Yngwie Malmsteen – Live – Review

Yngwie Malmsteen

Live (Dream Catcher)
by Scott Hefflon

Recorded live in Brazil in 1998, Live is a pretty straight-up live performance (hence the name), with no frills, overdubs, extra features, or backstage antics. Guess they edited out the over-eating and woman abuse in favor of the fleet-fingered fat fuck strolling around, occasionally kicking up a leg, but generally standing still and making “guitar faces” while effortlessly flying over the fretboard the way most of us’ll only dream of.

He’s astounding, of course, and the prick knows it, laughing at the camera/audience as his ringed-fingers dance and jiggle, occasionally taking a drag off his cigarette while his other hand hammers away, still playing riffs most of us can’t even figure out, much less play. The stances are all classic metal show-off routines, tried and true, and seeing as the control freak also “directed” this thing, all the camera angles are standard rockstar crotch shots and close-ups of fingers doing what a guitarist’s fingers do. Kinda funny cuz he makes those minor movements seem as mundane as flicking ash from his cigarette.

There’re some nice lighting and smoke effects, as you’d expect, and he probably did all the guitar-over-the-head and behind-the-back stuff, I just wasn’t really paying attention… I don’t put it passed him. He’s a cheeseball, sure, but that’s what we want from him.

The songs are a little heavy on the later material, but maybe singer Mats Leven can’t peg the notes of my fave, Marching Out. He seems fully competent, full of vibrato and belted falsetto and heavy metal barrel-chested howl, but classical stuff like “Don’t Let it End” and the like are vocally tricky and maybe Yngwie figured it drew attention away from him… They do a bit of the instrumental material (as if vocals were ever really much more than an afterthought), but again, this focuses more on the later material, and I’m a fan of the early stuff – the pure classical wankery and balls-out “tough” Viking-style heavy metal. Seeing as I never got a chance to see the guy live in his prime, this is the closest I’ll ever get.