Ian Hunter Band Featuring Mick Ronson, Live At Rockpalast

Published on April 26th, 2012 in: Current Faves, DVD, DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews, Music, Reviews, TV |

By Hanna

ian hunter rockpalast DVD

While lately the BBC and specialized music channels have finally been repeating and showing their collected musical material, German TV has been far ahead of them, broadcasting their music shows such as ZDF’s disco and comprehensive DVDs of shows like Musikladen, while the BBC still fails to release anything like a Top of The Pops DVD, and its Old Grey Whistle Test issues are limited and, annoyingly, themed.

The Rockpalast series is extensive and has been releasing episodes on DVD for years, featuring sets by a variety of cult artists taped for the Rockpalast TV series. Several were shown on TV a few years ago as well, although always in separate sets like the DVD releases, instead of the whole concert night which always featured a number of bands, This is where I first saw the Ian Hunter concert featured on this DVD. The DVD itself is basic, featuring the full concert and including oddly touching shots of the audience waiting outside, the introduction, and not much in the way of menu gimmicks. But the concert itself is already a statement of its own.

Ian Hunter
Screencap by Hanna

Ian Hunter’s presence is stadium filling, famously cool, but also personal and engaging, in both the songs and the performance. His lyrics are sometimes revealing and always clever, and he brings a directness and charm to the large setting of the festival arena. At one point he goes into the audience, and there are cute little touches like translating “cue cards” for an audience singalong into German, and listing (nearly) all European countries in “Cleveland Rocks”.

One of the things that surprised me, because it’s such a given that I haven’t thought about it in ages, is how skilled and magnetic a guitarist Mick Ronson really was. The adulation from collectors and fanboys is almost a cliche now, but he truly deserves any and all praise he gets. He and Hunter seem to fit together well, and have a non-competitive, natural relationship on stage.

Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson
Screencap by Hanna

The songs are a mix of Ian Hunter solo and Mott the Hoople material. The Mott songs especially are reworked, and sound new and different. Highlights include a wonderful, biting version of “Laugh At Me,” a rather metal “Cleveland Rocks,” and nice quirky versions of “We Gotta Get Outta Here” and “Bastard.”

This is truly a DVD that should be viewed for the music, because the versions of the songs are unique, the players are amazing, and the setlist itself is well put together. It’s more geared towards people relatively unfamiliar with the band, because it focuses on more well known songs, but the re-workings are interesting enough to make you see some of them in a new light, and the skills are just so great in all the performers.

Ian Hunter
Screencap by Hanna

It’s just a really fun gig that makes you forget all of the melancholy associated with fans who can’t get over Mick Ronson’s death and just lets you enjoy and share in something that won’t happen again.

The Ian Hunter Band Featuring Mark Ronson Live At Rockpalast DVD was released by MVD Entertainment Group and Made In Germany, and is available to purchase from MVD.

3 Responses to “Ian Hunter Band Featuring Mick Ronson, Live At Rockpalast

  1. Irina:
    May 12th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Thanks for the great review. They both are my favorite musicians, the best rock union ever!

  2. Manfred Koehler:
    May 12th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Well, to be honest. I’m a huge Mott The Hoople fan on from their first days in 1969 . Proud to say I did it to one of their Reunion shows in London (2009). We did not get that ROCKTOBER shows on a DVD. Nuff said: A crime! Parts of it are used for “The Ballade pof Mott The Hoople”. That DVD already got a release and tells more than only the story of Mott The Hoople.
    The Hunter/Ronson Rockpalast took place in 1980 and we hardly missed the release of that DVD. The good thing is, the technique made possible to give it a finer quality. Just to mention that there is an Audio CD too. I would not post about it if the sound would not be first class . All in all I rate it with ***** stars, I always will remember Mick Ronson. RiP Ronno.

  3. Liz:
    May 12th, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you for a wonderful review for a show that features two fantastic artists in their prime. RIP dear Ronno and to Ian, Long may you Rock!

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