What can one say to explain in vivid detail what you would see watching Tommy Emmanuel perform live in concert? Well, having the wonderful opportunity to view Live at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Ballarat Australia — Emmanuel’s latest DVD to be released on July 11 — I can say that he is a lively character who wears his passion on his sleeve.
The playlist for this concert provides an ample overview of his finest songs, including material from Endless Road and some new tracks from his upcoming CD, Mystery. In between songs, Tommy discusses his music as well as his life, which makes for an intimate setting. While his work is proof that he is a virtuoso with the ability to fuse a plethora of styles into his compositions, he showcases that talent with the greatest of ease all the while having some serious fun. Favored Nations Acoustic, which is co-owned by Mr. Steve Vai, did a wonderful job capturing that essence for the cover of this DVD.
This show was recorded in November of 2005 at Her Majesty’s Theatre — which has been in continuous use since 1875 — because of its precise acoustics, which they take advantage of to fully utilize the 5.1 DTS Surround Sound Audio. The Director, Mark Bayly, used multiple cameras and presents the footage in the Widescreen Format so you feel like you are actually there. The menus have a nice design to them, aren't overloaded with demanding graphics and include some audio clips to entice the viewer. The DVD also includes some extras but you will have to purchase this fine product in order to find out what they are.
The high point on this DVD for me is when Emmanuel plays “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Now, as a bonafide Metal Head who dabbles in folk, jazz, classical and other timeless genres, I thought I already heard the only justice that could’ve been done to this song outside the original. That was the version done by Mr. Chris Impellitteri on the impeccable Stand in Line CD. Granted, there was no singing, but I have to mention that Graham Bonnet (of Rainbow fame) did vocals for that CD including a remake of “Since You’ve Been Gone”.