ESPN’s 30 for 30 blu-ray reissue is the best box set of the year

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN is known as the worldwide leader in sports.  There’s a good reason for that.  The release of the network’s “ESPN Films Volume 1” box set last year is an excellent example of what makes ESPN truly the worldwide leader in sports.  Now with the recent release of the “30 for 30” Limited Edition Collector’s Set on blu-ray, ESPN has proven its reputation even more than ever.  This collection includes all thirty films from the original DVD and blu-ray sets released in 2011, and adds in a nice piece of memorabilia to sweeten the deal.  All together, they make up what is easily the best box set of the year.

ESPN’s “30 for 30” Limited Edition Collector’s set on blu-ray boasts all thirty films from the originally released sets.  Choosing just one film from the set as the best is impossible.  Each viewer will have his or her favorite film from the six disc set.  There are, however, at least a few films that that stand out to this individual as standing out as some of the set’s best.  One of those films jumps into the world of baseball, in “The House of Steinbrenner.”  “The House of Steinbrenner” follows the final days of the old Yankee stadium and the early days of the new stadium.  Along the ride, audiences are given a history on the man who brought the Yankees and their historic stadium to prominence.  The stories shared by players and fans alike of the old Yankee Stadium show a true love of the structure.  It was more a living, breathing museum than just a stadium.  It was a place where cultures crossed and everybody lived in harmony.  That’s because they were all one.  They were all Yankee proud.  The reactions to its final days make the mixed reactions to the new Yankee Stadium that much harder hitting.  The mixed views on Steinbrenner are just as interesting.  One former Yankee player worded it best in saying that in regards to Steinbrenner, “you loved him and hated him in the same breath.”  Interviews with players, fans, journalists, and even Steinbrenner himself give an unexpected view of “The Boss.”  The interviews shared in “The House of Steinbrenner” show a man who understood business and who also understood the fans.  They show that perhaps Steinbrenner’s only true flaw was that he cared too much about his team.

The George Steinbrenner presented in this film was a very shrewd business man.  He was also a devoted fan among fellow fans.  He wanted the team to win.  He wanted it for the fans and for himself.  That inability to ever fully balance business and fandom was ultimately why he was such a polarizing figure.  Despite his bad reputation among countless legions, just as many were and are still devoted to him today.  Love him or hate him, George Steinbrenner has forged not only his legacy, but that of the Yankees, too.  He will never be forgotten for that.  That’s especially the case now, with this incredible film.

George Steinbrenner was polarizing, to say the least.  But he’s not the only figure of such stature featured in the new “30 for 30” blu-ray re-issue.  Another of the interesting figures featured in the set from an entirely different world.  His name is Tim Richmond.  In the film, “Tim Richmond:  To the Limit”, director Rory Karpf follows the life of NASCAR legend Tim Richmond. Richmondwas obviously polarizing.  He was polarizing in that he was the immediate antithesis of NASCAR’s old guard.  He was the rock star of the racing world at that time.  He had an innate ability to drive the wheels off of any race car, both in open wheel or stock car.  He proved that he could have been the future of NASCAR.  Sadly, after being diagnosed with AIDS, his meteoric rise was cut short.  Fans are reminded in this film of the stigma attached to AIDS because of the lack of knowledge surrounding it at that time.  It shows just how far the world has come since then.  Unluckily for him, the world didn’t have that knowledge that people have today.  As a result, viewers learn that he was forced to cover up the illness, in hopes that he’d be able to return to racing one day.  That obviously didn’t happen.

In the time since the passing of Tim Richmond, the reputations of both NASCAR and AIDS victims has greatly changed.  There is no denying that Tim Richmond played at least some role in that change.  And it’s thanks to this film that his role in both the AIDS and NASCAR community will always be remembered.

The films included in the new “30 for 30” blu-ray re-issue focus on many famous figures in sports.  But they also focus on who teams.  And just like George Steinbrenner and Tim Richmond were polarizing figures, so was the SMU football team a polarizing unit.  It was thanks to the Mustangs’ infamous 1987 “death penalty” that the NCAA established the reforms that govern college sports today.  In “Pony Express”, director Thaddeus D. Matula takes viewers into the scandal that rocked the sports world as a whole.  It killed not one, but two of the university’s football seasons in a row.  The film does note that the second dead season was self-imposed by the university.  And it all started thanks to one player.  One might think that by the film’s end, the story’s over.  That’s anything but the truth.  Video footage from ESPN, along with voice snippets, show that even today, universities have either not paid attention to the SMU scandal or have forgotten it.

