First the disclaimers: 1- There's no 'Stairway to Heaven' on this DVD. That performance shows up on a couple of their cd's, but not here. 2- A couple of the bonus music videos have sound that's slightly out of sync w/ the image (at least on my copy). 3- The remaining bonus materials are kind of 'fluffy', or a bit spare. I would have preferred interviews & behind-the-scenes that were more 'straight', not merely this 'montage of wackiness' approach.
But having said all this, my recommendation would be for you to purchase this dvd right away, and share it with anyone you can grab. I've never seen a concert film quite like this, or one that would seem less likely to be so much fun.
Turns out that the odd-looking Leningrad Cowboys - - with their sunglasses, pointed hair and pointed shoes - - were the most normal part of this show.
What you get here is spectacle. Thousands of people rocking out in Senate Square in Helsinki while an enormous Russian Military Chorus and Orchestra (and accompanying folk dancers) gleefully share the stage with the big weirdo Finnish showband doing rock covers.
No, you don't get 'Stairway', but you do get the Turtles' 'Happy Together', Dylan's 'Knocking on Heaven's Door', Tom Jones' 'Delilah', ZZ Top's 'Gimme All Your Loving' (w/ accordions), Skynyrd's 'Sweet Home Alabama' and others, trading off w/ your basic (but none the less bombastic) 'greatest hits' of Russian folk music including Kalinka, Volga Boatmen, Dark Eyes, and such.
The real surprise is how joyously earnest it all appears. Most of the songs may be American, but I didn't catch any cynical tongue-in-cheek 'kitsch factor' that might have occurred had this been a US production. Despite the rock show glitz, this still feels very much like a foreign film. There's just a different sensibility to the performances and to the way they've been captured.
If you enjoyed Aki Kaurismaki's "Leningrad Cowboys Go America", you should love this, even though this is almost an entirely different vibe. So actually, even if you didn't enjoy that movie, you still might want to check this out.
The Leningrad Cowboys have always been something of a quirky enigma for me. I enjoyed that first movie years ago, and was later surprised to hear about the existence of other movies and a bunch of albums. As there's been next to nothing easily available in the US, the mystery has continued. I'm happy now to have had the opportunity to fill in some of the blanks.
Now if we can just get a Region 1 dvd release for "Leningrad Cowboys Go America"... (and the rest of the Kaurismaki catalog as well!)