Jewel-Live at Humphrey's by the Bay (2002)

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Released 9-Mar-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Bonus Track-3 Bonus Live Performances (11:26)
Bonus Track-"Standing Still" On The Road Video (3:08)
Interviews-Cast-Interview With Jewel (11:35)
Programmable Track Selection-"Jukebox"
Gallery-Photo-Publicity Photos Of Jewel
Discography
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 57:28 (Case: 84)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Mike Drumm
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Jewel
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Jewel


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

†††† After seeing Jewel live during her recent Australian tour I loaded this, Jewelís first live DVD, into my player with eager anticipation. Whilst sadly my expectations were not met (more on that later), it is indeed a pleasure to finally see a concert DVD from Jewel. Previously the only way to see her live on DVD was in Lilith Fair and even then there were only a few tantalizing songs and a yodel from her (until you hear Jewel yodel your life won't be complete).

†††† For me, Jewelís lyrics set her aside from most other artists within her genre. Nearly all of her songs tell a story. In fact, many could be published as poetry in their own right (to some extent some have in the poetry Jewel has published).

†††† Despite the claim on the back cover of an 84 minute running time (perhaps it includes the extras), the concert is somewhat shorter, only 58 minutes in fact. Anyone who went to one of Jewelís recent concerts would know she does sometimes divert into a little story-telling between songs (which for me is a highlight). While some of these stories explain how a particular song came to be, many refer to the location or country she is in for the gig. I suspect most of what may have been present in this concert was edited out which may explain the rather short length.

†††† The first half of the concert is Jewel solo and acoustic, except for her arrival on stage when she is briefly accompanied by her rather worried looking pet hound dog. Solo and acoustic is by the far the best way to see Jewel in my view. It clearly demonstrates that the true power of her music lies within her lyrics. During the second half, Jewel invites her band onstage to finish out the gig. Despite its short length, this is a very enjoyable concert, although it didnít quite impress me as much as her recent performance at the Opera House in Sydney which felt much more complete with Jewelís storytelling interludes.

†††† On a side note, the back cover claims this disc to be Region 0 when in fact it is Region 4 encoded only.

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Track Listing

1. Per La Gloria D'Adorarvi
2. Near You Always
3. Kiss The Flame
4. Rosy & Mick
5. Everything Breaks Sometimes
6. Sometimes It Be That Way
7. Grey Matter
8. Break Me
9. The New Wild West
10. You Were Meant For Me
11. Hands
12. Everybody Needs Someone Sometime
13. Who Will Save Your Soul

Transfer Quality

Video

†††† The concert is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and all the evidence suggests this was also the aspect ratio it was shot in. Why all events like this arenít shot in 1.78:1 remains a mystery to me. Being a U.S. production itís also likely that this was recorded in NTSC, though any conversion to PAL hasnít left much in the way of artefacts. Being 1.33:1 it is not 16x9 enhanced.

†††† Other than the 10 second establishing shot at the very start, which was probably shot on Super 8, the concert appears to have been recorded on digital videotape. The image is very sharp throughout, though does look ever-so-slightly soft on the odd occasion (perhaps reflecting its NTSC source). Shadow detail is limited but this only due to the high contrast range of the stage lighting and relatively low contrast range inherent in video (as opposed to film). Grain and low level noise are all but absent.

†††† Colours are faithfully reproduced and reflect the wide variety of colours and contrast of the stage lighting. Indeed, the lighting looks as if it was done with television in mind, in that it's not too harsh. Skin tones are very accurate.

†††† MPEG artefacts are nowhere to be found with the transfer having been given a nice healthy bit-rate which usually hovers between 7 and 10Mbs. There is very little in the way of aliasing. Being shot on videotape, film artefacts do not exist.

†††† There are no subtitles.

†††† This is a single-layered disc so there's no layer change. The main file size is 3159 Mb.

†††† All-in-all, this is a very satisfying video presentation; unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the audio.

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

Audio

†††† After hearing Jewel live at the Opera House, my expectations for the audio on this DVD were inadvertently set somewhat high. While I didnít expect the audio quality here to come even close to the Opera House, I did expect a lot better than this.

†††† There are three flavours to choose from in the audio arena; Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kbps), DTS 5.1 (754kbps) and Dolby Digital 2.0 (224kbps).

