DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Axel Rudi Pell - 'One Night Live' Hot

Added by James Gaden     May 05, 2010    
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Raw unaltered live recording of Axel in concert.

This latest live DVD release from ARP strikes me as being something of a hors d’oeuvre ahead of the main course - the band’s new album ‘The Crest’ available at the end of April. It is a “no frills” package – just the complete 75 minute performance captured at the ‘Rock Of Ages’ festival in Rottenburg/Seebronn, Germany on 31 July 2009, and containing (as stated on the package) “an absolutely true and authentic live recording as it happened on that day with all mistakes and “blue” notes. No overdubs guaranteed!”

The set for the show covers material from 1992’s ‘Eternal Prisoner’ album right through to 2008’s ‘Tales Of The Crown’, with the title tracks from both being included. Only the previous studio album, ‘Mystica’ has two tracks featured here – the title and ‘Rock The Nation’. Also included are ‘Tear Down The Walls’, ‘Strong As A Rock’, ‘Masquerade Ball’ and ‘Casbah’ in a medley with the aforementioned ‘Tales…’, ‘Temple Of The King’ and a concluding medley of ‘Fool, Fool’ and ‘Eternal Prisoner’. There’s also what seems to be the obligatory drum solo from Mike Terrana – although this does not overstay its welcome!

Now, I happen to be a fan of the music of ARP, and have virtually everything ever released by the wizard from Bochum and his cohorts, so I am a quite happy bunny to have a copy of this DVD. It is an enjoyable show to watch, and despite the present members of the band having been together for well over 10 years, there is no suggestion of them looking stale or lacking in conviction. It is a “solid” (rather than a “blistering”) performance (I didn’t detect any “blue” notes but perhaps my ears are insufficiently finely-tuned to do that!) and as usual vocalist Johnny Gioeli proves to be a charismatic and animated front man, keeping the show together and turning in a performance worthy of one of the greatest voices of rock. Pell, himself, on the other hand, stands stage right exuding very little personality – preferring to let the stringed instrument at the mercy of his fingers provide the emotion and the focus of the music. Messrs Ferdy Doernberg and Volker Krawczak on keys and bass respectively busy themselves as they always do (and now have within the context of ARP for very many years between them) whilst Mike Terrana is an unorthodox drummer that I never tire of watching, irrespective of which band he is with at the time.

From a technical perspective the sound quality is first rate: clear and precise, and the camera work and DVD editing are both very good, but not always flawless. So, it is what it is, and in the final analysis I do not think this release will be likely to tempt anybody who is not a die-hard fan, but for those of us who are, it will do very nicely, thank you!

Paul Jerome Smith

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