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Non-Prog DVD/Video Reviews

Mr Big

Back To Budokan DVD

Review by Greg Olma

Mr Big has always been one of my guilty pleasures.  Many of my friends were expecting something totally different when the band first came out but were disappointed when they heard the finished product.  I, on the other hand, have been a fan since their first release.  I got it.  They did not get together to become this heavy, shredding, metal band.  They wrote great catchy songs that were more rock than metal so I was left alone in my appreciation for Mr Big.  Well, after a 7 year break-up, the band got band got back together and played a number of shows in Japan (naturally – it was their biggest market) and filmed the concert at the Budokan.  This historic venue is perfect for filming concerts as this DVD proves.  The show is filmed really well with it giving you a feel of being at the concert yourself.  Many of the latest DVDs have gone back to an older way of editing where you stay on a specific person or shot for a while before going onto something else.  In the 90’s you would get a lot of fast cut aways which were good if you wanted a headache but none of that is present here. 

What makes this 2 DVD set so enjoyable besides the way it was filmed is watching the guys having fun on stage.  I don’t recall what led them to the break up but all of that seems like history.  Everyone is smiling and having a good time and you can’t help but have a good time with them.  For a good example of that, you only have to view them playing “Smoke On The Water”.  Yes, it’s the Deep Purple classic (do you know another song called “Smoke On The Water”).   Each member is playing a different instrument with Eric Martin playing guitar, Billy Sheehan singing (he does a great job by the way), Pat Torpey playing bass, and Paul Gilbert drumming up a storm.  Just that one clip is worth the price of this DVD set.  The song selection is also great with most of the set being pulled from the first 3 records. As far as bonus footage goes, you get a promo clip of the song “Next Time Around” which is a new studio song and you get a few songs from an acoustic Hard Rock Café performance in Tokyo.  Like I mentioned earlier, I have been a fan since the beginning and although I have liked most of their product, I was not expecting to enjoy this concert DVD as much as I have.  When I first read about the release, I was thinking this would be a cash-in and thrown together just to gather any last dollars from the Mr Big name.  I am happy to say how wrong I was.  This is one of my favorite DVDs and judging by the smiles onstage, this won’t be their last.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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