Wea/Elektra Entertainment // 2004 // 82 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Gutierrez (Retired) // November 26th, 2004
A "Triumph" you say? Of what, exactly?
On January 6, 1987, three men from Canada rocked out '80s style at the Metro Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Those three men -- Rik Emmet, Gil Moore and Mike Levine -- were Triumph. Running through a storm of their hit singles, the trio dazzled their mullet-adorned audience with guitar riffs, drum solos and vocal antics. Thanks to TML Entertainment, this night in music history is now available on DVD as A Night of Triumph -- Live. The track list is as follows:
*Tears in the Rain"
*"Somebody's Out There"
*"Lay It On the Line"
*"Follow Your Heart"
*"Take a Stand"
*"Rock n' Roll Machine"
*"Rocky Mountain Way"
*"Fight the Good Fight"
Oh, Canada. You are the butt of many a joke. You are the home of William Shatner and the wondrous Kids in the Hall. Musically, you have given us the amazing Sloan, Thrush Hermit, the Guess Who, the Odds, Shadowy Men from a Shadowy Planet -- and you have opted to balance that out with the likes of Bryan Adams and Snow. Why then, O Canada, must you give us Triumph?
Ever see This is Spinal Tap? Triumph is a lot like Spinal Tap without the jokes. One look at Mike Levine and you'll find that Derek Smalls may have had a twin brother.
The saddest thing about Triumph's music is that it feels manufactured. There's nothing different; nothing new. It's Journey, REO Speedwagon and the like all rolled into one. It's the excess of '80s music: the laser show, blinding lighting, holding swaying lighters, bad jeans, bad t-shirts and songs that make no sense. However, fans of the group will no doubt delight in this concert set list that includes many of their more popular hits.
I'm not a fan of Gil Moore's vocals. While I do champion drummers that can sing -- Don Henley being the exception -- Moore does nothing for me. Rik Emmet is certainly a skilled and talented guitarist; I simply don't care for what he plays. Bassist Mike Levine made me laugh -- but that's probably because I expected him to get trapped in a malfunctioning pod.
The songs go on for too long. The trio does not know when enuff z'nuff -- a testament to the state of things when this concert was recorded. I know excess well. After all, I'm a Queen fan.
Videos for Just One Night and When the Lights Go Down are included as bonus features from Triumph's U.S Festival Tour. Fans who dig the dramatic use of slow motion, gnarled guitar faces and musical theater will appreciate the bonus videos. The "Backstage at the Spectrum" featurette could have been more exciting if the narrator didn't act like he was phoning it in. His monotonous drone does the band a greater disservice than anything else on this DVD. Also included as a special feature is the Triumph photo gallery.
At the very least, this DVD sounds great. The viewer is given the option of listening to Triumph in 5.1 DTS, 5.1 Dolby Digital or 2.0 Stereo. I won't say it sounds like the viewer is magically transported to Nova Scotia, but even this skeptic was impressed with the clarity of the sound mixes. Every guitar squeedle and deedle, every drum crash and warbling note is exceptionally discernable and sharp. The picture quality looked good considering it is almost twenty years old. Since it's a darkened arena, I expected lots of video problems. I was pleased to find very little wrong with the transfer.
If you're a fan of the '80s nostalgia sweeping this generation, A Night of Triumph -- Live is worth checking out. Certainly any Triumph fan will love this concert film. It's no Live Aid, but I'm sure it pleases them.
A Night of Triumph -- Live is hereby released. Get out of my courtroom.
Review content copyright © 2004 David Gutierrez; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Wea/Elektra Entertainment
* Full Frame
* DTS 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 82 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* "Backstage at the Spectrum" featurette
* Bonus videos
* Photo gallery
* Official Triumph Site
* DVD Verdict Review of This is Spinal Tap