Metal Tim and I personally witnessed all 30 of these SAXON live offerings during the last decade, on our annual pilgrimages to Wacken. Three minutes short of three hours, the 30-song DVD is packaged as a compilation of the ‘04/‘07/‘09 shows and is available with a double CD, featuring a complete, 24-song concert from earlier this year. Exclusives on that Glasgow show include ‘Hammer Of The Gods’, ‘Back In ‘79’, ‘Call To Arms’, ‘Demon Sweeney Todd’, ‘Man And Machine’, ‘When Doomsday Comes’, ‘Never Surrender’, ‘Motorcycle Man’, ‘Strong Arm Of The Law’ and ‘Play It Loud’. Quite astounding that the last four were left off the mainshow, but SAXON is not just milking their fans with duplicate setlists (which they could have easily done). Just to complicate matters, there’s also a twin audio disc package of “fan selected” greatest hits from the 2009 show making the rounds. Many of the rarer tunes are from that ’09 gig, when they celebrated their 30th anniversary, by playing at least one song from each album!
What’s not to like, as most listeners/purchasers certainly are already familiar with the running order: classic songs, many stories in their own right. Hard to believe any Biff Byford neophytes (are there any such metalheads?) would plunk down hefty coin for such a collection, as THE place to begin their investigation of SAXON. In addition to the music, there’s a ten minute interview with all the guys, talking about their history at Wacken, intercut with rehearsals and live footage (used elsewhere). As only this massive festival can do, there are all sort of strange overhead shots, as well as panoramic (albeit at night, for the headliner) crowd shots, extreme close-ups and full lighting effects throughout the trio of concerts. Each song is titled, with the particular year from which it was lifted. Like Wacken, there’s plenty here to discover: sight, sound and otherwise.