|» Dvd reviews||
When I reviewed this show after the festival, I had a couple of objections, although the performance was entertaining for sure. But more on that later. When this 30-year anniversary show by Europe was announced, it was also revealed that it was to be filmed for an upcoming DVD, which has now seen the light of day.
As for the actual DVD production, one can only be impressed. The extravagant stage show, with its magnificent light show and cool effects, comes across brilliantly on the screen. The filming is exemplary well-balanced; it is not overly hectic when it comes to switching between clips and angles which can sometimes be the case for concert DVD:s. There is also a great sense of presence when it comes to the shooting and editing, giving a feeling of closeness to the experience. And it's a nice and fun move to include many clips of the overjoyed die-hards in the front rows.
The sound, meanwhile, is excellent; clear yet heavy too. In short, the DVD production is of a very high standard and it is clear that it has been carefully planned. When you consider that the release arrives just four months after the show, it is impressing indeed. Again, it is obvious that much planning has gone into the project and that a highly professional job has been done.
The musical aspects of the film, then, leaves the same impressions as they did when watching it live. We get to witness a band in terrific form, led by a highly enthusiastic and energetic Joey Tempest. As I wrote in the live review, although Europe's material from the last decade is strong and enjoyable, it is nevertheless the old anthems that get the most passionate response. Scream Of Anger and In The Future To Come are two prime examples of this, going down a storm.
And again, the inclusion of the long-requested Prisoners In Paradise is one of the true highlights. Seeing the happy faces of the fans as these old jewels are played is a treat in itself, and the joyful atmosphere is also present during the popular ballads Open Your Heart and Carrie. The former is included an acoustic part of the set which actually works better on the DVD than it did in real life. In fact, it really feels like the DVD succeeds better at offering consistent entertainment. Here, the pauses between songs have been reduced, and the show has a better flow. Also, having the privilege of watching the whole thing in your own cosy sofa, as opposed to in a crowded, chilly field, is a nice benefit indeed.
The bonus material is not that extensive, consisting of an interview with the band, some short behind the scenes-footage plus a picture gallery, but is cool nonetheless. The latter includes some great scenes where John Norum is jamming with Scott Gorham as well as Michael Schenker, both special guests in the show, and the Swede's excitement cannot be mistaken. Overall, the bonus material is a good complement when it comes to providing background information and highlighting the big occasion.
This DVD is a tremendous achievement when it comes to wrapping up Europe's 30th anniversary celebrations. In addition, it is a time document that determines that the Europe of today is definitely a relevant band and a strong live act. All in all, this DVD is excellent, and for fans that were not present when the concert took place, the DVD is an absolute must. For us who were there, it is another opportunity to enjoy a landmark show by Sweden's greatest and most successful hard rock band.