Queen-The DVD Collection: Queen on Fire: Live at the Bowl (1982)

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

Released 8-Nov-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Booklet
Interviews-Cast-Interviews with Brian May, Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury
Featurette-Additional concert footage, Tokyo and Vienna concerts
Gallery-Photo-Slide show of concert stills
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1982
Running Time 103:37 (Case: 170)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (46:23)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Gavin Taylor
Studio
Distributor

EMI Music
Starring Brian May
Freddie Mercury
Roger Taylor
John Deacon
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $34.95 Music Queen


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/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 No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Well, the release of this very rare 1982 UK concert as the next installment in the Queen DVD Collection comes as a very welcome surprise for Queen fans, at a time when Queen/EMI could just have easily taken the much easier road of re-releasing another of their previous VHS concert releases, such as Live At Budapest or Live In Rio. The June 1982 UK Milton Keynes concert footage, the subject of this new Queen On Fire Live At The Bowl DVD, has been long sought after by Queen fans because of its rarity value, and so the opportunity to finally own the footage now, and furthermore the full concert in its entirety and with digitally restored video and new dts 5.1 audio mix, will have all Queen fans salivating.

    But what makes this particular concert so sought after by fans? What's so special about this 1982 concert? Well, firstly, this concert catches Queen at a unique stage of their career, a period for which previously precious little information or official product release has been available. In June 1982, Queen were riding high with their 10th anniversary successfully behind them, arguably seeing the band at this point at the very peak of their live performance career, and also on a high after having been the first international rock group to have toured and successfully conquered the virgin rock territory of South America in a mammoth 1981 tour that took in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico. Secondly, June 1982 sees Queen touring on the back of their just-released 11th studio album, "Hot Space"; an album that was to prove their most adventurous and unusual album ever, taking in - bewilderingly for most fans - the styles of disco and funk and attempting to fuse this with their own unique rock style. Until now with this DVD release there had been absolutely no official live concert material released from the fascinating "Hot Space Tour" of 1982. This tour remains the most fascinating and sought-after period of Queen's live catalogue by all fans, as it showcases a completely unique live set, including several of the "Hot Space" numbers (as it turns out, the live renditions of these "Hot Space" songs are actually quite a highlight, proving to be substantially more punchier and rock-oriented compared to their more disco/funk album versions). In any event, given the commercial failure of the "Hot Space" album release, these were songs that would soon be dropped from subsequent Queen live set lists, and so until now most Queen fans have not even heard these songs performed live at all. Thirdly, what makes this 1982 concert period so special is that these lone May/June 1982 English gigs marked the end of a long hiatus for Queen playing in their home country and home town, after having exhaustively toured the rest of the world over the previous few years, so that these performances mark a big "welcome back" to London, and more importantly a test to see whether the home fans will still warm to the (much changed) Queen live act since they last saw them.

    All in all, to say that the new DVD release of Queen On Fire Live At The Bowl is a very welcome choice and much sought after by Queen fans would be a big understatement.

    OK, so all well and dandy for Queen fans, but so what about the rest of the rock enthusiast/DVD-buying audience? Is this a good Queen concert to see and buy on DVD or not? Or am I better off just sticking to my Live At Wembley DVD release that has all the hits live? Well the answer to that, even if you are not a die-hard Queen fan and even if you already own Live At Wembley, remains a resounding and emphatic "yes".

    This 1982 concert showcases Queen "on fire", at their very peak. If you want to know why Queen at their best were considered to be the undisputed greatest live rock act in the world, then this is the concert you need to see. OK sure, being a 1982 concert, this set list does not include all of Queen's popular hit material, including the singles from 1984's "The Works" album and 1986's "A Kind Of Magic" album. But what this concert does have instead is a more varied set list, including several rare and lesser-known songs that will give you a much better appreciation of the extent and breadth of the variety of Queen's live material. Further, this concert boasts some blistering live renditions of almost all of your favourite Queen classics. In particular, the version of Bohemian Rhapsody played in this concert is, in my opinion, nothing short of the very best live version of this classic I have ever heard (I know, a big call!... and I've heard a few live versions in my time!!). Ditto in my view the versions of several other songs in this concert are up there among the best live renditions I've heard, specifically those of Somebody To Love, Save Me, Under Pressure and Fat Bottomed Girls.  Somebody To Love in particular showcases Freddie's amazingly strong vocal talents in full flight. Other standout tracks in the set list are Play The Game, performed with gusto and just a little bit of aggro by Freddie, Now I'm Here, with some phenomenal guitar work, the hard rockers Tie Your Mother Down and Sheer Heart Attack. And then there is of course the aforementioned tight and rocky "Hot Space" tracks, that I'm sure will manage to get even those of you who have never even heard these songs before rocking along. This is indeed Queen live at their peak.


