The trio behind Spinal Tap and the Folksmen has set a Sept. 1 release date for a DVD of their recent concert tour.
"Unwigged & Unplugged: An Evening with Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer" features an entire 35-track performance filmed at their May 31 show at the Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee. The show features Spinal Tap material from the film "This is Spinal Tap" and the albums "Break Like the Wind" and this year's "Back From the Dead," as well as some of the Folksmen tracks from the Guest-written and -directed "A Mighty Wind." Guest, McKean and Shearer were joined on the tour by "Back From the Dead" producer CJ Vanston as well as McKean's wife Annette O'Toole, who co-wrote "A Mighty Wind's" Academy Award-nominated duet "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow."
The DVD contains the concert only, with no extra material.
"It's a great way to present these songs," Shearer, who wrote liner notes for the DVD, told Billboard.com during the tour. "We had done this a couple of times in just very casual and almost accidental situations...and people seemed to enjoy it. So it was in the back of our minds, 'Well, one of these days we'll do more of that.' "
The trio wanted to do something to commemorate this year's 25th anniversary of "This is Spinal Tap" as well, Shearer said, and not necessarily go out with "a full-on Spinal Tap tour."
"We're not big fans of repeating ourselves," he explained. "And in terms of the state of the economy, it wasn't the time to be going around with three semis worth of stage stuff and charging people 75 bucks to see us be Spinal Tap. So we thought, 'Let's do that other thing now. That'll be fun.' "
Shearer said the nature of the tour also allowed the trio to showcase the Spinal Tap and Folksmen material as songs rather than the character vehicles they are in the films.
"When we're up there up there doing it as ourselves, our heads are in the place of being musicians," he explained. "When we're up there as characters, when we do performances as Tap or as the Folksmen, then there's that other layer of, 'Yes, we're doing this as musicians but we're doing this as other musicians, not as ourselves. So we might make different choices or play differently based on how we think they would do it.
"But when we're doing it as ourselves, there's no place to hide. This is us playing these songs that we've written, and this is our best effort at playing them."