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Tangerine Dream - Live in America 1992 CD (album) cover

LIVE IN AMERICA 1992

Tangerine Dream

 

Progressive Electronic

1.69 | 13 ratings

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Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
1 stars The title of this belated DVD, released more than a decade after the CD of the same tour (see: "220 Volt Live"), is unforgivably misleading. It's not really a concert film at all, but a mishmash of heavily treated live performances alongside a lot of unrelated imagery: band members bicycling in slow motion across the Mojave Desert; random post-World War II newsreel footage; and some colorful but meaningless fractals during the updated excerpt from the "Phaedra" album.

I can understand the need for such visual distraction. Tangerine Dream was never a band with an exciting stage presence, in the old days actually playing in near-total darkness, illuminated only by the blinking diodes on their banks of analog synthesizers. The recalibrated '90s quartet might have been a conscious attempt to present a more engaging, audience-friendly Tangerine Dream, but the results (as seen here, at any rate) were mixed, to say the least. Newcomer Zlatko Perica's token rock-star poses aren't about to galvanize too many viewers, although a measure of heterosexual consolation can be found in watching saxophonist Linda Spa's brunette curls blowing in the desert breeze during the bicycle sequence.

Too bad the concert footage itself is so poorly organized and presented. Most of it was shot in a fashionably choppy style, and with some irritating visual effects: multiple exposures and so forth. Even worse, there's no sense of stage continuity whatsoever. The DVD supposedly documents a single performance (at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle), but it actually opens in the middle of a song in progress ("Two Bunch Palms"), and then fades out and back in between each subsequent number. Newcomers might also be forgiven for thinking Perica, and not the original T. Dreamer Edgar Froese, is the principal bandleader: the camera lingers more or less exclusively on his typically proficient but impassive electric guitar solos, actually no less mechanical than the cold digital synths and drum programs favored by the band at the time.

The final nail in a shoddy coffin is the total running time of only 45-minutes, and that includes the nearly six-minute closing credits. Arguably it's the most interesting part of the entire film, with home-movie glimpses from throughout Tangerine Dream's long history, showing Christopher Franke and Peter Baumann, Johannes Schmoelling, and Jerome Froese as an even younger kid, following his dad around the world on tour before joining the band as a performing member.

But otherwise the impression is left of Edgar Froese mothballing all the old video clips that used to play above stage at each concert. Altogether it's a weak package, even for those fans (like myself) more forgiving of the more commercial sound of the band in the 1990s.

Neu!mann | 1/5 |

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