Foreigner-Live (Soundstage) (Blu-ray) (2011)
|Category||Music||Menu Animation & Audio|
|Year Of Production||2011|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Joe Thomas|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (4608Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 48/24 2.0 (2304Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Foreigner burst onto the scene in the late seventies with a string of hits that made them at times the hottest band in the world. Founded by guitarist Mick Jones and vocalist Lou Gramm they struck it big with their first album which included hits such as Feels Like the First Time, Cold as Ice and Long, Long Way from Home. The second album Double Vision was even more successful with the next four albums also achieving huge sales. The blend of power ballads and hard rockin' differentiated them somewhat from their contemporaries, but it's notable that two of their most successful hits were slow love songs. Success has been somewhat leaner since then with numerous lineup changes including the departure and return and departure again of Gramm. 2009 signalled the end of their creative drought with the release of their ninth studio album Can't Slow Down. The live recording used for this Blu-ray was filmed in 2007 by the WTTW (Chicago media organisation) series Soundstage, in the intimate surrounds of the Grainger Studio in Chicago. Jones as the only original member still standing is accompanied by Kelly Hansen (Hurricane) on vocals, Jason Bonham (UFO, Bonham and, yes, son of Led Zeppelin legend John) on drums, Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio) on bass, Michael Bluestein on keyboards, and Tom Gimbel (Aerosmith) on guitar, saxophone, and flute.
This performance features sixteen of their most popular and well known hits running a bit over 100 minutes. The Grainger studio seems to be an ideal venue for a small scale concert, with the audience close to the stage and with mostly unobstructed views. It is also an ideal venue for recording purposes being a closed set with lots of camera options. The lighting used is better than average for concert video and the camera positions themselves were ideally placed to capture both wide and close-up shots. The stage itself is quite large and free of equipment which can block the band. Because of this, and also due to skilful editing, each member of the band had appropriate amounts of screen time. Not surprisingly lead singer Hanson and guitarist Jones featured most heavily with Jones especially prominent with a number of solo guitar jams and also some work on the keyboards. The voice of Hanson is surprisingly similar to Gramm, although he looks a lot like Steve Tyler of Aerosmith fame. Hansen also has a typically flamboyant front man style, which is well suited to a power ballad band such as Foreigner. Jason Bonham also takes the limelight for a drum solo which probably goes on for a little too long. It is nevertheless a bit of fun. Probably the highlight of the concert for me was the extended and improvisational version of Juke Box Hero where they featured Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, possibly as a tribute to Jason Bonham's father John. The band finished their set with an encore comprising two of their biggest hits I Want To Know What Love Is and Hot Blooded.
|1. Night Life|
2. Head Games
3. Cold As Ice
4. Waiting For A Girl Like You
5. Too Late
6. Say You Will
7. Long, Long Way From Home
8. Double Vision
|9. Blue Morning, Blue Day|
10. Dirty White Boy
12. Feels Like The First Time
14. Juke Box Hero
15. I Want To Know What Love Is
16. Hot Blooded
This Blu-ray is presented in the aspect of 1.78:1 using the AVC codec at 1080i. The concert footage is extremely sharp and the lighting is perfectly used to add atmosphere and excitement without becoming obstructive. The stage is frequently bathed in deep purples and moody blues with psychedelic reds and yellows. Close-ups were highly detailed and accurate with interlacing not apparent unless pausing. The blacks were excellent with no signs of crushing although understandably hazy at times in the live atmosphere. There are no compression artefacts to speak of, with only a small amount of noise evident in the dark shots. Visually this would be one of the best looking concerts I have seen on Blu-ray - even if it isn't 1080p.
This is a single layer 25gb disc.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track included as default is excellent as is the LPCM stereo track. I could not decide which track I preferred but after a while the more immersive soundscape of the surround channels became more desirable. Base was also more pronounced on the DTS HD Master audio track. With the volume turned up Foreigner really rocked and the sound pressure from base and surrounds felt very nice indeed. The production mix was also well done with Hanson's vocals always prominent and not drowned out by guitars or drums.
This audio track is excellent quality.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu featured looping audio and video from the concert.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This Blu-ray appears to be identical to the region A version. Note that this is the same concert as "Sound Stage: Foreigner" Blu-ray from 2008, albeit with four additional songs. This latest pressing is therefore the most desirable option.
Some might consider Foreigner to be a dinosaur band from another era, but the injection of new blood plus the dominant presence of founding member Mick Jones demonstrates that the quality of their songs can still have an impact today.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is excellent.
Extras are non-existent.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output|
|Display||Panasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||denon AVR-4311 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp|
|Speakers||B&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub, Definitive Technology Supercube II Sub|