This is a welcome DVD from 4Reel Productions, certainly one Aerosmith collectors will want to pick up. This release is presented on a DVD-9 Dual Layer Disc which allows us to watch just over 3 hours of vintage performances.
The feature show is the bands' Monsters Of Rock set at Oakland Coliseum/Stadium in the Summer of 1979 and gives the opportunity to hear live performances of tunes from the soon to be released, Night In The Ruts LP. The video itself isn't complete with a few tracks cutting in, etc. but we get nearly the entire set. This is a fairly low gen Bill Graham Presents video with a 2-camera production: onstage/left shooting from the side of the band, and a straight-on stage shot from about 30 yards out in the field. It also has the video counter present in the bottom middle of the screen which isn't too distracting. What makes this video unique to other Aero-fare is that this is an afternoon show outdoors and the unique tropical rainforest stage design. The performance here is spotty with the band seeming to struggle to hit a real groove at times. It's like they get waves of inspiration about every other song but overall just seem bored. Highlights are few here but the Night In The Ruts live rarity "Think About It" is the clear winner. The audio track starts out pretty good but ends up fluctuating in quality and is pretty raw and rough overall.
The balance of the DVD gives us bonus performances from a couple of years earlier via the in-house closed circuit proshot production from The Summit in Houston. The First Night is nearly complete and is a pretty solid set even though Steven Tyler seems a bit bored here as well, though he picks up energy as the show matures. These Draw The Line Tour shows feature what I feel is the best setlist the band has ever presented thus being essential from where I sit. The video is a bit dark for both nights but that's just the way things were lit back in the day. The audio here is much better than the Oakland piece, the same goes for The Second Night. Highlights from the 1st night set are the opener "Back In The Saddle" & the always rousing "Adam's Apple".
The Houston 2nd Night seems to catch the band in a more relaxed state and the performance is a bit "looser" and sleazier. Unfortunately this presentation is incomplete and I would urge you to seek out the complete version of this show that is in circulation. The lighting seems more conducive to filming this evening too. Tonight, "Mama Kin" gets the party started isn't raced through like the previous evening and the momentum continues with "S.O.S" and "Lord Of The Thighs" really cooks. Clearly this is the winning performance on this set.
The menus and programming are up to 4Reel standards and navigating is easy even though the introductory label sequence didn't have to be quite that long for us to get to the meat of the product, a minor quibble. Very nice photography and graphical layout/design utilized for the cover artwork too! Classy and top rate. Given the period of their careers we are looking at here, it is the height of substance abuse and the beginning of the end of that Tyler/Perry alliance (for the vintage years anyway)...and a transition to "The Toxic Twins". Nonetheless, you'll want this in your collection if you're a fan. There's plenty of kick-ass rock n' roll featured and it's a cool release. It's the only known proshot video for their Right In The Nuts Tour which makes the DVD desirable just for that alone...and we get the Houston shows to supplement.