How about another ultra-rare fan bootleg -- this time, Warlords from the Feet of Flames World Tour?
This iteration of Warlords is famous for a couple of reasons. First, it was never commercially released on video, even though it was filmed -- so you had to see it live, and that rarity has given it a certain mystique. Second...seriously, check out those long coats.
Literally *everyone* loves the long coats. How could you not? It's #IrishDance meets the Matrix.
And this speaks to a larger point: dressing #IrishDancing for mainstream commercial success. Let's not forget that up until 1994, Irish dancing was an obscure cultural folk dance that practically no one had ever heard of. And while much is written about how Michael Flatley transformed the dance and set it free with his art form atop it, what's often overlooked is Michael's gift as a dramatist for nailing large-scale spectacle.
When you scale up to the level of Lord of the Dance -- where you're touring *stadiums* -- this requires making bold statements at every level: set design, music, costuming, choreography, lighting, and so on. If we use the motion picture industry as an analogy, Lord of the Dance isn't art-house cinema for ivory-tower pseudointellectuals; instead, Lord of the Dance is the summer tentpole blockbuster: a loud, crowd-pleasing, *rewatchable* adventure that cleans up at the box office because it's something people actually want to go see.
This is an art form unto itself, and candidly, in the genre of commercial Irish dancing, Lord of the Dance -- with over a billion dollars grossed -- stands alone on this mountain peak.
Special thanks must go to James Stevens from the original Lord of the Dance VB for editing this footage together from several different fan bootlegs. You don't normally see a bootleg with multiple camera angles! And what's impressive is that even though this is grainy low-resolution VHS footage from twenty years ago, the quality of the performance and the staging still shines through. *That's* a testament to the enduring quality of this magic that happens live every night the show is performed.
Planet Ireland arises: 2021.