TNT – Live In Madrid

TNT - Live In Madrid


Release date: September 22, 2006

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After a dear colleague’s review of TNT’s most excellent and still recent CD, All The Way To The Sun, some people wondered why Mister Tony Harnell was mentioned along with names as Geoff Tate, Ian Gillan, and David Coverdale. This DVD is, and expect nothing less from Metal Express Radio’s board of reviewers by now, a big “shut the fuck up” to the disbelievers. Fact is Tony Harnell has surpassed the qualities of the ones mentioned… just pick up a copy of Live In Madrid and check for yourself.

Harnell first contra-conquered Viking Land with his stunning performance on TNT’s 1984 release Knights Of The New Thunder, an album that indeed is considered a classic and still sounds fresh to this day, then went on to establish himself and the band in the USA with Tell No Tales, and furthermore in Japan with Intuition. In the nineties, he left TNT more than once, but always returned due to strong demand from a rabid fan base, and most likely the fact that once you’ve created music along with a guitar whiz like Ronni Le Tekro, everyone else pales in comparison.

Why this huge focus on Tony Harnell? Well, simply because this show in Madrid was the last he did outside of TNT’s native Norway, and second to last ever -– and for the first time, TNT has replaced Harnell. Ronni and Diesel Dahl are not expecting him to return this time. You may call this an “end of an era,” but that’s another charting DVD these days.

Spain always was TNT’s second home. Not only is a good portion of the music written in Ronni’s Spanish home, or out on the beach under heavy influence by Margharita for that matter, but the band sure has a strong following among the bullfighters. As proven on this DVD –- despite a small stage that doesn’t do justice to the band’s reputation and popularity and a light show that is nothing out of the ordinary; TNT delivered a really good show, simply an excellent document of the “Harnell era” where the magic between Tony and Ronni can’t be questioned. The setlist is a good blend of new songs from the last two records, and the usual hits you’ve come to expect by now. Sure, another classic from Knights Of The New Thunder, as well as a forgotten jewel like “Desperate Night” would have been welcome, but overall this is a very strong run through TNT’s career.

The performance is top notch –- TNT is not the band to tune down and sound “modern” just because the singer has problems reaching the notes. (Harnell seems to prefer a lower key for “As Far As The Eye Can See,” though …) Ronni’s guitar solo displays less technical show-off than before, in favor of a “I am one with my instrument” thing. And he is, and he’s got nothing left to prove. Kudos for allowing the band to back him up while running over the fretboard -– it always sounds better that way.

Another most stellar thing you will notice here is the sound. Now, people say that no live albums or DVDs are really live, and yes, maybe there’s an overdub here or there, but good luck to you if you want to find out where! There are a few mistakes left in there, and given the fact that this DVD was ready just shortly after being recorded –- it’s hard to believe this one had many cover ups. It’s also not clipped that way (have a look at Savatage’s Japan Live, and you will see clipping that tries to hide a fact or two …).

So much for the positives here –- there certainly is a thing or two to point a finger at too. First of all, the clipping is a little too stressed. It’s always preferred to see what the musician does from one angle, not three different ones in a few seconds. You’ll get used to it, and it’s not bad by any means, but it could have been slightly better -– you get the feeling the clipping is done by a Jazz drummer. Take a look at the bonus material, now there’s some decent clipping and editing …

… which leads to the next negative mark; where the heck is the bonus material? Two songs –- both were previously available as a bonus DVD with the recent album -– and a couple of minutes of a chaotic signing session?!?! That doesn’t even qualify for using the term “bonus!” You have a band with almost 25 years of history, and there’s a lot of footage around –- even a full show from 1985 -– and the so-called bonus material is just a few songs recorded recently at other shows? You’d think the fans would have waited another six months for this DVD just to have a documentary and a few clips from the past on a second disc. That would be how to end an era! Instead, to give more bang for the buck, a live CD from the show is included in this package, identical to the DVD show.

However, the pluses outnumber and outweigh the minuses, just like Harnell and Tekro still sing and play circles around most Rock musicians out there today, so don’t take these critical remarks too much into consideration next time you see your local DVD dealer. Live In Madrid memorializes a great TNT show. Good luck to both Harnell and TNT with Tony Mills in the future.


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