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Paul McCartney in Red Square [DVD] 
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- YESTERDAY - WE CAN WORK IT OUT - FOOL ON THE HILL - IVE JUST SEEN A FACE - TWO OF US - HEY JUDE - MAYBE IM AMAZED - SHES LEAVING HOME - CANT BUY ME LOVE - BIRTHDAY - LIVE & LET DIE - BAND ON THE RUN - GETTING BETTER - HEY JUDE - GOT TO GET YOU INTO MY LIFE - SGT. PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND - I SAW HER STANDING THERE - FLAMING PIE - DRIVE MY CAR - PENNY LANE - JET - LET IT BE - GET BACK - BACK IN THE USSR - IVE GOT A FEELING - HELTER SKETLER
Although Sir Paul McCartney had never actually set foot on Russian soil before, his history-making open air show in Moscow's Red Square in May 2003 in front of 100,000 people seemed like a triumphal homecoming. And in a manner of speaking it was. Dismissed as "cacophonous rubbish" in the 1960s by then Soviet leader and aspiring rock critic Nikita Krushchev and generally viewed as subversive alien propaganda by other mean-spirited senior Communist killjoys, The Beatles were an underground religion in the old USSR with dissidents aplenty - many of them reminiscing in fascinating detail on this DVD - tuning in to Beatlemania courtesy of Russian blackmarketeers who covertly duplicated copies of the bands' albums on discarded hospital X-Ray plates. Here then, finally, was a Beatles legend and songwriter in skin and bone, playing Beatles classics aplenty - a rapturously received "Back In The USSR", "Hey Jude" an enchanting mass singalong, "Two Of Us" and "She's Leaving Home" given a long overdue airing - in the shadow of St Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's mausoleum and The Kremlin. Kruschev - presumably more of a Stones man - would have been appalled. Not so Putin and Gorbachev who pop-up to press McCartney's flesh, teach Macca some lingo and express their admiration. In addition to the Red Square gig, there's generous footage of Paul's attendant private visit to St Petersburg plus more live action from the following year when Macca did his stuff during another stop-over in Peter The Great's "Window On The West". McCartney murdered Marxism? There's enough evidence here to give Mr Thumbs Aloft a pretty good shout. --Kevin Maidment
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Top customer reviews
Like the USA one, it concentrates almost as much on the audience as it does on the band,
and so makes a statement about that particular performance.
However, although the St Petersburg concert looks just as good musically, the producers
of this section of the DVD have ruined it by switching camera shots far too frequently.
Generally, each shot lasts no more than ONE SECOND, and there are some sections
where there are 2 or 3 shots per second. It makes it completely unwatchable for me.
Worth buying it for the Red Square alone though.
Such a shame they chose to release it as a documentary-concert. The documentary is interesting, don't get me wrong. But it would have benefitted from being an item in itself. Say a bonus feature.
On the plus side there is a second concert from St. Petersburg that was filmed during Macca's next world tour and whilst it is only 30-40 minutes in length it is at least an uninterrupted performance. The setlist is fantastic too, with some of the less-often played songs.
The sound quality is good on both concerts, however the visual quality of the St. Petersburg gig is slightly poor in my opinion. It has a grainy quality to it that just looks like poor quality film stock was used.
But hey, it is Macca. He is a legend. And here you have legendary songs played masterfully by Paul and his band. And that makes up one star in my eyes that would otherwise have been docked if it had been anyone else.
The main feature is a fascinating documentary that tells the story of the struggle that Russians had in listening to the Beatles under Communist rule. Not very exciting i hear you cry. Well, this is all interwoven with material from Macca's first ever performance in Russia. And what a performance it was! Part of his now legendary 2003 Back in the World Tour (I was lucky enough to see the first UK show of the tour, but that's another story), Paul plays songs from his entire 40 year back catalogue, with a large amount of the show devoted to Beatles songs. All with an absolutely brilliant band complementing.
One massive highlight amongst many is the moment when the writer of Back in the USSR performs that very number for the very first time in front of a Russian crowd. It really has to be seen to believed. And you get to see it twice as once wasn't enough for the crowd that night!
If there is one disapointment with the documentary, it is a bit on the short side. But, dispair not. We are also treated to an extra 55 minute documentary of Paul's St Petersburg appearance last year that, after a short intro, is pure concert footage. The songs featured are mainly ones that weren't played during the 2003 tour (which can be found on the aforementioned documentary and the equally great Back in the US DVD), including Penny Lane and Get Back.
But the best is saved for last. Helter Skelter live with Macca and his band is a pure joy!
The two short extras on the disc are fairly pointless, so i won't waste your time on them.
The picture and sound are first rate, though widescreen would have been nice in the 21st Century.
Overall, this is one great DVD that should not be missed by ant McCartney or Beatles fan.
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