Whitesnake-Live in the Still of the Night (2004)

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Released 17-Mar-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Audio
Featurette-Documentary
Gallery-Photo-Montage
CD-10 Tracks
Booklet
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 103:10
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (55:40) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Hamish Hamilton
Studio
Distributor
Liberation Music Starring David Coverdale
Reb Beach
Tommy Aldridge
Marco Mendoza
Doug Aldrich
Timothy Drury
Case Gatefold
RPI ? Music David Coverdale
Whitesnake


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 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

††† Whether you admire them for their exemplary hair styles or their amazing musicianship, David Coverdale's Whitesnake have over the last thirty years proven themselves as a truly first class hard rock band. Coverdale began his musical career as vocalist in U.K. club band Fabuloso Bros. while enduring a day job as a menswear salesman. That all changed when he answered an advertisement in Melody Maker magazine, leading to his appointment as singer in Deep Purple to replace a temporarily retired Ian Gillan. Coverdale contributed to three studio albums while part of Deep Purple, two of which are widely regarded as classics, specifically Burn and Stormbringer. His final album with Deep Purple was titled Come Taste The Band which included Tommy Bolin on Guitar. When this era of Deep Purple dissolved, Coverdale went on to form Whitesnake with Jon Lord and Ian Paice. Since its inception many musicians have come and gone, but Whitesnake stands to this day as a fantastic, entertaining rock act - as evidenced by this DVD.

††† The musicians performing in this concert include:

††† Guitarist Doug Aldrich can also be seen in Dio's Evil Or Divine DVD, reviewed by me here. Reb Beach has performed as lead guitarist with Dokken in the past, however in Whitesnake the majority of the solos are handled by Aldrich. The musicianship in this band is outstanding across the board and is certain to impress anyone who appreciates this kind of music.

††† As you can see in the song list below, the band open with Burn, a classic from Coverdale's Deep Purple days. They make a slight diversion in the middle of the song, but it's a welcome surprise. Overall, the selection of songs here reminded me of the great catalogue of catchy rock anthems this band actually has, as I found myself saying time and again: "Oh yeah!, I remember that one!". I would have liked to see a couple of the songs he made with Jimmy Page back in the early 90s, but I guess we can't have everything.

††† The live concert presented on this DVD was recorded on October 20th, 2004 at the Hammersmith Apollo in London and Directed by Hamish Hamilton. The release of this title was originally intended for July 2005, to coincide with their North American tour. At that stage, the disc was to be titled The Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues Show, for release through Universal. A heart attack experienced by one of the Producers delayed the project, which was followed by an unexplained change of distributor and title. The disc finally received a Region 2 PAL release in January 2006.

††† Although the concert is fantastic, I wish the same could be said for this DVD presentation. It seems that despite PAL video glitches being acknowledged by the bandís management in a press release in January, we have been bestowed with the same faulty PAL disc that was released in Europe months ago. I find it hard to believe that in the months between the Region 2 and Region 4 release dates, nothing could be done to rectify these PAL glitches.

††† You wonít be surprised to learn that NTSC versions of this title are completely free of any unsightly video problems.

††† In a statement from the bandís management it was claimed that only the bonus documentary was affected by video glitches, resulting from the conversion from NTSC to PAL. On the contrary, it is apparent that both the documentary and the feature concert exhibit video conversion artefacts, as I hope to explain below.

††† DVD issues aside, this is an exciting performance from one of the most enduring rock bands in the business. If you're a fan of hard rock or heavy blues, this DVD is certainly worth checking out.

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Track Listing

1. Burn
2. Bad Boys
3. Love Ain't No Stranger
4. Ready An' Willing
5. Is This Love
6. Give Me All Your Love
7. Judgement Day
8. Blues For Mylene
9. Snake Dance
10. Cryin' In The Rain
11. Ain't No Love In The Heart Of City
12. Don't Break My Heart
13. Fool For Your Lovin'
14. Here I Go Again
15. Take Me With You
16. Still Of The Night

Transfer Quality

Video

††† This video transfer is presented in 1.78:1, complete with 16x9 enhancement. Apart from some issues arising from the conversion process, this is a crisp and clear concert performance.

††† This concert was filmed in High Definition 1080p resolution, at 24 frames per second. How then, did the discís authors achieve a PAL resolution transfer at 25 frames per second, yet retain the correct audio pitch? A technique has been employed that duplicates every 24th frame, thereby creating a 25 frames per second transfer. As you would expect, the common downside of this method involves the video transfer taking on an irritating, jerky appearance because one frame is doubled each second. Ordinarily this would be a major eyesore for any viewer, however I found that the highly frenetic editing of the concert reduced the appearance of jitter considerably. If you step through the video frame by frame, the duplicated image is obvious, however there are two slow camera pans present; one at the beginning of the concert (0:25) and one at the end (84:40) and these examples each display the judder very clearly.

