Sound: There have been plenty of jokes about how Oasis is the greatest band in the world since The Beatles (check out the classic SNL skit if you haven't already), and the band's newest DVD shows you just how close the band (at least in it's awe-inspiring number of fans) has come to verifying the statement. Lord Don't Slow Me Down is a 2-disk set featuring a more artistic documentary than what you might expect, as well as a concert in Manchester from 2005. If the DVD is anything, it's fascinating. Between the constant swagger of Liam Gallagher, the pithy comments made by both Gallagher brothers, and the larger-than-life concert scenes, Lord Don't Slow Me Down is hard to turn off.
The 1st disk focuses on the documentary tour film, which takes an unexpected approach in relaying the details of Oasis's tour from 2005 to 2006. The 95-minute film pieces together interviews and concert clips with various camera shots that are meant to be a little on the artsy side. The film is shot in black and white, while the camera angles are every which way at times. It's all meant to be dramatic, and visually it does feel like a music video. The documentary itself is at times a little bit hard to follow because you have to get through some thick accents. But for some reason it can still be pretty interesting to watch, even when vocalist Liam Gallagher isn't the best at annunciating during an interview.
There is what appears to be a true Beatles-type following in England for Oasis, with about 20,000 people showing up for the Manchester concert. Watching the crowd alone is intriguing, particularly considering that it looks like every single person in the audience is jumping in unison during the show. While the tour film is edited together flawlessly, the concert video takes more of a straightforward approach. There's even an unexpected moment at the very beginning of the Manchester show when the barricades actually needed to be reinforced, following which the band explains to the audience very clearly that everyone needs to take a step back. The band deserves kudos for keeping this imperfect moment in the DVD.
The music featured during the 16-track concert portion features the band's biggest hits as well as some nice extras. Wonderwall, Live Forever, and Don't Look Back In Anger are all greeted with insanely loud cheers, and the band does a satisfying job of playing the hits live. The lead vocal audio (on both Liam and Noel's songs) could have been a little bit louder to get the full effect, but at times it wouldn't have mattered because the crowd was singing over everything anyway. The band does a solid cover of My Generation at the finale, but it actually would have been nice to hear one of the band's originals as the closing number. // 8
Content: Between the 2 disks, there is plenty to watch on Lord Don't Slow Me Down. The tour documentary actually may need a few viewings to take everything in, particularly because the editing is often done in a bit of a spontaneous manner. But director Baillie Walsh did an excellent job of compiling a wide assortment of media interviews, backstage antics, and private, personal moments. There is a fantastic extra that is Q&A audio segment with Noel, where the guitarist comes across as both witty and intelligent. Also included is a band commentary to accompany the entire film, but once again it's often times hard to catch everything said because of the accents.
The concert portion is beautifully shot, especially when the director uses angles that include the massive sea of people at the arena. While the audio may not be as clear as some other music DVDs out there, Oasis fans should appreciate the subtle, ultra-cool delivery of Liam and the gang. One bonus feature on the concert disk is dedicated to the videos that fans shot during the show. As you might expect, there are more than a few that are almost unbearable to watch because the person was probably shooting from way, way in the back of the arena -- and not with the best camera, either. But excellent visual quality was most likely not the point for that bonus section, and it is cool to see that fans played a role in the DVD's content. // 9
Production Quality: Baillie Walsh's film definitely has more of an artistic feel, and you don't ever feel like you're watching a traditional documentary. In terms of the way the film is pieced together, editor Struan Clay should be commended for the intricate editing job. There are a lot of different scenes connected together that might not have worked well if the wrong editor was behind it all. In the end, Lord Don't Slow Me Down does succeed in feeling more like a true film than just a DVD. // 9
Overall Impression: After seeing the enthusiastic reaction of fans at the Manchester show, it's safe to say that Oasis fans will relish in every minute of the new DVD. While the band may not have the popularity overseas that it did during the Wonderwall days, Noel doesn't hesitate to address that fact during the Q&A portion. There's a sense of humility to the guitarist now that you might not have witnessed when he was proclaiming himself the best thing since Elvis back in the '90s. That down-to-earth vibe isn't always directly apparent for Liam during the film, though, particularly when the frontman does seem to keep somewhat of an attitude during many of his interviews.
Both disks included in the DVD are interesting in their own way, but the documentary film will lure you in more like a movie on the big screen. While it might not give you quite as much information as some traditional documentaries out there, Lord Don't Slow Me Down is a fascinating glimpse into what might just still be the biggest band in Britain. // 9