|Review: Grave Digger - Tunes of Wacken|
|Tunes of Wacken|
Label: Gun Records
Year released: 2002
Duration: 75 min.
Review online: December 28, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Tunes of Wacken
Rated 4/5 (80%) (5 Votes)
I guess it's barely an exaggeration if I say that I recently bought a second DVD player, this one with a PAL to NTSC converter, just so I could buy this DVD. So here it is, and finally I get to see Grave Digger in action. This show was filmed at Wacken Open Air 2001, and just like other releases by Saxon and Primal Fear for example, this is professionally filmed with multiple cameras. Right from the start, I was a bit disappointed to see that this was a daytime performance. I don't know about you, but I feel daylight takes a bit away from a metal show - especially since they use a bit of pyros during the show, and that doesn't come off as too spectacular (it could have been a different story for those witnessing it live, however.) Well, I guess those present that day were not turned off by daylight because one of the major highlights of this DVD is the crowd. I've rarely seen a crowd that's so much into the set. Lots of chanting, fists in the air, headbanging and what have you. At times, Chris Boltendahl didn't even need to sing: The crowd was so loud he could have just sat there and listened to them do his job. :) By the end of the show (about 64 minutes), this crowd interaction had pretty much compensated for the fact that this is a daytime show.
The band plays 12 songs, I guess the set-list could have been better, but then again this can be said of just about every show. The band focused mostly on more "recent" material, so those who didn't get past the band's first couple of albums won't find much else than the classic "Heavy Metal Breakdown" to cut their teeth in. Overall the show is very entertaining to watch, the combination of the band's stage presence and the crowd's enthusiasm resulting in what is simply a great set to watch. That alone was worth the cost of the DVD, which is a good thing because as far as extras go, this DVD falls short.
The Photo Gallery is simply a few pics taken from the live show (and the pics take less than half the screen, so unless you have a large screen, it's kind of pointless to check those out...) The Backstage Report and the Day with Uncle Reaper show the band walking around backstage, meeting friends and fans, etc... It's OK but gets boring very fast. Same for the signing session. I thought things could be saved by the Comments by Chris Boltendahl, but it turns out this is just text on the screen, not an interview or "in-person" comments - very disappointing. The same goes for the so-called Wacken Schedule by Chris Boltendahl - text on the screen. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the extras are not even worth fiddling with the DVD's remote control. :)
Bottom line, a great live performance that could only have been made better by a nighttime show and a longer setlist (but with the same great crowd!), but extras that are not worth the bother. Hopefully a future Grave Digger DVD will have more attention paid to the extras and include such things as an extensive interview/band history type of thing (and in person, not one of those text-filled screen that I can't even read because of my small TV. :)) This one is recommended to die-hard Grave Digger fans.
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