Concert and Commentary blend well
G. Reid | Oshkosh, WI United States | 10/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a bit surprised at first when I realized there would be commentary between each song. Having visited Russia (the U.S.S.R. then) in April, 1971 I understand how necessary the commentary is to impress upon the average viewer the importance this concert had for the Red Square audience, many who had grown up in the late 60's and early 70's and were looked upon at that time as the future of communism by the Soviet government. There were also many young people in the audience, their ages appearing to range from 40 to 10
The concert itself, the sound and picture quality are excellent. Seeing it performed in Red Square brought back many memories of my own visit. The prescence of the commentary between songs is extremely valid.
When we were preparing to visit in '71 we were told that if we could afford it we should take rock records with us, especially Beatles as their music was banned in the U.S.S.R., to give to Russian students. I presented the Beatles album I had taken to a student in Moscow. His eyes lit up immediately as he grasped it, turned and ran towards his friends, holding it high and shouting, "Beatles! Beatles!"
At a dinner with Russain students given for us in Moscow there was a Russian band performing. They played several Beatles tunes, including Can't Buy Me Love. When we were leaving St. Petersburg (called Leningrad then) we were fogged in for an hour, the majority of our group went to dinner but four of us stayed in the terminal playing chess and drinking Dark Eyes wine. Whoever was in charge of the airport speaker system took a great gamble and played the White Album for us, side 1, of course.
So the commentary is very essential and gives one a true sense of the impact of rock music, spearheaded by the Beatles, on the Soviet Union. I feel that if the commentary had been a separate added feature few people would have watched it and missed out on the true significance of this concert.
As a side note I also gave the Stones album Beggar's Banquet to a hotel maid in Czechoslovakia. Once again the bulging eyes syndrome as she ran down the hallway yelling Rolling Stones over and over again.
Paul's band is fabulous and all the songs are great. The commentary clips are brief between each song, a little dose of reality and history interspersed with the fun. I have to admit it choked me up at times too. It goes a little deeper than just presenting a concert for the entertainment value alone. This dvd shows how personal freedom can be communicated in a way that not even a strong, repressive government could suppress. It also demonstrates that the Russians can party as well as anyone on this planet!"
Painting the Town Red and Rockin'!
BeatleBangs1964 | United States | 04/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you want to be treated to some excellent music performed live and enjoy equally excellent footage, then this is for you. Paul McCartney is not only a class act, but a veteran entertainer who appears to be happy with himself and at home in his profession. Both speak to the good.
I like the way documenatary footage was added which for me made for a bonus part of the show. Although it was not a "true live experience," it was indeed a delightful performance and the contrast between documentary and concert footage helped strengthen the film. Viewers got an even deeper sense of the concert and what took place in making it possible.
I LOVED the inclusion of several of my favorite Beatle songs!
More than Just a Great Concert
T. B. Vick | The Lone Star State | 07/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is more than just a great concert, it is an historical look at how the Soviet Union and its citizens responded to the Beatles and their music in the 60's up until the fall of Communism in the late 80's early 90's.
Intermittent between each of the songs is a story from McCartney, or a Russian individual. Certain Russian audience members who grew up in the 60's describe how the Beatles's music was banned in their country and how they took painstaking risks to buy their music and memorabilia (at the risk of being thrown in jail by the Soviet KGB). The DVD contains segments of interviews with former soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev describing how important Beatles music was to the Soviet people in a time of oppression. President Putin confirms these remarks by Gorbachev by describing how the Beatles were banned from the U.S.S.R. when he was younger and how he had an opportunity to hear several of their songs as a child (Putin shows up to the Moscow show in a very moving moment during the show).
The DVD is very moving. In fact, during the Moscow concert many members of the audience are in tears as Paul plays the older Beatles's tunes. Several Soviet musicians from the 60's who are interviewed throughout the video describe how they had secret concerts, and secret gatherings to buy on the black market the Beatles's music. Many of these musicians describe how they were unable to obtain any Beatles music and had only one or two photo's of the band and would try to guess who was Paul or who was John, etc. in the photo (having not found out who each Beatles member was until much later).
Aside from the history, the two concerts (one in Moscow and one in St. Petersburg) are fantastic. Paul plays many of the Beatles music intermittent with his own solo work. Some of the Beatles' tunes covered are, of course, 'Back in the U.S.S.R,' 'Fool on the Hill,' 'Birthday,''Helter Skelter,' 'We Can Work it Out,' 'She's Leaving Home,'I Saw Her Standing There,' 'Got to get You Into My Life,' 'Get Back,' 'Can't Buy Me Love,' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,' 'Drive My Car,' and many more.
This is a fantastic DVD with all the essential 'Paul tunes' spanning his entire career. The added interviews, history, and shows simply make this one of the best DVD McCartney has ever released. I highly recommend this DVD."