...and travel back in time. The renaissance to be exact. With this DVD concert, Blackmore's Night will take you on a very magical journey into a land of Castles and Dreams. Quality wise, this is as good as it gets. Awesome video and audio, and a two-hour courtyard stroll through bonus material where the band often breaks into song in restaurants, on trains, and in castle halls.
Extras aside, I would buy this DVD for the concert alone. Blackmore's Night, stage and musicians decked out in full renaissance, easily drew me into their world of bards and minstrels. I couldn't help it, they had me dancing and clapping along in my own living room.
It's always nice to see artists having so much fun performing their craft. Watching Castles & Dreams, one can only come to one conclusion; Blackmore's Night really enjoys playing their music. Even the ever-stoic Ritchie Blackmore can be seen laughing and teasing his bandmates (in between constant fiddling with his equipment as the show goes on). Up front, Candice Night is absolutely captivating. If you're not in love with her yet (be you gay, straight, male or female), you will be after watching this concert.
Blackmore's Night is a refreshing band in my opinion, writing songs that simply get back to basics. It's all about the melody here, a unique combination of medieval folk music and rock-n-roll. I didn't know it until I bought Castles & Dreams, but Blackmore's Night is a very improvisational band. While playing their many entrancing songs, they'll often break off into an instrumental jam session or spin off on some medley combining BN material and classical pieces, along with snippets of Blackmore's previous bands, Deep Purple and Rainbow. Ritchie plays a myriad of ancient string instruments on stage, including several songs where he straps on his signature Fender Strat (complete with age-old scratches, nicks and cracks) for a very entertaining blast from the past.
The sound on this DVD is superb and the band sounds much heavier live than they do on their studio albums. This should please Deep Purple and Rainbow fans like myself. However, the melody and the hypnotising beauty of this music is not lost for those who like Blackmore's Night for their softer side.
I recommend this for ALL Blackmore's Night fans, and if you've yet to hear them, this DVD would be a great starting point (especially considering the price tag isn't that much more than a regular CD). If you don't check this out, it will be your loss as a music fan.