Released: 2008, Steamhammer / SPV / Border Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Axel Rudi Pell comes from Bochum, Germany and he’s a legend in the industry with a long career reaching from 1980 to the present. The band that backs him has been the same for 9 years now, so I think it’s fair to call them veterans. Pell is now releasing a double live DVD which contains only live material, the first of which is a show recorded at the Rock Hard Festival in Germany where Pell and Thin Lizzy were headlining. The band played when it was dark which is great because they could take full advantage of lights and pyrotechnics.
The bonus DVD contains stuff from Pell’s private vaults from 2004-06 where shows from Wacken Open Air, Bang Your Head in 2005 and Sweden Rock Festival in 2004 are featured. Most of the bonus stuff is shot with only one camera from the mixer stand so it’s not very intimate; instead we get a pretty good picture of how the audience experienced the shows. The sound leaves more to wish for but Pell says “To me this makes it an interesting recording which documents the harmonic interplay between the current line-up on stage.”
It has a pretty easy menu where you can choose any song you’d like to hear in both Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital 2.0. The live show on disc one was recorded in an amphitheater and the scene contains only Mike Terrana’s huge drum kit and a big backdrop. The stage is huge so there’s a lot of space to use and singer Gioli and bass player Krawczak do their best to get the crowd going. The camera work is amazing and it seems like there are a bunch of cameras taking shots from every angle possible. The show doesn’t involve any MTV-cuts, which is a good thing. Pell and his band are incredibly tight and focused on stage and it also looks like they had lots of fun this evening. A big plus is that the music feels and sounds a little heavier live than on album where I think it tends to get a little too melodic and light for my tastes.
Pell is a genius on guitar and I can understand why he’s such an inspiration for many young guitarists out there. Unlike Yngwie Malmsteen, who prefers being alone on stage, Pell lets Terrana and the rest of the musicians do their thing. The show clocks in at 75 minutes and during that time they run through 10 songs and one drum solo. Pell serves up songs from the then-new album MYSTICA as well as other songs from his long career. It’s a great show that contains everything you need to be satisfied: great music, a great singer, excellent camera work and proper lighting and sound.
This is an official live bootleg DVD and that makes quality shifts from time to time. The only videos that are properly filmed are the shows at Wacken Open Air and Bang Your Head in 2005. The first thing on the DVD is two tracks taken from the Sweden Rock Festival in 2004 which are “Tear down the Walls” and “Strong as a Rock”. Then we have the song “Fool Fool” taken from Bang Your Head Festival and four tracks from Z7 in Switzerland in 2005. Fun shots are taken from Pell’s local club The Zecke in his hometown which is an intimate show with a lot of local fans that totally adore everything Pell does. After that follows shots from Derby, UK; Wacken Open Air; and more from The Zecke. The last shot is from the Grasspop Metal Meeting in 2005 where Pell does “Call Her Princess”, and that finishes the bootleg DVD. Altogether, the DVD lasts 3.5 hours and even though the quality of the shows is sometimes not so good, it’s fun to see and hear Pell from a different perspective.
I’m sure this DVD is gonna satisfy every Pell fan; it’s a great collection of some of the Pell classics and a fun way to waste a few hours.