Live At The Bowl and "Hot Space Tour" Trivia:

  1. The first English show on the tour was on 29th May at Leeds Football Stadium (to a crowd of 38,000). A second concert was originally planned for this venue, but had to be re-scheduled to a second venue, Milton Keynes Bowl in Buckinghamshire instead, following Leeds' local residents objections to noise levels during the first concert. Milton Keynes was very much a second choice venue for Queen. However after having played there, they all agreed it was a great venue and wanted to play there again. The exact crowd capacity for this concert is unknown. Support acts for this night were The Anti Nowhere League (who??), The Teardrop Explodes, Heart and Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.
  2. The concert at Milton Keynes Bowl was recorded by Tyne Tees Television (in its entirety) and later broadcast on British TV's The Tube programme in January 1983, edited down to 60 minutes. It was also subsequently aired in the US on MTV in August 1983. Apart from these lone TV broadcasts however, the footage has remained unseen by Queen fans (with the exception of footage of two tracks, Staying Power and Play The Game) until now.
  3. The "Hot Space" album tracks performed in this set list are Action This Day, Staying Power and Back Chat. All are considerably changed renditions and more rock-oriented live. The Staying Power footage was previously released on a Queen VHS release and can also be seen as an extra track on disc 2 of Queen Greatest Video Hits 2 DVD.
  4. Despite the fact that the "Hot Space" album was a "commercial failure" for Queen, the album still reached a more than respectable #4 on the UK charts, and charted for 19 weeks.
  5. The "Hot Space Tour" went from May to November 1982 and took in the UK, the USA and Japan. After the final concert on the tour in Tokyo on 3rd November (highlights of which can be seen on disc 2 of this DVD) Queen took a well-earned break from touring. There would be no concert dates for Queen for all of 1983.
  6. The set list changed around quite a bit on this tour. Other songs to be performed on different nights of the tour were: Calling All Girls, Body Language, Life Is Real and Put Out The Fire (all from "Hot Space"), Rock It, Teo Torriatte, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting and Jailhouse Rock. One of the live performances of Calling All Girls can be heard over the Gallery extra on disc 2 of this DVD.
  7. The official date for  Queen's 10th anniversary was either: 1/ April 1980, if you go by the 10th anniversary of the date that Brian, Roger and Freddie first started using the name Queen, 2/ the 27th June 1980, if you go by the 10th anniversary of the first ever live performance under the name Queen (with a different bass player), or 3/ late February 1981, if you go by the date that the fourth and final member of Queen, John Deacon, joined the band.

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

Track Listing

1. Flash (taped intro)
2. The Hero
3. We Will Rock You (Fast)
4. Action This Day
5. Play The Game
6. Staying Power
7. Somebody To Love
8. Now I'm Here
9. Dragon Attack
10. Now I'm Here (Reprise)
11. Love Of My Life
12. Save Me
13. Back Chat
14. Get Down, Make Love
15. Guitar Solo
16. Under Pressure
17. Fat Bottomed Girls
18. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
19. Bohemian Rhapsody
20. Tie Your Mother Down
21. Another One Bites The Dust
22. Sheer Heart Attack
23. We Will Rock You
24. We Are The Champions
25. God Save The Queen (taped outro)

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is surprisingly crisp and detailed. It is in fact a better quality transfer than last year's Queen Live At Wembley concert DVD release, despite the fact that the Wembley concert footage was recorded 4 years later than the Live At The Bowl concert. Most thankfully, the Live At The Bowl video transfer does not suffer from several of the annoying source issues to have plagued the Wembley concert DVD - such as poor resolution/definition and colour bleed (see my Live At Wembley review for full details). However there is still one inescapable and very annoying source artefact in common with both DVD transfers, and that is the highly distracting streaking affect across the source image from bright lights, due to the 1980's technology tube cameras used to record these concerts. This is, as I said, an unavoidable source issue.

