This 1991 concert film was shot in the IMAX format and was originally presented on enormous IMAX screens, with outstanding visual and audio clarity. The dimensions may have been scaled down for this DVD release, but the ... more »show is still huge in energy and talent. Filmed during a European leg of the Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels tour, this production boasts 15 songs and an extraordinary stage set with inflatable floozies (for "Honky Tonk Woman") and wild dogs (rather cleverly for "Street Fighting Man"). The Stones' set emphasizes material from the late 1960s and early '70s ("Tumbling Dice," "Happy," "You Can't Always Get What You Want"), but the band's performance is so furious that the show is far from a pandering oldies act. Highlights include "Paint It Black," at once brutal and delicate, as well as a muscular "Rock and a Hard Place," a psychedelicized "2,000 Light Years from Home," and a cheeky "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll." Once kings of a gloriously sloppy sound, the Stones prove to be as effective in their artistic maturity with small, breathtaking touches as they are with chunky orchestration. Guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood play as if they are of one mind, Richards providing powerful leads while his partner captures some of the texture of the group's original recordings. Bassist Bill Wyman, still in the band at this phase, offers wit and an encyclopedic grasp of rhythm & blues history, while drummer Charlie Watts adds control and swing. Mick Jagger prowls, climbs around the set, and delivers all the charismatic goods for adoring audiences, even touching the forbidden fruit again in a feverish peformance of "Sympathy for the Devil." The DVD also includes a full Stones discography. --Tom Keogh« less
"This is the best recording of the stones you'll see or hear on video, other than the film, "Gimme Shelter". This disc was recorded exclusively for the IMAX theaters to lavishly exploit the Stones' at the time of their second musical prime. I'm not talking song writing ability, but rather sheer musicianship. The audio is notably a completely different type of sound. The music from the band sits undeniably atop the screams of the audience. This provides for a stunningly clear and crisp recording without the bother of trying to hear the music over the fans. It prevents the linear effect of keeping every sound on the same plane. The only time you hear the audience is when the camera pans over to them, or naturally through one of the microphones. This was purposely done to keep the sound unique to camera's subject; meaning quite simply, what you see is what you hear. Every guitar lick rings out like one of Keith's amps is in your TV room!!! It is certainly a unique experience."
I have the THX version and it still sucks!
Boetius | Riverdale, PA | 06/04/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Like everyone else with any musical taste I love the Stones, and have been following them since I was fifteen and was hooked by "Satisfaction". That said, there seems to always be a propensity by whoever does the mixing for Stones' movies/DVDs to screw up the sound (maybe the Glimmer Twins themselves?). For instance, I have a number of bootlegs from the 1972 tour (Mick Taylor, decadence, hooray!), most of which are brilliant, full-bodied and powerful, then you get "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones", and it is comparatively anemic (actually awful) - guitars too tinny, the bottom rumble eliminated, Jagger too loud, and instead of sounding powerful, it sounds fragmented not like a real band at all. "At the Max" continues this tradition (?). I have videotape of that tour and, again, it is great, but I can't even watch this DVD, they manage to make the Stones sound boring!! The good news is that on Four Flicks, at last, a really decent job of mixing has been done that actually does sound like a Stones' concert - major regret that they didn't learn to do this before Bill Wyman left the band. At least we have "Gimme Shelter", which in its newest incarnation comes pretty close (ever hear it in a theatre with a good sound system turned up loud? Magic!) But unless you must have everything, I would avoid this one."
An Absolute Must for Any Stones Fan...
PK | 01/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was not a Stones fan until I saw this in an Imax theater. Then I went back to see it again, and again. This concert video is simply the most exciting and most well done of all time. You can even hear the roadies in the background in the beginning and between tunes, it's better in Imax, but its on the video too, you just have to turn it way up! And you should turn it way up anyway. This is the Stones at their finest. The crowd, and the band are having a great time and it shows. Buy this video and watch it over and over."
Exellent audio; good video
Tom | 09/26/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"THX audio is very good - in contrary to other reviews. Noise from audiences is at reasonable level and helps create the proper concert ambient. You must have good center speaker as it will be heavily drived at times. The song performances are strong and combined with good camera work. I'm not real familiar with The Rolling Stones but this dvd gives me a very positive impression.
This video transfer from IMAX format is not as good as I expected. I can see some grainy artifacts especially in the low light scenes. Overall it's still pretty good."
Tom | 02/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is indeed an incredible DVD... BUT ONLY THE ORIGINAL THX VERSION. There is an import copy of this being sold by some retailers that's insanely horrible. I don't need to write another review about how great this concert film is but rather don't want anyone else to get burned like I did. Luckily, the retailer let me return it even thought it was opened."