YNGWIE MALMSTEEN - "LIVE!!" (THE VIDEO) (DREAM CATCHER)
I'd ordered it quite a while ago, and I have to admit that a certain excitement took hold of me when I opened my P.O. Box to find "Live!!" - the video - in it. It has been nearly 10 years since a new Malmsteen video made it outside of Japan, and I was not going to miss it.
What strikes the viewer instantly is that there is a lot of Yngwie on the video. Plenty of finger close-ups courtesy of Mr. Malmsteen the director, which is all fine with me. To see him play the "Trilogy" section he always plays with that irritatingly casual ease, as if you really barely need to move your fingers at all...I am sure that if I were ever capable of playing that part, I would lose control of all my other muscles and begin to salivate heavily. Hell, I even started to salivate and excrete a variety of skin fluids just looking at the guy doing it! The video features around an hour and a quarter of classic tracks, leaning heavily on his latest, "Facing the Animal", but not leaving out unmissable cuts such as "The Seventh Sign", "I'll See the Light Tonight", "Far Beyond the Sun" and his obligatory (and always fascinating) extended guitar solo spot.
No matter if his ego is writing cheques his body can't cash, Yngwie was, is, and will for quite a while be one of the most gifted guitar players in the Known Universe. Those who would really like to see plenty of jaw-droppingly technical guitar playing, executed flawlessly at brainmelting speed, simply have to get this video. If you are one of those, however, who think Yngwie is just too revoltingly over-the-top and taking himself way too seriously, ought perhaps to steer clear of this release. Those particular people, might find fault especially with the ridiculous slow motion shots of Yngwie, nearly bursting out of his spam pants, playing guitar while getting his hair out of his eyes, kicking at the camera, and performing a wild variety of other guitar-hero antics. Still, these particular people should be thankful that we're spared audience shots of pretty girls clutching red roses looking adoringly at Yngwie (such as was the case, indeed, on "Live in Leningrad").
And, after watching the video, I looked at my own Strat from the corner of my eye, only to feel creeping upon me an envy of unfathomable depth and profoundness.
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Written March 1999
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