There were plenty of great concert DVDs released in 2008, and many of them I just haven't had a chance to review yet. David Gilmour's Live At Gdansk is missing from my list since it is essentially the same show that I reviewed on last year's Remember That Night DVD, which made the top of my 2007 list. Wondering where the Rolling Stones' Shine A Light DVD is? Just hasn't really compelled me to buy it yet. Maybe it's because I am still making my way through all 900 hours of The Biggest Bang. Iron Maiden's Live After Death and Thin Lizzy's Live And Dangerous finally got their due transfers to DVD in 2008, but I chose to limit this list to previously unreleased material. The Who's Live At Kilburn is an essential addition to any Who fan's collection, for historical reasons alone, but it was not exactly the band's finest hour. Now let's get to who did make the cut:
1. Genesis – When In Rome: Back in 2005, the quintessential Genesis lineup of Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, and Phil Collins met to discuss performing a limited run of live shows that would feature The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. The plan died soon after it was hatched, thanks to some Peter Gabriel scheduling conflicts. Newsflash, Peter – most people would rather see you fronting Genesis again, than catch another one of your stupid solo tours. Okay, I love solo Peter Gabriel as much as anybody, but come on, my man! The clock is ticking. This didn't stop the And Then There Were Three lineup of Collins, Rutherford, and Banks however, who after a 10-year hiatus decided that "you know, maybe we all could use another bazillion dollars", and then embarked on the most extravagant Genesis tour to date. Filmed in front of an enormous crowd of nearly 500,000 people at Rome's Circo Massimo, When In Rome brilliantly captures this amazing tour in all its glory. And they finally did some old-school Genesis songs justice too.
2. Rush – Snakes & Arrows Live: Oh brother, not another Rush DVD you say? Well, I say BRING IT ON! Rush followed up their two-year Snakes & Arrows tour with their finest concert DVD to date. Production-wise, they finally get everything right. Incredible sound, perfect video, and some awesome camera work put you right in the middle of the show. And for three guys who are all pushing 60 years of age, Rush can still churn out a live performance to make all of the young punks bury their heads in shame. With over three hours of jaw-dropping live performances, Snakes & Arrows Live is easily one of the best concert DVDs of the year.
3. John Mayer – Where The Light Is: I was perfectly prepared to not like this DVD. I mean, John Mayer was just some pop star, with better than average guitar skills, who my wife really liked. Well, now I like him too – in a manly, guitar-hero, kind of way of course. Where The Light Is is not only one of the most beautifully filmed concert DVDs I have ever seen, but the audio is both pristine and thunderous. The concert is broken up into three distinct sets, acoustic, blues-trio, and full touring band, and they are all awesome. His blues-trio performance, with the amazing Pino Palladino (bass) and Steve Jordon (drums), was my obvious favorite, and Mayer leaves not doubt that he is one of the best young guitarists in the business.
4. Marillion – Somewhere In London: There is something very personal about every Marillion concert I have seen – it is like you are witnessing the only show they are going to perform. Frontman Steve Hogarth's remarkably genuine fan rapport keeps the crowd eating out of his hands all night. He is a real pleasure watch. Marillion have been churning out great music and live shows for nearly 30 years now (hard to believe huh?), and they are showing no signs of slowing down. Somewhere In London was filmed during the band's Somewhere Else world tour of 2007, and this marvelous DVD puts you right at the show. If you like melodic, pop-rock, with a progressive edge, then definitely give these guys, and this wonderful DVD, a look.