Customer Reviews: The Rolling Stones: The Biggest Bang
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on June 21, 2009
The previous DVD release, a Best Buy exclusive, had the same title and cover art, but included three discs, including footage from three different concerts. This Blu-Ray release contains only one concert (which accounts for the lower price).

If you have the Best Buy edition, you'll probably want to hang onto it, as the Blu-Ray only has about one-third of the footage.

The concert presented here, from Austin, Texas, is a good one; although at 90 minutes you know there's a fair amount left out. It's rare for videos to include an entire concert but I'd prefer to see the whole show and pay a bit more.

The picture quality is what you'd expect from a high-definition broadcast, but the DVD release looked pretty good, so the difference is not stunning. The DTS 5.1 sound mix, however, is a big improvement (uncompressed PCM stereo is also available). I cranked this up good and loud and it's the next best thing to being there. If you're considering getting the Blu-Ray, the audio is the best reason to do so.

And if you're a Stones fan who missed the original release, this is a no-brainer. The Stones perform "Sway" in concert for the first time (Keith and Ronnie had to learn the song, as Keith didn't play on the original and Ronnie hadn't joined the Stones yet). A few other oldies ("Get Off My Cloud" and "Under my Thumb") are added to mix up the otherwise standard playlist. At this low price, it's well worth it.
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on August 13, 2007
Biggest Bang is essential viewing as a document of the Rolling Stones 2005/2006 world tour. It is a 4 x DVD set, filmed in Texas, South America (Brazil & Argentina) & Far East (Japan & China), I think BEFORE the coconut tree! Speaking of which, Keith Richards is such a character & raconteur, that in one segue in the Far East section of the DVD, Keith says of Shanghai "I hear they have a Chinatown there!" Boom. Boom.

There are plenty of extras/bonus features on each DVD. For instance, DVD 1 has sound-check or rehearsal footage of the Stones playing Muddy Waters' I Can't be Satisfied with Mick Jagger playing along on slide guitar! DVD 4 in the set is given over to a documentary of the whole tour including the Superbowl.

I think the centrepiece of this DVD set is probably the free Brazil concert on Rio's Copacabana beach. It's an amazing scene & atmosphere. The Stones seemed genuinely excited about this concert and it was reflected in their performance. It was captured well on film and you can almost feel the heat of that Rio night.

Biggest Bang has songs featured from their most recent CD release Bigger Bang, as would be expected. But Biggest Bang is overwhelmingly more versions of the same old songs. Take that as a given, that's what the Stones do; and I'm glad they still do. But there are still some interesting song variations to their set. The highlight for me, was the inclusion of Sway from (from Sticky Fingers). I have never heard or seen that song performed live before. It was from their greatest era and whilst I have never thought Ronnie Wood (God love him!) was at the level of the great Mick Taylor on guitar, Ronnie does a very good job on Sway. In fact I think Ronnie generally plays the best I've seen of him in recent years. I believe he was on the wagon for this tour, much to Keef's chagrin. Other highlights for me were the included versions of Bitch and Gimme Shelter from Shanghai, complete with Mick's intro in mandarin, and the humorous segue about censorship in China preventing the Stones from performing certain songs. I also liked their performance of the country music song Bob Wills Is Still The King from Texas (of course!).

DVD packaging & included booklet with Biggest Bang seems cheaper than the Four Flicks DVD set from the 2002/2003 tour, as if the whole project was outsourced & cut down to a price. But this is a minor criticism, and I suppose fair enough, because the more deluxe feeling Four Flicks was very expensive when it first came out, and Biggest Bang isn't bad value for 4 x DVDs. Sound & vision are excellent.

I didn't catch the Stones shows on the 2005/2006 tour and didn't know, until I watched this DVD, what that tour looked like, or sounded like. I think I'd have to say the 2005/2006 tour, notwithstanding some great highlights on Biggest Bang, wasn't as good, for some intangible reason, as the 2002/2003 world tour. But I am not necessarily saying Four Flicks is better than Biggest Bang. They are both different and good in their own ways and Biggest Bang is nevertheless an excellent Rolling Stones DVD set in its own right.

Hey, it's The Stones. I can't give less than 5 stars.

