Title: “Alive In Seattle”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 6/30/2017
Genre: Hard Rock
Before I get too deeply into this one, this is actually a re-issue of a previously released concert video from 2003. It’s origins hail from the 2002 tour by Heart during their “Summer Of Love” touring run. To me, it’s always great when a band uses their tour closing night in a hometown venue to give the worldwide fans a commemorative concert video but since this is from fourteen years ago its also a bit of a live history lesson when it comes to the band. I never saw the original release and was not doing the journalistic overview thing yet, so this was a complete education for me. I found it interesting that despite my longtime love of so many of the Heart classics that I had only ever caught them in concert once and that was somewhere around 2008 unless I am mistaken. So, about the concert video; the film puts you right in the best seats possible and thanks to the camera angles you’re even right up on the stage with the band with the technicians standing in the sidelines.
Musically speaking the band sounds terrific and remember we are referring to the way, way back for this one. Truth be told, the friends who have seen them in recent times said they have not changed at all so that is a good thing to know at this point in time. The set list plays out like a Greatest Hits release of the band as they begin with the incendiary opener “Crazy On You” and follow it up with “Sister Wild Rose”. During “Straight On”, which is another favorite, Ann tells the crowd that this is the last night of the tour. During “These Dreams” it was nice to see guitarist Nancy doing the lead vocals as I had long forgotten that this was her first time doing so when the original album came out. That song was everywhere when it came to terrestrial radio of the day an its still great. When the band gets to “Alone” they decide to go acoustic for a little while and I didn’t like that personally since I am a fan of this track more than some others and I like its original version without much change. They keep it acoustic for the Elton John cover of “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” and once more Nancy takes the lead vocals while Ann offers up a solid backing. They follow this with their stellar rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Battle Of Evermore” which is also acoustic and might bring some of their fans back to the time when they were doing a project called The Lovemongers. Kudos if you remember that one and even have the album. I know I still have my copy somewhere.
Continue reading “Alive In Seattle” [DVD] by Heart
Title: “Monsters Of Rock Live At Donnington 1980”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 4/22/2016
Genre: Hard Rock
Fans of Rainbow and even the legendary Deep Purple should be giving continual thanks to the folks over at Eagle Rock Entertainment because their offerings have allowed them to build up a seriously stocked audio and video library for these bands. This latest release brings us back to the year 1980 where Rainbow was playing the Monsters Of Rock festival at Castle Donnington. This was a headlining set for the group and it was the first ever Monsters Of Rock event so historically speaking it’s a big deal for sure. Dio had moved on and now in his place was singer Graham Bonnet and based on the timing of the recording would still be showcasing material from “Down To Earth” and the forthcoming “Difficult To Cure”. Rainbow was a band that had quite a few members over the years and for this particular offering we have Don Airey (keyboards), Roger Glover (bass) and Cozy Powell (drums) in addition to Blackmore and Bonnet. I’ll be speaking about the DVD/CD version of this particular release so let’s discuss the DVD part first.
Continue reading “Monsters Of Rock Live At Donnington 1980” by Rainbow
Artist: Paul DiAnno
Title: “The Beast Arises”
Label: Metal Mind Productions
Release Date: 11/18/2014
Genre: Heavy Metal
A few months ago I offered up some thoughts about the Paul DiAnno “The Beast Arises” live audio CD and it was an experience that I hope I will never have to repeat because that recording was world’s and worlds of awful. It bothers me to say this because I am an ardent admirer of those first two legendary Iron Maiden albums that featured the singer but now some three decades later Paul has truly lost his voice and ability to put on a rocking show that is deserving of the fans hard earned money. If you want to see the larger thoughts about the concert I will refer you to the CD review HERE because with this one I just wanted to see if the video aspect of it was any different and honestly I was foolish to expect anything better of this performance.
Continue reading “The Beast Arises” [DVD] by Paul DiAnno
Artist: Jeff Lynne’s ELO
Title: “Live In Hyde Park”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 9/11/2015
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.
Continue reading “Live In Hyde Park” [DVD] by Jeff Lynne’s ELO
Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Live At Wacken 2012”
Release Date: 2/10/2013
Genre: Heavy Metal
If you are a tried and true Metal head, and I mean one that is listening to more than just your old Priest, Maiden and Anthrax albums, then there is a very good chance that the very mention of the Wacken Open Air Festival makes you foam at the mouth. That said if there anything that helps the Metal head get his travel plans in order and head on that European vacation that they’ve always wanted it’s a DVD release like this. “Live At Wacken 2012” brings you into a healthy chunk of the mix as it happened in 2012 which was the 23rd Anniversary of the Festival. I’ve broken down the three DVD’s that this included to line out what I enjoyed most about each one. Here goes.
DVD1: We start the adventures with the always fantastic in the live sense Hammerfall. Of their three contributions to the film we find that the audience has no trouble singing along with them. Great power Metal from these guys and a band that hope returns to our region soon again. They are followed by the mighty Testament who I think a couple of you might have heard of over the last twenty five or so years. Having seen the band on many occasions I can only say that these three offerings by the group make you wish you were heading over the wall to face your own trial by fire. Some newness to my Metal mind was found in The Boss Hoss who while a German band, deliver a sound of an American Country Western act. There is of course a heavy edge and I was amused/surprised in watching the audience as they were surely into their presentation. Clearly there are some more open minded Metal head abroad than we find over here so let’s get with the program my friends. Three come from the never less than a party in your pants EdGuy and as I’ve not seen them in a few years it was great to find them included on the film as they are always a hoot. Of course with his being in their native Germany, Tobias is speaking German so unless you have a translator in the room with you I am afraid that understanding what he is saying will be difficult. The band still has it and this made me miss them a little more. Volbeat closed up the concert portion of this disc and wow does this band keep kicking ass again and again. For their first tune they are joined by Mille Petrozza and for the second Barney Greenway (of Kreator and Napalm Death fame respectively). It’s interesting to find neither of those bands on the span of offered tunes but I digress. It’s been fascinating to watch this band climb higher and higher. I like them of course but I do tend to listen to wider scopes than many of my music listening circle friend do so it was great to see something like this catching on. The first disc closes with a lot of fan footage as Metal heads make their way to the festival. Some funny stuff on that short film for sure. Now to disc 2 as the concert continues.
Continue reading “Live At Wacken 2012” by Various Artists