††† The overall image is sharp and clear, with plenty of detail visible from the darker corners of the stage right up to the well-lit front. The stage lighting is not overly gaudy and colourful, nor are there any colour rendering issues to speak of in the transfer.

††† Some MPEG compression issues are present, given away by the usual culprits such as stage smoke and strobe lighting, particularly visible during the finale of the song In The Still Of The Night. I noted a few moments of brief macro blocking, however the main compression problem is a moderate degree of MPEG grain. The issue is likely to be less of a problem on smaller displays, but it remains that this transfer would have benefited from a broader video bitrate. I feel this concert would be fantastic to see in a Hi-Def format such as Blu-Ray.

††† There are no subtitle streams included.

††† This disc is dual layered (DVD9 format), with the layer transition placed during the feature at 55:40 after Tommy Aldridge's drum solo. I found this pause a little disruptive, not because it interrupts audience applause, but because my player is buffered and I have not physically seen any disc generate such a lengthy pause before.

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

Audio

††† There is literally a smorgasbord of soundtracks available, enough options to keep just about any listener happy. Personally, I think it would have been preferable to omit the Stereo and Surround Encoded options, allowing for a bit less video compression.

††† Coverdale's vocals are always distinct and well presented in the audio mix. Part of the strength in his vocal presence is due to his vocal occupying the entire front soundstage. I didn't notice any audio sync issues at all.

††† As I established in the video section above, the video stream has been processed using a method that avoids PAL speedup and hence any related pitch issues. In comparison with the bonus CD, the audio pitch is perfect.

††† The surround channels emulate the gentle acoustics of the venue and certainly don't draw a great amount of attention. While it's not nearly as aggressive as many other live DVDs, I was content with the surround mix offered here.

††† Of the four audio options I found the dts the lowest in terms of output level, specifically 4dB less than the Dolby Digital equivalent. When the differences in level are compensated for, the dts clearly has superior depth in the guitars, and is particularly brighter in the higher registers such as cymbals and the like. The default stereo soundtrack is comparable to the bonus CD, but my preferred soundtrack is the dts without question.

††† Because this is the first SRS soundtrack I have encountered, I contacted SRS Labs for some information. I discovered that Circle Surround is a flagged stereo stream akin to Pro Logic, intended for people directing only their analogue output to a capable decoder. I wasn't able to process the stream correctly, however I did attempt to decode it using my receiver's Pro Logic II feature. The result was hollow and uninspiring.

††† The subwoofer is utilised in both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts soundtracks to augment the drums and bass guitar. The dts in particular displays the greatest depth.

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

Extras

††† All of the content is presented in 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

Menu

††† The menu pages are static and 16x9 enhanced. A few audio clips from the feature are looped in the background.

Featurette (14:17)

††† This documentary has some interesting content but is very irritating on the eyes. The video is terribly jerky and stuttered, which has been blamed on the conversion from NTSC to PAL. There is some discussion on how Aldrich and Beach were recruited into the band, as well as contributions from assorted crew, including sound and lighting engineers, roadies, and Director Hamish Hamilton. Look out for a brief appearance by Jimmy Page.

Photo Gallery (4:46)

††† This is a simple collection of scrolling stills taken from the feature, presented with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio of the song Here I Go Again.

Bonus Audio CD (10 Tracks)

††† This is a nice inclusion for those who want to listen to the concert in their car or on their portable music device. The song list is altered and abridged, but the sound quality is great.

  1. Burn
  2. Give Me All Your Love Tonight
  3. Is This Love
  4. Love Ain't No Stranger
  5. Judgement Day
  6. Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City
  7. Fool For Your Lovin'
  8. Here I Go Again
  9. Take Me With You
  10. Still Of The Night

Booklet (8 Pages)

††† A glossy colour booklet is housed in the gatefold package and is presented very nicely, however there is no title on the spine of the package. There are eight colour pages, all with stills taken from the feature and some text covering credits, testimonials, thankyous and the like.

R4 vs R1

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

††† This title is identical in features across the globe. As I have established above, the Region 1 NTSC release is apparently free of video glitches and would be the preferred option at this time.

Summary

††† Whitesnake - Live... In The Still Of The Night is a superb live concert, showcasing the band in their 2004 incarnation (at the time of writing, bass player Marco Mendoza has been replaced). The musicianship is outstanding and the broad array of songs is excellent.

††† The video transfer is sharp and clear, but video conversion artefacts are present along with some minor compression problems.

††† The audio transfer includes a great dts option.

††† The extras are marred by a serious video glitch throughout the documentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Friday, April 07, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews NONE
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