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As a Motorheadbanger for over 20 years on my end, I guess I am biased in giving this such a high review. But so what? This DVD is positively incredible on all levels, and I am in love with it.
It reflects a healthy cross section of Lemmy & the boys' output through the years, and quite a few songs are unearthed, dusted off, and put through their paces that haven't been heard in ages as of these days. We're talking the likes of "Metropolis" and "Dancing on Your Grave" here, and a couple other songs from "Another Perfect Day", one of Lemmy's least favorite (and ironically one of my favorite) 'Head albums, "Going To Brazil" and the like. A very good selection of new and less known tracks alongside the usual suspects makes the track selection alone a keeper.
Lemmy...aside from his pronounced bald spot you get to see because of the excellent camera work, the man doesn't seem to age at all. He looms behind his trademark upraised microphone spitting out his lyrics with the same conviction as ever, mauling his signature Rickenbacker bass to death as his (older than me) Marshalls roar like beasts of prey. In fact, he drowns out Phil Campbell's guitar for a good third of the set, which is OK with me! Phil, however, makes up for this with no less than three wailing, searing extended solos at the beginning, middle, and end of one of my all time anthems of theirs, "Just Cos You Got The Power". His bluesy stringbending and raunchy riffing bravely stands up to Lemmy's deafening sawed-off shotgun barrage. And Mikkey Dee...how does the man do it? He keeps up the tempos perfectly with unearthly stamina, best demonstrated by his crazed drum solo in "Sacrifice" where he keeps both kick drums going furiously for at least the first two minutes of it nonstop. Motorhead are not spring chickens, so to see them putting on such a tight, overwhelming, and high-energy show is inspiring to an old fart like me.
As mentioned, all the classics are covered (I need not name them), and other newer numbers like "R.A.M.O.N.E.S.", "Going To Brazil", "Just Cos You Got The Power", and new songs from "Inferno" like the thundering "In The Name of Tragedy" (where Mikkey really shines) get equal treatment, which is to say they surge forth with devastating power and throat-ripping intensity. I say that partly because even with puny TV speaker this will skin your ears. The 2.0 and 5.1 stereo sound mixes are KILLER to say the least--I didn't even have this on that loud and my wife could hear it loud and clear on the other side of the house!
Other than Lemmy drowning out Phil a good part of the time the sound and mix are perfect, giving you a taster of what they're like live. The key word is taster, as seeing them live is the only way to experience the full 'Head treatment. The camera work is for the most part pretty straightforward, with some wacky pixillation effects thrown in for good measure that actually add an interesting feel to the show on display. Very col and tastefully done, these effects are, only occasionally popping up to throw your head for a loop now and again.
The extra features are amusing enough, with a lengthy roadie documentary showing how efficient and dedicated their crew are to their jobs being the centerpiece. Their thick Scots and British accents are subtitled! In fact, an odd feature that pops up is the band's commentary in subtitle form as you watch the concert...and the subtitles that pop up as the interview segments with the band commence. I can understand them perfectly well, but maybe this is for non-English-speaking fans or something? Whatever, it's a minimal annoyance at best.
If you are any kind of headbanger at all, this needs to be in your collection. Period paragraph.
If you don’t own a home theater yet, buy, beg, borrow, steal but whatever you do, GET ONE FOR THIS DVD! Quite possibly one of the top 3 concert videos I own and certainly the best camera work that has ever been incorporated in a concert. I was really, really surprised by the quality of every aspect of this release. But let me analyze on each of the aspects:
-Band Performance: Excellent. The band is on fire. A near flawless show; Lemmy is an old wolf but shows his sharp false teeth with a fantastic performance. Phil is fantastic and has managed to incorporate his style on the old songs in a way that the fans love and support. Mickey Dee lives up to the title “the best drummer in the world” (check out the “sacrifice” drum solo). He also plays acoustic guitar on “Whorehouse blues”, a site to see, not only for this but also to finally see what Lemmy looks like on stage singing without playing his bass!
-Setlist: The setlist is very rewarding and contains some awesome surprises for the Motorhead fan that has bought other concert DVDs on this band, which can serve as a lesson to other bands that like issuing multiple DVDs, what do you say Steve?
-Crowd: awkwardly enough, the front 2-3 lines are full of dorks who just nod their heads and smile to Lemmy’s between-song philosophizing. The rest of the place is reacting satisfactory. Nowhere near the levels Mediterranean or N. American fans would reach but certainly better than the dead trout on the 25th anniversary DVD.
-Sound: At first I though it was a bit muddy but after the first song everything becomes crystal clear. As far as the DD 5.1 mix is concerned, the truth is I would have preferred Lemmy’s vocals coming only from the center front speaker and not through all 3 front speakers but everything else is as I like it, including some cool effects during Phil’s solos with the rear speakers. I think Phil’s guitar gets a bit buried in the stereo mix though, so tough luck for you people with only two speakers, or even worse listening through TV speakers.
-Video: Quite easily the best concert footage these eyeballs have ever stumbled across! The lightning rig is amazing, on some old songs the band look like a faded color photograph, on others they look something like the coach leading Antichrist’s arrival. Truly innovative, almost as much as the video directing, which, aside from the few “epilepsy” camera changes incorporates Matrix-like effects in the gig. YES, you read right and if you haven’t seen it you wont realize how ultimately cool it is. PERFECT.
-Extras: The gig commentary on disk one is, as expected, quite boring, although classic lines are included (Lemmy to Phil: “You look like royalty!”, Phil: “I look like a bum!”). There’s a three quarter documentary on the road crew which is nice and features some other concert footage intersected between interviews (not whole songs, bootleg quality) and some other small neat pieces. Also subtitled in a few languages.
-Packaging. Good artwork, nice, steady digipack case.
Verdict: A million times better than the 25th Anniversary DVD. Buy Or Wither And Die!