Steelheart - 'Still Hard' (DVD)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                Released in 2007 through Steelheart Records
                                                                                                                                                                                www.steelheart.com

THE BAND:
Miljenko Matijevic (a.k.a. Michael Matijevic) - vocals/guitar/piano
Chris Risola - lead guiitar
Frank Di Costanzo - rhythm guitar
John Flower - drums
James Ward - bass

DVD CONTENTS:
Disc I:
Japan Tour '90:
1.) "Love Ain't Easy"
2.) "Like Never Before"
3.) "Gimme Gimme"
4.) "Girl Gone Crazy"
5.) "I'll Never Let You Go"
6.) "Can't Stop Me Lovin' You"
            drum/guitar solo
7.) "Rock n' Roll (I Just Wanna)"
Videos:
1.) "I'll Never Let You Go"
2.) "Can't Stop Me Lovin' You"
3.) "She's Gone"
4.) "Everybody Loves Eileen"
5.) "Stick Side Up"
6.) "Wait"
Acoustic Shows:
1.) "She's Gone"
2.) "Shelia"
3.) "Mama Don't You Cry"
4.) "Electric Chair"
5.) "Shangrila"
Disc II:
Bootleg Concert: Toad's Place '91
1.) Backstage
2.) "Like Never Before"
3.) "Everybody Loves Eileen"
        Instrumental Jam
4.) "Shelia"
5.) "I'll Never Let You Go"
6.) "She's Gone"
7.) "Down n' Dirty"
Extras:
1.) "I'll Never Let You Go" (TV appearance)
2.)"She's Gone" (TV appearance)
3.) The making of "Everybody Loves Eileen"
4.) "She's Gone" (alternate version)
5.) Before There Was Steelheart there was Red Alert
6.) Photo Gallery
7.) Interview in London '90
8.) Interview in New Haven '91
9.) Interview in Hollywood '92
10.) The Making of 'Tangled in Reins'
11.) Soundcheck
12.) The accident in Denver

 

disc I:
    
The first performance on disc one was filmed on Steelheart's Japanese tour in 1990 in support of the band's self-titled freshman release.  The entire crowd knows what song the band is opening the show with just as soon as they hear the distinct familiar Miljenko vocal scream of ”…Love…Ain’t… Easy…”.  From this vocal line up throughout the rest of the concert, the five members of Steelheart give 2 hundred and ten percent!  On the second song “Like Never Before” there are a few microphone screeches this is do to engineering error and not Miljenko vocals.  The sound and picture quality are excellent even for something recorded seventeen years ago.  If I am not mistaken, the live footage shot from three or four different camera angles, which, leads me to believe this section of the DVD was released on VHS probably in the early nineties.  Miljenko vocal screams are dead on proving why he is the ultimate vocalist.  Steelheart’s set list included a song called “Girl Gone Crazy” which, is not on the American release of their self-titled debut.  This song was either a b-side (which, in that time was very common) or, a track that is on the Japanese release.  In between the sixth and seventh song of the band’s set list there is a drum/guitar solo and though they were awesome, and yes, I am fully aware solo’s were huge during this time I would have much more preferred a full song.  Especially, when the band consists of what could be argumentatively the greatest lead vocalist of that era!  For the last song on the set list “Rock n’ Roll” Miljenko tries to get a little crowd participation, but the Japanese crowd seemed very lost.  The only reason I could come up with was the language difference.  Cause there is no way they could have been bored!!!
     The video section of ‘Still Hard’, as far as I know, consists of every video the band has ever done including one new one taken off Steelheart’s ‘Wait’ released in 1996.  The videos are subtitled and at first, the jury had been out on that.  I just could not decide if the subtitles helped or hindered the images.  My wife made the decision for me.  As she was watching the videos, I noticed her eyes were flashing back and forth between the words and images.  I then had a premonition were unlike me there are probably a lot of Steelheart fans out there who may not know every word.  The first three acoustic performances; "She's Gone", Shelia" and "Mama Don't You Cry" were taped in I believe Hong Kong the show was very similar to American MTV's show 'Unplugged'.  Accompanying Miljenko on piano and guitar these was Steelheart bassist James Ward.  Hearing "She's Gone" acoustically was amazing.  Miljenko's vocal scream at the end of "Shelia" shows why he is the ultimate lead vocalist!!!  My wife stated that during the song "Mama Don't You Cry" Miljenko's vocals had her mesmerized.  The last two songs, "Electric Chair" and "Wait" were taken off Steelheart's 1996 release titled 'Wait'.  This performance was recorded at a different time with a different guitarist.  Because of the vocal style Miljenko is currently singing in I thought these two songs sounded better acoustically than the studio versions did.
 disc II:
 
    The bootleg concert was recorded at Toad's Place (www.toadsplace.com) on August 27, 1991 in New Haven, Connecticut.  The quality of sound and film was better than most bootleg concerts.  Outside of, "Everybody Loves Eileen", "Shelia", and "She's Gone" the set list is pretty much the same the band used as the concert on disc I.  Instead of any solo sections there is a small instrumental jam that includes Chris Risola (guitar), Frank DiCostanzo (guitars), and Miljenko sharing a bottle of Tequila.  The intro section of "Never Let You Go" sounded like it speeded up and pushed.  The sound quality on Miljenko mic was rough sounding.  I would like to add that this was not due to Miljenko or the band.  Miljenko has one of the strongest voices in rock music and in my opinion, as a former sound engineer myself, the person running the mixing board should have controlled this a little better.  With that being said the live version of "She's Gone" was awesome and makes up for the engineering problems.  DVD II is packed with several extras that include; live TV performances of "I'll Never Let You Go" and "She's Gone", the making of the video "Everybody Loves Eileen", an alternate version of "She's Gone"; from what I can tell the only difference between the two versions of the video is the alternate video consisted a female actress.  This alternate version blows the version MTV rotated away!!!   Other extras include a rare unreleased track titled, "No Mercy" when Steelheart was going by the band name Red Alert, three interviews conducted in; '90, '91, and '92 , The making of 'Tangled In Reins', The Accident in Denver; This was the last performance the original Steelheart line-up would ever play.


    No one could have anticipated that within sixteen months after the release of Steelheart’s self-titled debut the music business would forever change with the release of Nirvana’s – ‘Nevermind’.  Due to this along with ‘The Accident In Denver’ the band never really got the exposure they deserved.  In the studio, the vocal scream accents are very easy to process because they record the vocals sometimes over a period of days.  However, pulling this off live, well, that is a different story you have one shot, one take.  Miljenko pulls these off with easy showing why he is the greatest vocalist to come out of the hard rock era!  This double DVD is a must have for all Steelheart or eighties hard rock fans!!!