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Winsor McCay -- The Master Edition

A new DVD offers an opportunity to see films by a master of animation —Andrea Birgers (DVD review...)

Gertie the Dinosaur, born of Winsor McCay

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“Welcome to the best fucking day of my life,” said Dave Grohl as Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin exited the stage following a rendition of “Rock and Roll” sung by Taylor Hawkins and “Ramble On” sung by Grohl. That is the crescendo of the Foo Fighters Live at Wembley DVD.

Rain can't get in at Wembley anymore
Rain can’t get in at Wembley anymore

Part of my attraction to this DVD was seeing what the new Wembley Stadium looked like. Old Wembley was where I saw the Rolling Stones Voodoo Lounge tour in 1995. I was particularly embittered that the Black Crowes wussed out of their opening set when rain broke out in the middle of their third song. Rain in London, who’d ‘ave thunk it?

Anyway, the new Wembley is a heaving monstrosity on the order of Invesco Field. Complete with its own retractable roof, rain outs are no longer a danger, Chris Robinson!

The stage is on the British equivalent of the 50-yard line and fans are all around. This brings across a better sample of the audience engagement one experiences during a concert. However, there is not much visual variety and not much depth in this non-IMAX 3-D film, especially at home. Nonetheless, the DVD adequately captures an 18-song set with favorites such as “Learn to Fly,” “Marigold,” “My Hero” and the aforementioned Led Zeppelin standards.

According to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of allmusic.com, “While he was drumming with Nirvana, Dave Grohl was recording original songs at home that never received public release. Those tapes would become the foundation of Foo Fighters, the band he formed in 1995, after the death of Kurt Cobain. Like Nirvana, Foo Fighters melded loud, heavy guitars with pretty melodies and mixed punk sensibilities with a sharp sense of pop songwriting.”

The DVD proves that Foo Fighters have matured from a Nirvana by-product into a venerable rock entity. The Page/Jones cameo notwithstanding, it also shows how much Grohl and company were influenced by 70s Glam Rock and 80s Hair Metal. This is evident in Hawkins’ Alex Van Halen (Van Halen)/Neal Peart (RUSH) style drum soliloquy.

Fair warning to the easily offended, there is a gratuitous use of F-bombs. Keep in mind; however it is a rock concert.


An interactive menu, chapter selection and sound settings do not qualify as special features.

How to Use This DVD

Put it in, set up the audio, press play. Then rock and roll all night and party every day!