'Queen Live at Wembley Stadium: 25th Anniversary'
(Queen / 2-DVD / NR / 2013 / Eagle Vision)
Overview: Over one remarkable summer weekend in 1986, on Friday, July 11th and Saturday July 12th, Queen performed two sell out shows at Wembley, concerts which have been widely acknowledged as two of the most incredible rock events ever staged.
DVD Verdict: OK, I have to full admit I am a HUGE fan of Queen and everything they have ever done! So, now we have that out of the way, yes, I was there for BOTH these shows back at Wembley Stadium in 1986 - and have to say I remember them very vividly even today!
And now Queen's legendary Wembley concerts have been reissued as a 2DVD 25th anniversary edition! Wow, now THAT makes me feel old! Disc 1 features the Saturday performance, while Disc 2 features the previously unreleased Friday, July 11th Wembley performance. Which was a true pleasure to finally behold once again, let me tell you! Oh, and there's a slew of previously-unseen bonus features too, but more on that later. Along with this the actual DVD footage has been restored for this incredible anniversary edition and the sound has also been re-mastered with a brand new stereo mix and 5.1 sound.
Onwards and upwards, and so not to go over what was sung on what day and in what manner, what follows is an overall rundown of the shows, the songs and fun things inbetween. The show kicks off with a glimpse of the old Wembley Stadium walkway, the empty pitch, the construction of the HUGE stage, the fans arriving, and then running out in white pants and a yellow jacket, Freddy and the boys bring us a rousing 'One Vision.' Indeed, just hearing that sweeping, gushing intro build was enough to put me right back there; long before May's guitar started up or Freddy began singing! We carry on with 'Tie Your Mother Down,' 'In The Lap Of The Gods ... Revisted,' a far-from-complete 'Seven Seas Of Rhye,' 'Tear It Up,' and then both 'A Kind Of Magic' and an incredible 'Under Pressure.'
Being that this was filmed and recorded on Queen's final tour with its classic line-up (and at the now-demolished old Wembley Stadium), it truly was a show for all ages - featuring a good mix of (at the time) new songs, old school classics, around-the-time greatness, and even some flashback old time fun! We continue on with 'Another One Bites The Dust,' a simply stunning 'Who Wants to Live Forever,' a by-the-numbers 'I Want To Break Free,' an Impromptu moment from Freddy (check it out for yourself to be surprised!), and then a near-nine minute long 'Brighton Rock' solo from May.
Up next, and dressed in an all-white ensemble suit, Freddy brings is a thunderous 'Now I'm Here,' the acoustic 'Love of My Life,' and then 'Is This The World We Created ...?,' before the band decide to incorporate several 50's-era tunes into one medley: '(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care,' 'Hello Mary Lou (Goodbye Heart),' and 'Tutti Frutti.' 'Gimmie Some Lovin,' and a mindblowing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' are next. The sight of Freedy in an over-sized Mickey Mouse-looking tshirt, bowing his thanx to the audience up and down the stage is bizarre to take in now re: fashion, but soon we're into 'Hammer To Fall,' 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' (always one of my favs), 'another 50's era-tune in 'Big Spender,' and then a pounding 'Radio Ga-Ga.'
You can see that the remastered visual improvements are working perfectly here on this 25th anniversary edition, but if swapping between footage taken directly from the stage cameras, whilst at times from the jumbotron is disorientating for you, well, some screen shots might not please you, sorry! The show comes to a mighty close with 'We Will Rock You,' a shirtless re: Freddy 'Friends Will Be friends,' 'We Are The Champions,' and then a rousing 'God Save The Queen.'
Basically, the Saturday night show has 28 tracks, with two additional jam segments, 'Gimme Some Lovin' and 'Big Spender.' These do not appear on the Friday night performance. But, the great thing about the Friday night show is that whilst it has some lapses in visual acuity (it has always been noted as being a test run, after all!) the sound is near-perfect. The musical difference is enough to warrant the view and hear John's bass playing sound stronger and more involved in some songs, in truth.
This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the special features of: The Magic Tour A new interview filmed with Brian and Roger in 2011; The Wembley Weekend - Brian and Roger describe what went into these legendary concerts filmed in 2003; Rehearsal - Secretly filmed footage from the bands rehearsal for the Magic Tour.