Michael Allred | Niles, Michigan United States | 10/16/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here are the full details for this DVD from the press release:Filmed by Gavin Taylor, and only ever seen in an edited version on Channel 4's The Tube, this release has the concert restored to its original full length, amounting to an additional 47 minutes of previously unseen footage. Not released on video, "Queen On Fire - Live At The Bowl", marks the first time a recording of this concert has been available to own.As to be expected from Queen, the release comes only after extensive restoration to the original footage and sound. Audio producers Justin Shirley-Smith and Kris Fredriksson returned to the original 24 track analogue recording and created brand new PCM stereo and DTS 5.1 surround sound mixes. As with all previous releases in the Queen DVD Collection, "Queen On Fire -Live At The Bowl" comes with a second disc full of bonus features. The 75 minutes of extras include behind the scenes footage of preparations for the concert, together with unseen material from interviews filmed on the day with Brian May and Roger Taylor. Further interview footage shot in Munich during the European leg of this tour shows Freddie, Brian and Roger discussing the tour, the then current Hot Space album, as well as discussing the 10 year longevity of the band.In addition, disc two provides over 35 minutes of bonus live performance from the same year, filmed at the Vienna Stadthalle in May and the final show of the tour at Tokyo's Seibu Stadium in November.The disc also features a photo gallery which raids the Queen photo archive in a stunning collection of rare and previously unseen shots from the 1982 tour that took the band across Europe, the US and Japan. In a real treat for Queen collectors, the gallery is displayed to a recording of the band performing "Calling All Girls" at that year's Tokyo concert, the very first time this track has been made available.Track listing:1- Flash2- The Hero3- We Will Rock You (fast)4- Action This Day5- Play the Game6- Staying Power7- Somebody To Love8- Now I'm Here9- Dragon Attack10- Love of my Life11- Save Me12- Back Chat13- Get Down Make Love14- Guitar Solo15- Drum Solo16- Under Pressure17- Fat Bottomed Girls18- Crazy Little Thing Called Love19- Bohemian Rhapsody20- Tie Your Mother Down21- Another One Bites the Dust22- We Will Rock You23- We Are the Champions24- God Save the QueenVideo: 1.33 - full screenAudio: DTS 5.1 surround, PCM stereoRelease date: November 9th. A 2 CD set of this concert will also be made available on that date."
They really were on fire
Stephen Morrison Lewis | New England, USA | 11/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's easy to see why some people would claim this was Queen at their peak. This is a very solid concert, very high energy, and very Queen.
Of course, there are flaws in the actual video, due to the date of the concert and the lack of huge budgets for live videos at the time. These shouldn't be a problem for your enjoyment, however, unless you really dig picture perfect presentation. Queen was more about the show anyway, and the sounds are pretty top notch. The visual performance is every bit as good, even if the video doesn't always capture a picture perfect reflection of it.
My only real issue is that Brian's vocals appeared to be heavily buried in the mix. I know that Brian has never had the presence of Freddie or even Roger, but his vocals should be a little more obvious. This could, however, be a flaw in the actual recording of the concert, and doesn't ruin the disc at all.
Otherwise, Freddie Mercury is on the entire night. Queen's presentation is simply excellent. This is, perhaps the only chance to catch "Hot Space" tracks in full versions on video (Action this day, Staying Power, Backchat). While the hot Space album is considered by many fans to be the low point of Queen's career, it's part of the Queen experience (And I am personally a fan of Staying Power and Backchat). Hearing "Hero" from Flash Gordon live is also a solid option.
The high points of this show are many, but include: We Will rock You (Fast), Somebody to Love, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack (on of my favorites), Back Chat, Get Down, Make Love (The visual presentation in the bridge of this song is amazing), Fat Bottomed Girls, and Tie Your Mother down.
In total, this video does capture Queen in a strong light, whether this is at their "peak" or not. Highly recommended to Queen fans, or just fans of a good live show."
I've seen some of this...
ryan m | hollywood, ca | 10/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"this show at Milton Keynes rips. It lacks the glossy production of the Wembley taping but the overall execution by the band is superior--particularly Freddie Mercury's vocals. A highlight is Freddie's impromptu launch into "Somebody To Love". Also love the Flash Gordon track as the opener. Maybe the songs from "Hot Space" will be better appreciated now? Anyway--I'll definitely pick this one up. Hope they come out with the Budapest concert next.
On Fire and Still Burning
Manny | New York | 11/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What do you get when the worlds greatest live rock band performs in front of 40,000 loyal fans? Queen On Fire At The Bowl and then some. As you may or may not be aware of, Queen had (and may still have) the largest fan club in the world, and it seemed as if the entire fan club was at this particular concert.
