New Order-511: Finsbury Park 9th June 02 (2002)

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Released 7-Apr-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Earlier In The Day (3:12)
Featurette-NewOrder 9802 (13:47)
Booklet
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 89:14
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (45:22) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Geoff Foulkes
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Bernard Sumner
Peter Hook
Stephen Morris
Phil Cunningham
Dawn Zee
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music New Order
Joy Division


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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 English
French
German
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, during credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Okay, I will come right out with it and admit that New Order is not the greatest band to ever grace the world of music. That status is held by The Clash in my estimation. However, whilst The Clash might hold the top ranking, the number two spot is most definitely held by this bunch of gits from Manchester. It is important to know where the band stands in my estimation for the simple reason that I am hardly going to be the most objective person when it comes to reviewing a New Order DVD. Aside from the generally quite mediocre Republic album from 1993, just about everything the band has released on vinyl, CD or DVD is essential stuff that should be in the collection of anyone with even a modicum of interest in popular music of the past thirty years.

    A potted history of the band begins in the late 1970's in the flourishing post-punk era when Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Steven Morris founded Warsaw, which soon changed its name to Joy Division. Signed to Factory Records, they released their debut album in 1979 - Unknown Pleasures. With a virtual uniqueness unparalleled in popular music before or since, this was a band going places. It never achieved the heights it seemed destined for, however, as Ian Curtis hanged himself in May, 1980. Nonetheless, their next album was virtually complete and was released a couple of months later to almost universal acclaim - Closer was one of the truly great albums of its time and certainly catapulted the band to a renown far beyond that of many bands before or since. A subsequent double album, Still, collected together most of the extant material of the band, much of it pretty raw.

    Out of the ashes of the tragic loss of Ian Curtis, the rest of the band continued on under the new name - New Order. Subsequently, they added Gillian Gilbert to the line-up and the rest, as they say, is history. Releasing their debut album in 1981 - Movement - they slowly worked at throwing off the potentially restricting shackles of Joy Division and forged their own direction. That direction was stunningly realised by a 12" single released in 1983 that subsequently became the biggest selling 12" of all time in the United Kingdom (and probably lots of other places too) - Blue Monday. The same year saw the release of their second album, the sublime, superb Power, Corruption And Lies. What followed was a selection of some of the most vital and important music to emerge from Europe in the 1980's, with albums Low-Life, Brotherhood, Substance 1987 and so on, at least until the 1993 release of Republic. Breaking off to pursue other musical opportunities, the band did not come back together until the 2001 release Get Ready. In between, however, plenty of albums were released by recycling material from a variety of sources in order to satiate the thirst of the fans.

    We have already seen New Order on DVD showing them at the start of their rise in 1981 and culminating with their 1998 appearance at Reading. That DVD has already given us a great insight into the band and their music, but could never satisfy the thirst alone. Indeed, if a band like The Corrs can garner something like five DVD releases to date, then the thirst for anything New Orderish could not even be satiated with a dozen or more releases. That is how important the band is and how brilliant their music is. The more you listen to that music, the more you see the band in concert, the more you desire more. Make no mistake - the band in 2002 is significantly different to the band in 1981, but irrespective of the changes within the band (although not the personnel) everything they do is important. Whichever way I look at it, this is mesmerising stuff indeed. It is of course disappointing that Gillian Gilbert is not present for the concert, but the ongoing health problems of her daughter regrettably means that she is not able to tour with the band. Balanced against that disappointment is the fact that we get to hear the band in full flight with some of the earlier Joy Division stuff. Aside from the well known, and generally superb, stuff like Love Will Tear Us Apart and Transmission, we also get the first run through of Digital in so long it is not funny and She's Lost Control. None of this sounds the least bit out of place against the more well known stuff of New Order itself, such as Bizarre Love Triangle, True Faith, Blue Monday and 60 MPH.

    When great bands of British music are discussed, the discussion often focuses on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Sod that. In one album alone (and you can pick any one of them really), New Order created more essential music than The Rolling Stones have in their entire (and overblown) careers. If you want essential music, this is where you will find it. A superb concert that demonstrates in just so many ways why the general state of popular music today is so appalling. There simply aren't the quality of musicians around today that can approach what New Order does. You will not find choreographed s*** here, you can forget your lip-synching incompetency here - what you get is a giant of a band doing their stuff and doing it the way they want to do it. Sometimes that might be warts and all, but this has more character and vitality than any dozens of DVDs from the pretenders prancing their untalented asses across stages around the world. Vital stuff and an essential inclusion in any DVD collection, even allowing for the qualms that are about to be divulged.

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

Track Listing

1. Crystal
2. Transmission
3. Regret
4. Ceremony
5. 60 MPH
6. Atmosphere
7. Brutal
8. Close Range
9. She's Lost Control
10. Bizarre Love Triangle
11. True Faith
12. Temptation
13. Love Will Tear Us Apart
14. Digital
15. Blue Monday
16. Your Silent Face

Transfer Quality

Video

    It is almost getting to the stage that with recent concert video presentations I am expecting sharp transfers, just the odd lapse here and there in focus, plenty of detail... and plenty of aliasing. Okay, I accept that a concert stage features lots of straight metallic bits and pieces, and that bands have plenty of instruments with lots of straight edges, but I would have thought by now that those responsible for the encoding would have worked a way to overcome the inherent problems that these situations create. Obviously not, however, on the evidence here. The performance might be the closest thing to nirvana that mere mortals (and musically challenged individuals) like myself will ever attain, but the transfer sure is not.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio that is friendly to the increasingly standard shape of a television screen - namely 1.78:1. It is of course 16x9 enhanced.