It is interesting to note that one individual interviewed in this film states that the NCAA would likely never use the “death penalty” again on another team.  But considering that recent number of scandals that have rocked universities across the country, maybe the NCAA should reconsider using it.  After all, it was once said that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. 

The documentaries featured in this blu-ray re-issue are just a drop in the bucket of what makes it a great set for any sports fan.  Combined with the remaining films in the set, and the bonus ESPN hat, this new “30 for 30” blu-ray re-issue has easily made itself the best box set of the year.  It can be ordered online now at http://ESPNshop.com.  

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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WWII in HD is a powerful, fitting tribute to the Greatest Generation

Courtesy: History Channel/A&E Home Video

Never forget.  Those two simple, tiny words have echoed throughout America’s people since the tragedy of September 11th, 2001.  That dark day was this generation’s Pearl Harbor.  It changed our country forever, just as Pearl Harbor did for the Greatest Generation.  Sadly, today roughly only ten percent of that generation still remains today to tell the story of what happened when the United States entered the war, which had already ravaged much of Europe for two years.  Now, thanks to History Channel and A&E Home Video, a new piece of the history from World War II has been brought to light in order to make sure that no generation will ever forget.  That piece of history is the recently released WWII in HD Collector’s Edition on blu-ray. The WWII in HD Collector’s Edition on blu-ray was released May 15th of this year.  The new collector’s edition is one of the more comprehensive sets released in recent memory.  The two primary discs that make up the set take audiences from the dark days when the Nazi occupation began spreading through Europe straight to the closing days of the war when the allied forces finally closed in and tightened the noose around the Nazi forces in the German capital of Berlin.  It also includes two bonus discs.  The first of the two bonus discs is a roughly forty-minute program that focuses on the battle to take the island of Iwo Jima.  It goes into full depth explaining how rather than taking ten days (as was predicted by one official), the battle to claim the island took more than a month.  The raising of the two flags atop Mount Suribachi was only one part of that horrific battle.  The second bonus disc focuses on the air war over the European Theater and its attempts to disable the production of Messerschmitts in Nazi occupied Germany.  The run time on this program is just under an hour and a half.  But it is truly worth that near ninety-minutes for anyone from military historians to students to the most casual of viewers.

The story presented in WWII in HD starts off in Germany, 1939.  Audiences are first introduced to Austrian Jew Jack Werner.  He is one of a dozen figures from whom audiences will learn what life in the war was like.  Werner came to America to escape the Nazis.  He also came with stars in his eyes, hoping to become a movie star.  When that didn’t happen, he ended up working in a flower shop before joining the American war effort.  The other eleven figures are:  Bert Stiles, Shelby Westbrook, Nolan Marbrey, Jack Yusan, Rockie Blunt, Archie Sweeney, Richard Tregaskis, Charles Scheffel, Jimmie Kanaya, June Wandry, and Robert Sherrod.  Each figure brings their own perspective to the men and women who served during one of the country’s most difficult times.  North Carolinians will appreciate the mention of Archie Sweeney, who was voiced by Mark Hefti throughout the program, was originally assigned to Fort Bragg before entering the war.

Among the more interesting pieces of history included in WWII in HD are that when America’s military first entered the war, it was hardly the largest or most well trained.  That lone puts the entire war into a wholly different perspective.  Audiences also learn of the reaction of Nurse June Wandry to providing candy to the captives in the concentration camps, and of the prisoners themselves to receiving said candy.  It’s one of those moments that will bring even the most emotionally strong individual to tears.  There is also note of how President Truman actually gave the Japanese the opportunity to surrender.  He offered them two chances, as a matter of fact.  It was because they refused both of those chances, according to the documentary, that both bombs were dropped.  Audiences will also learn other interesting facts such as the landing force used at Okinawa was larger than that used at Normandy on D-Day. 

WWII in HD shares so many stories that there is no way to tell each one of them.  And while there is no way to possibly tell each individual’s story shared in this mini-series, one thing is certain, though, of this presentation.  The complete story shared in the WWII in HD Collector’s Edition reminds viewers of the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform past and present.  It helps us to appreciate everything that they have gone through and go through today.  It serves not only as an educational tool or entertainment.  Rather, it serves as a tool to ensure our world will hopefully learn from its past, and never forget.  Audiences can purchase this box set in stores or online at http://shop.history.com.

