Usher-Live: Evolution 8701 (2002)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Rehearsal Song: U Don't Have To Call
Featurette-Usher Bio Video
|Year Of Production||2002|
|Running Time||93:31 (Case: 90)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (49:20)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Hamish Hamilton|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Usher Live is a very slickly produced concert DVD, which looks like a Broadway Stage Show, yet sounds like an R&B concert.
Born in Atlanta, Usher Raymond IV started singing with a local gospel choir. At thirteen he signed a record deal, and began his recording career. Now in his early 20s, Usher has already won a Grammy for best R&B vocal, and his fourth album, 8701, which spawned this concert, is six-time platinum in sales. Usher is also a very accomplished dancer, and he and his support singer/dancers provide a great high-energy stage show.
While I cannot claim to be an Usher fan, I did recognise a few of the songs, such as U Got it Bad, U Don't Have to Call, and I Need a Girl. I also enjoyed the great dancing and the smooth pace with which the concert moved. While everything in this concert is derivative, from the Jimi Hendrix style National Anthem opening, to the Michael Jackson and Prince-styled choreography, it is obvious that a lot of time and energy went into planning, choreographing, and rehearsing this show.
The tracks on the DVD are:
|1. I Don't Know|
2. If I Want To
3. Just Like Me
4. I Can't Let You Go
6. Nice & Slow
7. I Need A Girl
8. Twork It Out
|9. 8701 Interlude|
10. U Got It Bad
11. My Way
12. U Make Me Wanna
13. U Remind Me
14. U Don't Have To Call
15. What's Goin' On
Recorded as a widescreen image, with Hi Definition video, and featuring great camera work, editing, and a few effects, this DVD's transfer is excellent.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The sharpness is excellent, and the shadow detail is in keeping with the concert lighting. There are a rich palette of colours, which seems to accurately capture the original image. There are no problems with MPEG, film-to-video, or film artefacts.
There are no subtitles present on this DVD.
This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change at 49:20. It is noticeable but not disruptive.
There are three audio options: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s), English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s). The latter two are definitely preferred for their use of the surrounds, which captures the excitement of the crowd. The dts track is the better of the three for its greater presence in the bass, and its greater clarity.
The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent on all three audio tracks.
The musical score is largely comprised of Usher's music, some of which he wrote or co-wrote. If you're unfamiliar with Usher, imagine a young R&B version of Barry White.
The surround presence and activity is excellent with the 5.1 mixes. The roar of the very enthusiastic crowd is piped through the rears, and one feels as though one is in the crowd throughout.
The LFE on both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts 5.1 tracks is very good, however, the dts audio seems to have greater presence and range in the bass.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are a few extras.
An animated menu with audio.
A small, colour booklet (one folded double-sided page), with publicity photographs.
Rehearsal Song - U Don't Have To Call (6.02)
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with three audio options: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s), English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s).
Featurette - Usher Bio Video (1:44)
This is the same video that appears at the opening of the concert.
Biography and Discography
Text-based information about Usher and his recording career.
A series of photographs covering Usher's tour.
A link to Usher's fan site on the Internet: www.usherworld.com
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Usher Live has been released on DVD in Region 1, and the two versions seem to be the same.
Usher Live is a well-produced and well-executed concert and DVD that would please most, if not all, Usher fans.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is also excellent, and is a very immersive concert recording.
The extras are interesting.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|