Menu Animation & Audio
|Year Of Production||1997|
|Running Time||97:58 (Case: 90)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Nick Morris|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.66:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, the credits roll as the band leavs the stage.|
This concert is probably more for pleasing the existing fans than for making new fans. The band put in an excellent performance, but there is a bit too much in the way of audience interaction to make non-fans warm to the idea of repeat viewings. While their music is good, the fact that many of the songs are paused part way through for crowd sing-alongs does become annoying. As someone who doesn't know their music, I would have appreciated simply hearing the songs all the way through.
The song selection presented is a good one, containing a nice balance of original Thunder songs, peppered with a few covers, including Gimme Some Lovin', Lazy Sunday Afternoon, and an ill-advised, Londonised, version of New York, New York (Thunder drummer Harry James essentially does a karaoke version of the song to start the concert, and fails to impress with either his singing, or his comedic act - luckily, his skills with the drumsticks are considerably greater).
Thunder are a traditional rock band - lead and rhythm guitars, bass and drums - and it is evident in their musical style. There is nothing here of the experimental variety, no attempt at strings, and only the occasional use of keyboards or percussion. This actually works in their favour, because it goes to show that they are talented producers of good quality, honest, music. There is no trickery going on here, no slick production to hide any lack of talent - what you see is what they've got. In some ways this is a shame, as it means that they are less likely to have a break-out international hit, and from what is evident on this disc, that would not be a bad thing. However, one suspects that their devoted UK fans (fans who know all the words to all their songs - enough to sing along with no prompting to songs we here in Australia have never even heard), would have it no other way. Fans should rush out and grab this disc at the first opportunity, while those who like good, solid rock are advised to check it out.
|1. New York, New York|
2. Welcome To The Party
3. Higher Ground
4. I'll Be Waiting
5. Util My Dying Day
6. Gimmer Some Lovin'
7. A Better Man
8. Living For Today
|9. Lazy Sunday Afternoon|
10. Stand Up
11. Love Walked In
12. River Of Pain
13. She's So Fine
14. Low Life In High Places
15. The Only One
16. Dirty Love
Presented at 1.66:1, this transfer is not 16x9 enhanced. It is impossible to tell if this was the intended aspect ratio (unfortunately framing is of no assistance here), but as it was produced in the late 90s in the UK - during their transition period to digital TV - chances are that it is either correct, or cut down from a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
Sharpness is poor, as the image displays little in the way of fine detail. This is not aided by the constant presence of a medium level of background grain. The grain is virtually uniform throughout, but when it does alter (such as at 21:05), it is only for the worse. Shadow detail is the only thing that is not disappointing about this transfer. It is serviceable, allowing a good view of the periphery of the stage, and of the audience. There is no low-level noise present.
Colours are generally alright, although they do not take on the brilliance often associated with live concert recordings. Whether this is because the light show was simply not as colourful, or because the house lights were left up to ensure the band was properly illuminated for filming purposes, or even if it is a transfer problem, is impossible to say.
There is a little bit of pixelisation from time to time on the areas of higher grain, but no other compression artefacts. Aliasing is a constant problem, which is all the more annoying for the fact that the transfer is quite soft - aliasing could at least have been done away with. Most straight lines on the screen suffer from some degree of aliasing, but there are instances, such as at 23:05 where virtually the entire screen breaks out into jagged lines and shimmering. There are no film artefacts present although whether this was because the concert was shot on video, or because the print was completely clean, is hard to say.
There are no sub-titles present on this disc. Once again, singing along to the lyrics is left to fans alone. An additional problem is that some of the on-stage dialogue is difficult to make out, and it would have been handy to have subtitles to refer to if desired.
This is a single-layered disc, and as such does not contain a layer-change.
This disc contains a solitary audio track, being a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track (at 192 Kbps).
The music is noise and interference free, and the lyrics generally stand out from the music. Unfortunately, the soundtrack often takes on a "muddy" sound overall, considerably reducing the clarity of the music. It is often difficult to make out the different instruments being used, and the vocals do tend to sound "flat". This sound quality comes and goes, but is quite annoying when present. Whether the problems would have been rectified by having a higher bit-rate soundtrack is hard to say. I suspect that the poor quality comes from the original master.
On the upside, audio sync is spot on and never causes a problem.
The sound stage is not particularly wide, and has a "dual-mono" feel on many occasions. There are times when the stereo sound stage is used to nice effect to carry the rhythm guitar in one channel and the lead in the other, but these moments are few and far between, leaving the sound stage feeling decidedly unenthusiastic.
As this is a stereo soundtrack, subwoofer use will be governed by the bass re-direction capabilities of your amplifier, but there is enough bass there to make re-direction worthwhile. It is well controlled and never enough to bring the house down, but it certainly adds punch to the kick-drum, and gives some feeling to the bass guitar.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is average, and sometimes worse than that. It is soft, has constant high grain levels, and many aliasing issues. It is watchable, but only that.
The audio quality is a little better than the video, but the sound is still somewhat muddy, with quite a narrow sound stage.
The extra(s) are pitiful. A discography and a DVD credits page do not make interesting viewing, or add any compelling reasons (in fact any reasons at all) to get this disc.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-555K, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||Rochester Audio Animato Series (2xSAF-02, SAC-02, 3xSAB-01) + 12" Sub (150WRMS)|