Forums > Queen + Adam Lambert > Thoughts on ROTC DVD

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ermin user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Jan 07, 09:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Believe it or not, I first saw ROTC DVD a few days ago. I think I needed some distance. I wanted to be as open-minded as possible, and I don't want to doubt whether this is really Queen or not. Let's take it for what it says it is: Queen + PR.

Here's my review of the DVD. Please be civil if you want to discuss it: no slurs, no calling names, no accusations. You can be critical of my review or the performance, but don't get personal. Here I go:

This is a good show. Given how old the guys are, this is probably as energetic as it gets. Paul Rodgers' performance is solid, if unspectacular. I totally understand why Brian and Roger wanted to revive Queen. They did a good job and selected a solid frontman. I do not disagree with their decision. They have the right to continue doing what they love. Having said this, it is just so obvious why Freddie was the most spectacular frontman in rock history. Top songs, like Show Must Go On or Another One Bites the Dust, sound only half as good when delivered by Rodgers. Freddie could deliver ballads (Love of My Life) with emotion, rock anthems (We Will Rock You or Tie Your Mother Down) with ferocious power, and pop songs (A Kind of Magic) with skill. His charisma and interaction with audience was definitely lacking in this DVD. Rodgers is a solid performer but his rapport with the audience is almost non-existent.

As for the sound, the technology is much better today than it was at Wembley, for instance. Moses and Miranda provide two solid backing vocals. In this aspect the concert sounds better than most of the old concerts as there are simply more voices to go around. Yet, the sound doesn't have the raw power or energy of the old shows. Brian had a luxury of a rhythm guitar for the first time, and I think that made him lazy. He's not even half as sharp as he used to be. Actually, Brian of the old easily outperforms both himself and Moses on ROTC. Roger obviously does not have the power he used to possess -- both in drumming as well as in singing compartments. It was kind of sad seeing him singing to a half-karaoke versions on Radio Ga Ga and These Are the Days of Our Lives.

All in all, this was a good concert. They still beat many other bands hands down. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, we are bound to make mental comparisons to old Queen concerts. And there's no one that could live up to that.

Rating: 3 out of 5

icefire user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Jan 07, 13:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

i strangely agree with most your points. The sound is powerful in the concert indeed and all those camera tricks from our days really make it look impressive to me.still it's not nearly the same spirit compared to mercury concerts.

i disapprove using queen name cause it somehow crosses with the big legend of queen. however all those moments about freddie in the concert are touchy and super nostalgic.

but still i look in teir touring as my last opportunity to see roger and brian performing.

i will try my best to get tickets and see them in 2007 (hopefully another tour).

not exactly answering the topic but these are my thoughts ;)

Wiley user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Jan 07, 14:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think this is a honest review and agree with most of it. The performance recorded and portrayed in this DVD is very good, not the best from the tour but still great. The camera work makes it very enjoyable as in an MTV video style and it simply rocks! The only complain about the camera angles is the fact that the curtain drop at the beginning was shown from the wrong side. It looks much better on the Super Live in Japan DVD. I strongly recommend buying this one aswell if you can. Better setlist and better performance overall.

ermin wrote:

Rodgers is a solid performer but his rapport with the audience is almost non-existent.


I used to think this aswell. I was a bit bothered by the fact that the people at the European concerts were not paying attention to Paul Rodgers at all. I almost felt bad for him. He would be singing his heart off at the end of the catwalk and all the eyes were focused on Brian playing rythm guitar on one side of the stage. It makes sense, most people were there to see Queen and not PR (I was, I accept it) but as I went to more gigs I started to appreciate Paul more and more.

By the time I saw the guys in San Diego in April 2006 they were a much tighter band and Paul was more into his element. He was the master and commander in that show. He didn't do a lot of talking but the audience seemed to enjoy some of his songs more than many Queen tracks and there was a connection.

Great developing of the band as a unit! A long long road from Fancourt 2005 to Vancouver 2006 and they sound great. I'm really looking forward to the new album and a possible tour... Mexico and Texas, please! :D.

Wiley

ITSM user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Jan 07, 15:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I got the CD, but I don't have the DVD.

I've listened to the CD about 3 times from A-Z, but I didn't like it very much. I think it's better to listen to the old shows.

Anyway, I'm just curious.. Is it worth buying the DVD?
I know I'm going to get it some day, 'cuz I have every release with the name Queen on it... But is it actually worth buying?

I think Queen rather should release some DVD's from live shows from the (early) 70's. I think more people would have apreciate that more!!?


I think the reviews that you guys have written over are good, but.. . I'm just curious.. . ..



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ermin user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Jan 07, 15:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I heard that PR developed a much better rapport with the audience in later concerts. And, I also read that Super Live in Japan is superior to ROTC (I hope I'll be able to buy it one day). My comments were confined to ROTC only.

I should have also said that the concert had its moments. When Brian sang Love of My Life, you could see the sadness on his face and my eyes were filled with tears. Likewise, watching the clips on the screen during These Are the Days of My Life was very emotional. One could see that this was not a routine concert and there is a lot of emotion invested in it. That is why I said I was glad the DVD was released. And, if Queen + PR go on a tour again, I'll definitely do my best to see them.

CORRECTION: In my initial review I stated "I don't want to doubt whether this is Queen or not". It should read "to debate" instead of "to doubt". I received a phone call from a friend as I was writing and I continued writing while I was talking to him. Hence the error.

ermin user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Jan 07, 15:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


To ITSM:

I don't know where you live, but I paid US$ 10.97 for the DVD (in the US, at amazon.com). At that price, I'd definitely say it's worth it as it is a piece of Queen history. Just make sure you remind yourself again and again that this is Freddie-less Queen and it should be fine.

