It’s been since 1999 that Mob Rules has been on the road, coming up with cd’s and live shows. After four releases within this (short) period of time and two singles, the band thought it would be a nice idea to come up with their first DVD, containing live material, video clips, stuff from the Wacken shows in 2000 and 2003 and a history about the band. The artwork looks promising. Tiny little pictures from the band on the inside, a very well decorated booklet and a great live picture of the show, revealing the devil horns from the crowd towards the band. Both of ‘m seeming to welcome one another.
Well, the first part on the DVD is the biggest part, the live show, recorded in their hometown Willemshaven. After an introduction, where one sees the building of the stage and the preparation of the band, the two singles ‘Black Rain’ and ‘Lord of Madness’ are immediately passing by. The stage is decorated with two statues with fires on top of them and the bands logo in front of it; a shield, surrounded with feathers, showing the ‘R’ and ‘M’ intermediating with each other and a crown on top of it. Behind the drummer, a very big cloth has been hung up, also containing the bands’ logo. The (pretty small and cosy) venue is totally filled with fans that seem to appreciate every song that is played.
During the set I see a lot of smiling faces, and I mean a lot. I think that this is due to the fact that the recording of the DVD was previously announced, but actually the whole venue is enjoying the show, which is impressive. After the two singles, the incredible ‘Celebration Day’ is performed tremendously, followed by a satisfaction of the band members, according to their (also) smiling faces.
As visibly on the front picture of the DVD, the band and the crowd have created something special tonight. The band is really impressed by the great response of the crowd, literally after every song and the crowd in its turn reacts even more positive than before. Because the sound is pretty perfect, all the individual instruments are coming out nicely. Yet, the band creates a good sound as a whole. This makes the DVD a nice piece of work to both watch and listen to.
Besides the mentioned songs, nice pieces of work as ‘The End of all Days’, ‘Hollowed by the Name’ and ‘Rain Song’ are included in the set list, which lasts for 1:16 hours. This is a weak point, in my opinion. With four albums released so far, I for myself believe that a longer set list wouldn’t have been any problem. The crowd is still very hungry for more after the disappearance on stage, from the front seats to the people on the balconies. I even suspected a few songs by way of encore but the band thought otherwise.
The fourteen songs in total, the atmosphere in the venue, the technically production and the songs included in the set sure make this performance a great happening to put on DVD, which is worked out pretty nice. But because of the fact that the venue is small, the set list is not that long and impressive and the fact that the type of songs are not unique and best of their kind, I wonder who would watch this performance more than once besides the real fans. (you get your asses up from your seat and run to the music store)
Wacken Roadshow 2003:
Here we see the band first preparing for the show before coming on stage. Then, when eventually entered, they play a song. Remarkably the production is much better on the total live show. This was clearly something that did not intend to come on a DVD in the first way, but in the end it’s quite nice to see the band live, when not having the feeling of being taped.
Wacken 2000: On stage & Interview
This is a recording of ‘’ live from the festival. Again, the sound is pretty good and the band is clearly impressed by the big crowd they’re playing for. It’s nice to see the band in a way that they’re really enjoying the opportunity of playing in front of so many people. Also, a little interview is given (in English) where the band tells something of their experiences so far.
Mob Rules History:
In this section, Klaus and Matthias are talking about the history of the band. Subjects they chat about are history (why everyone entered the band) the albums (the guys get more serious when talking about the start of the band, which is hard for every single new band. Also opinions about which one is the best are discussed) the tour (talking from the catering to the Wacken show and the appearances in France) and the future. This is all combined with live material from very little venues, a very nice view of a band that has developed itself throughout the years.
I’d really recommend anyone to see it, because this history is pretty funny. Giving you anecdotes would be lame but pay attention to the story of the van in France.
Black Rain (official video clip):
This is the video clip of the latest single. (dedicated to my dear collegue?) In the beginning, a lot of smoke and wind are being used to give some kind of mystical feeling towards the song, while the band is playing in some kind of garage. Pictures of strong forces of nature like flood, storms, tornados and lightning pass by, but also human forces as military and bombs. Beware of the flashlights.
It’s a nice video clip, but the close ups from the singer, where he almost eats his mic, are a bit weird.
Black Rain (video director’s cut)
This version is longer and the band still plays in the garage. Only this time, the only pictures come from the band itself, while the pictures from nature are totally gone. To me personally, this adds very little, but providing (the) two versions make the DVD more complete.
End of all days (Wacken roadshow)
This time, the band plays another song, namely ‘End of all Days’. Pictures from fans waiting to enter the venue, preparations of the band in the waiting room are alternated with live pictures. Another nice combination to see the band in a different way.
So, a final solution for this DVD then? I realize I’ve been almost nothing but positive towards ‘Signs of the Time LIVE’. I didn’t even mention the fact that the whole show is also on an additional CD, so you can either see or listen to it. Thumbs up MOB RULES!
Still, I think DVD is a hard kind of media for musicians. Bands like MOB RULES can use it to provide something very special for the fans, but only huge acts can afford it to get the attention of a big population. Therefore, DVD’s are still too expansive. So, this DVD really is a magnificent piece of work which lacks very little. I must even say that the band has got more interest and respect from me than before, but that is because this disk was send to me instead of being bought my me and not because of the great songs. But hey, do you as a fan care??