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Duran Duran better than ever three decades in

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

New Wave rockers Duran Duran have been making music for roughly three decades.  In that time, these Brit rockers have built audiences the world over, even after the band’s 1980’s heyday.  With the release of its 2011 album, “All You Need is Now”, though, the band showed that even with thirty years since the release of its 1981 delf-titled debut, it hasn’t lost its fire or its audience.  Now, the band has a brand new live release that will entertain its long time fans and evenbring in new fans.

“Duran Duran Live:  A Diamond in The Mind 2011” documents just one stop on the band’s 2011 European tour in support of “All You Need is Now.”  Just as with the band’s new album, this concert proves that Duran Duran is still at the top of its game.  This show offers so much to viewers.  It boasts a largely high energy show throughout.  Though there are some slower moments, too.  The visuals incorporated into the live recording are another bonus to the show.  And the general cinematography mixed in with the visuals will hold viewers from the opening notes of the show to the last.  All combined, they make for an enjoyable show for fans of Duran Duran new and long-time.

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision

The show recorded here starts off showing the band as it preps for the show backstage.  As subtle aqs it may be, there is a moment showing a woman recording one of the band members on an iPad.  It really is a sign of the times.  In the past, it would haev been a video camera or even DVD cam.  It shows where recording technology is at today.  From those opening preperatory moments, the band opens the show with the slow, moody, ‘Return to Now.’  As frontman Simon LeBon notes in the bonus interviews inclduded in the show, it is the perfect opener, especially considering everything that the band went through in 2011.  Fans will have to watch the bonus features to get the full story there.

From ‘Return to Now’, the band kicks things up.  And the camera crews recording the event do an expert job of capturing the energy throughout the packed house.  The energy and enthusiasm shared between the band and the audiences was obvious thanks to the camera crew’s work during the entire performance.  Home viewers will be spellbound as the cameras catch every moment of the audience’s positive reaction to the band’s performance.  It will make the entire show fly by, leaving those home viewers with the same sense of fulfillment that the audience must have felt after the concert ended.

The camera crews that captured this moment in time did an excellent job.  Their work combined with the special effects incorporated into the show makes for an even more amazing performance.  The effects in general are difficult to explain.  Audiences will simply have to see that for themselves.  However, as a hint, there are four large heads mounted above the stage that “sing” throughout the show.  This is just one small part of the special effects that home audiences will really appreciated.  It blends together to make for an experience that even the audiences who attended the show won’t get.  Needless to say, that in itself is a bonus, even though it’s not a “bonus feature.”

For all of the high energy songs and high tech special effects, there are some slower, more subdued moments such as in the classic, ‘Ordinary World.’  This song is slipped in late in the show as a means to give the audience a short break.  That break gives the audience just enough time to catch its breath before the band kickstarts things again.  From ‘Ordinary World’, the band gets the energy moving again with ‘Notorious.’  And of course, what Duran Duran show is complete without its signature breakthrough hit, ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’?  That one’s here, too.  So fear not Duran Duran fans.

The band members note in the bonus interview included in the show that considering everything that it faced in 2011, the band is better than ever now.  The band proved that to be true with this show.  And after watching it, both long time and new fans will agree with that sentiment.  “Duran Duran Live:  A Diamond in The Mind 2011” hits stores tomorrow, July 10th.  It can be bought in stores or online at http://www.eagle-rock.com or at Duran Duran’s website, http://www.duranduran.com.  Fans can also keep up with all the latest from the band there or on its Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/duranduran, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/duranduran, and on Myspace at http://www.myspace.com/duranduran.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Mill Creek Entertainment’s latest is a “grand” success

Courtesy: Mill Creek Entertainment

The Grand Canyon is one of the greatest natural wonders of North America.  As grand and stunning as the Grand Canyon, many people don’t realize that it’s only one part of a much larger natural wonder that is centered on the “Four Corners” region of the country.  That larger natural wonder is known as the Colorado Plateau.  Thanks to Mill Creek Entertainment, now viewers can learn about the entire Colorado Plateau and what makes it the amazing wonder that it is in the new blu-ray release in the National Parks Exploration Series focusing on The Grand Canyon.

