frenchie" is always a crowd favorite.

Outstanding performance: Usually I pick one performance of one member here, but I have to give it to the entire band for their work on "Strong." Described as a "country-swing" version of the tune, it was originally supposed to be one of the lounge tracks, but near the end of the show, VC decided to play it live, and that version ended up on the album.

Lows: I loved the fact that there were 11 tracks of great music on the CD. And even though I thought the live stuff was much hotter, I could deal with the fact that four of the 11 tracks were not "in-front-of-people live" versions. The only thing I was disappointed with was that two of the tracks, "Come to Me" and "You Got Me," were repeated, once on stage and once in "lounge form."

Fans: Since VC draws their sound from different musical influences, there's something here for everyone. If you like the funky jazz of 3 Hole Punch or Beanstalk, you'll love Velvet Chain. If you like the alt. rock jams of Little Green Men or Zambow, or even the slash rock (i.e. jazz/funk/alt. rock) of Karsten Durand, then Velvet Chain is for you.

Foes: If you're more into the styling sounds of Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, then Velvet Chain will probably give you a heart attack.

Summary: I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You'll never go wrong with Velvet Chain. They're hot, innovative, and always on the bleeding edge of what makes music so great. So you can have your Britneys, your Backstreet Boys, and your Shania Twains, because they lack the soul and originality it takes to make real music. If anyone is going to bring about an end to the Wal-Martization of American music, Velvet Chain will be it. Artist's Website: http://www.velvetchain.com


Photo by Trifon Trifonopolis, Temple Bar, Aug. 4, 2000