Live In Concert

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1999 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 89:59 minutes Other Extras Biography - Cast
Featurettes - 4
Gallery - Costume
Gallery - Photos
Main Menu Audio and Animation
Menu Audio
3D Cover Insert
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (?)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 2,3,4,5,6 Director David Mallet

Warner Vision Australia
Starring Cher
Case Super Jewel Case
RRP $39.95 Music Cher

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    Question - is it wise for a plastic enhanced woman to perform under intense stage lighting? Just wondering, that's all.

    Well, I have to admit that my views of Cher's music career are very much based upon videos emphasizing her physical attributes rather than the quality of her music. And to be blunt, whilst I enjoyed this concert immensely, I still do not think too much of her musical abilities. And dare I suggest that maybe, just maybe, and just possibly, some of this concert was lip synched? I have no concrete evidence other than the fact that whilst watching this concert, that was the impression I got. My apologies if I am completely wrong. And again, despite that, I still enjoyed this concert.

    Like the stunning Bee Gees: One Night Only, this concert, part of her Believe 99 Tour, was recorded by HBO at the MGM Hotel Grand Arena in Las Vegas before a very enthusiastic crowd. And there are a lot of similarities between that effort and this as far as the quality goes. And despite all the costume changes (seven I believe) and the banter, Cher manages to get through most of the hit highlights of her career to date.

    And if you want a tip - listen to the Linear PCM soundtrack first, then the Dolby Digital 5.1. Other than that, a most enjoyable concert video and fans should be rushing their local stockist for this effort.

Transfer Quality


    Okay, so we have a concert video. What does that usually mean? Some problems with the intense stage lighting, and we do get it. But other than that, and a couple of minor video glitches, this is a superb video transfer.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    This is a quite superb transfer, wonderfully sharp (apart from one very minor lapse in focus) with some gorgeous definition. It is a wonderfully clear transfer. The only real problem was the intense stage lighting a couple of times washed out the colours and created a small loss of detail, but to be honest I am starting to expect this in concert videos and am not finding it too much of a distraction. There did not seem to be any problems with low level noise.

    The colours come up very nicely saturated throughout, and the whole transfer, apart from the small lighting induced problems, is gorgeously vibrant - which really helps the appreciation of the somewhat over the top wigs that Cher indulges in! There was only the slightest hint of oversaturation of colour at one point where the stage lighting was quite an intense red, but that would be the only complaint about the colour throughout.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, apart from one very blurry pan shot of Las Vegas at the start of the video. Unfortunately, there were some minor film-to-video artefacts - most noticeably some minor aliasing on a few occasions. Overall, the aliasing was not too much of a problem though and many may find it unnoticeable unless they were really looking for it. There were no film artefacts present that I noted. The only real complaint about the video is there is a noticeable glitch at 62:04, which I believe is an inherent fault in the video of the source tape: it is quite distracting.

    This is an RSDL format disc, but I do not know where the layer change is; I would presume that since I did not notice a layer change, the concert is on one layer and the extras are on the second layer.


    Now remember, listen to the Linear PCM soundtrack first. Why? Well if you don't, you will forever think that it is totally flat and without merit (which it isn't), because the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is one of the most awesomely aggressive soundtracks I have heard!

    There are just the two English audio tracks on the DVD, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and the Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and sampled the Linear PCM soundtrack. The comments relate to the awesome 5.1 soundtrack, unless noted.

    The music and vocals came up very well in both soundtracks.

    Audio sync did not appear to be a problem with the transfers.

    The soundtrack makes limited use of the rear surround channels, mainly for audience ambience, but the front surround channels are well used to create a very nice sound. However, it is the bass channel that really sets this soundtrack up and it is an awesome, thumping bass that really sets this concert rocking from the very start. Now if you have read my reviews consistently, you will know that I have a dislike for too much bass. This is a great illustration of how an excess of bass can be used without going way over the top and drowning the entire mix. Gorgeous stuff indeed and it is very difficult to resist the temptation to crank this up a few notches and let that wonderful bass track just wash all over you. This is truly recommended for annoying the neighbours, although do not crank it all the way up as I would suggest that equipment damage would be quickly forthcoming.

    That is why you listen to the Linear PCM track first. It is a very good clean sound just like a compact disc and is very enjoyable in its own right. It is just a fact that if you listen to it after the 5.1 soundtrack, it comes over as totally flat without any depth to the sound at all - and it truly is not.


    And then we get some extras too!


    The main menu features audio and animation enhancement, whilst the sub-menus feature audio enhancement. The audio enhancement is in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound, albeit rapidly repetitive.

Biography - Cast

    A nicely detailed biography, covering the main points of Cher's varied career. The ten "pages" of notes are accompanied by audio enhancement in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

Gallery - Photo

    An unfortunately unannotated collection of eighteen essentially promotional photos of Cher, of limited value to the non-fan but a nice addition nonetheless. This too is accompanied by audio enhancement in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

Gallery - Costumes

    An unfortunately unannotated collection of seven concept sketches for the costumes Cher wore during the concert (and shown in the background to the sketches), again of limited value but a nice addition. Again, this is accompanied by audio enhancement in Dolby Digital 5.1 sound.

Featurettes - 4

    During the concert, the video screen above the stage plays four separate video compilations. These form part of the introduction to the concert, a break showing parts of the Sonny and Cher television show, a break showing highlights of Cher's film career and the music video for Walking In Memphis to accompany the song. Just so you know what they are all about, and so that you can see them properly, the four segments are shown in their full frame entirety as four featurettes. This is a novel approach which I have not seen before and is most welcome. They are accompanied by audio enhancement in Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

3D Cover Insert

    A way cool cover insert to round out one of the best extras packages I have seen on a music video.

R4 vs R1

    The available resources indicate that this is a recent release in Region 1 too, but they also indicate that the Region 1 version has a shorter running time and make no mention whatsoever about any extras on the DVD. The indications are that the Region 1 release is a single layer, single sided disc as opposed to the dual layer, single sided Region 4 disc, which may explain the lack of extras on the Region 1 version. It would appear therefore that we have a major win for Region 4 here.
[Ed. The resource I checked on this title (DVD Empire) indicates that the running time is also 90 minutes and the extras appear identical to the R4.]


    Okay, I am not enamoured with her music, but this Cher concert is a beauty and probably ascends to the number one position on my rankings. The entire package is superb, and only a few video glitches deny this reference status across the board. Just go out and get it and enjoy it - this should be under plenty of Christmas trees next week. And when you play the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, crank it up and let it rip. Just like being at a concert!

    A superb video transfer, denied reference status by a few minor problems.

    An awesome Dolby Digital 5.1 audio transfer.

    A very good extras package that beats many film presentations (not mentioning any names of course).

    Note that this has been given an M rating for low level course language, but for the life of me I do not know why. I don't recall hearing any course language.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris
20th December 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL