Released: 2005, SPV/Steamhammer
SIGNS OF THE TIMES LIVE is the first live DVD by Germany’s Power Metal heroes, Mob Rules. Housed in a standard (euro style) DVD jewel case the two-disc set has a DVD and CD. There is a six-page booklet with a few photos and some credits. Although the bands debut album did not come out until 1999, the band formed in 1994 so this was a bit of a tenth anniversary DVD/CD set. The CD is just the audio of the show.
The concert runs for an hour and 15 minutes and was filmed in Germany on June 18th, 2004 on the AMONG THE GODS album tour. It’s a good show, a six-camera shoot. The camera positioning and angles are a bit odd, some very tight shots and many angles from the photo pit looking right up the bands noses. The DVD opens with a two-minute, musical montage with shots of the band setting up the stage, the crew eating, people fooling around backstage, all getting ready for the concert, capturing that nervous pre-show energy. For some reason the band decided to insert a graphic of the name of each song when it starts. I haven’t seen that too often. It looks more a video shoot than an actual concert, but it is not bad by any means. It’s not the best concert DVD I have seen. The band runs through 14 songs with lots of energy for the small but enthusiastic crowd.
I’ve seen, many, many concert DVD’s over the years and I do prefer being at a concert than watching a concert on television. For me the real value of this package is all the bonus features and there is quite a bit running about 45 minutes. There are six little bonus features that round out the disc. The longest was the history of the band, simply titled ‘History’. The segment consists of a conversation between Kirk (vocals) and Matthias (guitar) in German with photos inter-spliced. It was interesting but not very informative in terms of technical detail. The conversation was more opinionated (ie. ‘Our first album was difficult to record’, rather than factual, ie, “Our first album was recorded at this studio with this producer’, so it was thin on actual content. The was a simple live video shot at one of the indoor stages at Wacken.
The band included three videos, which are cool to see, I have never seen them before. There was not too much difference between the two versions of ‘Black Rain’, one had clips of news footage and various images and one was just straight band performance. The video/ballad ‘End Of Days’ was nice with lots of footage getting ready for Wacken.
SIGN OF THE TIMES Live seemed to be a little but bare bones. There wasn’t much in the way of interactive menus, additional graphics, or too much thought put into the design or style of the production of the DVD. Not a bad first effort and recommended for die-hard Mob Rules fans.