†††† While the 5.1 mixes do sound very appealing on paper, they donít sound so appealing in reality. Listening to the first song immediately reveals that all three audio tracks have been sourced from the same stereo master recording. I can say with confidence that this was definitely not a multi-channel recording. The Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 tracks are very front left and right heavy with very little in the way of surround activity. In fact, the centre and rear channels in both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 tracks merely consist of Ďfillí which means it is just audio derived from the front left and right channels to fill in the remaining three channels. If you listen to the Dolby Digital 2.0 track and engage the Dolby Pro Logic II Music or DTS Neo: 6 Music processing in your receiver (should you have it), you will achieve a very similar (if not superior) result to the Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 tracks. Due to the distinct lack of ambience in the surrounds of the 5.1 tracks, I almost felt compelled to add a little reverberation with my receiver just to Ďopen upí the room a little.

†††† On top of this there appears to have been a great deal of compression applied during the mix as there is very little in the way of dynamic range. It sounds exactly like a mix for CD, which also perfectly describes the Dolby Digital 2.0 track; exactly like a CD mix. As a result of the compression, Jewelís vocals come across as being somewhat flat. Finally, to round off the imperfections, there is a moderate level of hiss present which becomes audible during the quieter moments. Itís not overly distracting, but a little careless on the part of the sound recordist. The good news is that there are no audio sync issues.

†††† The subwoofer is not called on too often. It provides a little support for the lower notes on Jewel's acoustic guitar and later on for the kick drum, but other than that, if your subwoofer is broken you won't be missing it much.

†††† As for Dolby Digital versus DTS thereís not much separating the two. Even the levels are almost the same - the DTS track is only a fraction louder, perhaps 1db at most.

†††† While by no means terrible, the audio presentation is very disappointing considering the wait that we have had to endure for a live DVD from Jewel. A multi-channel recording would have made a world of difference in this case.

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

Extras

†††† There is a reasonable selection of extras to be found, the most significant of these being an interview with Jewel. Everything is presented in 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Menu

†††† A well designed, easy to navigate animated menu with audio.

3 Bonus Live Performances - "Love Me Just Leave Me Alone", "Do You Want To Play", and "Jesus Loves You" (11:26)

†††† Two words to describe these; Ďshaky camí. These appear to be B-roll footage of songs from other concerts. The camera work is less than brilliant but in the end itís about the music.

"Standing Still" On The Road Video (3:08)

†††† This is a highlights video of the tour cut to ďStanding StillĒ . A nice little addition to the DVD.

Interview With Jewel (11:35)

†††† This is a very good candid interview in which Jewel speaks about her lyrics, performing live and various other aspects of her career. Well worth a watch.

Jukebox

†††† This is a rather nifty feature Iíve seen on a few DVDs now. It allows you to create your own play list for the concert, so you can play the songs in whatever order you wish as well as skip ones you donít want to hear. Nearly all DVD and CD players have this or a similar feature but itís much easier doing it this way.

Photo Gallery

†††† The photos are not selectable. Instead, they are presented as a 4-odd minute video piece with music (thereís no timing data with this feature). This is a much nicer way to view photos in my view; Iíve never liked having to manually select them.

Discography

†††† Stock standard.

R4 vs R1

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

†††† The single Region 1 review I have managed to find indicates that both discs are identical. I see no reason to favour one or the other.

Summary

†††† This is a long-awaited DVD for Jewel fans everywhere. The concert, whilst enjoyable, would have really been more satisfying had it been longer than 58 minutes.

†††† The video quality is of a high standard with little to complain about.

†††† The audio quality is sadly a big disappointment, being let down by a less than optimal source recording.

†††† Given that many music DVDs are devoid of extras, the small number of extras here are a welcome addition.

†††† Jewel Live At Humphreys By The Bay is definitely worth a purchase, but don't expect much from your surround sound system.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Hooft (My biography. Go on have a read...)
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-655A [SACD & DVD-A], using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe CT-1170 (66cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D1011, THX, 7.1, DTS-ES 96/24 & DD EX. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D1011, THX, 7.1, DTS-ES 96/24 & DD EX
SpeakersFront & Centre: Monitor Audio Bronze 2, Surrounds: Sony SS-SRX7S, Surround Back: Paramount Pictures Bookshelf Speakers

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