“Live In Hyde Park” [DVD] by Jeff Lynne’s ELO

Artist: Jeff Lynne’s ELO
Title: “Live In Hyde Park”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 9/11/2015
Genre: Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

Historically speaking in the list of groups that I have always wanted to see in my life lies the band Electric Light Orchestra or ELO as I will be referring to them for the rest of this narrative. The band itself came to life in the early 70’s and essentially was many members of The Move who were a very popular British Rock band during the sixties. When ELO took flight in their fantabulous spacecraft the radio waves of every single Rock station was ensnared by their melodies. One could truly not get through an hour of listening time without hearing at least one of their tracks and no one minded because these tunes were so catchy and melodic and just “bigger” and different when it came down to it. One of the foremost plans behind the bands inception was to blend radio friendly Rock with Classical instruments and they did this to success again and again.

This new live DVD finds Jeff Lynne and his longtime ELO collaborator Richard Tandy delivering the musical goods in front of about 50,000 fans at an event for the BBC Radio 2 that is called “Festival In A Day”. Thought I’d never heard of this particular event its clearly popular if you are bringing 50K people into it. The group wastes no time launching into ELO classics and the video truly showcases the wonderful stage setup that they were using with superb clarity and brilliance in color. One begins to feel as if they are in the front row for the close-ups and a little further back for the wider shots. Now when it comes to ELO material I am guilty of being a “hits” guy, and that was based on my growing up along with radio rock and knowing signature tunes like “Evil Woman”, “Livin’ Thing” and “Turn To Stone”; the latter being one of my top tunes in their repertoire. Lynne and Tandy are joined by a bevy of talented musicians and singers for this mega performance and I felt the drumming truly captured the thick sounds of the bands original drummer Bev Bevan when he was hitting the toms. It’s just made it all the more “true” in its delivery at the end of the day for me. Another interesting part of the show is that we get a quick taste of The Travelling Wilbury’s in “Handle With Care” which was the first track the world got from a true super group made up of Lynne, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty. I felt it was a nice touch. There is truly something for everyone in this very enjoyable live performance and while it comes on both standard edition (the one I am reviewing) and Blu-ray disc, there does not yet seem to be an audio only companion which is a shame. I could easily see myself listening to this one in the car or gathered with friends at some occasion. Maybe in the future.

The DVD also features the documentary film “Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne and ELO” which I watched from beginning to end with interest and complete focus. I say it like this because there are many documentaries that you find yourself starting and then going back to over and over again and I admit that I am not the biggest documentary person these days. Give me live concert after live concert sure but its gotten rather difficult to sit through a full on documentary. This one gives us Jeff’s beginnings with bands prior to forming ELO and how he would eventually meet the members of the Travelling Wilbury’s (Tom Petty, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan). I had to laugh during one part where Jeff is just getting to the good stuff and the phone rings and interrupts him. He is forced to pause the discussion and say under his breath how he needs to find out how to turn that off. I chuckled and you might as well. There is even a healthy portion about his involvement with The Beatles and I think that the documentary will keep you interested and perhaps even teach you something you didn’t know about the musician.

So what made me rate the film at a 4.5 when I loved it so much you might be asking well the answer is simple. They left off one of my absolute favorites from their catalog in “Do Ya” – a song that I felt was one of the most heard on the radio over the years when I would be tuned in to the airwaves. That being said this was still a fantastic concert film and one that only increased my desire to see them in concert before they are no longer doing it. Since there are reports of a new album being worked on perhaps I will get my chance at long last. Check this one out because if you enjoyed them at any point in your life this will not disappoint.

Track Listing:
1. All Over The World
2. Evil Woman
3. Ma-Ma-Ma Belle
4. Showdown
5. Livin’ Thing
6. Strange Magic
7. 10538 Overture
8. Can’t Get It Out Of My Head
9. Sweet Talkin’ Woman
10. Turn To Stone
11. Steppin’ Out
12. Handle With Care
13. Don’t Bring Me Down
14. Rock And Roll Is King
15. Telephone Line
16. Mr. Blue Sky

Official Website: http://jefflynneselo.com/splash

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