Madonna-The Girlie Show Live Down Under (1993)
|Year Of Production||1993|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Sided||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Mark Miceli|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The concert itself is perhaps a better representation of Madonna than Ciao Italia, which as mentioned in my earlier review, suffers a terminal case of the 1980s. Contemporary Madonna is in full swing here, with everything from the fetishistic posturing of Erotica and Fever, to the good time party girl favourites Holiday and Express Yourself. For me the highlight of the concert was the performance of Fever, Erotica, and Vogue, all of which feature mesmerizing choreography. But, all in all, The Girlie Show Live Down Under presents a diverse cross-section of Madonna songs together with a more palatable 1990s image that should age more gracefully than her 80s era persona. Of course, Madonna fans will want to grab all of these releases, but if you're more discerning, The Girlie Show, with its optional discrete 5.1 channel surround track and more elaborate stage design, is the Madonna concert DVD of choice.
In my review of Ciao Italia I mistakenly lamented the exclusion of my favourite Madonna song Like a Prayer from the playlist. As it was pointed out to me later (thanks Natalie), that song was recorded on an album released after that concert tour ran. I do, however, repeat that statement for this concert!
|1. Introduction/Girlie Show Theme|
6. Express Yourself
7. Deeper And Deeper
8. Why It's So Hard
9. In This Life
|10. The Beast Within|
11. Like A Virgin
12. Bye Bye Baby
13. I'm Going Bananas
14. La Isla Bonita
16. Justify My Love
17. Everybody Is A Star/Everybody
Sharpness was fine before I zoomed the image. Afterwards, it suffered a small degree of diffusion, but not to the point of revealing line structure or introducing an inordinate amount of aliasing. The lack of punch and fine resolution seems to indicate a video source, although like previous Warner Vision titles, no effort appears to have been made to remaster these titles for DVD, therefore a judgement is hard to make. Shadow detail was fair.
Colours were rendered adequately. The saccharine lighting and garish costumes exhibited a satisfying level of saturation, with minimal bleed and no noticeable noise, at least before I zoomed the image. Quick pans sometimes left a trail of colour, a symptom perhaps of the night-time cinematography/videography. Skin tones were accurate.
An absence of film artefacts also implied a video source, and I noticed no major compression artefacts beyond what appeared to be some very minor cross-colour rainbows.
Across the front sound stage separation is quite good, with each individual instrument easily heard in the mix. Imaging is less impressive, though -- I suspect that the centre speaker posed problems for the sound engineers, who would have made decisions based on what constituted a 'typical' home surround set up. The other problem with concert videos is that the on-screen camera set ups are not always a static left-to-right view of the stage. Technically the position of the instruments in the mix should correspond to the camera position. But, this is over-intellectualizing the point.
The surrounds are used well to create the illusion of watching the concert surrounded by an audience. Certain aspects of the instrumentation, reverbs and the like, also reach back behind the viewer to enhance the effect. Madonna's vocals were clear and discernible at all times from the centre speaker. And while the snare also barked sharply from its middle spot, bass drum and bass guitar notes were not as tight and punchy as I would have liked. On the other hand, the audio was probably designed to simulate a looser live sound, rather than a tight, unnatural studio variation. Still, more oomph would have been nice. To compensate for personal tastes I simply turned up the subwoofer volume.
The stereo version of the concert, located on the flip side of the DVD, was less immersive and the fidelity and less apparent than on the discrete channel mix, although bass notes were slightly beefier. The rating apply to the 5.1 soundtrack on side 1.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This DVD is a another solid yet straight-forward package from Warner Vision. The video quality is quite good, and a Dolby Digital 5.1 live concert mix is always interesting to hear, both for what it does and does not (cannot) accomplish. A future 16x9 enhanced edition would be nice given that this is a widescreen presentation in disguise.
|DVD||Marantz DV-7000 (European model), using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Ergo (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder.|
|Amplification||Arcam AV50 5 x 50W amplifier|
|Speakers||Front: ALR/Jordan Entry 5M, Centre: ALR/Jordan 4M, Rear: ALR/Jordan Entry 2M, Subwoofer: B&W ASW-1000 (active)|