Motorhead Moves To The Front Of The Live Class With New Release

COurtesy: UDR Music/Motorhead Music/EMI Label Services

Motorhead fans put those horns high.  The band has returned with the accompanying piece to its 2011 release, The World Is Ours Vol. 1 – Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else.  This second half of the band continues to cover highlights of its 2011 tour in support of its most recent album, The World Is Yours.  It picks right back up where Vol. 1 left off with just as much metal mayhem as that aforementioned release.

What Motorhead has shown yet again here is that a band doesn’t have to have pyro and loads of special effects to put on a great stage show.  All this hard rocking three piece needs is a huge set of its greatest hits and nothing more.  From the opening moments of ‘Iron Fist’ to the mega-drum solo of drummer Mikey Dee on ‘In The Name of Tragedy’ to the final number from the band’s performance at Rock in Rio, Motorhead’s loyal legions will love every second of this live box set.  Dee’s solo is without a doubt one of the most incredible moments from the band’s Wacken performance.  And the angles by which the camera crew catches his solo make his solo that much more intense.  For someone of his age, it is absolutely incredible to see up close and personal his talent and ability on the drums.  A moment such as that is exactly why fans flock to live shows every year.  It’s one thing to hear a band on a record.  But to experience such a sight in person is what makes an average fan into a mega fan.

Speaking of the camera angles used to capture Dee’s drum solo, those are angles are just a tiny piece of what makes the DVD and BD pieces to this four-piece set such a wonderful addition.  The cameras capture the band’s performance from every possible angle as it performs.  They even get into the depths of the audiences to capture the show from the audience’s point of view.  There are also shots taken from high above the crowd that expertly capture the intense devotion of the fans to this legendary band’s performance, along with the sheer magnitude of the audience’s numbers.  Being able to capture this show from the comfort of one’s own home will make audiences feel as if they’re still right there at the show, just with the ability to control the volume.  But then again, someone once said, if it’s too loud, you’re too old!  So anyone with a surround sound system will get even more of a full-on concert experience.

The recordings of the band’s performances at Sonisphere and Rock in Rio are just as strong as at Wacken.  Considering the band has been making music for nearly four decades, and that it is still being invited to perform at some of the world’s top concert festivals shows the respect that the music world has for this band.  And seeing that fans continue to flock to see this band perform shows the love and respect that audiences have for the band, too.  For those who haven’t had the opportunity just yet to see the band live, this four disc set is an excellent chance to catch the band live without ever having to leave the comfort of one’s own home.  No worries about concert tickets.  No worries about lodging, food, etc.  Just you, your TV (or CD player) and Motorhead.  What more does a true metal head need?  The World Is Ours Vol. 2 – Anyplace Crazy As Anywhere Else is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online at http://www.udr-music.com.

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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.

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