As the final few days of 2018 wind down, there is still some work to be done by critics putting in their year-ender lists. That includes this critic.
This critic’s most recent year-ender focused on the year’s top new live CDs. In a gradual transition to movies and television, there is still one more music list to present — the year’s top new live DVDs/BDs. As has been noted previously, there are some live recordings that translate in relatively acceptable fashion, but there are also others that can and should only be experienced with the full audio-visual experience.
Keeping this in mind, it is only fair to examine the year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays. Topping this year’s list is Amon Amarth’s The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm. There is nothing negative to say about this presentation. The extensive documentary outlines the band’s career from the band’s own mouths, showing the group as a hard-working, blue-collar outfit that has earned its place in the metal and music communities. The equally expansive two-night, 30-song set pulls from almost every one of the band’s albums. The performance is great, as are the production values.
Second Place in this year’s list of the year’s best new live DVDs/BDs goes to Devin Townsend Project’s Ocean Machine Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv. This performance features Townsend performing Ocean Machine live in its entirety along with an equally extensive by-request set. That combination makes for a great set list. As with Amon Amarth’s live recording, the group’s performance ensures audiences’ maintained engagement and entertainment, even at home. The same can be said of the production values. The whole makes the recording yet another that is best experienced with the full audio-visual presentation versus just the audio alone.
Third Place in this year’s list of the top new live DVDs and Blu-rays goes to The Rolling Stones’ San Jose, California ’99 show from Eagle Rock Entertainment. The recording is everything that audiences have come to expect from one of the elite of the elite acts in the music industry today. The extensive 20-song set list doesn’t play it safe, instead giving audiences material that is less common in the band’s previous live recordings from Eagle Rock Entertainment. The group’s performance (including that of the touring musicians) couples with the production values to make the performance yet another must have for any true fan of The Rolling Stones.
Also featured in this year’s list are the new live recordings from Anthrax, The Robert Glasper Experiment and Opeth, just to name a few more acts. As always, the first 10 titles in the last are the best, while the next five are honorable mention titles. Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Live DVDs & Blu-rays.
PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDS & BLU-RAYS
- Amon Amarth — The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm
- Devin Townsend Project — Ocean Machine Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv
- The Rolling Stones — No Security: San Jose ’99
- The Rolling Stones — Voodoo Lounge Uncut
- Accept — Symphonic Terror
- Opeth — Garden of the Titans: Live at Red Rocks
- Anthrax — Kings Among Scotland
- The Sound of Music Live
- Steven Wilson — Home Invasion Live at the Royal Albert Theatre
- Norah Jones — Live at Ronnie Scott’s
- Tommy Shaw & The Contemporary Youth Orchestra — Sing For The Day!
- The Moody Blues — Days of Future Passed Live
- Overkill — Live in Overhausen
- Robet Glasper Experiment — Live
- Lacuna Coil — The 119 Show Live in London
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