Imaginations Through the Looking Glass (DVD)
posted on 10/2004 By:
You European sons of bitches are damned lucky. You get to see Blind Guardian live as often as we are forced to hear about tours from shitty American pop-stars and boy bands. If I remember correctly, Blind Guardian has done only one full US tour, and the only date which they were going to play in my area got cancelled due to a broken down tour bus. This Imaginations Through the Looking Glass DVD is very likely the first opportunity for many Americans to see the band in the live setting.
There’s really nothing spectacular or new about this DVD. It’s a simple 2-DVD set with the live show on one disc and the special features on the other. This goes to show that the live show is a very long ordeal, which is quite nice. They play pretty much everything you would want to hear, a great eclectic mix of songs from their entire catalogue. They even managed to squeeze in “And Then There Was Silence”, the fourteen minute epic from their latest album, and a fantastic song at that. Blind Guardian is one of the most original bands out there, their soloing and riffing is fantastically folkish, yet keeps its power metal roots.
The show itself is pretty impressive. There were at least two crane-operated cameras showing shots of the crowd and the band, although it did get somewhat cheesy when Kürsch kept looking at the camera as it went by. Then there were a good three cameras solely on drummer Thomen Stauch. It was definitely a treat to watch lead guitarist André Olbrich work his magic, and the directing cues were generally spot on. Not too predictable, i.e. focusing too much on the action itself as it’s happening, yet not too chaotic to where you wish the editing would settle down for once. Overall I was generally impressed.
A couple of gripes I had were with the band itself and just a few of the editing bits and pieces. My first gripe is that Hansi isn’t all that charismatic of a lead singer. His voice is absolutely fantastic, hands down one of the best vocalists out there. In fact, I think he even sounds BETTER in the live setting, he puts so much soul behind his singing; it’s quite powerful. However he doesn’t show much of that emotion. He sort of just stands there with a straight face and does his thing. The man isn’t just a robot of course, he does move around a bit and he doesn’t just stare at the ground ala Rob Halford, but I would like to see him get into it a little more. My second gripe was a stupid small gripe, but who the hell wears a Nike shirt on stage in front of thousands of fans? This is directed at Olbrich, of course, who looked like he forgot he was going on stage that night. Of course it doesn’t matter, but it’s just fun to make fun of such things. Also, they really don’t show much of the bass player at all. It was rather comical, actually, since he’s practically hiding in the back like a whipping boy or something. It made me laugh anyway. Finally, there needed to be more shots of Thomen. His drumming is so incredibly awesome, and they rarely even show him! There needed to be a camera directed right at his feet so we could see his double bass work, then an overhead view of the skin slammery and cymbals. He’s definitely under-appreciated by the director.
Aside from these gripes, this is a must-have DVD for any Blind Guardian fan. Especially for the American fans who don’t get a chance to see them every other week like you European whores whom I am so jealous of. On top of all of this, the cover art is spectacular. There are various Lord of the Rings characters buying tickets (Gimli and Legolas), and Gandalf is taking a picture of the band with a digital camera! How fitting. Blind Guardian live is a powerful sight, one no metalhead should be without.
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