In terms of set list, the band performs the entire of their classic 1988 album Operation: Mindcrime and then its heavier 2006 sequel, back to back and in their original running-orders. There is also a two-song encore of ‘Walk In The Shadows’ and ‘Jet City Woman,’ from Rage For Order and Empire respectively, resulting in a total of 44 songs, lasting two hours and twenty nine minutes.
The performance as you may imagine is big and theatric, with lots of additional personnel on stage acting around the band. There are set pieces, props, costume changes for singer Geoff Tate and guest vocalist Pamela Moore, video screens and elaborate lighting, all helping to drive the narrative of the story that is told in the two concept albums.
The camera work, picture quality, direction and editing of the actual live performance is absolutely top-notch and when the screen is showing the band actually playing live this is a truly fine looking concert recording.
There is a lot of additional film footage and text that comes up on the screen augmenting the concert footage however, and because the theatrical performance was played out in front of aforementioned video screens much of the content from them is often shown superimposed over the live performance, or sometimes shown instead of the concert footage all together. For most people this will help you get into it even more but if you usually don’t like it when concert DVDs do this sort of thing then you may really hate this particular release, as the phenomenon is much, much more prominent here than usual.
Another potential problem is that during the first few tracks the audio seems to be ever so slightly out of synch with the visuals, however this is rectified by the time the title track of the first album is over. These two issues aside, the main feature is very good, especially once Geoff’s voice has warmed up and he can really lay into the material and get closer to the original performance.
In addition to the main feature, there is a brief twenty three minute tour documentary and a two minute feature about a charity motorcycle ride called ‘Rock and Ride’. The most interesting bonus feature however is an alternative version of ‘The Chase’ where Ronnie James Dio joins the band live, as opposed to in a pre-recorded video like in the main concert.
Overall, if you have issues with screen time being taken up by non-concert footage or are massively put-off by synching issues then it may not be the right release for you, but otherwise this is a very entertaining and interesting release that is definitely worth checking out.