Queen On Fire At The Bowl was recorded live at the Milton Keynes Bowl on June 5, 1982. On Fire showcases Freddie's voice in top form. Rarely have I heard Freddie use trills as much as he did in this concert. His vocals were extremely powerful and pretty much controlled throughout the set with the exception of Action This Day where Freddie seems to struggle to maintain his upper range. Freddie, however bounced back with powerful vocal renditions of Play The Game, Staying Power and of course my favorite of the three, Somebody To Love. Freddie's "Impromtu Lauch" (from Ryan M's review) into Somebody was something different and special to listen to. Another Freddie highlight was the "Impromtu" sing along with the audience where Freddie has them singing like Aretha Franklin. Even the audience has their own highlight when they sing a nice rendition of Love of My Life. Hearing the audience sing this song reminded me of the Rock In Rio concert where it sounded like all 250,000 fans sang along. This made me realize how truly loved this song is.
Though Freddie's voice was probably the highlight of the show, It does take the four of them to play Queen music. I have to say that Roger Taylor's drum playing was excellent this night. Roger was never one to show off his playing skills, but this night he seemed to tease us with a lot of little drum fills that were pretty impressive. I was disappointed that Keep Yourself Alive was not a part of this set. I think Roger would have shined.
John Deacon was his usual quiet self, however his bass playing seems to stand out more in this set, especially during songs with his more recognized bass lines such as Bite The Dust and Under Pressure. John also plays Rhythm Guitar during Staying Power.
Brian May's guitar work was pretty steady during this gig, however he seemed to lose direction during his solo. I've always believed that Brian play's his best solos when he does the full version of Brighton Rock. It just seems as if he needs the beginning of Brighton Rock to launch his solo, it seems to get all 4 of his cylinders going, as evident in his solo at the Hammersmith Odeon Christmas concert.
Over all I think that this performance by Queen was one of their best performances, deserving the title On Fire At The Bowl.
The picture quality of this DVD could have been better, it was a bit grainy and dark in some parts, there but then again what can one expect from a recording from 1982. The sound quality was great in 5.1 DTS however, the stereo sound quality is surpassed by the Live at Wembley sound. The bonus footage features extra live performances from Seibu Stadium Tokyo, Japan and Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria, and rare interviews with Freddie, Brian and Roger. This DVD set also features a nice photo gallery of the band which is shown during a live recording of Calling All Girls. For queen fans, this is a definite must, and for music fans who want to know what all the hoopla's about when it comes to Queen's live show, here it is. This is the second dimension to Queens live abilities. The third will be Live At The Hammersmith Odeon where Queen struts their heavy stuff. Until then, this will definitely do! On Fire is Hot!"
S. D. Fourmy | London, United Kingdom | 03/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I should begin by confessing that I was really into Queen in the late '80s, so I have a certain bias. However, that is counterbalanced by my dislike of 'live recordings' (a contradiction in terms!). I've always found so called live releases to be a complete waste of time; they give you poorly recorded (although the technical quality has improved greatly with the advent of digital), poorly rendered versions of songs which have lost all the subtlety and craftsmanship of their studio incarnations. This is especially the case with Queen, a band who produced such intricately constructed tracks full of multi-layered vocals and guitars. What a live show has over recorded material is the thrill of being there, the communion with the artist and, with the best live performers, that special sense of intimacy that they create between the audience and the band. In my expereince, a recording of a show just does not convey any of this energy.
Queen, by all accounts, were brilliant live (I sadly never got to see for myself). But awful releases like the Live Magic album only conveyed the inferior complexity of the rendition of their songs live, not the energy and magic of being there. So I gave up on live albums. Until, that is, a few years ago when I happened across an edited version of this concert on TV. I was completely blown away! The energy, the intensity, the 'liveness' of it all. Watching this DVD on a good television set with good sound is almost (I imagine) like being at a Queen show. It's the closest I'll ever get (to seeing the original lin-up, and without Freddie it's just not the same).
The quality of the digitally scrubbed up sound and vision is excellent, and the whole package has all the great extras (interviews, snippets of other live shows) and beautiful packaging that has characterised all the Queen DVD releases to date. The show itself, well I won't give to much away. Better that you sit down and watch this, without looking at the track listing, and just pretend you're there, enjoying the thrill of discovering which song they play next. Of course all the classics are here, as are many less familiar but equally brilliant album tracks. And Freddie's banter with the audience really personalises this show.
So to conclude, this show not only reignited my love for the band, it also convinced me that a live recording can be worthwhile. And that is high praise indeed. I recommend this DVD not only to Queen fans (who will already have it by now!), but to anyone who loves rock music and wants to see a great show from a unique band at the height of their powers. This may have been recorded in 1982, but it sure has staying power! "