4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tour Of The Universe : Barcelona 20/21.11.09 [2DVD+2CD]  [NTSC] (Audio CD)
Last year myself and my sister went to Birmingham LG to watch my fave all time band perform songs from their new album. We enjoyed it so much that I spent silly money for us to go and see them at the O2, only to be annoyed when I found out that if I had spent REALLY silly money I could have watched Martin and Alan perform "Somebody" at the Royal Albert Hall!
Anyhoo - the new DVD is pretty good, trouble is I don't think it really conveys the bands talent. Poor visuals do let it down, "Playing The Angel" in Milan gave us a music video style to each song, using more unusual angles and stage mounted camera shots to make you feel like you were standing with the band. In TOTU you get long shots of the stage which conveys little atmosphere, making you feel like you are watching the gig from the gods! Before their tour DVDs have been joyous, colourful and visually stunning, while the visuals here are ok, there are too many white light "halo's" which make the band indistinguishable from the stage set.
There were so many songs from "Black Celebration" and "Violator" that I wondered if perhaps they were just trying to please the Audience instead of promoting the new album's songs.
Missing are songs like Fragile Tension and Miles Away[The Truth Is] although the latter does appear in the extras. I saw a wallpaper image once where the number of songs from each studio album performed on the tour was put on a graph. TOTU was not as prolific as it should have been.
Peter and Christian are amazing - those drums just pound through you and in the Documentary they both prove to be thoroughly ordinary chaps with a love of the music and immense talent. Much respect due, and Peter is my new Keyboard Hero, learning new songs in the Jet on the way to a gig then playing them acoustic, genius.
The TOTU DVD left me feeling a little depressed [and no its not because Martin's lyrics are dark] but the fact that the band went through so much before and during the tour, that it tends to leave a stain on the performance. Andy's dad died before they went on stage in Israel, and to credit Fletch he went out and performed, the guys do love their fans, lets face it we are a faithful bunch.
Poor David, I never realised, to my shame, how much he must have gone through just to push himself on stage every night. NaÔve me thinks that he can go on forever, and wishes he could. His performance in Birmingham was AMAZING - but in Barcelona he struggles, the once strong voice squeaks and fades out quickly. He depends a great deal on the Audience to fill in the gaps [not that we mind] although in Birmingham his voice did take a while to warm up, and by the third song he was back to singing without that American Accent which proves to be a little annoying on the DVD.
Martin L Genius - has kicked the booze and it shows - sing more please. That voice raises above the others and is as sharp and melodious as in the bands youth. Perhaps David would ease up and feel more comfortable if the rest of the band took up more of the pressure of singing alone. And if you listen to the Demo's on the SOTU extra discs, you hear how Martin writes, he sings them with a passion that David had before the ravages of chemicals and cancer.
Martin is perfectly capable of fronting more songs!
All in all a rather disappointing DVD, I am sure that on repeated viewing it will grow on me, but I yearn for the Halcyon days of Songs Of Faith, or Playing The Angel.
Take time out guys to recover from the tour and life, get Alan back, pesuade him cajole him, sell him my soul... with Peter, Christian and Martin on the case [with a possibility of Vince too!!]- I can't wait for the future.
Be Seeing You