Released: 2010, Eagle Rock Entertainment
Reviewer: Robert Williams
Eagle Rock Entertainment have recently issued a DVD of Heaven & Hell's Wacken Open Air performance filmed in July, 2009. Due to the very tragic passing of the immortal Ronnie James Dio in May of 2010, this was to be his final professionally filmed concert appearance.
The mere concept of NEON NIGHTS: LIVE IN EUROPE really is about as epic as you can endure. The Dio fronted Black Sabbath performing one a massive stage to an audience of thousands at Germany's most celebrated open air heavy metal festival. You really get goosebumps as soon as the intro piece "E5150" gives way to the opening chords of "Mob Rules". It's still difficult to accept and realize that as metal fans, we will never again be able to bare witness to this kind of metal glory live in concert again, removed from our DVD's like this and live albums of course.
The ocean of festival attendees documented on "Children of the Sea" is immense and seemingly never ending. There is quite an elaborate light show onstage as well. Three songs from the excellent and final Heaven and Hell studio album "The Devil You Know" are represented with some amazing performances of "Bible Black" "Fear" and "Follow The Tears" further demonstrating that at that point in their career as a band, they still had so much more quality heavy metal left to unleash. Tony Iommi nails every note of an amazing solo at the beginning of "Die Young" taken from the debut Dio-fronted Black Sabbath record "Heaven and Hell".
As for bonus features, we get interviews with the band conducted by radio personality Eddie Trunk who can currently be seen co-hosting VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show" as well as famed metal journalism guru Malcom Dome, whom many will recall as being one of Kerrang magazine's most notable journalists. There is also three professionally filmed tribute pieces, from the three surviving members of the band. The tribute pieces are short and to the point, yet told with proper charisma, kinship and respect, in recalling the early details of first meeting Ronnie and what he meant as a friend and frontman.
Really, this is an excellent DVD that I believe every fan of the band should look to acquire as part of their collection. The sound and picture quality are stellar and many of the bands most revered classics are included.