Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bond Live at the Royal Albert Hall

The Bond Live DVD features Haylie Ecker (1st Violin), Eos Chater (2nd Violin), Tania Davis (Viola) and Gay-Yee Westerhoff (Cello).

Initial thoughts:
When one has decided to retire for the evening, sitting in their favourite chair with their favourite cocktail and listening to Bond, it's difficult to not feel transported to a wonderful magical world. I had such an experience the other evening. Yet, I wasn't travelling with 007; on an Indian expedition; dodging the Mafia or mourning a Russian peddler. No, I was at the Royal Albert Hall reliving the day of September 20th, 2000. This is the day Bond recorded their live, world premier performance of Born. Granted, the DVD may be 10 years old but it shouldn't be missed. It simply suggests something else which I'll touch upon later.

The songs of note:
-'Quixote' starts the performance and is one of their signature songs from 'Born'.
-Haylie & Eos perform in 'Duel'; one of my personal favourites, in part because of the pizzicato.
-'Oceanic' is a much slower song, but performed as lovely as ever.
-'Alexander the Great' energizes the concert.
-Fate predicts you'll like 'Kismet' from the talented Gay-Yee.
-Eos presents her 'Bella Donna'. You'll like it.... or ELSE!
-'Korobushka' is a fantastic song which really demonstrates what they group can do and you'll be drawn into their performance.
-Meanwhile, 'The 1812' is a very moving and inspiring song and you'll soon feel the energy Bond puts into it.
-Closing the evening is 'Victory', one of the most recognizable songs of the 'Born' album.
-As a special treat, the foursome also perform the theme to 'Dallas' as well as 'James Bond'. (You might call it Bond on Bond).

Constructive Criticisms:
In reality, there isn't much to complain about. When Bond members address the audience they are not as clear as they could be. Some of the camera effects were dizzying and should have been done without. Personally, I would have started the set with 'Victory' or made it one of the first few songs and closed with 'Korobushka'. 'The 1812' and their 'Victory-Carnival Mix' would then be perfect as the encore set.

Special Features:
1.) The DVD includes bonus videos. One a live performance of 'Viva', the other a recorded version of 'Wintersun'.
2.) Interviews with all four original Bond members.
3.) Photos
4.) Bond Quiz. Completing the quiz rewards you with a special prize, and receiving 100% rewards you with another special prize. Have fun.

Summing It All Up:
Bond Live is a great treat and a MUST for any Bond fan. However, it brings up a point I hinted at earlier. It's been ten years since this was produced. In the interim, they have released several more CD's and Elspeth Hanson has replaced Haylie. With the upcoming release of a new album, perhaps it's time for another live DVD. Whether another concert is released or not, I'm looking forward to the next time Bond transports me to a wonderful magical world with the help of their enchanting music.

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