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The Bangles: Return to Bangleonia - Live in Concert
The Bangles Return to Bangleonia - Live in Concert
Actors: Susanna Hoffs, Vicki Peterson, Debbi Peterson, Michael Steele
Director: Kerry Asmussen
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2007     1hr 35min

One of the most successful female groups of all time, The Bangles make a triumphant return to their hometown of L.A. with their first ever concert DVD. The queens of power pop pull out all of their hits, from "Walk Like...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Susanna Hoffs, Vicki Peterson, Debbi Peterson, Michael Steele
Director: Kerry Asmussen
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll
Studio: Shout Factory
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 08/14/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 35min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

With an agenda
Les Amies | Wisconsin, USA | 12/18/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

"I watched this concert years ago on TV and i thought it was fantastic. It would deserve a five star rating, but its not complete. About 20 minutes of music are missing, three songs are entierly cut and two other songs are partly hacked in a really bad way. The extras are a bland run of the mill. An interview were they tell the same old stories once again, a commentary were they tell some more old stories and even the same stories from the interview. This disc also contains two songs as accoustic versions. I know there was a third but the camera was probably on Michael Steele one time too many:

My main complaint is that Michael Steele, the bassist, is hardly featured here. She isn't involved in the commentary, the interview, and only a little in the gallery. The pictures in the gallery from around the reunion days feature her exactly one time, perhaps to give the impression away she was never much involved in this reunion at all and any fan from these days knows that this is simply not true. Maybe the other three Bangles found themself prettier or whatever catty nonsense the reason was.

One of her songs (I'm not talking) is deleted, and another song (You were on my mind) where she sings lead together with the other three Bangles is cut too. Even though she was a bandmember at the time, they managed to make it look like she was hardly involved in this concert at all. There was a third song cut, but the title escapes me right now and that song was never part of the TV version either. Parts of Manic Monday and Walk like an Egyptian are deleted as well, and they did it so badly, its just hilarious. Their excuse is the good ol' "licensing issues" but this disease seems to beset mostly songs where Michael Steele is more featured than usual.

The remaining three Bangles (Michael Steele left in 2005 and its obvious why) seem to have an agenda to belittle Michael Steeles involvement in the Bangles and this particular concert as far as possible. Sure, they suck up on her in the commentary occasionally but it feels flat and forced as if they would read a script and who listens to the commentary of a LIVE CONCERT anyway. I found their idle chit chat about "back in the day" really boring and occasionally it seems they don't even know their own songs, for instance when Debbi Peterson cracks up about a specific line in September Gurls and her sister Vicki Peterson have to remind her why it was sung that way or Susanna Hoffs who doesn't recognise the intro to one of her own songs. It just made me cringe. Another low point was their 'explanation' why Michael left and given the fact that she was a member of about 15 bands make them sound like they just want to cover up themselves. Go and listen to it for yourself.

There was talk in the past about including recorded video material from the sessions to Doll Revolution and backstage stuff, but its not on this disc. Michael Steele would be on this material, and that was enough to give it the axe i guess.

If it were the complete concert without any agenda, it would deserve 5 stars, because the concert is energetic fun, and a good reminder of greater times with the Bangles, even without the aforementioned missing songs its still four stars but the agenda of Vicki Peterson, Debbi Peterson and Susanna Hoffs deserve no star at all and they show it off too obviously here. Hence, i gave two stars as a compromise."
Bangles concert for Bangle History
Lady Prudence | New York | 08/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Now that Michael Steele has left the band, this concert performance is even more memorable. It was one of the first concerts the band performed after they announced their reunion in 2000, so if you're looking for concerts clips of the band in the 80's, this is not it. Instead, the girls are surrounded by lavender-colored candles, giving the whole concert a warm, incandescent, neo-hippie glow, and yes, there are
bum notes, off-key harmonies, Vicki's guitar string breaks but they're great! Like the great garage bands of they sixties that they so loved, the Bangles are unpretentious and have a genuine affection for all the songs they play (even the overplayed Eternal Flame and the dreaded Walk Like an Egyptian). Their affection comes through in their playing. With a warm hometown audience this concert shows the Bangles a bit older, wiser, without the 80s hype (and angst) doing what they love to do -- play together. It proves that the band was always about four equally-talented women and the music they loved since they were girls."
Better than Expected
Kevin R. Austra | Delaware Valley, USA | 06/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I have been waiting for a live Bangles concert since MTV's professionally produced broadcast of the band's December 1986 Pittsburgh performance. Even though I subsequently recorded a VHS copy of the rebroadcast live performance I was hopeful and official version would some day become available. Alas, it has not. Not yet, anyway. The next best thing is RETURN TO BANGLEONIA.

The 2000 performance was filmed at the famous House of Blues and is captured from various roving cameras. The digital recording is of superb quality. RETURN TO BANGLEONIA is truly a professional product. I hope that a CD version of the performance eventually becomes available. More importantly it was great to see the Bangles together again.

I was initially wary of buying this DVD. Some of the reviews gave rise to the belief that this was not a whole uninterrupted concert. The cartoony-looking DVD cover only served to perpetuate my quandry. When I finally made the purchase I was happy I did so. The DVD is a complete performance, and then some.

The Bangles went their separate ways when the group was just about at their peak. Following the very successful albums/CDs DIFFERENT LIGHT and EVERYTHING, the group stalled. The greatest hits CD, very often a warning sign, and its VHS companion hit store shelves in 1990. The Bangles went their separate ways. It was a decade before they fully reunited for an AUSTIN POWERS soundtrack and subsequently released DOLL REVOLUTION. Unfortunately the decade break took its toll. Marriages, families, and other important distractions ensured that the Bangles would enter the public eye at infrequent intervals.

Even in RETURN TO BANGLEONIA we are treated to some of the wear and tear on the band. Unlike the 1980s' Pittsburgh concernt, where the gals bubbled with energy and enthusiasm, Susanna Hoffs appears to be the only member of the band truly enjoying the performance. Even Michael Steele seems more distant. Maybe this was a precursor to her hopefully not permanent departure from the band. At the conclusion of the House of Blues concert you see her strut off stage while Hoffs and sisters Peterson group hug-bow. It is too bad that Steele does not appear in any of the interview segments in the special features.

In watching and listening to the BANGLEONIA DVD I noted that many of the numbers were performed in a more folksy manner. Accoustic guitars are more evident in this concert. There is no great effort to try and replicate the sound of the original recordings. In some ways this was a disappointment and in others it was refreshing. In any event, the price is right and DVD is high quality.
Melissa C. Jurgensen | Lexington, KY USA | 02/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I finally got around to ordering this DVD and wow, I love it! The Bangles have always been my favorite band but I was so young in the 80s I never got to see them perform live. Very happy with this DVD and enjoyed the commentary and interview with Susanna, Vicki and Debbi. Love seeing them laugh together. Unlike artists today, these girls really have talent! They sound excellent live."