Eagles: Hell Freezes Over DVD review

This DVD includes a documentary about how the band returned from their hiatus, concert footage where individual songs can be selected from one of the DVD menus and a special DTS sound inclusion that can only be used in conjunction with a DTS decoder. The picture quality of both the concert and the documentary footage is not up to the digital colour quality standard set by DVD releases of the past. It’s also interesting to see how this DVD will fair with the ‘Eagles: The Farewell Tour’ DVD release which has arrived on the scene in recent weeks.

Only the hardcore Eagles supporters would have the slightest interest in how the group agreed to play a particular concern venue- as espoused in the documentary footage on this DVD release. Selecting the individual song tracks of the concert footage can be fun and it’s essential if you have looked at the Playlist on the back of the DVD and decided you only really hold a passion for one or two songs. Most people would chose to watch the concert footage through from beginning to end and one has to say that watching a live gig back on a DVD is no substitute for being there in person.

You’re forced to watch a ten minute introduction before the concert footage starts. The band inject comments like “We never broke up, we just had a 14 year vacation” into proceedings and rejoice in the loud yelps of satisfaction from an obedient audience below them. The Eagles are back and it’s an under whelming experience. ‘Hotel California’ sounds good on the DVD but the performance of the song drags as if the band were trying to build up some steam for the remainder of the gig. The Eagles slight duel with the Burbank Symphony Orchestra [an attempt to get the orchestra to play something with a little more ‘blues’ in it] is unintentionally hilarious as an old time, pension claiming band tries their best to persuade a more talented group of musicians to conform to the country style which stagnated American music for decades. Let’s all forget our troubles and sing some songs of the Deep South.

Were Elvis and the dearly departed Beatles to be resurrected for a one-night-only duet, that would be an event. The reforming of the Eagles to play a concert hall in a place most of us have never heard of before, is little short of a publicity exercise.