Video Reviews



“Big Steam”

Well, this is pretty cool. An eclectic mix of black and white train footage, trippy color effects while the band plays, and I’m pretty sure there are clips from some old commercials. Regardless, I like what I see. It feels like a ‘flow of consciousness’ production, where there was no real plan in place while they made it. Then again, given the detail and quality, I don’t want to take anything away from the inventive mind behind this video. For example, there’s one quick scene where a train worker swing a hammer to the music, matching perfectly to the tunes. There’s a lot happening here, and with so much intensity and creativity at work, there’s no way to catch it all in one viewing.


“Higher Education”

We’ve all got something to learn, and in this video, Dailey takes us back to East Boston’s ZUMIX, where he learned some of his most important lessons in life and music. The overall feeling is mellow, but there’s a small charge throughout as the tune chronicles the wisdom to be gained from the people around you—a spark that can lead to great things. We jump around from shots of Will playing the banjo atop a roof to some views of the sky and the land. Interspersed are the lyrics written on windows, which I really like. It pushes the rewind button, and suddenly I’m back in the classroom, getting another lesson that I desperately need.


“Night Like This”

I wonder is Eli’s live shows are as electrifying as what I see in this video? I certainly hope so, because after watching this, I want to check one out. What we’ve got here is a high-quality production featuring Eli and the band performing at a small venue for a very appreciative crowd. It’s intense, energetic, and gets my feet tapping to the beat. An excellent piece of work, and one worth watching a few times over.


“You Know Me”

This video has a “behind the scenes” feel to it. We’re treated to a viewing of one of the best bands in the city playing at a warehouse, interspersed with footage of them arriving and setting up. The setting is amazing—windows line this building, providing ample natural light and supplemented by bright string lights all around the band. It’s the kind of place I’d really like to see a show at. Just the fans and the music, the way it should be. I’ve seen other videos for ATC, and they’ve never failed to disappoint. Count another member to that club.



If there’s one thing this band of creative free spirits is known for, it’s pushing the boundaries of what the mind can perceive to show it new wonders. We get that in this video, a look into the world that the Army of Broken Toys lives in, and one they want to share with us all. The party is in full swing, and each participant is rocking their own unique style, and doing whatever they want. I’m drawn into the great energy of “Pornival,” and quickly hit the repeat button to catch some new detail, because I know it’s there, waiting to be found. What I’m seeing has no boundaries, and I want to keep exploring.


“In Focus”

Boy finds girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets drunk. Boy realizes he doesn’t need the girl to be happy. A lot can happen in 3:40, and in that brief window of time we see a tumultuous and soul-expanding love affair, all told through toys and some Boston backdrops. I love the creativity and effort that went into this stop-motion production, which I’ve heard can take hours upon hours to complete. Kudos to the band and the production team for taking the road less traveled, and giving us such an amazing video. It’s incredibly unique, giving a brand new spin on a familiar story, and honestly, it’s funny as hell seeing such familiar figures from my past.


“Give Me Peace”

What does peace look like to you? Is it a lush forest? A quiet winter landscape? A panoramic view of outer space? Whatever form peace takes, you’ll find in the dozens of images seen in this video. It’s like a flip-book of emotions given form, most of which are amazing photographs, and others, beautiful artwork. I especially like the shot of lighting snaking across the sky over a lake. Simply breathtaking. There’s a couple cool photos of Bob Marley and John Lennon, which bring the tune to a good close. I guess we all have our own version on what real peace is, and in this video, we’re given a lot of different perspectives to consider—but in the end, it’s what we all want to have, so how much different are we really?



Filmed atop the Uncommon Ground in Chicago, this video is one of a five-part Rooftop Farm Series shot over the summer, which I think is an awesome concept. Playing before a small but eager crowd, the band plays with passion and intensity, and I feel like I’m among the fans at this summer show. But it’s not all about the band—we get a few crowd shots as well, giving some love to those that have helped The Ballroom Thieves achieve their success. This video is an intimate look into the world that this band lives in, and it’s one I’d love to be a part of.

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