Reviewed: June, 2020
Released: 2012, AFM
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!
Very often buying CD’s can act as a memory trigger. I know exactly where and when I bought this Live album. It was at a Dirkschneider gig in Calgary, Alberta on March 15th, 2018.
A bit of background. I’m a big U.D.O. fan however, in my area, some of material is only available as an import at extremely high prices in retail stores, as high as $35.00 to $40.00 each for the Double Live albums! So I had not yet bought the last three Double Live albums; LIVE IN SOFIA (2012), LIVE FROM MOSCOW (2014), and NAVY METAL NIGHT (2015) preferred to allocate my budget to the U.D.O. studio albums.
Dirkschneider played in my town, I went to the gig and to my joy, all three of the above Double Live 2CD/DVD, double digipak albums were available (with zero region code!) at the merch booth for $20.00 each! That is basically 50% off so I bought all three in one shot! Score!
Now after sitting here in ‘the pile’ for two years, I’m going to review all of them in this feature in chronological order starting with LIVE IN SOFIA. Of all the reviews on this feature this one might be the most redundant. I say that because back in January of 2013 our staff writer Waspman wrote a review of the Double Live album. Then in April of 2013 Celtic Bob reviewed the DVD! I don’t have to much to add, if you want you can go back and read their excellent reviews first. I’ll just touch on a bunch of stuff about the DVD that Celtic Bob didn’t cover.
This fine concert was filmed Recorded on November 16th, 2011 at the Hristo Botev Hall in Sofia, Bulgaria. The whole shows runs almost two and half hours and has it all. Old songs, new songs, Accept songs, a guitar solo and a drum solo! There is not too much audience interaction from Udo but has never been much of a talker on stage. This is a pro-shot multi-camera affair in a big sports arena of some sort. The stage lights are sort lots of green and yellow to match with the look of the Rev-Raptor album.
The DVD has eight bonus features but this is a bit misleading because four of them are just photo galleries. There is your standard tour photo gallery, a making of the video photo gallery, a photo gallery of a photo-shoot (which seems really redundant) but perhaps the most interesting one of all is a photo gallery of Udo driving a tank! The music in the background for this segment is ‘Living On A Front-Line’ and in the end he gets his diploma for driving! There are the two video and singles for the album, ‘Leatherhead’ and ‘I Give As good As I Get’, which I think is a beautiful video; elegant in it’s simplicity. It is a beautiful, heart-felt ballad to begin with and the visuals are merely a tight close up of Udo’s face while he is singing. It is very effective and on of my favorite U.D.O. videos.
Lastly there is a segment of the band in Bulgaria before the show, touring around, doing a press conference, a meet and greet, signing some stuff and footage of the crew setting up the stage before the show. It is a pretty complete package and all in all the total time of the bonus footage is about 40 minutes bringing the total run-time of the bonus DVD to three hours, a great value!