Sound — 9
Back in December, Nickelback's Live at Sturgis 2006 DVD hit the shelves, and for one reason or another, that particular release was available exclusively at Walmart. It probably wouldn't have been such a huge deal if it weren't for the fact that the live concert took place at Sturgis, South Dakota, where anything goes during the annual motorcycle rally. The Nickelback concert wasn't necessarily a huge cesspool of bad behavior, but it certainly wasn't a good fit for the always-benign Walmart. When the DVD was released through the superstore, let's just say that the weird shadows covering flashers' breasts and abundance of bleeped language became incredibly distracting. Fast forward a few months and the same DVD is now available on a grander scale and thankfully, in the manner it was meant to be seen in the first place. You can actually witness the Nickelback show without the egregious, cumbersome edits. There's nothing wrong with producing a clean version of a DVD, but a Sturgis show (where boobies abound) was not the proper fit. Other than the uncensored part, really nothing has changed in terms of the Nickelback show or general content, and you're still in for a quality performance. If there's one thing that Nickelback proves during the show, it's that they are incredibly tight musically and have the ability to sound eerily like the studio recording. You can tell there is no lip synching or anything of that matter Chad Kroeger is just one of those gifted vocalists who probably needs very little enhancement in the studio. Among the 12-song playlist, which is a veritable best-of collection, you'll hear the likes of Photograph, Never Again, Too Bad, and Figured You Out. There is a drum solo from Daniel Adair that didn't make the cut in the main feature, but you can see a clip of that during the bonus section's documentary. It should also be mentioned that Nickelback's Side of the Bullet is dedicated to Dimebag Darrell (not to mention the song's solo consists of Dimebag's studio outtakes from Pantera sessions), and a very cool montage of the guitarist is projected on the main stage screen. That was an unexpected moment during the Sturgis show, and it is probably the most memorable moment of the entire setlist.
Content — 9
After hearing that there would be an uncensored version of Live at Sturgis 2006, it seemed like this might be an opportunity to show a few more antics that occurred behind the scenes at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. You won't see any new extras on the uncensored version, but to be fair, the original Walmart release already did have a good deal of bonus content. For fans of Nickelback, there is a documentary that is essentially a series of behind-the-scenes interviews during the Dark Horse Tour. That portion doesn't necessarily feel like a full-out documentary, but it does show Nickelback in a very down-to-earth, likable light. Also included is a short-and-sweet documentary called Sturgis 101, that touches upon the annual motorcycle rally and actually includes some Nickelback bio info at the end as well. Rounding out the extras are a video for the single Rockstar, and a photo gallery accompanying the appropriate song, Photograph. The main concert feature runs about an hour and demonstrates just how many hit singles that Nickelback has churned out over the years.
Production Quality — 10
Live At Sturgis 2006 is shot in hi-def, and the resulting footage is absolutely gorgeous. Every shot is incredibly vivid, and you see a wide range of camera shots/angles during the concert. Kroeger is obviously the star of the show, but the director wisely gives every band member plenty of camera time.
Overall Impression — 9
It's fairly interesting that an uncensored version was quickly distributed after the exclusive Walmart version, but in the end it works better for the concert experience. There was certainly plenty to clean up, too, with Kroeger's love of the F word and boobs. In the end, however, fans of Nickelback shouldn't be disappointed regardless if they're seeing the clean version or fully uncensored release. Naysayers of Nickelback probably won't be converted by the end of Live at Sturgis 2006, but it's hard to deny that this is a band that has the talent to sound as good onstage as it does in the studio.