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Motley Crue: Carnival of Sins(2005)
In spring 2005, Mötley Crüe embarked on their first world tour in more than six years, the outrageous and globally successful Red, White and Crüe Tour. Infamous for their visually and intensely live stage shows, Carnival of Sins captures original Crüe members Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee in a stage show that sets a new standard for music BDs. Carnival of Sins is a "circus gone bad" concept spectacular taking place under a huge circus tent stage set with pyrotechnics that are excessive, a fire-breathing midget, seductive aerialists and demonic clowns that will keep you roaring for more.
For more about Motley Crue: Carnival of Sins and the Motley Crue: Carnival of Sins Blu-ray release, see Motley Crue: Carnival of Sins Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on September 9, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Motley Crue: Carnival of Sins Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, September 9, 2008
In 2005, one of the premier hair-metal bands whose brushes with the law as well as juicy behind-the-scene activities with female fans gave journalists endless topics to write about, Mötley Crüe arrived at Grand Rapids, MI to record an impressive gig, part of the "Carnival of Sins" reunion tour, intended for DVD/BD release. The show was released on BD on April 9, 2008 courtesy of WEA.
There was a time during the 80s when Ratt, Bon Jovi, Cinderella, Dokken, Lynch Mob, Guns 'n' Roses, Skid Row, White Lion, Poison, White Snake, Britny Fox, and many, many other hard-rock bands were living large. They had hordes of fans, plenty of money to waste, and even more vices. For awhile they were in heaven.
On the other side of the big pond equally willing to impress outfits emerged. From Japan (Loudness) to Sweden (Europe) boys grew their hair long and began imitating the L.A Sound. The girls loved the shows and the boys loved the girls. Booze was everywhere and so were drugs. The record companies were happy. For awhile it looked like the music industry had found the golden goose they always wanted.
Then came the grunge movement.
The hair-metal bands began losing their fans, the effects of overdosing with booze and drugs began emerging, and Jethro Tull won the first Heavy Metal Grammy Award.
Mötley Crüe, a band the girls loved, was one of the undisputed leaders of the so called L.A Sound. They filled up massive arenas, delivered great hits, and went through a fair share of disappointments. In 1992 their frontman Vince Neil left (fired is how the enigmatic showman describes it) the band and it seemed like for Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, and Nikki Six, the end had finally come. In 1997 Mötley Crüe reunited releasing Generation Swine. But then Tommy Lee left and it once again seemed like this would be the end of Mötley Crüe. A few years later the band got together once again and released The Red, White, & Crüe. The rest is (recent) history, in April of 2005 they embarked on the infamous Carnival of Sins tour.
Carnival of Sins resurrects the image of a band with wild imagination, excellent repertoire, and willing fans. A bit older, a bit heavier, but still full of energy, here, Mötley Crüe are once again hitting hard and, believe it or not, from what I saw on this BD they were very much as controversial as they once were. From the explosive "Girls, Girls, Girls" to "Dr. Feelgood" to "Kickstart My Heart" watching Vince and the boys flirt with their fans and the fans flirting back with them was like a flashback from the past.
The actual show is anything but innocent. It is impeccably well-choreographed and featuring a number of edgy performances by a cast that is every bit as talented as Mötley Crüe is. Clad in latex-and-leather outfits girls are performing fascinating acrobatic numbers while Vince is running up and down the stage, a chained midget appears riding a mini-bike, and, you guessed it, the Tommy-camera is once again in action (I shall spare you the details, suffice to say this show isn't appropriate for minors).
The music performances are top-notch. Vince's voice is still as piercing and powerful, Nikki Six commanding on the bass, and Tommy Lee as wild as ever. Mike Mars on other hand might be slowly aging yet I have nothing but respect for his playing – impeccable solos and great energy are still the man's forte. Indeed, on Carnaval of Sins Mötley Crüe look, act, and hit as hard as I remember them.
This being said, I am unsure whether Carnival of Sins is capable of earning Mötley Crüe new fans. If you were never enticed by the hard-hair metal bands during the 80s chances are you would never understand why girls went wild for them. It is also very unlikely that you would be moved as much as I was seeing Mötley Crüe driving their fans into euphoria yet again. And let's admit it, if you grew up listening to Limp Bizkit and Wheezer you won't appreciate the kinky eccentricity the boys from L.A add to their shows.
