Grave Digger – 25 To Live
Label: Nuclear Blast
As Managing Editor of Metal-Rules.com, one of my goals for the site is to review every Metal DVD ever produced. A big goal to be sure, but slowly we will get there. As a side note this is my 179th Film/DVD review for Metal-Rules.com…but who is counting. I figure if I can review one old DVD a month for all of 2019 by the end of the year I’ll hit 200. Not bad. I recently found Grave Digger’s 25th Anniversary concert DVD and added it my collection, so I thought I’d review it. This review seems like a bit out-of-date (or maybe behind the times) as the band will be celebrating their 40th anniversary in next year in 2020! This is the bands second of three DVD’s to date.
This single disc DVD is a minimalistic approach. There is a two-page booklet inside with six pictures and the credits, not much else. 25 TO LIVE is a straight-up concert DVD. The band recorded their concert on May 7th, 2005 in Sao Paulo Brazil. This was part of THE LAST SUPPER tour. In terms of bonus features there is only one. A sort of sepia-toned travelogue…I would not even called it a documentary. It is just footage of them traveling, waiting around at the airport and emphasizing the not-so-glamorous side of life on the road…cancelled flights, delayed departures, interviews with local media who know very little about the band. It is pretty dull to be honest. However, I would watch it first as it does lead right up to them going on stage. The DVD is still a pretty good value at over just over three hours long.
As for the concert itself, it is also pretty minimalistic. The stage is huge, the band doesn’t move around much and there is no set design or decoration. It is very plain. I understand that the band can’t easily bring a full stage show to Brazil, but they could have put a little effort into presentation. There wasn’t even a backdrop! It looked like they were playing in a bingo hall. The colours didn’t seem very bright either.
The music saves this DVD. The songs are all great. It is a multi-camera shoot, maybe six or seven angles and the editing is not bad, not too frantic or jarring with quick edits or split screens. The place looks packed and the die-hard fans are singing along to every word. Chris interacts with the crowd often and the whole set covers all the albums. The long 27-song set runs two and half hours! The set-list is an anniversary, greatest hits set that covers all the big hits, ‘Valhalla’, ‘Excalibur’, ‘The Grave Digger’, of course ‘Rebellion’ and they finish as they almost always do in concert with ‘Heavy Metal Breakdown’. A superb set-list to be sure.
I came away feel a bit underwhelmed to be honest. 25 TO LIVE was certainly average, even under-produced. It was a very standard DVD. However, my love for the band and enjoyment of the songs salvaged it for sure. I would listen to the Double Live CD more than I would sit and watch this. It’s nice to have in my home video library but not worth many repeat viewings.