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My Top Ten Concert DVD/Blu-ray Discs of 2010

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Top Ten Concert DVD/Blu-ray Discs of 2010

I purchased my first Blu-ray disc (BD) concert video last year, and several of them have made their way onto my 2010 top ten list. If you have a decent audio-video system to watch these babies on, the improvements in audio and picture quality can be quite stunning, especially if they were recorded and produced properly. BD concert video sales have taken off remarkably since 2010, thanks in part to more reasonable pricing – you can usually get them for about 20-30% more than their DVD counterpart – and the fact that most new concert videos are now released on both BD and DVD format. Although 2010 wasn’t exactly the best year I’ve ever seen for concert videos, there were certainly enough good releases to make my job at narrowing down this top ten list a very difficult task. Here goes:

10. Marillion – Out Of Season: This hidden treasure, which can only be purchased from the band’s own website, is a deluxe, three-DVD, boxed set that captures all three nights of the band’s Marillion Weekend 2009, in Port Zelande, The Netherlands. Each night featured a different theme and a completely different setlist, and was highlighted by an entire performance of their acclaimed 1989 Seasons End album, which was the first album to feature new lead vocalist Steve Hogarth, after Fish quit the band the previous year. The real star of this set, however, was the third night where the band dusted off several of their longest and most proggiest tracks – and this is where these progressive rock veterans really shine. (DVD)

9. Springsteen, Bruce – London Calling (Live In Hyde Park): Although I have already come clean as to not being the biggest Springsteen fan in the world, you’ve got to give credit where credit is due. London Calling was easily one of the best produced concert Blu-ray discs of the year, and Bruce and his E Street Band simply did what they do best – turn in another kick ass live performance. (BD)

8. Metallica – Orgullo, Pasion, Y Gloria: This excellent concert DVD highlights our favorite Hall of Fame inducted metal band during their three sold out shows in Mexico City, during the summer of 2009, in front of about 155,000 rabid fans. Metallica had not played Mexico in about ten years and their Mexican hermanos and hermanas were extremely excited, to say the least. Kirk Hammett was not too far off when he remarked, “it’s like Beatlemania.” The setlist offers an excellent career overview, going all the way back to their 1983 debut Kill ‘Em All album (has it really been that long?) on up to their latest offering, 2008’s Death Magnetic. (DVD)

7. The Rolling Stones – Ladies and Gentleman…The Rolling Stones: It took nearly forty years for this video to officially see the light of day, and it was well worth the wait. Ladies and Gentleman… captures the worlds greatest rock & roll band at the height of their power during their 1972 North American tour in support of their now legendary Exile On Main Street album. Watching a 23 year old Mick Taylor lay down one amazing solo after another, as the already veteran Keith Richards holds down the groove, is worth the price of admission alone. The concert was filmed on 16mm and then blown up to 35mm for theatrical release, and it is presented in a nicely restored widescreen picture with an impressive DTS surround audio track. (DVD)

6. King’s X – Live Love In London: King’s X arrived on the scene back in 1988 with the release of their debut album, Out Of The Silent Planet, but it was the moment I heard their amazing sophomore follow-up, Gretchen Goes To Nebraska, that this Texas power-trio became one of my all-time favorite bands. They were on the verge of breaking big back in the early ’90s after getting some decent airplay with the singles “It’s Love,” and “Black Flag,” but the musical tides were also dramatically changing around that time, and grunge soon overtook the scene. The concert stage is where King’s X really shines, and Live Love In London, their first official (professional quality) concert DVD release really sets the record straight. King’s X rocks! (DVD)

5. U2 – 360 At The Rose Bowl: After a failed attempt to buy the International Space Station to use as their stage for this tour, U2 eventually settled for a 164-foot tall, four-legged, steel, space monster, called “the claw,” to play their three decades worth of hits from. This is quite simply the biggest and most elaborate concert stage ever devised, and if you are really lucky, you can still catch one of these shows when their tour continues this summer in North America. Although I find that U2 shines more in the more intimate settings like their Elevation tour and their performance at the 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts, you really owe it to yourself to check out this magnificent concert spectacle. (BD)