Wiley user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 15 Jan 07, 19:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think I paid twice as much for the double CD than for the DVD. The CD was available here in Mexico about a week before the DVD (those slimey bastards! haha) so I bought that one first.

I liked the DVD a million times more than the CD. I think it captures the best of the experience in parts like "Last Horizon", which is one of those magic "you had to be there" moments of the show (with the shiny disco ball) yet it translates very well into the DVD. Brings back memories, hehe :).

Get them all in its due time. I don't think you'll be disappointed. There seems to be a lot of time before the next proper Queen release so you'll be able to save once again so your kids can wake up that glorious morning of November 2075 for the ANATO Centenary Edition, which would have postponed the box sets another couple of years, hehe :).

Wiley

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Posted: 16 Jan 07, 01:17 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I agree with you on almost all your points except for the fact that you mentioned Paul not interacting with the audience. Maybe at first when the DVD was filmed but I saw them twice (2005 and 2006) both brilliant shows, but by April 2006 when I saw them in Anaheim, I was blown away by how much confidence he had strutting out on the catwalk. I mean he sang to the audience and it really delivered well especially with the major anthem songs that everyone knows (which are a majority of the songs played)

The other point you mention about Brian being lazy, I guess your kind of right, but think about it, he's nearly 60 years old, he doesn't have the same physical capacity he had 20 years ago. And being a musician (guitarst) myself, it also takes a great deal of mental capacity on top of physical strength to deliever a successful show for 2 hours. But when I saw them, I was blown away by his ability to compliment the music and connect with the crowd.

Great review,

Cheers
Heather


"Take The First Step In Faith, You Don't Have To See The Whole Staircase, Just Take The First Step."
Queenman!! user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 16 Jan 07, 06:18 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think the 2005 tour was more like a warming-up to them.To be Honest;

-Paul was not confident.
-Roger was very heavy and looked like an alcoholic at some points.
-Brian was not in time with Roger very much, missed quite often te right chords in his guitar solo and blew it up.

Sorry for the negative comments. Saw them three times during the European Tour and they could not convince me. You can see the 'Magic' is gone. Maybe cause they had not toured for a long time. Brian last tour 1998 and Roger 1994 I believe.


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ermin user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 16 Jan 07, 16:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Yes, Roger's movements looked so 'heavy', he didn't have the smoothness in his drumming. Of course, he was still solid, but nothing to write home about.

I'd really like to see Super Live in Japan. What is the best place to get it?

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Posted: 16 Jan 07, 17:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Japan :-)


Violonbleu
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Posted: 17 Jan 07, 08:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm baffled over the ROTC dvd in that I enjoy it over many Queen concerts with Freddie. Part of it's the nostalgia behind the tour and in the show, part of it is due to superior equipment and a deeper, evolved song catalogue and part of it is the expanded presence of Brian and Roger.

I think I can truly say now that PR over someone like George Michael was a brilliant decision. If it was GM, more Freddie like it would sound, but I'd keep thinking of it as sub-Freddie. With Paul the music takes a fresh stand and makes me think less and less of the singer that used to be and more of the band that is alive and kicking. And I like the Queen + Paul Rodgers name for a different reason which is that it represents a band that I see as quite different from Queen.

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Posted: 17 Jan 07, 08:39 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

By the time the American tour rolled around I think that Brian was playing better than I have heard him playing in years.

Yes he made mistakes but he made a bunch of them playing with Queen when they toured.

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Posted: 19 Jan 07, 06:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I like your review, but it's not really a review of the DVD itself, is it? It's rather a review of the Queen + Paul Rodgers project with emphasis on one particular show (Sheffield).

The DVD is well-produced in terms of audio, video and packaging. There were some complaints about the cover of the CD/DVD, but I must say that it grew on me. I think that it's meant to recreate in one shot the feeling you get of being at a live show, and it does that successfully. I particularly fond of the back cover shot for personal reasons - I'm on it :) (the photo is from the Budapest show, where I was in the front row).

The audio mix is very good, with cristal clear sound. Playing it on a good sound system makes you feel like you're in that hall. I have yet to test the 5.1 surround sound mix since I lack the (ahem!) equipment.

Another complaint that many people had was the strange angles the director used, with particular regard to the opening and the falling curtain. The problem most people had was that the curtain was showed from Roger's POV. However, I feel that these concerns are not justified. The editing was skillful in that there were several cuts, showing the curtain falling down from various angles, including stage and audience POV. I'm very fond of the low-angle travelling shots used during "Radio Ga Ga" - they created a very good effect of showing Paul in the middle of a see of hands clapping in unison - the pinnacle of a true Queen show.

The only major complaint I have is the non-existent extras on the DVD. There could have been more than only one clip from Hyde Park, perhaps highlights of that concert (as we know it was filmed in its entirety). There could have been any number of extras: highlights from the 46664 gig, the three songs Queen + Paul Rodgers performed at the UK hall of fame, interviews and/or electronic press kits, multiple angle features, rehearsal footage... The possibilities are endless. Hell, even an audio commentary from the band would've been good. I have a similar complaint about the Super Live in Japan DVD, although the Budapest documentary was a nice touch.

On a personal note, many of my non-Queenie friends have watched Return of the Champions and they all express a similar sentiment - although Freddie Mercury is obviously irreplaceable, Paul Rodgers does an excellent job and it's highly unlikely that anyone could've done it better.

All in all a good (ahem!) package, if a bit rushed.

V.



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