    As indicated, the transfer is really a very sharp one, with only the odd lapse here and there in focus to diminish from that uniformity. Detail and definition is excellent, and for a concert the shadow detail is quite excellent too. There is hardly any issue with even light grain in the transfer and you can forget low level noise too. As a result you can guess that clarity is pretty much right on the money.

    The colours are really well done, even though the obligatory wash-out with certain stage lighting rears its head - albeit not too obviously - here and there. The treatment is really vibrant, but don't expect oodles of bright primary colours here. New Order has not completely lost that Manchester look - nothing fancy here staging-wise or clothing-wise and the overall result reminds me of Manchester on a rainy day. No problems at all with the saturation and bleed is a non-issue.

    MPEG artefacts are nary an issue here, but that is probably because after the film-to-video issues, there isn't enough room for them! You are going to be very fortunate indeed not to have your eyes drawn to the aliasing going on in this transfer, with all the usual culprits just about flashing neon signs saying "here I am". Guitar strings, keyboards, the stage roof, stage rigging, speakers and more all offer their individual perspectives on what aliasing should not look like at various times throughout proceedings. When the transfer descends into its split screen, side by side, picture mode, the concert side of things gets even worse from the aliasing point of view. Whilst little of the problem gets really grotesque, the prevalence does start to wear thin over the course of the show. There are no obvious film artefacts in the transfer (yeah!).

    This is an RSDL formatted single sided, dual layered DVD. The layer change is quite bleeding obvious at 45:22, but is hardly disruptive to the flow of things as it is between songs and during a sweep over the crowd.

    There are three subtitle options on the DVD but these all relate to the interview material in the extras. The lack of lyric subtitles is very disappointing.

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

Audio

    There are three soundtracks on the DVD and I have to confess that as it was New Order I listened to every one of them at least twice through (now you know why the review took so long!). The available options are all English efforts, in Dolby Digital 5.1, dts 5.1 and Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 sound.

    The music and lyrics are served extremely well by the Linear PCM soundtrack and I have no problems with what is offered there. They are not quite so well served by the other two soundtracks, especially the Dolby Digital effort, but you should have no problems understanding what is happening here. There is nothing in the way of audio sync problems in any of the transfers.

    One word describes the Linear PCM soundtrack - terrific. Nothing else is recorded in my notebook for the entire soundtrack, so I must have really enjoyed this one! Very nicely balanced, everything is allowed to shine and nothing compromises any part of the mix. This is an exceedingly rare occasion where you really just enjoy what you are listening to, and watching, and not really bother that it is not surround sound. There really is absolutely nothing wrong with the soundtrack at all, with an openness to it that really demonstrates the forté of uncompressed sound.

    One word describes the Dolby Digital soundtrack - recessed. That is the immediate impression about the style of the mix here: aside from the low frequency effects channel, everything else, most especially the vocals, seems to be a bit recessed in the overall soundtrack. The result is something with a little too much emphasis on the bass and not enough balance across all components of the sound. The surround use is more subtle than blatant, which is quite nice even if it takes a while to remember that it is there doing its stuff. It is by no means unlistenable, but simply is not the way that I would have expected the music to be presented. It is certainly not as good a soundtrack as the Linear PCM effort.

    One word describes the dts soundtrack - puzzling. At times virtually indistinguishable from the Dolby Digital soundtrack (believe me, switching backwards and forwards between the two soon has them blending into each other), at others so distinctly different that it is more than obvious (usually when there is plenty of rear surround channel use). The balance is at times out in much the same manner as the Dolby Digital soundtrack, with the vocals somewhat too backwards in the mix. But when the audience ambient sounds kick in, especially through the rear channels, the difference is extremely obvious. With a more diffuse bass sound, this is certainly a better listen than the Dolby Digital soundtrack overall, but still not the best option on the disc.

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

Extras

    Give me a break - we are talking about one of the greatest bands to ever grace the world and this is all we get? I can only hope that things get better over the next dozen or so New Order releases.

Menu

    Rather nicely presented with some excellent musical enhancement. 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette - Earlier In The Day (3:12)

    As the title suggests, this excessively short featurette takes a look at events earlier in the day, with the band going through sound checks, the adoring fans arriving and the rain pelting down. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, it is 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The source material is a bit grainy but nothing that is really bothersome (and quite as intended too).

Featurette - New Order 9802 (13:47)

    Much more like what we would want, but still about an hour short of what is really necessary. With interviews with fans about their encounters and experiences with the band in concert, interview stuff with Bernard, some live footage and some other stuff tossed into the mix, this is quite an engaging effort that rates "very good indeed" according to my notes. Of course it would have been sensational if it were 60 minutes longer... Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, it is 16x9 enhanced and comes with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound

Booklet

    A waste of time and paper.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

    Aside from subtitle differences on the Region 1 release, there appears to be no significant difference between the Region 1, Region 2 or Region 4 release. Note that there is some suggestion at e-tailers that the video format of the Region 1 release is Full Frame, but this is unconfirmed at this time. If this is the case however, the balance is tipped in favour of the Region 4 release. Given the price from places like Amazon.com, Deep Discount DVD and DVDEmpire.com, we also get a serious benefit on the price side of things.

Summary

    Whilst the video transfer demonstrates the usual problems with aliasing that seems to afflict so many music DVDs, and the audio transfer could have been better, the quality of the performance overcomes all. Essential stuff for anyone interested in popular music of the past twenty five years. Just buy the DVD! Once again, the M rating is woefully overstating the mark - I have certainly heard way worse language than is found here. Makes you wonder whether the dodos at the Office of Film and Literature Classification actually have any conception of what constitutes everyday language nowadays.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Monday, May 26, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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Comments (Add)
Good review - Oakey
R1 is 1.78:1, 16x9-enhanced... - Sam O (read my bio)