The Grand Canyon focuses on more than just the Grand Canyon.  It focuses on the entire Colorado Plateau, which according to the documentary, covers regions of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.  The Colorado Plateau, according to the documentary, is larger than New York, Illinois, Georgia and Virginia combined.  Yet for its massive size, no one lives there.  However at one time very long ago, it was home to the Anasazi.  That time is covered in one of the four segments that make up the documentary.

“The Grand Canyon” is seprated by four different segments:  “The Colorado Plateau”, “The Beauty”, “Geology”, and “The Parks.”  “The Parks” segment takes up the majority of the documentary’s hour and twenty minute run time.  It’s in this segment that it focuses on the ancient Anasazi people, their cliff dwellings and the art found in and around their homes.  It’s amazing to learn that the roofs for their homes were built using trees taht had to have been brought by hand from roughly fifty miles away.  It’s explained that these people didn’t have the wheel or anything else to use.  They had to bring the trees used for their homes by hand.  The discussion on the art foudn in and around their dwellings is equally interesting.  It discusses how they were drawn, and their signifigance.  And for those who want to believe, it doesn’t avoid the obvious extra-terrrestrial theories, either.  Though those theories are made mostly in a quick passing note.

The focus on the Anasazi is just one part of the in depth feature on each of the National Parks that make up the Colorado Plateau.  Another of the amazing National Parks featured in this segment is the Petrified Noational Forest.  This segment notes that many people come to the Petrified National Forest, expecting to see really tall stone trees.  That’s not the reality, though.  What visitors to this park see is remnants of trees from the late Triassic Period.  They will also see the famed “Painted Desert.”

From the “Painted Desert” to the Petrified Forest, to the Delicate Arch and Balanced Rock, the entire Colorado Plateau offers so much awe, wonder, and beauty.  This documentary does include a segment titled, “The Beauty” that focuses on all of that natural beauty that visitors will experience.  But it’s only part of the entire work that will leave audiences amazed at everything this entire region has to offer.  As noted in the documentary, it’s one of those places that everybody has on their bucket list.  And those who didn’t have a visit to the region on their list will after watching this beautiful video post card.

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Jazz legend’s “Overtime” goes into overtime with new bonus

Courtesy: Eagle Eye Media/Eagle Rock Entertainment

Music is supposed to be fun.  This is one of the sentiments expressed in the interview segments included on the new blu-ray re-issue of Lee Ritenour’s 2005 dvd release, “Overtime.”  It’s also the sentiment that best describes the brand new re-issue.  “Overtime” was fun in its original dvd release seven years ago.  Now that it is seeing a re-issue on blu-ray today, it’s just as fun, if not more so.

Today’s brand new re-issue of “Overtime” presents the original performance from Ritenour and company exactly as it appeared on the ’05 dvd release.  It even includes the separate interview segments with the band members that can be viewed separately or as part of the entire show.  Fans get an added bonus this time around.  Included as a bonus feature of sorts, is a set of songs from Ritenour’s performance at the 2011 Montreux Jazz Festival.  As impressive as that set of songs was, it will be no surprise if Ritenour’s complete Montreux show is eventually released to blu-ray, too. 

While fans wait in hopes that Ritenour’s 2011 Montreux show will eventually get its own full release, those who perhaps haven’t had the opportunity to experience his music live get a wonderful full concert experience from this set that clocks in at just over two and a half hours.  The case for the disc reads that the show’s run time is nearly three hours.  But in reality, it actually runs just over two and a half hours.  Even at two and a half hours, that time passes right by with ease.  Between the inclusion of Ritenour’s career spanning setlist, side interviews with the band, and the casual conversation between the band members during the show, explaining various songs, audiences get a really enjoyable experience.  The show was taped at Enterprise Studios.  But the setup and the band’s interaction gave the illusion that the show had taken place in some swanky club.  Everybody involved in creating that positive vibe is to be highly commended.  And the same can be said for all involved in making the group’s 2011 Montreux Jazz Festival show come to life.

The bonus set from the 2011 Montreux Jazz Festival is a great addition to this re-issue.  One of the best pieces from this set would be from pianist Dave Grusin, in the form on ‘The Firm.’  Grusin’s control of the piano on this song is simply incredible.  And there’s some great scatting on ‘Lay it Down’ that will conjur thoughts of Ella Fitzgerald.  ‘Wes Bound’ and ‘Stolen Moments’ both added their own elements to the set, too.  While the bonus set consists of only four songs, those four songs alone show that years after Ritenour and his bandmates first started making some of the jazz world’s best music, they are still leaders in both the jazz world and the music world in general.

