Matchbox Twenty-Show: A Night in the Life of Matchbox Twenty (2004)
Main Menu Introduction
Multiple Angles-Soul, Bright Lights
|Year Of Production||2004|
|Running Time||96:26 (Case: 100)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Hamish Hamilton|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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|
'Middle of the Road' is a label that somehow seems to have been applied to Matchbox Twenty with considerable relish by many of the holier than thou rock 'n' roll critics who constantly seem to lambast the band for their lack of risk-taking, mundane lyrics, and FM radio-friendly tunes. I remember a review of one of the band's Sydney concerts late last year which was particularly vehement and damning to the point of outright hatred. I remember the reviewer being particularly scathing of the boredom the songs and lead singer Rob Thomas inspired and noting just how bad some of their lyrics were. Most notably he hated the line from their big hit 3AM - "she thinks that happiness is the mat that sits on her doorway...". Well if that's all someone has to worry about the world really is a boring place isn't it? I've never really understood why someone who obviously hates an artist so much would go along to a concert. Why not send someone who might actually enjoy the material?
Since bursting onto the scene with their multi-platinum (12 times alone in the US) debut album Yourself Or Someone Like You in 1996, Matchbox Twenty has produced some truly memorable, catchy, and commercially successful material, and more importantly have sold more than 20 million albums worldwide - a huge measure of success. Their debut album saw songs such as 3AM, Push, and Real World all become successful singles and stamp the band as a big player on the adult contemporary rock scene. Their follow-up album released in 2000 was Mad Season, and proved they were certainly not one-hit wonders. It contained gems such as If You're Gone and Bent. The band's most recent album, released in 2002, More Than You Think You Are shows new signs of maturity with the exquisite single Bright Lights. This concert forms part of the tour promoting that album.
This performance was recorded in Atlanta in June 2003 at the Philips Arena. The regular band members of Rob Thomas (vocals), Paul Doucette (drums), Kyle Cook (lead guitar), Adam Gaynor (rhythm guitar), and Brian Yale (bass) are joined for this show by Matt Beck (keyboards). It is a high energy stadium concert, filled with heaps of bright lights, and with some 22 cameras used this means there are plenty of interesting angles and close-ups to keep everyone happy.
Twenty songs are performed in this near-100 minute show which includes every hit the band has enjoyed in their short career.
2. Real World
3. All I Need
6. Could I Be You
7. 3 AM
8. Mad Season
10. Hand Me Down
|11. If You're Gone|
12. Bright Lights
15. Back 2 Good
17. You're So Real
18. So Sad So Lonely
19. Long Day
This is a lovely widescreen transfer that really does look an absolute treat and is easily among the best video transfers I have seen for a stadium concert.
It is presented in an aspect of 1.78:1 and is also 16x9 enhanced.
Shot using some 22 cameras, it benefits greatly from being recorded on high definition broadcast video, and as such it is extremely sharp and detailed throughout. There is no trace of any edge enhancement and there is not a single problem with shadow detail. Grain is absent and there is no low level noise. It really is that clear and detailed you feel like you are almost there.
The colour palette isn't affected by the usual problems associated with so many concert shows. The majority of the lighting rig is quite bright with white being the dominant shade.
There are no MPEG artefacts present, and no video artefacts of any sort. Given the nature and youth of the source material, this is not unexpected.
No subtitles are available on this disc, which is a bit of a shame.
This disc is a dual layered disc with RSDL formatting. The layer change occurs between If You're Gone and Bright Lights at 50:30 and is nicely placed, though quite obvious.
There has been a bit of debate about the quality of the surround soundtrack present on this disc. I'll get to that in a second, but firstly please note that while there are two audio tracks available on this disc, unlike a few of the online retailers that I have seen advertising it there is definitely NOT a dts soundtrack present.
What we do get here is a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track and a rather lacklustre Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack. I only quickly sampled the stereo track and listened to the concert twice through with the surround soundtrack engaged. I listened twice because I really wanted to be certain before expressing my opinion about the quality of the soundtrack on offer here. As a result of my double listening I'm sort of in two minds about the overall quality. When I compare it to some other concert soundtracks that purport to be 5.1 surround, this track puts many of them to shame - in fact it wipes the floor with them. There is consistent and virtually constant surround activity throughout the whole show, with much of the rear channel action being used for audience noise. This is the sort of soundtrack that places you smack bang in the front row, but I feel that this is the soundtrack's biggest failing. It would be remiss of me to not mention the unusual level that the crowd noise has been mixed to. I know it's a live show and the idea of such a recording is to be able to hear the audience and generally feel like you are part of them for the night, but I found this mix just a little too overbearing at times and found it often distracted from the band and their instruments rather than complementing them. Perhaps it's just a little bit too much like a real concert when you get a screaming teenager sitting next to you!
Aside from the high level of crowd participation, the vocals are probably the next weakest part of the whole soundtrack. Rob Thomas' voice just doesn't seem to pack much of a punch and can often get a little muddied with the instrumentation. Whether this is because he simply doesn't have the vocal range or the mixing is working against him I'm not sure, though I think it is the latter. The between song banter between Thomas and the band is certainly clear and easily understood.
As mentioned there is plenty of surround channel use with the usual sounds of audience clapping and cheering from the rears emanating throughout the performance to impart that 'front-row' feeling, while I have no complaints about the level of subwoofer activity which has been nicely integrated into the overall sound mix.
|Surround Channel Use|
A second disc has been dedicated to extra material in this attractively packaged dual disc set.
32 black and white photos of the band featuring back stage antics and on-stage performances. They can be scrolled through one by one or selected from a screen full of thumbnails.
Lyrics for the songs performed during the concert. Selecting the song brings up the lyrics which slowly scroll up the screen. Unfortunately, I found they tended to scroll just a little too fast for my liking - perhaps I read slowly. They are at least of a decent size and font and are easily read.
Two songs, Soul and Bright Lights, receive the multi-angle treatment. There are six different camera angles that you can select from, with most focussing on a particular band member for the duration of the song. Some of the camera work is a little dodgy at times with plenty of out-of-focus shots and cameras pointed at the ground, but overall this is something a little different and a worthwhile diversion from the main show.
This is the major extra on disc two and runs for 48:42. That running time is a little misleading though, since the actual documentary runs for just over 36:00 minutes before the credits start to roll. After a few seconds of blank screen we are treated to a further 12 minutes of various bits of footage that didn't make it into the main documentary. There's lots of joking around, a few blooper style shots, some gags and the like.
The main documentary is good from a behind-the-scenes perspective of the band on the road, but it really isn't all that original or particularly riveting viewing. Fans will no doubt appreciate it immensely.
This is a 20 page booklet in full colour that lists the songs in the concert, some thoughts from the directors of both the concert and the documentary and a very long list of credits of the people involved in the show. Included are heaps of colour photos of the band in action.
The Region 1 disc is specified exactly the same as the Region 4 title.
Show - A Night In The Life Of Matchbox Twenty is a comprehensive dual-disc concert and documentary DVD that showcases pretty much every major hit that the band has enjoyed in their short career.
The video transfer is exceptional. Clear, colourful, vibrant, and incredibly sharp, it really does enhance the enjoyment of the show. It would easily rank among the best concert video transfers I have yet seen.
The audio left me in two minds. It has heaps of surround activity and enough thump to get you tapping your feet, but the level of the crowd noise and the slightly muddied delivery of the instruments and vocals left me wondering what could have been.
The extras are quite comprehensive. The documentary is lengthy, while the absence of a discography or biography of the band is a major omission.
Overall, this is a nicely packaged dual-disc set.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|