Muse-Haarp (Live at Wembley) (2007)

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Released 21-Mar-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Gallery-Stills
Gallery-Slideshow with Audio
CD-Live, 14 Tracks
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2007
Running Time 99:25
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (55:33) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Matt Askem
Tom Kirk
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Matthew Bellamy
Dominic Howard
Chris Wolstenholme
Morgan Nicholls
Dan Newell
Case Jewel
RPI ? Music Matthew Bellamy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/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 No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Recorded Live at Wembley Stadium, London on the 16 and 17th of June 2007, this package showcases the spectacular stage show and live energy of UK rock band Muse, captured in front of an enormous, ecstatic and responsive crowd. The concert begins in the late afternoon and gets progressively darker through the evening, which makes this a little different to your average pitch-dark live gig. Muse have released a few live concert DVDs, and as far as they're concerned, this is by far their best yet.

    I should make some effort here to describe Muse to those who might not have heard them yet, although this is one band that is considerably hard to pigeon-hole. They're 'pop' for want of a better term, but not overly accessible or commercial to my mind. They're also a rock band, hard-rock at times, but the vocalist has classical vibrato leanings in his broad-ranging voice. Their studio work is a heavily layered, complex production, and very listenable. A friend once described them to me as getting ELO and Queen in a studio for a jam, and that's not a bad assertion of their sound. As great as their studio output is, their live shows have to be seen to be believed; they've toured Australia several times and I've never left disappointed.

    The core of Muse is a three-piece, comprised of these musicians;

    The band has two additional guest musicians on hand to fill out their live sound. Morgan Nicholls and Dan Newell can be seen at various points in the concert playing all manner of instruments, too many to mention. On past tours that I have seen these guys, performing solely as a three-piece and having their vocalist play guitar and piano parts meant sacrificing an instrument or even the song's arrangement in some cases. With the addition of these musicians, all of the songs sound complete and there are no concessions made for a lack of manpower on stage.

    The set list is very strong, packed with all of their more recognisable tunes from their ever-growing catalogue. Highlights of this show for me are Butterflies & Hurricanes and Time Is Running Out, while Soldier's Poem makes a nice acoustic respite in the show. But as a whole, this is such a very strong set from the band that even the most casual fan will recognise the majority of these songs.

    The Wembley concert has been superbly captured, with lots of tight shots of the band on stage and their interactions, as well as plenty of wide photography encompassing the crowd and the spectacular event as a whole. Lots of cameras have been utilised in the production, cranes and dollies, but most on-stage cameras are handheld. The editing is rapid, and the directors have used slow shifts in focus between objects for a great sense of depth. I noted a couple of instances in which distant shots of the stage obviously don't match the song being played, but these were few. All in all, this is a fantastic show, presented on a great DVD. A must for fans of the band.

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Track Listing

1. Intro
2. Knights of Cydonia
3. Hysteria
4. Supermassive Black Hole
5. Map of the Problematique
6. Butterflies & Hurricanes
7. Hoodoo
8. Apocalypse Please
9. Feeling Good
10. Invincible
11. Starlight
12. Improv.
13. Time Is Running Out
14. New Born
15. Soldier's Poem
16. Unintended
17. Blackout
18. Plug In Baby
19. Stockholm Syndrome
20. Take A Bow
21. Credits

Transfer Quality

Video

    The concert has been captured digitally and is presented in an aspect of 1.78:1, complete with 16x9 enhancement. The image is tight to the frame on all sides and looks fantastic on a big screen.

    The transfer is bright, beautiful and sharp, and is about the best we could possibly expect from a standard definition DVD. Detail is great on close-ups, but drops a little on distant shots of the stage. The transfer is generally free of any dire distractions, although I did note a lengthy moire effect on the grille of a satellite dish at 31:35, occupying a fair portion of the screen.

    Colours are bold and bright, with no bleeding or oversaturation in the slightest. The bright stage lighting is very well handled in this transfer.

    MPEG compression artefacts are generally well controlled. The usual culprits such as falling confetti, stage fog and strobe lighting all give the compression quality a run for its money, but despite this there doesn't seem to be any dire compression blocking. Some MPEG grain is recognisable in extreme circumstances, but for a standard definition product this is all very good. The worst moment of compression noise I noticed was a shot of Bellamy with the heavily detailed video screen behind him at 90:08.

    No subtitle streams are provided.

    This disc is DVD9 formatted, with a layer transition placed during the concert at 55:33 between the songs Time Is Running Out and Newborn. The layer break wasn't noticeable on my system.

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

Audio

    There are two soundtracks accompanying this concert on DVD. The default soundtrack is PCM stereo, while a very nice dts 5.1 (768Kb/s) alternative is included. Interesting to note that there's no Dolby option here at all.

    This is a first class audio mix (credited to Rich Costey), and you wouldn't expect anything less from a band like Muse. Bellamy's vocals are consistent and easily discernable among the rest of the band. There are the usual enunciation issues you would associate with a live performance, but anyone familiar with the band will sing along regardless. I didn't note any audio sync issues in the slightest, nor has there been any obvious pitch manipulation of the soundtrack.

    The dts mix is superb, highly engaging and my preferred. The surround channels deliver audience noise and applause, as well as mild atmospherics such as keyboard effects and slight spill from the front of house. The surround mix doesn't necessarily replicate the stadium experience, but it is a great experience nonetheless. I noted quite few instruments panned solely to the rears at times, guitars and keyboards, and often vocal harmonies.

    The bass is very dominant in the dts soundtrack, which is something I love to feel. The bass guitar shares the front center channel with the vocals and other effects, while the main vocals also occupy the left and right channels alongside the guitars, piano and drums. The subwoofer handles the low-range with ease, delivering rich, warm, punchy kick drum and bass guitar throughout the concert.

    In comparing the audio tracks, I found the PCM slightly louder in volume on my system, although it is beautifully crisp. The brightness is noticeable particularly in the snare drum and cymbals, but overall it lacks the bass response of the dts option. It has none of the subtle atmospherics of the surround option either, the crowd activity in the soundtrack is considerably reduced to the point where the concert experience is diminished in my opinion. I'd recommend viewers go with the dts, just for the quality of immersion it provides here. Stereo purists will love the PCM audio, I have no doubt.

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

Extras

Menu Animation & Audio

Gallery

    The gallery can be viewed two ways; as individual stills (30) or as a short slideshow (3:00) with background audio of the track Absolution (presumably from another performance). These are simply stills from the concert, nothing you haven't seen before.

Audio CD (72:01)

    The companion CD Audio disc includes thirteen of the DVD's 20 tracks, plus an additional song, Micro Cuts. Full track list:

  1. Intro
  2. Knights of Cydonia
  3. Hysteria
  4. Supermassive Black Hole
  5. Map of the Problematique
  6. Butterflies & Hurricanes
  7. Invincible
  8. Starlight
  9. Time Is Running Out
  10. New Born
  11. Unintended
  12. Micro Cuts
  13. Stockholm Syndrome
  14. Take A Bow

R4 vs R1

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

    The release is identical in content across the globe.

Summary

    Haarp is the best Muse live DVD yet. This'll be receiving high rotation in my household for sure.

    The video transfer is about as good as we can expect from a standard definition DVD.

    The audio transfer includes two great audio options. There's no Dolby, but it's not missed in the slightest.

    Some stills and a bonus Audio CD are included.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Friday, September 26, 2008
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI 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 DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.

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