4. Eric Clapton – Crossroads Guitar Festival 2010: Yes, the 2010 edition is probably the weakest of the three Crossroads DVDs, but it’s still a hell of a lot better than most of the other concert DVDs put out last year. There were some very interesting collaborations this year including Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, and Ron Wood laying down an instrumental take on the Stone’s “Miss You” – wrap that one around your head for a minute – Vince Gill, James Burton, Albert Lee, Keb’ Mo’, and Earl Klugh riding the “Mystery Train” to Memphis, and my man Joe Bonamassa lighting up the stage with Robert Randolph & the Family Band. Nearly five hours worth of performance that feature something for everybody. (DVD)

3. Transatlantic – Whirld Tour 2010: After a nearly seven year absence from the scene, progressive-rock super-group, Transatlantic, reunited in 2009 to begin work on their third studio album, fittingly titled, The Whirlwind. Thankfully, the boys, Neal Morse (ex-Spock’s Beard), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), Pete Trawevas (Marillion), and Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), also found time in their already hectic schedules to take on a short North American and European tour in 2010, dubbed the Whirld Tour, and the results can be found on this excellent new concert DVD. Whirld Tour 2010 is exquisitely produced and contains over three hours worth of concert footage that is highlighted by a remarkable performance of their entire 77-minute Whirlwind album. (DVD)

2. Porcupine Tree – Anesthetize: If only the setlist had been as strong as their previous concert DVD, Arriving Somewhere…, this could have been my number one pick, since the performances and production quality were so phenomenal. You know you are always going to get a world class audio mix when Steve Wilson is at the helm, but the DTS-HD Master Audio track on the Blu-ray version of this video is amongst the best I have ever heard. Anesthetize starts with an entire performance of the band’s brilliant 2007 album, Fear Of A Blank Planet, and then mixes in mostly b-sides and deep cuts from their most recent few albums. One of the most impressive things to me about this video is that it only had one song in common with their previous concert DVD. Sure, we may have missed out on some of our favorite PT songs, but how refreshing is that? (BD)

1. 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts: This was a pretty easy choice for me. Not just one artist I love laying down a killer performance, but about 50 of the greatest artists in history all rocking the same stage for two straight nights. The superb production quality and Joel Gallen’s flawless direction are what really put this one over the top too. And where else are you ever going to witness something as extraordinary as U2 serving as backing band to Mick Jagger and Fergie’s smoldering performance of “Gimme Shelter?” Look no further. (DVD)

Honorable Mention:
Electric Light Orchestra – Live, The Early Years
Extreme – Take Us Alive
Popovic, Ana – An Evening At Trasimeno Lake
Scofield, John – New Morning: The Paris Concert
Judas Priest – Live At The Seminole Hard Rock Arena

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About Paul Roy

  • El Bicho

    Watched U2 Rose Bowl show on YouTube because wasn’t impressed with new album enough to pay prices and wasn’t impressed with what I saw/heard. They come here over the summer, but I really need to love this new album.

    Enjoyed Stones, although watching this disc, it astounds me they let Taylor leave. Could have been even bigger and I say that well aware how big they were/are.

    RRHoF show is in the correct spot.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKx_VMoekxY Cris

    I’m a U2, and I’m in the Philippines. They haven’t visited their fans here. I really want to see them live!!

    I wish I could find that Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts in one of the record stores here. One thing I could add is the Woodstock concerts!!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGlVtImi-ac James

    i have one of the woodstock concert, i think it was the year ’98.. loved the OLP there..

    Metallica fan here! Rock on!!

  • Bill

    Thanks for the info, just what I have been looking for.

  • Bill

    I would recommend Robbie Williams, Live at Knebworth, just like being there!