    The presented aspect ratio is 1.33:1 full frame, as the footage was originally recorded for the purpose of broadcast on UK TV. (Personal view:  The image quality and resolution is sufficiently strong that this transfer would have supported being cropped and zoomed and re-framed into a full 1.78 image for widescreen TV, as was done with the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert DVD  (commensurate with the newly re-mixed 5.1 audio for home theatre), and I would have much preferred this to a 1.33 image. However I know, I know... I am in a very small minority of "DVD heretics" amongst my reviewer peers who would even dare to suggest such treatment of a source material, where the conventional wisdom of course states that if a source video aspect ratio is 1.33:1, then the DVD video transfer should also be left in 1.33:1.) 

    I was quite surprised at the quality of this video transfer, particularly after the disappointment of the Live At Wembley transfer. I was expecting for 1982 recorded-for-TV source footage (in addition to which note there was also an extra 47-odd minutes worth of the original concert footage edited out of the TV broadcast, and so this had to be salvaged from some dusty BBC archive) that what we would get is a somewhat grainier and indistinct image. But that's not what we get at all. Whilst the DVD cover and booklet information doesn't provide any detail, I would suspect that some substantial work must have gone into digitally restoring the original concert footage. If this footage was shot using 1982-style analogue video camera technology, then you certainly wouldn't know it to watch this DVD. Specifically, I note that there appears to have been substantial restoration of all the close-up camera coverage of the stage and of the band members (this forms the vast majority of the feature), whereas only the other lesser-used camera angle footage, such as shots of the crowd (in low light) and the far away, back-of-crowd camera angle footage, are notably grainier and less well defined.

    All the close-up stage footage in this transfer is very crisp and sharp indeed, with very minimal grain/video noise and a pleasing amount of image detail on offer, so that the footage really does belie its age and source. As stated however, this principal stage/band footage is interspersed with some poorer quality (but very brief) shots from other camera angles that is less well defined. Surprisingly, given the source, there appears to be virtually no low level noise issues to worry about, other than one culprit - some shots earlier on in the concert, angled up from behind the band members looking up into the sky at dusk, evidencing low level noise under the low light conditions. Shadow detail is not great in this transfer, but this is somewhat to be expected in a night-time concert shoot, as image elements tend to be either brightly lit under the harsh concert lighting, or else not visible at all in the complete darkness. 

    Colour is also much better than I would have expected from this source material. (I have seen previous VHS copies of excerpts of the Milton Keynes concert footage, with much lesser quality colour.)  All colours in the stage lighting, the band's costumes and other elements really come to life in this DVD transfer and again seem to belie the age and quality of the original source material. Great stuff.

    And the news keeps getting better. This disc has been carefully and painstakingly mastered to DVD. There are no MPEG or compression artefacts at all. The material is given plenty of room on the DVD, with an average bit rate of 8.95MB/s. Nor are there any film-to-video artefacts to note - not even the slightest aliasing on my set up.

    Unfortunately though, as expected, the transfer does fall down in one key area - source artefacts. Still, it can at least be said that it's really only one specific source artefact that we have to complain about here (unlike the Live At Wembley transfer, where there were several), and that is the streaking effect from the old technology tube video cameras of the day. These old tube cameras do not like bright lights being shined into them at all. When they are, the cameras simply burn out that part of the camera frame, leaving a nasty residual ghosting of the image, which is then exacerbated by an annoying streaking effect across the image, burning in further, whenever the camera continues to zoom or pan.. And once an image is burned into a particular camera, it remains as a notable residual burn whenever we later return to that particular camera angle, noticeable even for subsequent static shots. Thank goodness camera technology improved from the 1980s. Some of the worst examples of this annoying burn/streaking effect can be seen at/from 4:28, 18:39, 19:36 and 25:10, but these are just the major examples and there are many others.

    As stated, this source artefact is completely unavoidable - I doubt there would be anything that could be done to eliminate the effect even in digital restoration. On a positive note though, I note that there is next to no evidence on this DVD of another very annoying source artefact that you would expect of 1980s camera technology - that of microphony. I have seen microphony ruin many 1980s live concert footage, Live Aid being the most recent and most prominent example, and it was also a detracting issue for the Live At Wembley shoot. Thankfully though, despite the fact that it was recorded several years prior to these two examples, the ugly microphony bug does not rear its ugly head for Live At The Bowl. All in all then, there is very little to complain about with the overall quality of this DVD's video transfer.

