|Category||Concert||Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette - untitled Documentary
|Running Time||173:35 minutes|
Warner Music Vision
|Starring||Elton John et al|
|RPI||$39.95||Music||Elton John / Taupin|
|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, 384Kb/s)
English (Linear PCM 2.0 , 1536Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
|1. Barcelona Introduction||11. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word|
|2. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me||12. Daniel|
|3. I'm Still Standing||13. Blue Avenue|
|4. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues||14. The Last Song|
|5. Tiny Dancer||15. Funeral For A Friend / Love Lies Bleeding|
|6. Philadelphia Freedom||16. Sad Songs Say So Much|
|7. Burn Down The Mission||17. The Show Must Go On|
|8. Simple Life||18. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting|
|9. The One||19. Sacrifice|
|10. Mona Lisa And Mad Hatters 1&2||20. Song For Guy / Your Song|
This is not a particularly good transfer in the sharpness department, with the image being quite soft and somewhat blurred. Long shots suffered the most, while close-ups were less affected. Detail is quite poor, and objects appear to have a halo around them, as though slightly overexposed. There is also rather more edge enhancement that I would like. The is no low-level noise, and shadow detail is quite good.
Colours consist of the usual strong primary blues, reds and yellows typically associated with big live productions like this one. There is no chroma noise, but the colours were just not quite right for some reason, probably a result of the lack of detail mentioned above. Colour bleeding was rife, which also added to the mess.
There were no significant MPEG artefacts. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some aliasing now and then, but never to the point of distraction.
Finally, I can solve some niggling lyrical issues I have had for much of these songs thanks to the subtitles! I won't tell you what words I have been singing in lieu of the correct ones, but suffice it to say that "Tiny Dancer" now makes much less sense when sung correctly!
This is an RSDL
disc, with the layer change occurring somewhat abruptly between chapters
15 & 16 at 83:53 minutes. However, it is between songs so it
does not really break any flow.
There are two audio tracks present. The first is Dolby Digital 5.0 running at the lower 384 kilobits per second data rate, and the second is Linear PCM 2.0, surround-encoded running at 1.5 megabits per second. As time and experience progress, I am finding that bit-rate alone does dictate the quality of a given sound source. In every way, the 5.0 track is significantly superior to the LPCM track, from detail and clarity to surround envelopment. The packaging incorrectly lists a 5.1 mix - there is in fact no dedicated LFE channel present.
Elton John has not got what one would call a classically good singing voice, but he certainly gives it his all, and imparts such emotion and force in his voice that his songs are quite compelling. The Dolby Digital 5.0 mix gave his voice much more prominence and clarity than the LPCM track, which was quite wanting by comparison. At all times, lip sync was perfect in both tracks.
The first time I listened to this concert, I was disappointed. Recently I have become used to the sound of Eagles: Hell Freezes Over and Steely Dan: Two Against Nature. Both of those are much more intimate recordings. The sound on this disc is very different, being much more diffuse, and much less direct and clear. For instance, backing keyboards were omnipresent in the mix, and not localizable. The same goes for backing singers, who seem to come from all corners of the room. There is reverb-a-plenty, which also tends to drown out fine detail. Middle frequencies are slightly boomy, and all in all the mix is just not as refined as I have become recently used to. However, all this is not automatically a bad thing. Crank this concert up, and you will find yourself in with the audience, who are always cheering and screaming in the background. You do not have front-row seats to this concert, you are somewhere in the middle, mixing it with the ordinaries, and the sound is quite faithful to that concept. Drums are full and satisfying, Elton John's voice seems to be in front of you somewhere in the distance, the keyboards are creating a nice wash of sound and the three backing singers are warbling away, and I'll be damned if the crowd could possibly be any happier. This wonderful effect goes away completely, by the way, when switching to the LPCM track, which sounds as dead as a door nail, and collapses to a near-mono presentation.
The rears are in constant use in the 5.1 mix, providing that live feel. As I mentioned, there is a lot of reverb and crowd noise along with spill from the keyboards and backing vocals, all of which is wonderful. The LPCM mix also has a similar usage of the surround channel, but to markedly reduced effect.
Whilst there is no specific .1 channel, there is
quite a decent amount of bass in the mix, providing some nice weight to
the kick drum. My subwoofer was quite happy, and quite a nice balance was
struck between a live sound and a bass-heavy one.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video quality leaves something to be desired, but it is watchable.
The 5.0 mix is tremendously spacious and sounds very live. Turn it up and enjoy. The same cannot be said for the LPCM track unfortunately.
The documentary is a most welcome inclusion.
© Paul Cordingley (bio)
26th August, 2000.
|DVD||Panasonic A360 (S-Video connected)|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 125cm rear-projection 16:9 Widescreen|
|Amplification||Sony STRDB-930 (Optically connected)|
|Speakers||Sony SS-CN35 100-watt (centre) , Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders x 4 ( main & surrounds), Optimus 100-watt passive subwoofer|