2006 was definitely the year of the "rock band meets orchestra" concert DVD. Three of my top ten concert DVDs of 2006 featured rock bands performing live with a full orchestra. Obviously, I have not been able to see all of the good ones, but here are my ten favorite concert DVDs of 2006:
1. Collective Soul - Home: After being blown away by these guys at an outdoor festival last summer, way more than I expected to be, Collective Soul went out and released one of the most charming concert DVDs that I have ever seen. Teamed up with the marvelous Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, the band runs through 20 of their biggest hits and betters each and every one of them along the way. Don't miss this one.
2. Porcupine Tree - Arriving Somewhere...: There is no hiding it, Porcupine Tree is my current favorite band. Porcupine who, you say? I'll pretend I didn't even hear that. Just check 'em out. This was my most anticipated DVD of the year, and Arriving Somewhere... delivers. If you want to hear one of the best DTS mixes ever, look no further than this baby, because Steve Wilson outdid himself once again. The director got a little bit carried away with all of the artsy-fartsy post-production trickery, for my taste, but the magic of a live Porcupine Tree show still manages to shine through brightly.
3. Dream Theater - Score (20th Anniversary World Tour): I didn't have the highest of expectations for this DVD. Dream Theater used to be my favorite prog-metal band, by far, but have taken a slight turn for the worse going into this new century. When I saw that the setlist weighed heavily on the band's last three mediocre albums, and ignored many of their best songs, I just figured that I was going to be let down once again. Oh yeah, and a progressive metal band jamming with a symphony orchestra? Well, to my pleasant surprise, this DVD kicks some serious ass. The orchestra complimented the music wonderfully, and album-length epics like "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence" and "Octavarium", which never really did much for me before, were simply knockouts here.