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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 43.30)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.0 Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • Featurette
  • Animated menus
  • Music video
Scorpions - Moment of Glory: Berliner Philharmoniker Live
Eagle Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 90 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Right at the outset, allow me to point out that while I tried – really, really tried – to understand and appreciate the well-loved institution of Euro-rock that is The Scorpions, I feel obliged to start this review with a disclaimer: I can’t stand ‘em. If you’re a Scorpions fan, you’ll probably want to head down to the transfer section now. For the rest of you still reading, I promise I’ll be quick.

Think of every bombastic rock cliché you possibly can. Now double that, and add an orchestra. That is what you’re up against with the pretentiously-named Moment of Glory – an hour and a half of everything embarrassing about dinosaur rock bands, dressed up as a momentous event and paired with the Berlin Philharmonic in the vain hope that nobody will notice Metallica did it the previous year. Middle-aged men with shirts wide open, silly bandanas and ludicrous Bill-and-Ted pointy guitars doing screaming solos at every opportunity. Simplistic power ballads that would make Celine Dion cringe, yelped out by a voice that makes Yes’s Jon Anderson sound like a Southern blues man by comparison. Three-chord tunes that you’d laugh at and walk out on if the local band playing the front bar of the Espy tried to inflict them on you. A children’s choir chanting “we don’t own the world” to the point where you’re ready to sign up for a lifetime of elevator music just to escape. A guest vocalist that does air guitar. And horror of horrors, that bloody Wind Of Change atrocity that you couldn’t escape from on the radio all those years ago. It runs for nine interminable minutes.

At least when Metallica did the make-ourselves-sound-big-by-hiring-an-orchestra thing they did it with something approaching a sense of humour. They knew they were a big dumb rock band and that it was in fact rather silly that they should be on stage playing Enter Sandman with the San Francisco Symphony, and you could see the fun of it all on their faces, like kids in a great big orchestral candy store where they get to be Bugs Bunny, conductor. But for The Scorpions this is serious, right down to the fifteen-minute “Deadly Sting Suite” (!). With a sense of occasion that’s impossible to fathom unless you happen to speak German, they po-facedly turn the Berliner Philharmoniker into a progressive-rock band without ever once finding the vaguest hint of irony. Their music might be loved by generations for its goofy simplicity and the band’s sheer persistence, but here they’re just taking it all way too seriously. It’s like a new-age Spinal Tap without the jokes.

Of course, if you miss those ‘80s hair-band power-ballads – or long for a return to the days when a rock concert was a theatrical experience, man – then this should be right up your alley. Old-school Big Rock does seem to be poised to make a comeback, and after all, a lot of people love this band and everything they do. Those people, we’re pleased to say, are going to be very happy with this DVD.

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

Boasting beautiful 16:9-format video that’s sharper than the pointiest of pointy guitars, this disc offers a state-of-the-art digital video recording of this bigger-than-big event that captures every nuance of the large-scale lighting, the many musicians and their instruments and the fifteen million litres of artificial smoke that’s pumped in the faces of the Berlin Philharmoniker for most of the set. An almost problem-free video encoding job, only the occasional minor aliasing reminds you that you’re watching a home video format and not the local TV station’s high-end master tape. Annoyingly, there are no subtitles provided to translate the lengthy between-song banter and introductions, which are all in German (the songs themselves are in English).

Spread over a dual-layered disc, the main feature gets rudely interrupted just before the half way point for a layer change, which is as unmissably obvious as layer changes during live concert discs always are.

Audio is also excellent, and is provided as a 5.0 surround mix in your choice of Dolby Digital or DTS. The DTS version is predictably louder, but otherwise sounds pretty much identical to its Dolby counterpart; both tracks are very lively surround mixes that provide a very natural soundstage without resorting to gimmickry. The centre channel is used more for imaging that for movie-style discrete audio, which of course is how it should be with a live concert recording whether the concert be rock or classical (or in this case, both!). There is no LFE track, as this mix is designed to be played on full-range speakers rather than home theatre setups; with capable speakers, you won’t miss the LFE channel here.

Extras are provided in the form of a 14-minute documentary/interview featurette and three video clips for studio-recorded versions of three of the songs from the concert. There are also nicely animated menus throughout, though the use of the same snippet from the title song goes beyond annoying and into the realms of pure psychological pain in no time...!


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  •   And I quote...
    "Think of every bombastic rock cliché you possibly can. Now double that, and add an orchestra. "
    - Anthony Horan
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS300
    • TV:
          Panasonic - The One
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-DB870
    • Speakers:
          Klipsch Tangent 500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Panasonic
    • Surrounds:
          Jamo
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          Monster s-video
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