Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Hellacopters - Goodnight Cleveland DVD

I resisted buying this DVD because I had heard that it wasn’t a live show, which is where these maniacs shine as the world’s best r’n’r band living today. But, I just found a copy at a discounted price and I’m just sorry that I didn’t get this earlier!

It’s true that this is not a document of a complete gig – though since there are many, many bootlegs floating around it is kinda surprising that they haven’t “officially” released anything – but it is still a great r’n’r film!

A film crew followed the Hellacopters on their 2002 tour of the States and we get to see what a reasonably upscale indie band tour is really like. The band had already scored a couple of gold records and a Grammy in Sweden, but that doesn’t matter much in America, where they still carried their own equipment and played in clubs. Big clubs, yes, but smaller events than they were used to back home.

This really isn’t “roughing it” compared to what most indie bands go through – they have a nice van, decent hotel rooms (instead of someone’s floor), food, per diems, etc. But it is fun to see the other side of their gigs – them doing laundry (and trying to understand American washing machines), sound checks, dealing with drunken fans, getting wasted, doing radio interviews, and on & on.

The tedium and the sameness of the cities comes through, but they obviously forget it all once they get on stage and blast it all away! The gig footage is limited in the main film but there are enough snippets to remind you why you love this band! Their final show of the tour has them jamming on a number of songs with the Gaza Strippers (who played some of the shows with them) and you can tell they are having the time of their lives!

These cats love r’n’r and they don’t mind showing it!

The bonus footage has tons more live stuff, including shows as early as their 2nd gig ever – which is just too damn good! There’s also lots more from the tour footage and it’s all fun and all rockin’!

Don’t get this expecting a gig DVD, but there is plenty of excellent live footage to keep you happy and lots of interesting behind-the-scenes moments.

Definitely pick this up if you want to know more about the r’n’r experience!

(But I do hope that they eventually put out some kind of performance DVD – a compilation of their videos and TV appearances would be fantastic and/or one of their phenomenal gigs in its entirety.)


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