Postscript: If you REALLY wanted to see the Stones at their peak, find a bootleg DVD of Ladies & Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones, from their 1972 American tour. It was a theatrical release in 1974, but I have never seen it officially released on DVD. I used to have the official release VHS, but now I've got to settle for a bootleg DVD. Hey guys, let's have the official release of it. Please!
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This box set boast two concerts and lots of bonus footage from concerts in Japan,China,Argentina etc. There are some good documentaries,cool bonus duets and a whole lot for under $30.00 on four DVDs. One of the best things about this set is that they perform Sway live. I will say that the Austin show is the best and the transfer looks fantastic! The sound is very good dispite what I have read from some other reviewers. I can hear Keith just fine.....when he's playing.Look,I love these guys,but lets face it...they are geting old. Keith plays he signature licks and rest his mummified fingers every chance he gets. It is still a pretty good set and I'm glad I own it. If your a fan your gonna buy it and if your not......what are you reading this for?
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on August 19, 2007
First, the positives: the performances across these four discs are generally strong, the concerts well-filmed, and the breadth of (musical) material presented is admirable. While age seems to have finally begun to catch up with Keith Richards, whose once-impeccable rhythm sense is not quite as razor-sharp as it once was, compensation is at hand in the form of Ronnie Wood, whose new-found sobriety has lent a degree of focus and precision to his playing which raises his performances here several notches above anything to be found on live recordings from the Stones' previous few decades of touring. Aided and abetted by an array of professional but rarely overly-slick backing musicians, the band themselves, as presented here, still excel at what they do best - entertain on a huge scale. They're not breaking any new ground here, and the lack of emphasis on material from their latest, surprisingly-strong studio album A BIGGER BANG is disappointing (for the first time in years, they're touring off the back of a genuinely decent record, but the setlists are still overwhelmingly filled with tried-and-tested old hits, with a bare handful of numbers from A BIGGER BANG scattered across the four discs. A missed opportunity), but they still do what they do about as well as anyone could reasonably expect.

Specific musical highlights will differ from viewer to viewer - I was particularly taken with a rocking take on 'Bitch' taken from the band's first-ever show in mainland China, and the deep blues of 'Back of My Hand' hidden in the otherwise largely-skippable 'making-of' documentary on the fourth disc is compelling. The BIGGER BANG songs shine across the board, in fact - 'Streets Of Love', is performed in Austin, Texas, with a power and intensity which easily surpasses the album version, and 'Rough Justice', while melodically-unremarkable, joins VOODOO LOUNGE's 'You Got Me Rocking' as a deservedly-popular late-period addition to the Stones' live repertoire. A short featurette on the fourth disc also includes snippets of a fascinating, unforgivably-incomplete swing arrangement of 'Miss You', as performed by Charlie Watts' jazz big-band side-project, which I'd love to hear in its entirety.

Presentation-wise, these discs are good but not perfect - the sound mix is strong throughout, and while the presentation is laughably self-important (the lengthy introduction clip which precedes each disc, with the camera spiralling through space to the strains of various Stones hits, goes on a good deal longer than most viewers will be willing to tolerate without reaching for the `skip' button), and the menu screens are less user-friendly than I would have liked, these are relatively minor criticisms for all but the most technologically-minded consumer. The most important thing is the music, and the performances are generally better-filmed than was the case on the similar FOUR FLICKS set, released only a few short years ago.

