Yes-Symphonic Live (2002)

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Released 7-Oct-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Active Subtitle Track-Animations
Multiple Angles-Animations
Music Video-Don't Go
Featurette-Dreamtime
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 167:45 (Case: 194)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (86:09)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Aubrey Powell
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Jon Anderson
Steve Howe
Chris Squire
Alan White
Tom Brislin
Case PUSH-23-Dual
RPI $59.95 Music Yes


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Active Subtitle Track Smoking Yes, in featurette
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, end titles over end of concert

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I am not even going to try to summarise the history and highlights of psychedelic/progressive rock group Yes, nor trace the numerous line-up changes ever since the band was formed in the late sixties to the present day. If you are fan you already know all the details. If you are not, you probably won't be buying this title.

    This is a double DVD set with one disc featuring a recent concert performance of the band in Amsterdam playing past and present hits accompanied by the European Festival Orchestra conducted by Wilhelm Keitel. The other disc contains a music video and a 30 minute featurette.

    The current incarnation of the band appears to be:

    Sorely missing is flamboyant keyboardist Rick Wakeman with his multiple banks of keyboards. Instead we have a Wakeman wannabe called Tom Brislin who, although making a decent effort, does not quite fill the shoes of Wakeman.

    The band plays some of their most well-known and - dare I say it - somewhat lengthy classics such as Long Distance Runaround, Gates of Delirium, Starship Trooper, And You And I, and the epic-length Ritual (originally filling an entire side of the double LP Tales From Topographic Oceans). Many of the songs are long indeed, lasting over ten minutes, with Ritual lasting over half an hour!

    The band also plays some songs from their latest album Magnification, including the title track and Don't Go.

    We get two guitar solos from Steve Howe around the middle of the concert. He plays two pieces on a classical guitar - the second movement from Vivaldi's Lute Concerto in D Major, and an original vaguely Spanish-influenced piece called Mood For A Day.

    The concert programme ends with I've Seen All Good People, but the band returns for two encores: Owner Of A Lonely Heart and Roundabout.

    I was glad to see the band can still play their oldies but goodies with just as much passion and synchronicity as in their glory days. The members of the European Festival Orchestra, who appear to be fairly young and largely female, also seem to be enjoying themselves.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. Overture
2. Close To The Edge
3. Long Distance Runaround
4. Don't Go
5. In The Presence Of
6. Gates Of Delirium
7. Steve Howe Guitar Solo
8. Starship Trooper
9. Magnification
10. And You And I
11. Ritual
12. I've Seen All Good People
13. Owner Of A Lonely Heart
14. Roundabout

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a widescreen 16x9 enhanced transfer, presumably in the intended aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Presumably the original source is a digital video tape intended for broadcast on European digital TV.

    The feature is a mixture of footage taken from a live concert and computer animation (displayed in the introduction and in an alternate camera angle). Edge enhancement is noticeable throughout, creating halos around objects.

    Detail levels are mediocre, but probably typical for concert footage. Shadow detail is acceptable, and so is colour saturation. Fortunately, I did not notice any issues with saturated highlights.

    Given the length of the feature, I was not surprised to see quite a few compression artefacts, including Gibb's effect ringing and macro blocking in the background. There are also some minor instances of posterization. Fortunately, I did not notice significant instances of pixelization. The macro blocking becomes worse (to the level of becoming quite objectionable) in the last 15-20 minutes of the title.

    There is one subtitle track, but it doesn't contain lyrics. It consists of an icon that gets displayed whenever there are multiple angles in the programme (Angle 1 is the concert footage and Angle 2 is the computer generated animations that are sometimes available throughout the concert). Although the icon is nice, it is rather obtrusive and the multi-angle display of the DVD player could have served equally well.

    Disc 1 is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL). The disc authors took an unprecedented decision to place the layer change in the middle of a song (Starship Trooper) at 86:09, resulting in a rather jarring pause. Disc 2 only has 1 layer.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are three audio tracks on the disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s), English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s). I listened to mainly the dts 5.1 track, but occasionally switched across to the other two tracks.

   Most of the music is carried by the front left and right channels. The centre channel seems to be reserved for ambience filler between the two front speakers, and rears are used for audience noises and reflections of the instruments out on front.

    The subwoofer is heavily used on occasion, such as in Track 2 at around 16:13-16:55 to reproduce the low organ-like notes.

    Both the Dolby Digital and dts 5.1 tracks sound very similar, to the extent that I was not able to reliably tell them apart. The Dolby Digital 2.0 track sounds a bit light-on for bass in comparison.

    I did not notice any audio synchronization issues. Dialogue (between songs) was reasonably easy to understand. Lyrics are reasonably easy to understand, once you get used to Jon Anderson's falsetto voice.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    Even though this is a two-disc set, there are actually not a lot of extras. The main feature includes multiple angles, plus you get a music video and a 30 minute featurette on the second disc. That's it. For some reason, all the extras on Disc 2 are presented in a letterboxed aspect ratio of approximately 2.10:1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Menu

    The menus are in 1.78:1 on both discs, but surprisingly they are 16x9 enhanced on Disc 1 but not on Disc 2. Both discs contain main menus that are animated and include background audio.

Multiple Angles-Animations

    At certain segments in the main feature, we have a choice of watching the concert footage on Angle 1 and some computer animation on Angle 2.

Music Video - Don't Go (4:30)

    This is a music video taken from the Magnification album. It mainly features concert footage. For some reason, the band members look intentionally blurred, over-exposed and in false colours in some shots.

Featurette - Dreamtime (31:51)

    This is quite an in depth featurette containing a mixture of interviews plus on location and behind the scenes footage.

    Interviews include:

    We get to see the band in Santa Barbara recording Magnification, and on the "Yes Symphonic" tour in Philadelphia, at Roger Dean's art show (Roger did some of the funky artwork for some of the Yes albums), and conversations with fans.

    Watch out for additional interview snippets even after the end titles roll. I had several issues with audio synchronization whilst watching the featurette.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    As far as I can tell, both R1 and R4 (which is also coded for R2) editions feature similar extras.

Summary

    Yes - Symphonic Live features the progressive rock band performing in Amsterdam accompanied by an orchestra. The concert features oldies but goodies as well as more recent songs.

    The video is heavily compressed, resulting in Gibb's effect ringing and macro blocking.

    The audio quality is okay but somewhat harsh.

    Extras include computer animations, a music video and a featurette.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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