Melissa Etheridge-Live...and Alone (2002)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 12-Feb-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Melissa Etheridge
Multiple Angles-MultiAngle Concert Segments
Web Links
DVD Credits
Featurette-Tour Diary
Interviews-Cast-Melissa's Interview
Bonus Track-Yes I Am; Dance Without Sleeping
Featurette-1987 Solo Club Performance
Featurette-2002 Roxy Band Performance
Audio-Only Track-Alive; The Weakness In Me
Discography
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 121:24
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (71:12)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Michael A. Simon
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Melissa Etheridge
Case Gatefold
RPI $39.95 Music Melissa Etheridge


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    As the disc's title implies, this is a recording of Melissa Etheridge's one woman concert tour from two years ago. That's exactly what you are going to see in this performance, Melissa on stage for 2 hours completely alone except for one of her many guitars, harmonica or piano and of course her quite distinctive slightly gravely voice. The particular performance captured on this disc was recorded on December 8th, 2001 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood which was the last show of the American leg of the Live and Alone Tour. As well as many performances in the United States, the tour also took in Europe and details of the entire tour schedule have been included in the nicely themed and presented tour diary which has been provided as an extra on disc 2.

    There is plenty of familiar material here even for those of you who are not specifically fans of this performer including Your Little Secret, I Want To Come Over and Bring Me Some Water as well as her biggest hit Come To My Window. The material covers this incredibly talented performer's rock and roll numbers and ballads. While my particular preference is to listen to this artist's music complete with a backing band, which I personally think confers a lot more power and energy to the music, this is still a very worthwhile disc to have in your collection if you are a Melissa Etheridge fan.

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

Track Listing

1. Come To My Window
2. All American Girl
3. Down To One
4. Royal Station 4/16
5. I Want To Come Over
6. Chrome Plated Heart
7. The Weakness In Me
8. I Take You With Me
9. Scarecrow
10. No Souvenirs
11. You Can Sleep While I Drive
12. The Different
13. Ready To Love
14. Occasionally
15. I Want To Be In Love
16. Your Little Secret
17. Lover Please
18. Bring Me Some Water
19. I'm The Only One
20. Like The Way I Do
21. Heal Me
22. Please Forgive Me

Transfer Quality

Video

    The picture is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is unfortunately not 16x9 enhanced. No information was available that would allow me to confirm if this was the original aspect ratio or not but it seems reasonable to assume that it is or it is at least very close to the correct ratio.

    Generally the picture is very sharp and finely detailed, however there is an occasional slightly out of focus shot which is probably due to the camera work. There are no issue of concern with shadow detail nor is there any sign of edge enhancement.

    There was no evidence of colour bleeding or any other colour related artefacts. In general the picture had a slight bluish cast due to the predominantly blue stage lighting and tended to look a little washed out at times.

    While compression artefacts were absent, the particularly sharp picture does have plenty of instances of aliasing. There's a significant example of this around 13:50. Film artefacts consisted of only small and very rare marks and a hair that appeared at the right of the frame at 103:59 and hung around for a couple of minutes as well as quite noticeable film grain.

    On this particular disc no subtitles have been provided.

    This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed at 71:12 between chapters 14 and 15. This was quite a fast layer change and was well placed between songs. As such, it resulted in almost no disruption to the performance.

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

Audio

    Three audio tracks were provided on the disc: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Linear PCM 2.0 and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0, with the PCM option being the default. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track in its entirety and sampled the PCM track. Of the available options, the Dolby Digital track provided the most immersive experience and provided a more mellow sound. By comparison, the PCM audio sounded more detailed but a bit on the harsh side and it is mastered at a higher volume level in comparison to the 5.1 option.

    There were no problems with either the quality of the dialogue or lyrics. The audio sync appeared perfect to me.

    The rear channels provided venue ambience and audience noise with the centre channel mainly used for the vocals while the other front channels were mostly devoted to whichever instrument Melissa was playing. This was a good mix providing a realistic live concert feel.

    The subwoofer never really called attention to itself and appears to contribute only extremely subtly to the sound mix.