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The Raconteurs rock the house on ’08 Montreux show

The Raconteurs could very well be the future of rock.  This Nashville, TN based band started as a side project for its members–Jack White (guitar/vocals), Brendan Benson (Guitar/Vocals), Patrick Keeler (Drums), and Jack Lawrence (Bass)–in 2005.  It reached what could be considered the pinnacle of its career very quickly when it was invited to perform at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival in 2008.  The Montreux Jazz Festival was founded in 1967 by Claude Nobs.  Since its founding, it has spread from jazz to nearly every genre of music, featuring many of the music business’ top names.  Among those names are the likes of Carlos Santana, and Phil Collins just to name a couple.  Now the Raconteurs can add their name to the list of legends who have played the iconic festival.  And fans can enjoy the band’s performance, too, beginning Tuesday, June 19th, thanks to Montreux Sounds and Eagle Rock Entertainment.

“The Raconteurs Live at Montreux 2008” is the latest in a series of archived concerts released thanks to a partnership between Montreux Sounds and Eagle Rock Entertainment.  This show is just one more performance that shows audiences why the Montreux Jazz Festival is among the elite live music festivals each year.  From the general presentation of the concert to the packaging to the actual concert itself, “The Raconteurs Live at Montruex 2008” is another top notch recorded performance from the famed festival.

Audiences who pick up the blu-ray presentation of this concert are rewarded with a crystal clear picture.  And getting to see that picture on a widescreen HDTV makes the experience that much better.  Anyone with the room and means to get a surround sound home theater system will appreciate the variety of sounds that the band presents even more.  The songs in question cover both of the albums released by the band in 2008.  Those songs range from the almost Nirvana-esque opener, ‘Consoler of the Lonely’ to the largely bluesy ‘You Don’t Understand Me’ to the country/bluegrass stylings of ‘Old Enough.’  Fans who were in attendance at the time of the recording rocked out to the show.  And now fans will be rocking out at home thanks to the mix of musical stylings.

The band’s setlist was impressive to say the least.  But it wasn’t all that made this show so enjoyable.  As with Bachman & Turner’s upcoming “Live at Roseland Ballroom” release, The Raconteurs keep the energy throughout the almost 90-minute set.  The blu-ray case lists the show at an hour and forty minutes.  That is likely including the show’s end credits.  But from the opening moments to the last notes, the show runs just shy of an hour and a half.  That aside, the band keeps the energy flowing from beginning to end.  It’s obvious that the audience in attendance appreciated and fed off of that energy.  And audiences will do the same in watching the show in the comfort of their own homes.

The show’s setlist and presentation make for one more great show from the Montreux Jazz Festival’s archives.  There’s one more aspect of this show that makes it enjoyable for fans of The Raconteurs.  That factor is subtle.  But it’s great to experience another show that has no foul language at any point.  That seems to be a standard for the Montreux Festival.  And the festival organizers are to be highly commended for that standard.

“The Raconteurs Live at Montreux 2008” is just one more in the long list of releases already released and planned for release in 2012.  While it may be one more release in the list, one thing can be said of this latest release.  And that’s that Eagle Rock and Montreux Sounds have continued to set the bar for live recordings this year.  Congratulations to both companies for that.  And thank you to both for continuin to make it so difficult for this reviewer to choose a list of the year’s best live recordings.  That is, of course, meant in the most complimentary way.

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Alter Bridge moves into the mix of the year’s best live shows

Courtesy: Alter Bridge Recordings/EMI Label Services

Good morning, everyone.  I hope your weekend is going well so far.  I promised earlier this morning that I’d have even more new reviews to come.  And I try my hardest to be a man of my word.  So this morning, I’ve got another new review.  Funny thing is that with this review, it’s now official that I’m going to have to shift my list of the year’s top live shows yet again.  That’s because of just how impressed I am by the topic of this review.  This morning, I offer a live set that has really set itself apart from the others that have already been released thus far.  This morning I offer to you, dear readers, the recently released double disc cd/blu-ray release from Alter Bridge, “Live at Wembley.”