This brings me, however, to the main criticism I'd make of this set, however: redundancy. Coming so close on the heels of FOUR FLICKS, and packaged in such a similar fashion, comparisons are inevitable, and in almost all regards, THE BIGGEST BANG comes off second-best. In terms of song selection there are, of course, a good number of welcome rarities scattered among the predictable roll-call of over-played classics, with a solid, if slightly stilted, runthrough of the never-before-performed STICKY FINGERS track 'Sway' in place of FOUR FLICKS' similarly-hyped take on 'Can't You Hear Me Knocking', but a non-dedicated fan could be forgiven for overlooking these relatively minor distinctions in favour of the rather more obvious reliance on familiar old warhorses like `Satisfaction', `Jumpin' Jack Flash', `Honky Tonk Women' and so on, all of which are featured multiple times across both this and FOUR FLICKS. As a celebration of the band's fortieth anniversary, FOUR FLICKS arguably had a stronger justification for this apparent excess - by contrast, the sheer volume of material presented on THE BIGGEST BANG seems over-the-top, a triumph of quantity over quality. It may seem churlish to complain that we're being given too much material for our money, but in all honesty, this set achieves very little which couldn't have been communicated rather more effectively via a more stripped-down two-disc set, centred on the Rio de Janeiro show which is the better of the two full concerts presented here. Where the three concerts which formed the bulk of FOUR FLICKS showcased the Stones in a variety of different-sized venues, with a varied tone to their respective atmospheres and setlists, the two concerts found on THE BIGGEST BANG are both from large-scale outdoor shows, with the result that they look and sound rather too similar to justify the substantial overlap in material - there's also far too little representation among the extras of the intimate, sweaty small-stage performances which were the real highlight of FOUR FLICKS, in the form of the Paris club show which filled the third disc of that set. I suspect that fans who want to witness the band at their musical best, trading riffs and licks face-to-face on a tiny stage, would be best-advised to wait for Martin Scorsese's upcoming concert film SHINE A LIGHT, recorded during the same tour at a far smaller venue than those primarily-featured on THE BIGGEST BANG.

Sure, this set is a bargain for die-hard Stones fans, and serves as a fine souvenir for anyone who caught the band on their latest mega-tour, but the non-converted will probably find little to interest them here once they've played the two main concert discs a few times.
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VINE VOICEon July 22, 2007
This 4 DVD set packs a wallop. Each DVD could easily stand on its own, but together you get some of the best live Stones ever. The extras and production value are great. The song selection vary from DVD to DVD so as not to be redundant. The Rio concert with over a million in attendance is something to be seen and is captured in here in all its glory, but still hard to believe.

I hope the Stones keep Rolling for years to come!
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on July 4, 2007
This dvd is excellent, cotains four dvds:

1. Austin Concert 22 oct 2006 at Zilker Park with a bonus track: a rehearsal: Can't Be Satisfied (worth the money!!! with Mick playing the slide!)

2. Copacabana Beach. A free concert with one and a half million attendance!, with a short documentary from the Show

3. Various locations (Japan, China, Argentina) whith a bonus tracks: duets with Eddie Vedder, and others.

4. documentary

This new dvd contains some "obscure" songs like:

- Sway
- Get Off My Cloud
- Under My Thumb

and many others.....
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on January 25, 2014
I saw the Detroit performance of this concert live main floor center stage 14th row and this version from Austin, TX is great. The band does a Waylon Jennings song and Keith Richards does a Buddy Holly song. I like this concert better than Sweet Summer Sun (the band's latest release from Hyde Park, London this past summer on the 50 and Counting Tour) because of the playlist. I have a number of Stones Blueray discs and this is definitely one of the better ones. Enjoy!!
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on February 13, 2008
Disk #1 - Zilker Park, Austin, Texas. the stage was HUGE and so was the crowd. A great Stones performance in 16:9 DTS. My favorite concert from the Biggest Bang.

Disk #2 - A nice Doc about the concert preps at Rio. About the concert at Rio. I was a little disappointed as I have the bootleg of the "complete" show. The offical release omitted like 4 songs and I figured the offical release would be in 16:9. Nope, 4:3 just like the bootleg. But' did have DTS sound!

Disk #3 - The rest of the world. Even though the film qaulity was more "bootleg" like in the Argentina concert (was 16:9) the crowd was wild and the Stones performance very good. The China performance was, well those peeps (fans) have a hard time enjoying them selves.

Disk #4 - Haven't been there yet.
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VINE VOICEon January 3, 2008
A great 4 DVD set,perfect for the Stones fan!!! The best seat in the house,and it's much chaeper than a concert ticket!!! Includes 2 complete concerts + lotsa choice extras = one great deal!!! Quite not as great as the Four Flicks box,but this ones still a keeper!!! "The Biggest Bang" is awesome!!! Great sound and picture!!! Those (aging) Stones kepp a rockin' and a rollin'!!! Two thumbs up!!! Way up!!! A+
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on February 21, 2015
Another Video momento of the Worlds Greatest Rock And Roll Band!
4 dvd's worth of magical moments!!
Highly recommended along with 'Sweet Summer Sun' from last years tour!
gerard masters
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