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

Extras

    I'm not sure what more in the way of extras that you could possibly need over and above what has been provided with this release, which is not one but two discs, with the second jam-packed with extra material. There's even an audio commentary track from Melissa Etheridge herself which is certainly a first in my experience of  music DVDs.

Disc One

Menu

    The menu is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and features both animation and Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Audio Commentary-Melissa Etheridge

    This is a first in my experience. A music DVD that features an audio commentary from the performer who proceeds to fill us in on what she was feeling and thinking as she performed as well as giving some background and historical information on the songs.

Multiple Angles-MultiAngle Concert Segments (8:48)

    This provides a choice of three camera angles which are all displayed simultaneously on the screen in three separate windows. The angle you select is displayed in a large window while two small windows display the alternative angles. This extra is presented full frame in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and the audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded. Two songs are featured: All American Girl and Scarecrow.

Web Links

    Provides a link to Melissa's website at www.melissaetheridge.com. This extra is also present on disc 2.

DVD Credits

    Nothing too exciting here folks, just a lot of text pages with the names of those involved in the production of the concert, the DVD, and so forth. Ho-hum. This extra is presented again on disc two.

Disc Two

Featurette-Tour Diary

    As the name suggests, this tour diary captures such events as media interviews, preparation for the tour and various backstage happenings. We also get to accompany Melissa as she does some sightseeing during the European leg of the tour. You can choose to play the whole diary or navigate to various concert locations via a map and just play the diary entry related to the chosen location. This extra, which has no time encoding present, ran for about 40 minutes in total and features Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded audio and a 1.33:1 aspect ratio for the picture.

Interviews-Cast-Melissa's Interview (27:46)

    This appears to be unedited interview footage with an off screen interviewer asking Melissa many questions about the tour. A large portion of it is taken up with Melissa relating where she was and the feelings she had during the September 11 attacks. The Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded audio is quite acceptable except for noticeable hum and the fact that even with the volume turned up significantly it's just about impossible to hear the interviewer's voice. The picture is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 but it is not 16x9 enhanced.

Discography

    The discography provides a number of text pages giving a complete list of every single, album and video that the Melissa Etheridge has released. This is displayed in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 without any audio.

Bonus Tracks-Yes I Am (2:52); Dance Without Sleeping (4:15)

    These are a couple of  songs that were recorded at other concerts during the tour and are additional to the songs performed during the Los Angeles concert which is featured on disc one. The picture is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 but is not 16x9 enhanced. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded.

Featurette-1987 Solo Club Performance (2:00)

    This is basically home video of Melissa performing in the early days of her career. The picture is presented in an aspect ratio of 1:33:1 and is of really poor quality. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 and is of equally poor quality.

Featurette-2002 Roxy Band Performance (2:31)

    Melissa is joined for a club date by bass guitarist Mark Browne, drummer Kenny Aronoff, and lead guitarist James Harrah for a 3 song montage after the Live and Alone Tour. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded and the picture is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Bonus Tracks-Alive (4:40); The Weakness In Me (5:13)

     Now this was a nice inclusion with both tracks encoded in 2 channel 24bit/96kHz linear PCM and sounding fantastically crisp and detailed. These are audio only rather than music videos.

R4 vs R1

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

    Based on the available information, the Region 1 and Region 4 versions of this DVD appear to be identical except that the local disc provides a PAL picture whereas the Region 1 uses NTSC encoding.

Summary

    Melissa Etheridge Live ... and Alone should be considered a "must have" disc for any fans of this performer.

    The video quality is generally quite good but is plagued by too much aliasing.

    The audio quality is fantastic.

    There is no shortage of quality extras, in fact there's a whole second disc packed with them.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Cole (Surely you've got something better to do than read my bio)
Saturday, October 25, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-655A [SACD & DVD-A], using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-995
SpeakersFront L&R - B&W DM603, Centre - B&W LCR6, Rear L&R - B&W DM602, Sub - Yamaha YST-SW300

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Terry K
AllZone4DVD - Kevin S

Comments (Add) NONE