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Live at the Paradiso April 2007

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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(Sep 21, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

PAL/Region 0. This DVD captures a live performance by Van Der Graaf Generator and was filmed in Holland in 2007 for viewing via the internet. The performance filmed at the Paradiso in Amsterdam features the three man line up of Peter Hammill, Hugh Banton and Guy Evans. The DVD includes the complete performance and also a bonus interview filmed with Peter Hammill in April 2009. Peter Hammill has also written the sleeve notes for the DVD.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, PAL, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Voiceprint UK
  • DVD Release Date: September 21, 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003WKQ41E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,423 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
OK, I gave it a 5 maybe because I'm such an intractible devotee... But it IS really GOOD, just not a masterpiece.

The video IS really GOOD, but in 4:3 aspect, not widescreen. It was filmed in '07 for Dutch television. You can see Peter Hammill sweat and the moles on Guy Evans' face. Good enough for you? Works for me.

The sound IS really GOOD, but in Stereo, not 5.1 surround. Personally I'd 10x rather have a well-done high-quality, mixdown to stereo than some hack half-excuse afterthought attempt to mimic surround where all you get from the rear channels is echo from the hall and audience noise. And THIS crowd you'll see was WAY into it... much larger and more appreciative than the few hundred who showed up for their '09 North American gigs.

The rock IS really GOOD, but c'mon these guys are 60-something, not a Boy-band. PH messed up a couple lyrics and one of his foot pedals was buzzy but overall they played well and treated the concert-goers to fine renditions of material that obviously EVERYONE had high respect for. It's mostly catalog selections, with only "Every Bloody Emporer", "All That Before", and "Lifetime" (my wife's favorite) coming from their reunion era. They played MUCH more from their excellent trio studio album _Trisector_ when they hit the US & Canada.

If you're a forever-fan you may miss David Jackson but they don't sound the least bit thin without him. Hugh Banton fills in mightily on the keys and bass pedals while PH spends more time on both guitar and electric piano/fender rhodes than he used to. In fact the "bonus" interview of Hammill has him explaining about how some pieces translated conveniently to the trio format and others just won't, period.

And speaking of "bonus," how 'bout that Amazon price, huh? With cross-the-pond shipping mine set me back 30 bucks but I'm still happy!
I just never thought it would get a US release. WELL worth the money.
-Ole Troll
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I really love this DVD. I didn't expect much from it, even though I'm a huge Van Der Graaf Generator fan. I liked Trisector (the most recent studio album), but I didn't love it. I was a bit worried that they wouldn't work well as a 3 man band in a live setting. I was so wrong. They are very powerful here. Yes, occasionally Peter's voice isn't perfect, but he is still powerful, provocative, and emotive. The band has just the right amount of structure and chaos.

On the first listen, I wasn't immediately excited, merely satisfied. It took a bit to get used to the live feel, the vocals, etc. On some songs, I didn't quite realize that the notes were intentionally discordant on the guitar (esp the 1st track) even though I've been a long term fan. On the second listen though, the whole performance really jumped out and grabbed me and I've loved it ever since. The songs Lifetime and All That Before gave me a new surge of interest in Trisector. This live performance really gave me the perspective I needed to re-evaluate that album, and now I love it!

Anyway, now I can't stop watching this DVD. It is such a pleasure to watch, and I've been watching several times a week for the last couple of weeks. I really do think the new material is as good as the old material, even if the new tracks are more straightforward. My favorite track is All That Before, even though I'm about 20 years too young to sympathize. :)

Here is the track listing: Lemmings. A Place To Survive. Lifetime. (In The) Black Room. Every Bloody Emperor. All That Before. Gog. Meurglys III. The Sleepwalkers. Man-Erg. Scorched Earth. If you pick this release up, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
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I like all of this groups older stuff from the 70's and with Fripp's contributions as well. I have Godbluff live and can sit through that DVD all the way through and enjoy every part. David Jackson was integral to the initial VDG sound which borders on jazz/rock fusion but of course progrock is where most people consider their niche.

This DVD without Mr. Jackson's talents reminds more of a harder edged rock, forgive my comparison but somewhat like Atomic Rooster, maybe even a little Uriah Heepish (hows that for an adverb). Anyway, I do sit through this entire DVD as easily as Godbluff live.

I am very happy that I have two snapshots of the same band in very different eras and in very different forms musically.

Hopefully more material of these guys will come out.
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In reference to my subject line - why? Well, because it's a bit horrible to see PH having to refer to lyric sheets for songs he's been doing for 40 years. Mind you, on the CD you'd never have guessed this. OTOH it's worth the money for the wonderful climax of 'Scorched Earth', with Guy's fantastic drumming. It's better than including-Jackson version on 'Real Life', and (though PH keeps glancing at lyric sheets) the tremendous version of 'Gog'. Look, I bought this, and don't regret it, but I prefer to listen to the wonderful CD.

A very longtime fan.
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