Released: 2003, SPV/Steamhammer
Here’s a DVD I’ve been waiting for for months! I would visit http://www.saxon747.com
every couple of weeks and the release date would be pushed off repeatedly! However, the glorious day has arrived and I have a copy of this 2-DVD set.
With the DVD’s comes a 52 sided booklet full of rare pictures and an extensive band history. The contents of the DVD’s are as follows:
- Wacken Open Air concert 2001 (97min)
- Interview with Biff Byford (13min)
As is standard with most all DVD’s there is a cool menu called the “Moving Man Menu” (with sound), the title menu (with sound), sound & subtitles menu, and the discography.
- Saxon / Tour (36min)
- Tour-footage from the band (3 songs from Esbjerg Festival ’95)
- Saxon TV (16min) with interviews, history, TV-Shows)
- Video (35min with 8 clips)
- Photo picture gallery
- Press (approx. 5 Min. press footage)
Naturally, the jewel of the DVD set is the Wacken Open Air concert performance. If you’ve seen HammerFall’s DVD, and the 2-3 songs they put on there from the Wacken performance, you’ll know what kind of quality to expect. Lots of camera angles, great light show, great crowd, and the metal gods…SAXON! That’s right, Saxon deserve to be mentioned in revered tones along with the likes of Maiden, Priest, Sabbath, Motörhead, etc. They don’t get as much press as some of their peers do sometimes, but they deserve it. Biff is the fucking man on this DVD. He introduces a number of songs like “Heavy fucking Metal Thunder”, “Dogs of fucking War”, “Metal fucking head”. He is aging gracefully and his voice still shines on such classics as: “Motorcycle Man”, “Heavy Metal Thunder”, “Princess of the Night”, Wheels of Steel” (with guitar solo), “20,000 ft.”, “Denim and Leather”, etc. In all there are 15 songs for the W:O:A concert clocking in at about 97mins. It’s a great selection of songs, but I want MORE, how about a three 2½ hour monster? Oddly not a single track on here is from the killer CD, KILLING GROUND from 2001. Considering this festival appearance is from 2001, where are the songs from the album they were supposedly promoting? It’s a minor point I guess, but it would have been nice to see “Killing Ground” or “Dragon's Lair” live here.
The interview with Biff on DVD1 is great and all, but it could have been longer than 13mins. Maybe a 30min interview with Biff and 15min interviews with all the other current Saxon members might have been better. I’m probably a bit extreme with how much I’d like to see, this is after all 2 2-DVD set so some cuts had to be made to fit things to 2 DVD’s.
Onto DVD 2…there is a 3 song live Saxon performance from 1995 at some festival called the Esbjerg Festival. Saxon’s appearance was early in the day in the bright sunshine….not the most fitting setting to film a metal show, but the band played well. Biff didn’t seem too happy with the band’s placement and commented something like “we should be headlining this festival” and laughs. Up next on the DVD is the videos section where we get to see come of Saxon’s less memorable and more commercial material like “Suzie Hold On”, “Back on the Streets Again”, etc. At least the video for “Power and the Glory” is there amongst the videos along with “Killing Ground”! I thought Saxon had more videos than this? I’m not sure they put them all on here or if they even had room to do so?! The funniest moment on the DVD #2 is the making of the “Unleash The Beast” video. Biff is hilarious when standing on a hilltop screaming at the sky with the song playing very lowly in the background as a reference point. It definitely makes you realize how silly making videos like this can be. The thing I liked the best was that he didn’t just mouth the words for his part, he sang them out loud which was cool yet funny. There are other goodies on the DVD like a TV interview with Biff which again I wished was twice as long.
In all between the 2 DVD’s there is about 3Hr.35Mins. of viewing material making this one of the better metal DVD’s I have. Saxon fans should not hesitate to pick up this excellent set. Highly recommended!