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Tangerine Dream – Live in America / 1992

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Tangerine Dream
Live in America / 1992
DVD+ CD collector’s edition
Eagle Rock Entertainment

Tangerine Dream is a band that has had a huge impact on the world of instrumental music with the electronic soundscapes that they have created. They formed in Germany in 1967 and have undergone continual line-up changes. In the mid-70s they begin to acquire some notoriety outside of Europe and in the ’80s went on to work on soundtracks for over 30 films.

The preceding paragraph I got from researching the Internet because my knowledge of the band is minimal, considering their massive output. I first heard their music on the soundtrack of the Ridley Scott film Legend. It was different from anything I had heard before and I found it interesting. The only other time I have heard their music was one acid-fuelled summer evening in the bedroom of the late Jeff G., who was a walking experiment on how many drugs a body could withstand. While not very scientific, it turns out it’s quite a lot. Jeff also illustrated what a puss Socrates must have been because he survived drinking hemlock, which he grew in his parents’ backyard, in a failed suicide attempt.

Live in America / 1992 is a collection of music and visuals from their 1992 tour in support of their Grammy-nominated Rockoon album. The DVD and CD are only 45 minutes, which seems short for a concert. It was recorded at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA.

The DVD combines concert footage with visuals that ran through the show. The visuals aren’t that great and are very odd at times. During “Dolls In The Shadow,” there’s a sequence of the group riding bicycles through the desert. I’m not sure of its purpose. It doesn’t evoke a mood like the footage from 1930′s Europe that accompanies “Treasure of Innocence.”

I did enjoy the visuals during “Backstreet Hero” where constantly changing geometric shapes appear in constantly changing pulsating colors. It is reminiscent of fractal videos, but the shapes aren’t as captivating. I also liked the stop-motion footage during “Oriental Haze” that was shot while driving around causing the street and car lights to make strange squiggles across the film. Some form of drug use on my part would have, no doubt, enhanced the experience.

In regards to the music, the sax solo during “Oriental Haze” was good. And speaking of Haze, they played “Purple Haze” in honor of Seattle’s own Jimi Hendrix. It got one of the biggest responses out of the crowd. Other than that, I found the music tolerable, which isn’t setting the bar too high. I’m not a New Age music fan, but they are competent musicians and the crowd enjoyed them. The music didn’t grab me, so I don’t ever see myself listening to this album ever again and since I didn’t care for the visuals, even if I had some drugs, I won’t be watching this ever again.

If you’re a fan of the band, before you go out and buy this, you should know that Live in America / 1992 has been previously released in 1993 as Three Phase.

About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS
  • http://masshole.blogspot.com Dave

    If you’re a fan of the band, before you go out and buy this, you should know that Live in America / 1992 has been previously released in 1993 as Three Phase. There’s no mention of it anywhere on the disc or in the press release, which seems a tad dishonest.

    Ah–I was going to ask you whether that was the case. Thanks for the warning. I already have this on Laserdisc.