Recorded December 21, 2008, released December 2009.
Harry and The Potters are the world's first "Wizard Rock" band, made up of two brothers, Joe (vocals,keyboard, tenor saxophone, glockenspiel and theremin) and Paul DeGeorge (vocals, guitar, baritone saxophone and melodica). They formed in 2002 and have been playing songs about Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Voldemort and co. ever since. On stage, Joe and Paul both perform as "Harry Potter," with older brother Paul playing an older version of Harry and younger brother Joe as a younger incarnation of the boy wizard. The Potters have used their concerts as a way to promote literacy and often perform at libraries or book stores. Every year around the Holidays, they've played Yule Balls, inspired by the event featured in the book (and film) Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire.
At The Yule Ball 2008 captures the Potters' performance from the 4th annual Yule Ball held at the Middle East club in Cambridge, MA. They come on stage in Santa hats and open up with "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", then segue into their original song "Yule Ball." In addition to their usual repertoire of songs about all things Potter ("Save Ginny Weasley", "Dumbledore", "I'm A Wizard"), the Potters also perform several original Christmas songs including "Xmas Rulez, Voldmort Droolz," "Christmas Shopping for Dobby," "Xmas at Hogwarts" and a (mostly-spoken word) story-song called "How Hagrid Saved Christmas." During the encore, they lead the audience in a singalong of classic seasonal songs like Rudolph and Frosty.
The Brothers DeGeorge are backed by Brad Mehlenbacher on drums, and several fans are invited on stage to play clarinet, flute and saxophone. "Santa Claus" himself shows up to play lead guitar on a few songs.
J.A. Morris says:
I was fortunate enough to attend a Yule Ball in Washington, DC this past December. It was one of the most enjoyable concerts I've been to in a long time! The De Georges are great entertainers who obviously love what they do on stage. They took turns singing lead and usually harmonized nicely on the choruses. They also acted as MCs of the Ball, introducing other Wizard Rock bands. If you're a fan of Harry Potter books and movies, I strongly recommend you get to a Yule Ball next year. You will not be disappointed.
At The Yule Ball can't compare to attending a Yule Ball in person, but it's the next best thing. It's a fun concert movie, we watched it while we put up Christmas decorations in our living room. I mentioned that Mr. Claus himself shows up to play lead guitar on a few songs. Watching "Santa" shred is always cool. I especially liked the original Christmas songs the Potters performed here. Christmas plays an important role in the Harry Potter series, these songs feel very true to both the spirit of the Holidays and J.K. Rowling's stories.
When I rate films & movies here, I don't usually add caveats, but:
At The Yule Ball is only available for purchase at the official store of Harry And The Potters and is not available via Netflix, Hulu, etc. So it's not as easy to watch as most of what we review here. If you're unfamiliar with their music, you can sample some of it here.
Having said that, it's highly recommended if you're a fan of Harry Potter, Christmas or both!
4 candy canes.
I agree with J.A. Morris generally about Harry and the Potters and about the At The Yule Ball DVD in particular. I really like the homemade with love ethos and positive energy that is evident in the Potters' perfomances. J.K. Rowling should be pleased to have people riffing on her work like this! Highly recommended! I also recommend checking out a Yule Ball live and in person for yourself if you can manage it - our trip to the 2011 Yule Ball in D.C. was tons of fun!
4 candy canes
2011 Yule Ball Poster