"F***ing with Fire: Live"

(Nuclear Blast)

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RATING: 8/10

Say what you will, but you've got to credit these lovable Germans for putting their heart and soul into the music of EDGUY and trying their damnedest to make sure everyone involved is having a great time along the way.

If you were one of the 5,000 in attendance during the shooting of EDGUY's "Fucking with Fire: Live" in Sao Paulo, Brazil then it was more than obvious that you had a grand 'ole time. Then again, the Brazilians have a way of putting the average fan to shame when it comes to their beloved heavy metal bands.

The centerpiece of the DVD is, of course, the 14-song live performance in front of a rabid crowd of diehard EDGUY devotees. As one would expect, the set relies heavily on cuts from "Rocket Ride" and "Hellfire Club", but also includes classics like "Tears of a Mandrake" and "Vainglory Opera" and the surprise inclusion of "Avantasia" from lead vocalist Tobias Sammet's AVANTASIA project. The sound is great (yeah, it does indeed sound like an actual live show), the musicianship is tight (including the hugely important backing vocals and Sammet's nearly pitch-perfect delivery), and the stage action is a blast. Crowd participation is at a maximum here and Sammet proves again his natural abilities as a front man.

The refreshingly honest and downright comical part is that the opening song, "Catch of the Century", had to be performed again because the cameras weren't turned on for the first half of it, a story told during the segment called "Rocket Ride World Tour 2006-2008: The Documentary". The segment includes interviews with each of the band members in German (an English subtitle option is available), beginning with a discussion of each song in the set, which is a nice change of pace from the usual interview fare. Each member shares his views of each of the other members as well. Finally, video clips are included for "King of Fools", "Lavatory Love Machine", "Superheroes", and "Ministry of Saints" (from latest album, "Tinnitus Sanctus"), and they're all a riot; this is not a band that's afraid to be goofy and that's a high compliment.

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"F***ing with Fire: Love" is all about grinning from ear to ear in appreciation for an outstanding performance; that is, when you're not singing along at the top of your lungs to those larger-than-life choruses. If you are already an EDGUY fan, then you will love it. If you're not, you just may become one after watching the DVD. A double-CD audio version of the performance is also available.


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