It was a long way coming, a GAMMA RAY DVD, a long way in more ways than one. For one, it is the first DVD for the Hamburgers ever in their almost 20 year career and secondly it took over two years between recording and actual release, so they’re not in a hurry I would say. But it is an old German adage that good things take their time and “Hell Yeah! The Awesome Foursome” is no exception to this, I am very happy to announce.
That the guys around Kai Hansen don’t take themselves super-seriously is already showcased in the full title: “Hell Yeah !!! The Awesome Foursome and the Finnish Keyboarder who didn’t want to wear his Donald Duck Costume – Live In Montreal”, but yet what is contained is anything but a joke. For starters, any band that has to decide where to record a live DVD will never make a mistake with choosing Montrčal, Qučbec, as the crowds there always are a) big in numbers and b) great in fan response, so GAMMA RAY have done their homework here and let’s have a look at the concert featured, shall we?
The first DVD is an 18-song concert and it shows GAMMA RAY at their best, even though there is not too much crowd interaction, but the band lets the music do the talking. Reaching all the way back to their second effort “Sigh No More” (with “Dream Healer”), they burn through an inspired gig that benefits from a strong light show, clear sound and an energetic performance by all members, which is a little heavier on songs of the “Majestic” album, but then again that was the album they had been promoting at that time, so not that surprising. The second DVD contains a bunch of bonus material, of which the “Road Movie USA 2006” is the probably most interesting one, as it shows the band outside of the venue and these guys are positively nuts, especially after Kai finds a Dollar Store, where he finds a bunch of funky things including a little banner saying “awesome” and this becomes a running gag throughout the movie.
We also get some extra live performances, the videos so far and the “Historay”, rounding off a definitely recommendable DVD for all fans of the Germans, during which Kai even admits that he himself doesn’t care for live DVDs… Anyways, I thoroughly enjoyed it and if you like the band, so will you.
(Online April 13, 2009)