EAGLES OF DEATH METAL
Formed by ex-Kyuss guitarist and Queens of the Stone Age frontman, Josh Homme, along with his best buddy, Jesse Hughes, Eagles of Death Metal have been steadily plying the world with some of the finest twenty first century rock 'n' roll for well over a decade. This live release, 'I Love You All the Time - Live at The Olympia in Paris', is something of a momentous release. On 13th November 2015, the band performed at the Bataclan in Paris and, during their set, gunmen opened fire on a defenceless crowd, which was part of a series of co-ordinated terrorist attacks in the French capital that night. 89 people tragically lost their lives during the Bataclan attack, and many more were seriously injured. The emotional trauma of living through such an experience is entirely inconceivable. Just three months on, Eagles of Death Metal returned to Paris on 16th February 2016 to finish their show at The Olympia. 'I Love You All the Time...' is that very show, which is being released on DVD, BD, 2CD and digital video/audio. Both the DVD and 2CD editions have been made available for review here.
Although not essential to your enjoyment of this release, I wholeheartedly recommend a viewing of Colin Hanks' extraordinary and emotionally powerful HBO documentary film, 'Eagles of Death Metal - Nos Amis (Our Friends)', before indulging in the delights of 'I Love You All the Time - Live at the Olympia in Paris'. It provides important context to the show, and will give you an emotionally profound insight into the significance of the event, particularly in terms of how band members (and fans) dealt with the Bataclan aftermath. It's a remarkable account of human resilience and strength of spirit in not only how Eagles of Death Metal were able to take to the stage in Paris just three months on from the incomprehensible horrors of that night, but also how Bataclan survivors had the courage to overcome any sense of fear and return to their love of gigs and EODM (a number of them attended The Olympia show). 'Nos Amis' is quite the cathartic experience, I can assure you. It had me welling up on several occasions.
So, my viewing experience of this DVD was primed by watching 'Nos Amis' directly before (thank you, Netflix!). With tears still in my eyes, 'I Love You All the Time' proved to be an equally emotional experience, but one where rock 'n' roll is a triumphant and cathartically potent force. Through an hour and a half set, Eagles of Death Metal slip into doing what they do best... to entertain. And Hughes is a born entertainer. Homme, who was absent from the Bataclan gig, is present behind his kit here (watching 'Nos Amis', it was touch and go as to whether he'd make this show at The Olympia, due to the imminent birth of his second son)... and sticksman Julian Dorio also joins the band after the first few numbers, so it's dual-drumming magnificence for the majority of the gig. All the fan favourites are present in what transpires to be a high energy set and pure rock 'n' roll euphoria.
There are plenty of moments where I genuinely felt the sense of unity and solidarity oozing from the screen. There are Hughes' first moments on stage where he stands at various points stage-front, tears clearly in his eyes, sharing and soaking up a few moments of reciprocal love with the audience. The break during opening number 'I Only Want You', where the band cease playing and he says "Let's take a moment to remember... and we get back to the fun"... an emotionally moving silence ensues before they finish the song. Then, during the first encore, when Hughes walks back out onto the stage by himself, grabs a guitar painted with the colours of the French flag, and holds it up high, he's greeted by cheers, horns, heart shapes and a general feeling of warmth and affection from the audience. During the final number, he appears in the middle of the crowd, up on the balcony, playing his guitar in a climactic gesture of harmony, where it genuinely feels like the band and their fans are at one. And, of course, a touching final bow after the final notes are played.
Visually, an aspect ratio of 16:9 is actually letterboxed at what looks like 2.35:1, and the MPEG-2 encoded image is very nice looking for just a 720x480 SD presentation (albeit upscaled on my BD/DVD player, I hasten to add). Sound-wise, three options are selectable - Dolby Digital Stereo; Dolby Digital 5.1; DTS Surround Sound - with the latter sounding the most resonantly rich and dynamic. And the multi-camera footage, which has been very nicely edited together in a lively montage, has captured the band from all manner of angles, and wide/mid-range/close-up shots. A camera even follows Hughes' journey from stage to crowd towards the end.
The double CD set basically has the audio from the show at The Olympia, which sounds great in its stereo mix. This is a concert that needs to be heard and seen, though, so I recommend picking up either the DVD or BD. Plus, the DVD (and, I'm guessing, the BD, too) has three bonus tracks from another EODM gig (Teragram Ballroom LA)... not as good as the quality of the main show, but a nice addition, nonetheless.
Ultimately, the momentous nature of this release and all it symbolises should never be underestimated in any small way. Watch 'Eagles of Death Metal - Nos Amis (Our Friends)' first, then watch this show, and the true significance of the EODM's gig at The Olympia in Paris on 16th February 2016 will become immediately apparent.
Eagle Vision/Eagle Records
I LOVE YOU ALL THE TIME - LIVE AT THE OLYMPIA IN PARIS
Review by Mark Holmes
11th August 2017
1) Intro: Il Est Cinq Heures, Paris S'Éveille; 2) I Only Want You; 3) Don't Speak (I Came To Make A Bang!); 4) So Easy; 5) Complexity; 6) Whorehoppin' (Shit, Goddamn); 7) I Love You All The Time; 8) Cherry Cola; 9) The Reverend; 10) Got A Woman; 11) I Got A Feelin' (Just Nineteen); 12) Stuck In The Metal; 13) Miss Alissa; 14) I Like To Move In The Night; 15) Secret Plans; 16) Wannabe In L.A.; 17) Bag O' Miracles; 18) Save A Prayer; 19) I Want You So Hard (Boy's Bad News); 20) Speaking In Tongues
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...the momentous nature of this release and all it symbolises should never be underestimated in any small way."