    There are no subtitles available for the feature. This is a lost opportunity to include song lyrics and therefore widen the audience appeal of this concert.

    The disc is RSDL-formatted, however the layer change was so well negotiated on my player that I didn't even notice it. I had to look up the layer change point using software later, and located it at 46:23, a quiet spot just before the start of Save Me.

       

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is an absolute ripper - easily the best Queen concert DVD mix yet. It is perhaps a little unconventional in the mixing, but it certainly delivers the goods in spades.

    As with the previous Queen DVDs, this release comes with a default LPCM 2.0 track (at a bitrate of 1536 kb/s) and a dts 96/24 5.1 track (at the maximum bitrate of 1536 kb/s). By providing an LPCM 2.0 track instead of just Dolby Digital 2.0 and by providing dts 96/24 5.1 instead of just Dolby Digital 5.1, Queen continues to fully embrace the dts format and continues to provide the highest possible quality audio mixes available at the highest possible bitrates. This is done again, however, at the sacrifice of providing 100% flexibility for the DVD-buying public, so note as with all other Queen DVD releases that if you have older equipment which is not dts compatible, then the surround mix on this DVD will be unavailable to you.

    Note also that the dts track on offer on this disc is in fact the higher resolution format 96/24 mix, offering, for appropriately equipped decoders, 24-bit sample depth (instead of the more usual 16-bit) and 96 kHz sample rate as well (instead of 48kHz). This offers a superior audio resolution, previously only to be found on DVD-A dts tracks. If your decoder is not 96/24 compatible, then the track will simply play at a downsampled/standard 48kHz dts instead. (My review is of the upsampled 96/24 audio track.) Note that Queen has pioneered the inclusion of dts 96/24 mixes on DVD-Video, with Queen's Greatest Video Hits 1 in fact being the very first offering of this higher level audio format on a DVD-Video release (as stated, prior to this, dts 96/24 tracks were only to be found on DVD-Audio releases). Live At The Bowl is now the third in the Queen DVD Collection to receive a dts 96/24 mix, behind Greatest Video Hits I and Greatest Video Hits 2. Note also that both The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert and Live At Wembley included only standard resolution dts 5.1 mixes, making Live At The Bowl the first ever Queen concert DVD (and more widely, possibly the first ever live concert DVD-Video release?) to receive the benefit of this higher resolution audio format.

    On to the evaluation of the audio track and, as with Live At Wembley, the most immediate and pleasing impact of this new concert DVD mix is in the optimisation of the concert mixing levels across the vocals and all instruments. Inappropriate mixing levels of vocal versus instruments, or of guitars being too low in the mix, or of the employment of over-aggressive surround sound re-mixing drowning out the original concert sound are all issues that can and have brought many a live rock concert DVD unstuck. The first effort at Queen concert DVD re-mixing, on the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, was not the best, marred by over-aggressive surround reverb. The next re-mixing effort, the Live At Wembley mix, was far superior, with mixing levels across vocals and instruments tightened up and the use of the surround channels much better handled. Well, I can happily report that the re-mixing effort on the third Queen concert DVD, Live At The Bowl, is even better again than the Wembley concert mix. There is absolutely nothing you could complain about in the quality of this concert mixing, with vocals maintained very clear and distinct throughout, highlighting the sheer power and delivery of Freddie's voice, guitars mixed up well to an appropriate level, delivering real bite and highlighting the unique sound of Brian's home-made axe, the bass guitar notes clear and driving, and the drums (for the most part) crisp and punchy in the mix. A big tick for the concert mix levels here.

    The DVD's audio transfer has to handle a huge dynamic range in this concert, from Freddie's quieter reflections in between songs and the poignancy of the 12-string guitar in Love Of My Life, through to the aural assault of the trademark Queen "wall of sound" in tracks like Sheer Heart Attack and We Will Rock You (Fast). It is quite evident when listening to the mix (and appreciating that the source material they had to work with was only 1982 stereo recording tapes) that some considerable time and effort has been invested by Queen audio engineers Justin Shirley-Smith and Kris Fredriksson to clean and tweak every single note and nuance in the original source tapes through Pro Tools, and the clarity of each and every component of their resultant re-mix is just amazing, given it is a 22 year old source recording. Well done yet again gents. The resultant DVD audio transfer delivers across the spectrum, from faithful driving bass to clarity in the midranges to nice tight percussion. There are no audio clicks, pops or dropouts and audio sync is spot on. Again, a big tick here.

