Now playing: Loreena McKennitt - The Old Ways
I have been watching a concert DVD of Genesis that was lent to me a by a co-worker, after I let him borrow an Asia 25th anniversary concert DVD, and it gave me the idea to post about the concert DVDs that totally move me. And just for the record, Genesis is NOT one of those.
Now, don't get me wrong. I enjoy the early Genesis music as much as the next guy. Those days of seeing Peter Gabriel dressed up like a flower, who could forget?? Early Genesis music, although I have only heard a drop in the barrel, is quite good. Peter Gabriel on vocals, Steve Hackett on guitar... that alone is reason to investigate, but what happened when they went their separate ways, seeking fame and fortune as solo artists? That dude named Phil Collins stepped up to the front of the stage, and decided that he could be a singer, too. That's what. And he did a good job... for a few albums. "Abacab"? Fantastic! "Duke"? Great stuff! "I Can't Dance"? The biggest steaming piece of fecal matter that has ever found it's way into my ears! I will never forgive those guys for that... even the keyboardist who has since passed on (if I have heard correctly). No offense, Mr. Keyboardist (which will be the topic of my next post), I apologize if I seem cruel, even cold... but have you actually spent time LISTENING TO THAT SONG???
Anyhow, STILL NOT the reason why I am posting. I am here to talk about my FAVORITE concert DVDs of all time. But first, let me go into the criteria that make a good concert DVD, in my opinion.
1. It's gotta be a good artist. Even Genesis could qualify, IF they meet all the criteria. 2. It needs to be directed and produced well. 3. It needs to induce chills and/or goosebumps. 4. Musically, it needs to be entertaining. 5. Stage show and/or light show is a big bonus!
So, let's get on with the list... counting backwards...
5. JOE JACKSON: BIG WORLD TOUR/Live in Tokyo 1986
Joe Jackson definitely meets the above criteria, with the possible exception of number 5. There is not a fancy light show, nor is there an exuberant stage show. BUT, there is 100% talent, with NO post production. What you see, is what you get... or got. There is no editing between songs, and any and all stage banter or pauses are included. The concert was divided into three sections, including a section of ballads, including a beautiful solo piano/vocal version of "Steppin' Out", his biggest hit. Fantastic in every regard.
4. U23D: 2008
Okay, I understand that this isn't on DVD. I was going to list the Zooropa Tour from the early 90's, but how could I pass up the incredible 3D Imax experience of 2008, U23D? It happened to come out during one of my vacation weeks, so I was able to attend the morning it hit the big screen. And when I say big screen, I'm talking Imax big. I attended with my brother Rich, and a few of his coworkers. How would it be? Working in an office where you can all just take the morning off and hit the picture show! Regardless, this fantastic live video experience was recorded in South America, and featured all of U2's best loved hits. The opening of the show included a scene where an audience member was waving a water bottle back and forth, expelling water. It literally looked like that person was halfway between you and the band, up on stage...er...screen.
3. PORCUPINE TREE: ARRIVING SOMEWHERE, NOT HERE (2006)
Filmed in 2005, during the DEADWING tour, this fantastic music film documents this incredibly talented band of musicians, performing some of their best songs. The video was taken from two concerts recorded in Chicago, about one week before I had the pleasure of seeing the band in Boulder, Colorado. The production was done in conjunction with Lasse Holle, who has directed most of the Porcupine Tree music videos. It features different forms of cinematography, and literally transforms a concert into a work of art. I highly recommend this concert for anyone who appreciates true talent, and great cinematography.
2. MUSE: H.A.A.R.P. (2008)
And I'm not talking about the publication for Retired Persons. This fantastic performance was recorded last summer, in Wembley Stadium. Those of you who pay attention to live video know Wembley. One of the biggest stadiums in the world, this London concert venue is reserved for only the biggest acts. I was amazed to see that the Genesis DVD I mentioned at the beginning, was recorded in Wembley, over the course of four sold out nights. That is an INSANE amount of people. I believe it seats 100,000 people for one show, so Genesis managed to bring out 400,000 people over the course of their four gigs. That is crazy nutty. Especially since it was later Genesis, which is far less interesting than the early years. Anyhow, we aren't talking about Phil Collins and the boys, are we? No, we're talking about Muse. Feel free to browse one of my earlier posts, where you will see just how much I loved the Muse concert. When the lights came up, I turned to my friend Blake, and told him that there had better be a DVD from that tour. Not only was I treated to the DVD, but it came with an audio CD, as well. Merry Christmas to ME! And it came out in April!!
See for yourself, people. This is a concert experience on a whole new level. CRAZY LARGE!!
1. PETER GABRIEL: SECRET WORLD LIVE (1993?)
I know, I know... I should get off my lazy arse and take a look at the box, to see when it was filmed. Anyhow, this phenomenal show was recorded during the US tour, and is the pinnacle of live Peter Gabriel, which is on a level all it's own. Or "his" own. Always one for a dramatic stage presence (refer to the Genesis comments at the top of this post), this is nothing short of an incredible performance. The thing that sets this concert above the rest is the pure emotion that bleeds from the music, not to mention the flawless production. In addition, the group of musicians playing with Peter are some of the world's finest. From Shankar, playing electric violin and adding his haunting vocals, to Tony Levin, one of the world's finest bass/stick musicians, everything is top notch. Another thing I love about this performance, is that Peter used the then unknown Paula Cole on backing vocals. In all honesty, this version of "Blood of Eden" exceeds the studio version, featuring Sinead O'Connor. I cannot get enough of this concert film. It is pure art, pure bliss, pure talent.
And there you have it... but then I forgot to mention PINK FLOYD. Out of the two concert videos that I have owned (Delicate Sound of Thunder/Pulse), I would have to say that there are things about each that I love more than the other. "Delicate Sound of Thunder" is still awaiting it's DVD release, but I will include it, as I own it on laser disc. You all remember that sweet technology, don't you? Feel free to go to my Mind and Body Wellness blog to read the funny stories about my laser discs. Anyhow, back to "Delicate". The production on this film is flawless. With some extreme post-production, mixing down the crowd noise, and creating an atmospheric cinematic experience, this is top-notch... all the way down to the slow motion shot of one of the band members lighting his cigarette with the laser beam that is the staple of a Pink Floyd live show. "PULSE", on the other hand, was originally taken from a cable television Pay-Per-View that first broadcast on Halloween, 1994, if my memory serves me correctly. I remember thinking about it as we were about to go trick-or-treating with my sister's family. Anyhow, this concert excels with the overall stage show, and the version of "Comfortably Numb", which is one of my favorite live music moments, EVER! Chills, chills, chills. See the goosebumps on my legs? Of course you don't! Because you're not here.... and I'm not listening to it, right now! So, as for Pink Floyd, I had better put them in at number 2.5. That's right! I make the rules, here!
As always, this is where I request YOU to comment about YOUR favorite live concert DVDs. I know there are plenty to mentioned... whether it be NIN, or Led Zeppelin. I want to hear them all. Until then, I'll see you on the dark side... of the moon!
Now playing: Sarah Brightman - A Salty Dog