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Mr Big - Back To Budokan (DVD)

Mr Big
Back To Budokan (DVD)
by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos at 15 November 2009, 10:03 AM

Who can be possible unfamiliar to the band called MR BIG? The right answer -of course- is nobody. Indeed, this late 80s band really stirred things up with the high musicianship approach to the Hard Rock sound that had great injections of many different music genres. I mean in their music you can find Blues, Jazz, Hard Rock and even Heavy Metal elements that back in those days attracted a solid fanbase around them. But when a band comprises high skilled musicians then the clouds of inner friction make always an appearance than almost all the times leads to splitting up. MR BIG was not the exception to this 'rule' and in 2002 chose to take separate ways.
Well, the fans' love can make things happen and MR BIG submitting to strong demand -especially from Japan- came together and scheduled a rewarding concert in Budokan in Tokyo. It is not a great secret that the Japanese audience has pretty different taste than the Europeans or the US ones but it is also a fact that it one of the most dedicated. So, that night in Budokan the venue was totally packed with MR BIG old and new fans who had come to celebrate the reunion.
In a DVD review there are two subjects that need to be discussed in order to give the reader the exact situation before she/he places the disc into the player. The first is the visual-audio aspect of the recording that has to do with the footage itself and the overall mixing that sometimes can really spoil the DVD. In this part Back To Budokan is simply perfect. The direction -done with multiple cameras- gives a view from almost every spot in the venue. You get close-ups, audience and general captions giving you a virtual sit in the row you prefer. The sound and mixing are flawless and you can even Eric Martin breathing during his performance. So, the first goal of a live recorded DVD is accomplished in an ideal way.
The second aspect that according to my standards is more important than the first one is the concert itself. You should no take me wrong here; I am not talking about the band's performance but the entire atmosphere of the concert. There is a 'sterile' feeling all around that totally misses the high energy a Hard Rock concert should have. The Japanese audience does not help much by just standing shouting and clapping. The 'arena' looks so organized that it becomes annoying to everyone who has been into a Hard Rock concert. I don't want to see people beat themselves into to senseless moshpits but I want to see them moving and -what the heck?- headbang a little. Even if I knew that this is Japan's way this time I was annoyed and turned off. In times this minimal response makes the concert to look like a theatrical performance that does not comply with the artists' onstage sweat. And this sweat is worth every drop that hits the stage floor. It seems there is a balance between the band members who know to give each other the adequate space to shine without spoiling the overall solid looks of MR BIG. Of course, the band leaves absolute no space to doubt their live performance that hits the Japanese stage with a great mood to party and enjoy the album achievements especially in the land of the rising sun. Well, the use of long solos (and more than the number one can handle in a single concert)  might make you hit the skip button but hey we cannot have everything in a reunion.
The second disc features the encore tracks with undeniable highlight the cover on DEEP PURPLE's Smoke On The Water where the musician change places. You can enjoy Paul Gilbert on the drums, Eric Martin in the guitar, Pat Torpey with the bass and Billy Sheehan in the vocals who actually nails the song! In the bonus material there is the video for the brand new song Next Time Around and the enticing four-track acoustic performance at Japan's Hard Rock Cafe.
So, with the pros and cons I mentioned this is MR BIG's glorious comeback on the country that is responsible for bring them back together. The filming is professional as hell, the band looks and sounds solid making this DVD a must-buy for all the MR BIG lovers. If only the crowd was more alive…

3 Star Rating

Disc 1

Daddy, Brother
Lover, Little Boy (The Elecrtic Drill Song)
Take Cover
Green-Tinted Sixties Mind
Alive and Kickin'
Next Time Around
Hold Your Head Up
Just Take My Heart
It's For You - Mars
Pat Torpey Drum Solo
Price You Gotta Pay
Stay Together
Wild World
Goin' Where The Wind Blows
Take a Walk
Paul Gilbert Guitar Solo
Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan Duo
Double Human Capo
The Whole World's Gonna Know
Promise Her The Moon
Rock & Roll Over
Billy Sheehan Bass Solo
Addicted To That Rush

Disc 2

To Be With You
Colorado Bulldog
Smoke On The Water
I Love You Japan
Baba O'Riley
Eric Martin - Vocals
Paul Gilbert - Guitar
Billy Sheehan - Bass
Pat Torpey - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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