    Next we move onto the surround mix and the first thing you notice is that the use of the 5.1 audio channels in the mix is a little unconventional. Firstly, the centre channel is virtually unused throughout this concert. I had to check both my DVD player and my pre-amp settings to confirm that the centre channel is indeed active in this dts 5.1 mix, and it is. However when you put your ear up against the centre channel you realise that whilst the channel may be "on", next to no audio information is being directed to the centre channel for the duration of the concert mix. Instead, all vocals and all instruments are directed to the front mains, and the overall (presumably intended) effect of this is to broaden the front soundstage and to provide a "wider" concert sound. Unusual, but it seems to work. There is also perhaps not quite as much use of stereo panning and specific front localised placement in this mix as I might have expected, however again the overall mix across the front soundstage remains very clear and strong and full of impact.

    The surround channels are used effectively and constantly to provide great, immersive audio. Again perhaps a little unconventionally, I noted the sound of the crowd in this concert is mixed almost equally across the front speakers as the rears, rather than the usual approach of weighting the crowd more to the rears. This has the effect of orienting the viewer more "middle of audience" rather than "near front of audience", as is more common, but again, this seems to work just fine in the mix. Certainly the balance of front-to-back weighting remains a touch forward as a result of this mixing, but still quite naturally so, and the viewer is neatly cocooned in the soundstage from the beginning to the end of the concert. The rear channels themselves are used mostly to replicate the venue acoustics. This means that by themselves the rear channels sound quite muddied and indistinct if you put your ear up to them, but as part of the overall mix they contribute well to provide that live concert feeling very effectively. The rears are also used on occasion to provide some localised directional sound effects, for example the vocal echoes and guitar repeats in Now I'm Here, the second and third repeat echoes in Brian's trademark guitar solo (the mixing here is a big improvement, getting the localised echoes right, compared to the Live At Wembley mix) and the improvisation section of Get Down, Make Love. A big tick for the use of the surrounds.

    Finally, we have subwoofer use to report on, and yes it does not let us down either. The sub is employed constantly and with much impact throughout the concert to provide much added punch to Roger's kick-drum and added growl to John's bass guitar notes. Great stuff.

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

Extras

    As with all previous Queen DVD Collection releases, considerable effort has again gone into giving us a comprehensive extras package, with some great archival material unearthed.

Menus

    All menus are animated, presented in the appropriate aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (i.e. commensurate with the feature) and nearly all come with audio underscore.  All menus are nicely themed and easy to navigate.

 

    An interesting feature of disc 1 is in respect to launching straight into the feature with the default audio track, unless you elect to change.  When you play the disc, the feature concert footage proper starts up, playing with the default audio track, being the LPCM 2.0, and with a temporary truncated menu screen superimposed over the bottom of the screen for about 2 minutes.  From this sub-menu you have the option to either change the audio to dts 5.1 and continue watching the feature, or to go to a main menu for more options.  However be warned that if you do nothing, then after only a couple of minutes this temporary menu will disappear and the DVD will assume you want to continue watching the concert with the default 2.0 audio. 

Booklet:

    The DVD comes with a  20-page booklet with some great photo stills from the concert, plus all details of the DVD set.

Extras Disc 1:

    Apart from a basic audio set-up screen and a song select (i.e. chapter select) screen, the only “extra” to be had on disc 1 is a “Jukebox” option.  This is an interesting inclusion; it allows you to programme up to five songs from the concert in any order (repeating selections if desired), and then play those chapters of the DVD in the programmed order.  A bit of a gimmick, maybe, but it does allow you to boil down to your own top 5 “highlight” performances from the concert and just play these songs, if you so desire.

 Extras Disc 2:

    The extras are broken down into 3 sections: "Interviews", "Tour Highlights" and "Gallery".  All extras are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and with LPCM 2 channel audio. The Interviews extras also come with the option of 7 subtitle languages, including English.