So often, when it comes to choosing which live recordings to buy, audiences are forced to choose between the audio and video portions of the show(s) in question.  In other cases, fans are forced to wait and see if labels will even release given shows in more than one format.  It could be argued the reason this happens is labels’ fears of said releases’ success or lack thereof.  So in releasing “Live at Wembley” in a cd/blu-ray package, Alter Bridge Recordings and EMI Label Services were taking a calculated risk.  That risk has paid off.  What fans get in this dual disc package is a nearly two hour concert that spans its whole curent catalogue.  It doesn’t feel the least bit of its near two hour time, either.  The band keeps the energy moving throughout the concert, even in its slower songs, making that run time pass by with ease.  Add in a bonus tour documentary, and audiences get a great two piece/three-part live release that has officially made its case for being named one of the year’s best live recordings.

“Live at Wembley” is only the second live release from Alter Bridge.  But it’s also the best of the pair.  The recording documents the final show on the band’s 2011 European tour.  The very first thing that fans wil notice in this set is the stunning clarity of the show’s blu-ray presentation.  If ever there was an argument for switching  to blu-ray and HDTV, the clarity of the picture in this show is it.  It’s not all that makes the video portion of the show so impressive, though.  The show itself plays its own role.  Director Daniel E. Catullo III and his crew are to be highly commended for their work on recording the performance.  The work of the camera crew really caught the vibe of both the band and the audience.  Viewers could feel both sides feeding off of one another’s energy.  That served to make the show fly by.  Before audiences know it, the show’s over.  On top of all of that, the shooting took place from both on stage and in the crowd.  It makes audiences feel as if they’re right there with those who were there at the time of the show.  All combined, these are signs of a great live show. 

Speaking of the audience and band feeding off of one another, the way that the camera crew caught the audience clapping and swaying its hands in unison showed how much the audience appreciated the band’s performance.  It was moving to see how the band’s music brought so many people from so many different backgrounds together for one special night.  It just goes to prove music’s ability to unify people.  Those moments are many throughout the show.  But there’s something beautiful and moving about them, every time.

On stage, viewers watching the show at home see the result of the audience feeding off of the band.  Frontman Myles Kennedy takes that energy from the audiences and gives it back tenfold.  He proves to be the perennial frontman, especially during ‘White Knuckles.’  He comes across as a big kid when he gets the lighting crew to bring the lights up on one side of the audience and then the other.  It’s just one of many moments that make one compare his stage presence to that of Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger.  This is meant in a wholly complimentary manner.

As amazing as the Wembley show’s video portion is, it’s only part of what makes this set a triple threat.  The bonus tour documentary shows fans a side of the band that they might not have otherwise seen before.  As noted already, frontman Myles Kennedy comes across as a big kid at least once during the show.  Listening to him talk about how amazed he is to be where he is now serves to certify that description.  He and the rest of the band–Mark Tremonti (guitars), Scott Phillips (Drums) and Brian Marshall (Bass)–come across as being very humble, hard working musicians who do what they do more for the band’s fans than for themselves.  Hearing Myles and Brian talk about how serious Myles takes the matter of caring for his voice shows how serious he is about performing.  It’s a little bit funny hearing Myles talk about people think he’s being anti-social because he doesn’t talk much before a show.  Though it does make at least a certain amount of sense.  And it makes him that much more respected both as a vocalist and a musician.

Just as impressive as the band’s devotion to performing for its fans is how serious it takes being at the level at which it now sits.  Even as big as the band is, the band’s members talk about the honor of playing Wembley.  It’s compared to playing New York’s Madison Square Garden.  The point here was to highlight that the band realizes how far it’s come to be playing one of Europe’s most legendary venues.  Of course, for all of the seriousness caught in the documentary, there are lighter moments, too.  It’s funny hearing the band talk and laugh about how expensive things are overseas versus how expensive it might be here in the United States.

The bonus documentary has far more enjoyable moments than what is noted here.  Fans who watch it for themselves will see every one of those moments.  They will also get a wonderful high def visual experience in the video portion of the show and an equally enjoyable audio portion with the included cd.  All together, this double disc set is a triple threat in the ranks of the year’s live recordings.  It could be argued that considering both the extrensic and intrinsic value of this set, Alter Bridge has made a fully valid argument for having released one of the elite top live recordings of the year.

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/PhilsPicks and “Like” it or its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can also keep up with all the latest by following the Phils Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.