Reviewed: June, 2020
Released: 2014, Sony
Rating: 4/5 (Just the DVD)
Over the years I’ve done a number of more ambitious series of reviews instead of simple stand-alone reviews. This is perhaps my most ambitious project yet. This series of reviews was born out of three seemingly dissimilar and unrelated components; my viewing habits, a stockpile and the global pandemic of 2020.
As a habit and personal preference, I don’t watch a lot of TV. I prefer to read and listen to music. Over the years whenever I have bought a CD, often it will come with a bonus DVD. I would listen to and enjoy the CD and because I don’t watch much TV I just started putting the CD’s with a bonus DVD in a pile, thinking to myself, “I’ll watch the DVD….‘someday’. Over time the pile grew and grew and grew.
Secondly, it has long been a personal goal of mine, and Metal-Rules.com, to review every Hard Rock and Heavy Metal DVD on the planet. Over the years we have reviewed hundreds of stand-alone DVD’s, more than almost every other Metal webzine. However these little bonus DVD’s that come with CD’s are often, dare I say it, are largely inconsequential or ‘throw-away’ DVD’s, with not much substance other than a video or two, or maybe a brief ‘making of’ the album at hand. They are neat for the die-hard fans who want to shell out a couple extra bucks for the deluxe version of the CD but mostly they are not a big deal, very often there is not enough true content to release on their own.
At the tail end of March 2020, like many thousands of people, I lost my job due to lay-off’s precipitated by the global pandemic. In my first real full-week of self-isolation, it was April 1st in the evening, and I was sitting thinking, “How am I going to keep myself productive and occupied these next several weeks?” And there it was, sitting on my desk, staring me in the face as it had all these years. A pile of EXACTLY 50 CD’s with bonus DVD’s that needed reviewing! That ‘someday’ had suddenly became, ‘now’.
And so begins… The Covideo Chronicles. (Covid + video…get it?) By the time you read this I will have reviewed all 50 DVD’s sitting in that pile and compiled this series. 50 DVD’s. 50 days. 50 reviews. Some of these bonus DVD’s are full concerts and documentaries, some are merely a few minutes long. My goal was to do a very quick synopsis of the DVD (not even the CD) just the DVD. I’m quite sure many of these albums have already been reviewed over the years here on Metal-Rules.com. In fact, the longest part of these reviews will probably be my rambling introduction.
These are in no particular order. I was thinking of doing them chronologically by release date or maybe alphabetically but in the end I decided to review what I felt like watching that day. This exercise was a simple daily task, it kept me keep me amused and primarily I’m glad to get that damn pile off my desk. Enjoy!
I wrote a fairly extensive review of the Double Live CD version of this back in August of 2014. You can enjoy that review if you wish but the short version is that in Europe UNPLUGGED IN ATHENS comes as a Double CD of the whole concert. Here in North America they released a shortened/incomplete version of the concert but there was a bonus DVD of the concert.
Back in 2014, I didn’t want the incomplete concert version so I paid big money for the European import version without the DVD. Years later, I was digging through the bargain bin of my local used music store and I came across the North American CD/DVD version for $1.99! I virtually never buy the same release twice but for that price to get the DVD I went for it.
The DVD is the entire concert filmed over a two-night stand on Sept 11th and 12th, 2013 at the Lycabettus Theater in Athens, Greece. It is an intimate setting in an open air amphitheater and the setting adds to the atmosphere. On a warm summer night the band impressed the medium-sized crowd with an impressive concert loaded with new songs and guest stars.
As with most Scorpions shows it is a high class affair. It is a multi-mobile camera shoot with crystal clear sound. It is well edited and really nicely paced. Whether you like watching an entire live acoustic concert or not it is up to you!
There is a bonus section with a making of video. This section is about 41 minutes long and is really interesting. It starts with the band running off the stage, tired and happy and they get rushed into waiting cars and a quick post-how comment from some of the members.
Then we jump back in time to the beginning, to a conventional chronologically sequenced, making of, with the band arriving at the airport, getting settled in at the hotel, rehearsing and footage of the road crew setting up the venue. Then we get soundcheck, having a meal, more interviews with sub-titles thankfully.
Up next the cameras follow the band for the whole day as they all get ready for the gig, inter-spliced with many more interviews of the band and guest musicians and performers. Then we get a brief recap of the gig.
This is one of the best ‘making of’ features I have seen. Everything Scorpions so is works-class and this DVD is no exception.