Interviews (total 23:00, but no “play all” option)

·         Backstage Interview (Milton Keynes) (4:25)
Interviews with Roger Taylor and Brian May backstage, just before the concert.  The band members talk about the venue, playing in front of a large British audience again after a hiatus, how they maintain their freshness and enthusiasm on tour and their current favourite tracks to perform live.

·         Freddie Interview (Munich) (8:09)
An interview of Freddie by Rudi Dolezal (one of the “DoRo” partners, Queen’s long-time documentarians and friends).  Fans will have seen some excerpts of this interview before, but not the entire interview footage, now seen here for the first time. The interview sees Freddie in a relaxed and candid mood, discussing among other aspects working with new producer “Mack” (Reinhold Mack, who would go on to be a long-time producer and close friend of the group), how the band members get on with each other, how he feels reflecting on the group’s 10th anniversary, and whether he can see the group staying together for another 10 years.

·         Brian and Roger Interview (Munich) (10:26)
Also interviewed by Rudi Dolezal, Brian and Roger discuss how the “Hot Space Tour” is going (at the time of this interview they are now half way through it) and what changes have been made along the way, the risks of branching off with a new style of material for this new album, and reflecting on the group’s longevity and how it is they have managed to stay together for 10 years.

    The quality of the interview footage is good for the first two interviews, but poorer for the third one, being only VHS-quality, as given away by several analogue tape tracking marks. Still, the rarity of this material and the relevance to the feature warrants its inclusion as a welcome extra.

Tour Highlights (total 34:39, but no “play all” option)

·          Tokyo Highlights (Seibu Lions Stadium, 3/11/82) (24:16)
An excerpt from the very final concert in the "Hot Space" Tour. Tracks are: Flash/The Hero, Now I’m Here (a great improvisation version), Put Out The Fire (this is an extremely rare live performance of this song - most Queen fans will have never heard it live before), Dragon Attack, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Teo Torriate (Let Us Cling Together).

·          Vienna Highlights (Standthalle, 12/5/82) (10:23)
This concert was a month earlier than the Milton Keynes gig and it doesn't sound like a particularly great performance this night. Only a few tracks are excerpted here from the concert’s encores: Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions and God Save The Queen (taped outro).

    The quality of the Japan footage is quite good, but the quality of the Vienna footage is poor, being VHS quality with drained colour and very flat audio.  This night’s performance in Vienna was only filmed unofficially, for the band’s archives only, and it was not a professional shoot, as made obvious by the lack of camera coverage and lack of camera direction.

Gallery (4:43)

    Actually a slide show of photos, not a stills gallery, set to a live performance of Calling All Girls (another rarely performed live track that most Queen fans will only be enjoying here for the first time). A nice thought on the part of the DVD’s producers to find another different track from the archives for use in this gallery, rather than just resorting to one of the tracks already mastered from the Milton Keynes gig.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc has been released in identical format around the world.  Opt for the Region 4 release for superior PAL resolution and price.

Summary

    One for both die hard Queen fans and all rock enthusiasts alike. This is Queen live at their peak, with a set list that incorporates truly standout performances of many of their much-loved classics, along with a variety of blistering hard rockers, some great ballads and some interesting lesser known material. The release of this very rare concert on DVD is to be applauded.

    The DVD specs and packaging effort is the usual par excellence from Queen/EMI, giving us the highest quality bit rate transfers for both video and audio. The video source material appears to have been digitally restored and the resultant transfer belies its age and source. Similarly the highest resolution audio formats in both surround and stereo mixes showcases the very best in Pro Tools restoration and concert re-mixing standards. The extras package is also comprehensive and provides added context to the feature.

    Easily the best Queen concert DVD effort to date, I now have a new entrant in my top 10 DVD listing.

    ...So what are you waiting for?... Just hurry up and go out and buy it already!...            

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Sean Abberton (read my bio)
Monday, November 22, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-2900, using Component output
DisplayNEC 125cm Widescreen Plasma. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-1068 Pre-amp/Processor. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationElektra Theatre 150 Watts x 6 channel Power Amplifier
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora III mains, Orpheus Centaurus 1.0 centre, Velodyne CT150 sub and B&W DM303 rears

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
God bless you Sean - Dr Hackenbush