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(Not 132 minutes as stated on the packaging)
Warner Vision Australia
|Starring||The Artist Formerly Known As Prince
New Power Generation
|RPI||$39.95||Music||how's that symbol go again?|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 ,
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
English (DTS 5.1)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||No|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1?||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, of sorts during credits|
The track listing for the event, bearing in mind
that some of these tracks are in truncated form or otherwise in forms that
you have probably never heard before, is as follows:
|1.||Let's Go Crazy||12.||Everyday People (Cynthia Robinson and Gerry Martini)|
|2.||She's Always In My Hair||13.||Higher|
|3.||I've Got The Look||14.||Purple Rain|
|5.||Jungle Love (Morris Day and The Time)||16.||Blues Medley (Maceo Parker and Johnny Blackshire)|
|6.||The Bird (Morris Day and The Time)||17.||Nothing Compares 2 U|
|7.||American Woman (Lenny Kravitz)||18.||Take Me With U/Raspberry Beret|
|8.||Fly Away (Lenny Kravitz)||19.||Greatest Romance|
|9.||Get Off||20.||Baby Knows|
|10.||Medley (Rosie Gaines, Mike Scott and Maceo Parker)||21.||Baby I'm A Star|
Given the extensive repertoire built up by the Artist Formerly Known As Prince over the years, I suppose that it is somewhat inevitable that a lot of personal favourites did not make the gig. Still, in the overall scheme of things this is not a bad show at all, even allowing for some of the excesses indulged in and the truncation of some of the songs. The presentation is a little off-putting at times, with a fair degree of artistic use of freeze frame throughout the video presentation. You should note too that Greatest Romance actually starts as the pure promotional video (even presented in a non-16x9 enhanced 1.85:1 aspect ratio) before segueing into and out of the concert performance. Whilst I would have preferred a straight concert presentation, these artistic uses do not distract that much from the overall concert experience.
I don't really know where this falls in the scheme of presenting a musical insight into the Artist Formerly Known As Prince. It is not the greatest concert I have ever seen and for me highlights the fact that the New Power Generation is not a patch on The Revolution with whom I once saw him perform. Real fans of the man will probably lap this up, but I am a bit ambivalent overall. Certainly it has drawn me back a little to his music, as none of the foul language music that seemed to pervade some of his earlier stuff with the New Power Generation gets a gig here.
Apart from the aforementioned promotional video presentation of Greatest Romance, the transfer is presented in what is presumably a Full Frame format (definitive information is not easy to come by in this regard) and it is not 16x9 enhanced.
This is quite an inconsistent transfer as far as the video transfer is concerned and runs the whole detail gamut from wonderfully clear, sharp and detailed to slightly murky, softish and washed out. Most of the transfer falls within the good area, with ample sharpness and definition, but just be aware that it is quite wide-ranging. Overall, I felt that there could have been more detail on offer and wished that the stage lighting had been better designed given the fact that this was, I believe, done live-to-air on television in the United States. Shadow detail is generally on the below average side of the scale, but again reflecting the stage lighting situation. Clarity was good to excellent - some sections being sublimely superb and others demonstrating just an inkling of some grain. Thankfully there did not seem to be any issues with low level noise in the transfer, despite the presence of the often deadly red and blue backgrounds that manifest this problem. Similarly flare in those same backgrounds did not seem to be much of an issue.
The colours naturally enough are also all over the place. The stage lighting had a predominant light and dark spot throughout such that there were plenty of areas that inherently were not really brought to attention and had quite dark tones to them. The colours nonetheless tended to be very vibrant even if the stage lighting sometimes robbed them of their ultimate bloom. A slightly less intense lighting across the stage would perhaps have aided the revealing of the colours here a lot more. Oversaturation was just hinted at in a couple of the shots involving large red and blue expanses in the background, but nothing really came of it. There did not appear to be any problems with colour bleed in the transfer.
There do not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There did not appear to be any significant film-to-video artefacts in the transfer either, just the odd indications we tend to expect on strings, microphones and instruments. There was, however, one weird effect during a strobe-lit portion of the concert around the 37:00 mark. I do not know whether this is an inherent source material issue or whether it is a mastering issue (although I feel more inclined to accept it as the former), but mention it anyway. At times during this sequence, there is a distinct ghostly banding around the performer which is not present during a later, albeit less intensely strobe-lit, sequence. There did not appear to be any film artefacts in the transfer.
This is an RSDL
formatted DVD with the layer change coming too obviously at 55:30.
This is during a song and really is quite poorly placed. At 56:10
there is a black scene fade between songs that could have hidden this layer
change so much better and been much less disruptive. You sometimes have
There did not appear to be any audio sync problems in the soundtracks.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is a wonderful effort and by far the best option on the DVD. It has a bright open sound that conveys the music and especially the vocals so much better than the other two soundtracks. There is not a huge amount of surround encoding here, but what there is is very good so that whilst the sound is nicely presented in a slightly forward way, it does not blast out straight from the centre channel. It is a slightly more enveloping sound than say a straight CD style recording. It is quite effective and does not suffer any noticeable problems at all.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is actually quite poor. It is quite a close mix that really sounds a little murky throughout. There is virtually no separation of the channels in the mix and the result is a vocal track that sort of blends into a somewhat recessed instrumental track, and that is sometimes a little difficult to hear. Surround channel use is relatively poor and there is very little, if any, noticeable use out of the rear channels. The bass channel is there but it is really wimpish, when I would have expected a far more pulsating effort given the style of music that we expect from the Artist Formerly Known As Prince. Indeed, the entire soundtrack really lacks any sort of liveliness to it and overall detracts enormously from the concert in my view. I had a lot of of problems listening to this effort after listening to the Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
If anything, the DTS 5.1 soundtrack is even worse.
Having got so used to having to turn the volume down on such soundtracks
because of the wonderful all-encompassing bass-enriched sound, this one
was a shock. I found myself having to turn the volume up to try
and capture that feel and never succeeded at all (at least not at volume
levels conducive to maintaining my hearing). There is the same murky sort
of mix that pervades the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and in many respects
it is difficult to tell the two apart. There is a distinct lack of bass
in the DTS soundtrack and it really results in this being a very emasculated
sound indeed. The vocals are again quite recessed in the overall mix. A
major disappointment indeed.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
20th May, 2001
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. 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 C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|