Hmm... what can you expect from a DVD where the first thing you discover while looking through the menus is a scarcely dressed pumporganist wandering through a cold and empty corridor? Exactly. A wonderful live DVD with a whole lot of interesting and completely crazy extra- and backstage material.
First things first, let's start with the menu. This is done very nicely: Omen at the organ, a little scary, very nice with Sorti as background music. You can reach the different areas via symbols, which is not very intuitive at first but doesn't need languages, good-bye, Babylon. The submenus are also animated nicely and clear and concise. Another very positive thing is that the sequences (all but one at least =;-)) are pretty short, so that you don't have to wait forever like it often is with other DVDs.
The most important part of the DVD is the recording of the concert, of course. It is no surprise that it was a great concert with an amazing atmosphere, that is a known fact. But the important question was: Can cameras capture that? Of course a DVD can never replace the live experience, but I've seen some live recordings of Kaizers that made me jump up and down in front of the TV, just as if I was in the concert hall. Will the DVD do that? Will it make me feel like I'm there? The answer is... well. I have to admit that my first impression was rather negative. Due to the static cameras that film the stage from a lot of different angles and distances, but that do not move (or only move calmly and computably from one side to the other etc.). For a band like Kaizers, it just needs some more action. More pictures from "below", more movement. There were a few cameras in front of the stage as well that captured a little more of the action, but still, it wasn't really enough. Then there are many (too many?) shots from far away, showing the whole venue - with the stage very small in the back and some small dots on it and the audience in front of it, but so dark that you can't make anything out. Or you can see the (impressive!) audience, but then the stage is only a white blot in the back where the stage used to be. Hmm... In general, I often had the impression to be very far from the center of the action, which never happened to me with other live recordings.
Well, that sounds terribly negative now. That's what I thought then as well. Gaping with an open mouth and wondering "what the hell did they do???". For the first three songs.
And then it was time for Hevnervals, and the concert started. I have no idea if I had gotten used to the static cameras by then? Or if the cutting and mixing got different afterwards? Or if maybe Kaizers themselves needed a little time to "warm up"? I really don't now, but honestly, I don't care. From then on I could really enjoy the DVD. Sure, there were still some scenes afterwards where I thought it should have been done differently. Especially as some of the "key scenes" were not visible, the cameras missed them, or they just were not striking, because the cameras were too far away at that time. For example the "guitar dance" during Blitzregn Baby, where the cameras show the whole stage and audience and you can't relish how cool it looks from "below". Or the sudden break in Delikatessen. Or Janove's "stomach striptease" during Container.
But all of this is negligible. The recording contains lots and lots of fantastic pictures that make up for all other weaknesses. Omen in the front with the audience in the back. Mink at the drums. Killmaster close up, with Elvis in the background. Omen with accordion. Soap bubbles and lighters during Christiania.
The longer the concert went, the more often I thought: "Perfect." Kontroll på kontinentet, Di grind, the ending of Dieter Meyers Inst. Not only from a musical point of view, but also the pictures. 170 in almost black and white. Amazing, impressive.
On top of that, all those little details you just miss during a concert. The way Hellraizer looks around at the end of Ompa til du dør, how even Omen is obviously enjoying himself during Resistansen (and that his porno moustache fits exactly into Mann mot mann *g*), how Killmaster is standing exactly in front of the No Smoking sign smoking his cigarette. And - of course - all the happy faces in the audience.
Talking about the audience, my favorite part of the concert at the moment is the part "Say yeah!" - "YEAH!" - "Say what?" - "WHAT!" *rofl* Too bad you can't see the Jackal's expression after that... *gg*
So, all in all, a very impressive concert recording. Maybe what I write here sounds a little different, but - I just take all the positive things for granted and don't list them here. =;-) The only problem is that the concert starts slowly. So, if you want to convince someone to become a Kaizerfan, maybe you should start somewhere in the middle and not with the first song.
One more thing: What really annoyed me were the frequency errors that occured fairly often. Maybe that is supposed to look "artistic", who knows, but I really didn't like it. You feel like sitting in a cinema enjoying the show, and suddenly the picture turns to home video quality for a few seconds. That is really disturbing, I think. But as it happened pretty frequently and throughout the whole concert, I guess that it is meant like that. I hate it. And that's actually the only really bad thing I have to say.
Okay, so let's switch over to the best stuff on the DVD now: the extra material. There's really not much need to say anything about that. It is just perfect and exactly what you want to see as a fan. I was basically sitting in front of the TV drooling, well, and every now and then falling to the floor laughing my heart out. The three documentations are just perfect. They show all you want to see. And some stuff you never wanted to know. They are long enough and not - like usual - just a few short pictures. I can't really say if you can enjoy that as "just a little bit" fan as well, but I could imagine that it is still interesting. Until now, I've only watched it once, but I'm pretty sure I'll have a lot of fun watching the specials over and over... =;-) The only negative thing is the sound of the Maestro documentation. Either my headphones were acting weird (then I take that back) or the soundmix is balanced very badly and you often only hear something on one channel. =:-/
I really like the way the photos and slideshow are done, and even the biography (that you NEVER watch on any DVD, right?) is really nice with the awarding of the gold records in the background.
And I don't need to talk about the videos here, they are great anyway. Well, actually I noticed for the first time how trashy the Kontroll video is... *lol* But very nice to see it in good quality.
So, summing it up, thumbs up for the DVD. It's plain out perfect! The DVD is exactly what I hoped for, even though this review might sound a little negative from time to time. But as I explained above - with Kaizers, I just expect all the good things and don't write about them, so I only enumerate the bad things. =;-)
Well, and the worst for last. =:-(
The DVD is great - but not for the German market. Honestly, I don't think they can "make it" with the DVD here in Germany. Because the DVD is too "Norwegian". Don't get that wrong now - this is exactly the way it must be, there's no other way, and I definitely don't want it differently. If I imagine Kaizers talking in English in the documentaries - no, thank you very much. But as a German music fan you really have to work hard to get through the DVD - at least if you aren't a Kaizerfan already.
Of course it is nice that there are subtitles. But - first of all, those are not available throughout the DVD (neither the concert itself nor the hidden scenes have subtitles). Then, they are not consistent (sometimes you can choose between English, German and no subtitles, sometime they are set fast to English). And sometimes they are wrong. Which is on purpose, of course. And it is really funny - if you understand what is actually being said! Of course it is a good joke if you translate green with red, but there's just no use for it if the non-Norwegian-speaking fan is sitting in front of the screen with a big question mark on her face wondering what THAT was about now. But I can't think of any way to avoid that, it would really be too much to use double subtitles or something. It's a pity.
And as a last comment - this is really really exhausting. During the documentation, you have very nice pictures you want to relish and not miss anything. At the same time, you hear a Norwegian commentary you try to understand. And you want to read the subtitles. Wow - that's too much for my little brain. Luckily I can watch it over and over again. =;-)
As a final comment: I think the DVD is perfect for Kaizerfans. Norwegian Non-Kaizerfans will turn to the good side for sure when watching the DVD. German Non-Kaizerfans might come along to a concert and become a fan that way - but sadly, not by just watching the DVD. Which is too bad, but there's no other way.
So, and after writing much too much, I need to get back to the TV now, second round... =;-)