From a purely technical point of view Carnival of Sins is a magnificently-filmed show. More than twenty different HD cameras have captured Mötley Crüe's movement on the stage and wild shots from all sorts of different angles allow the viewer to see the complex nature of this terrifically put together spectacle. The pyrotechnics in particular are very impressive adding a lot of glamor and edge to an already a bit over the top gig.
Full track list:
1. Shout At the Devil
2. Too Fast for Love
3. Ten Seconds to Love
4. Red Hot
5. On With the Show
6. Too Young to Fall in Love
7. Looks That Kill
8. Louder Than Hell
9. Live Wire
10. Girls Girls Girls
11. Wild Side
12. Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
13. Primal Scream
15. Without You
16. Home Sweet Home
17. Nikki's Solo
18. Dr. Feelgood
19. Tommy's Solo
20. Same Ol' Situation
21. Tommy Cam
22. Sick Love Song
23. If I Die Tomorrow
24. Kickstart My Heart
25. Helter Skelter
26. Anarchy In The UK
Motley Crue: Carnival of Sins Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with VC-1, and granted a 1080i transfer Mötley Crüe: Carnival of Souls does not quite match the visual excellence we've witnessed with other recently released music BDs (NIN: Beside You In Time is a great example). The transfer is of good quality but isn't as rich and detailed as what I hoped it would be. Part of the reason why this WEA produced BD isn't stunning perhaps has to do with the fact that the show was filmed in a manner that very much relies on an extra dose of post-production enhancement (the color splashes) which appears to be detracting a bit from what could have been a sparkling presentation. In fact, if judged by DVD standards this would have been a terrific release, if judged as a BD presentation it is probably only slightly above average. This being said, contrast and detail vary a great deal and aside from the animated prologue where they look great throughout the show they gravitate from good to very good. Still, during well-lit scenes the picture quality notches up a bit. To sum it all up this is by no means a disappointing presentation, not even close, but it surely isn't as popping and striking as I was expected it to be.
Motley Crue: Carnival of Sins Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The video treatment is quite similar to the audio presentation. The only two tracks here are Dolby Digital Surround 5.1 (640kbps) and Dolby Digital Surround 2.0. A thunderous DTS-HD Master would have been an excellent addition to this excellent show but unfortunately such isn't present on this disc. This being said, the basic are rather solid – bass is adequate, the surrounds somewhat active, and the core mix of decent quality. Still, this isn't an HD treatment and should more or less be upset that the proper attention Mötley Crüe: Carnival of Souls deserves has been replaced with mostly only an acceptable SDVD port. Once again, this is somewhat of a missed opportunity to deliver a great release and I hope that WEA do the necessary adjustments in the future.
Motley Crue: Carnival of Sins Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
There are four bits of supplemental material on this BD. First is the "Inside the Big Top: A Motley Docruementary" which spends approximately half an hour addressing the technical side of the show as well as the numerous contributions from a number of different parties (producer, dancers, choreographer, even the cook). Next, "Blow It Up" spends approximately three minutes on highlighting the terrific pyrotechnics the show benefits from. "Motley Crue's Greatest Tits" is basically the infamous Tommy show where his camera skips from one female fan to another. Finally, there is the "Meet the Greet" bit where a selected few, very lucky, fans of the band get to meet them behind the stage, acquire a piece of memorabilia, and express their excitement. "Disaster, the movie" appears as a prologue to the show, running at less than five minutes, satirizing Armageddon.
Motley Crue: Carnival of Sins Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
One of the most exciting live hard-rock bands from the 80s is captured on BD while on their Carnival of Sins 2005 tour. The show, as expected, offers the trademark for Mötley Crüe dose of excellent music, impressive pyrotechnics, and likable sleaze. The BD, courtesy of WEA, on the other hand while not disappointing is not impressive either. The lack of a solid HD audio treatment more or less will force only the hardcore fans of the band to think about upgrading. This could have been an outstanding disc yet it is only a good one.
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