Red Hot Chili Peppers-Off the Map (2001)
Menu Animation & Audio
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (51:22)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Dick Rude|
|RPI||$39.95||Music||Red Hot Chilli Peppers|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are another amazing example of the American media's ability to make a performer who has worked their butt off for years seem like a recent discovery. Indeed, when Blood Sugar Sex Magik was released in 1991, it had come after four albums, one EP and a lot of suffering before it made them a household name. Unfortunately, a lot of bands soon find themselves stagnating or going through the motions after such a runaway success, despite how long and hard they have worked for it, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been no exception. After listening to ballad after ballad from a band who once did a Jimi Hendrix cover that sounded like it was recorded on speed, I quickly lost interest and switched to other bands that exemplified what this foursome once did: real alternative, not the freeze-dried facsimile that has been in force since the early 1990s.
Nonetheless, a concert DVD of the Peppers performing a mix of their new material as well as their classics is far too tempting to pass up, and in spite of the boredom that the previous DVD release left me in, I thought I would give Off The Map a try. The difference that made this latter DVD more palatable, of course, is the fact that there is actually music on it, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are definitely one of those bands that are better when they let their music do the talking for them. From what I can discern, Off The Map was filmed during the Californication tour, and it includes a wide selection of the Peppers' back catalogue, which now stretches just over twenty years.
For those who want a track listing, it is as follows:
2. Around The World
3. Give It Away
4. Usually Just A T Shirt #3
5. Scar Tissue
6. Suck My Kiss
7. If You Have To Ask
8. Subterranean Homesick Blues
10. Blackeyed Blonde
12. Blood Sugar Sex Magik
14. What Is Soul?
15. (The Jam)
18. Right On Time
19. Under The Bridge
20. Me And My Friends
The pedigree of this transfer appears to be a little unusual, as I am convinced that it was shot on film, but some kind of conversion has been applied to it in order to create this PAL disc.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and it is not 16x9 Enhanced.
The sharpness of this transfer is generally quite good, although it is not up to the highest standards that can be expected from DVD-Video. Sometimes, the backgrounds of shots get a little blocky, such as shots of Chad Smith behind his drum kit at 8:53. While this blockiness is very subtle and easy to miss, it is a little disappointing. The shadow detail is generally next to non-existent, with any part of the stage that is not brightly lit having next to no discernable detail, which is rather annoying when the stage hands start playing with the lighting. There was no low-level noise discernable in the black patches of the transfer, however.
The colours in this transfer are acceptably rendered, with no bleeding or cross-colouration being apparent, but there seemed to be a certain washed-out feel in the colours that is characteristic of such brightly lit concerts. Red Hot Chili Peppers concerts are generally colourful enough that it often looks like someone puked all over the stage, so one can expect a feast of dull-rendered colours throughout this transfer.
MPEG artefacts were not immediately apparent in this transfer, apart from the aforementioned occasional blockiness in the background that passed as quickly as I noticed it. One interesting artefact I noticed on this disc, however, was that every fourth or fifth frame was a mixture of the picture from the current and previous frame, a similar interlacing effect that is characteristic of NTSC to PAL conversions, but not noticeable with the same frequency. Aside from this artefact, there did not appear to be any discernable film-to-video artefacts on offer. Film artefacts were not readily apparent, either, which I would attribute to the relative youth of the source material.
The English subtitles on this disc are generally present to make the lyrics more discernable rather than any sort of aid to the hearing impaired. In spite of this, the subtitles are very accurate, although there are such occasional clangers as "there's a river born to be a river" during Give It Away (the latter "river" is supposed to be "giver").
This disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change taking place during the end of Chapter 15 (The Jam), at 51:22. This layer change sticks out like a sore thumb, but at least it isn't in the middle of a song.
There are three soundtracks present on this DVD, all of which are in English: the first, and default soundtrack, is a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at a bitrate of 256 kilobits per second, the second is a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at 448 kilobits per second, and finally a DTS 5.1 soundtrack at 768 kilobits per second. I mainly listened to the DTS soundtrack, which is also available with the bonus songs, while sampling parts of the Dolby Digital soundtracks for comparison. Interestingly, they appear to have been mastered at a similar volume.
The vocals are generally clear and easy to understand, although some clarity is lost when Anthony Kiedis sings at a rapid pace. Despite this, there are very few moments when it is hard to understand what he is singing about. There were no discernable problems with audio sync.
The music on this disc could probably be best described as a sort of semi-alternative style, with numerous ballads and pop melodies thrown in, although the songs are rendered very plainly during this concert. The live versions of some songs, such as Give It Away, lack the certain something that makes them sound as creative as they did on the album, in the case of that song a rather nice harp melody. Nonetheless, these four fellows can play their instruments, and they don't mind showing that off to the fullest possible extent, with Flea and John Frusciante even continuing to play while jumping around the stage.
The surround channels are not used very heavily by any of the three soundtracks, and there are moments when little difference is discernable between the Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 soundtracks. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack uses the rear channels to support the ambient reverberations of the instruments and vocals from the walls of the venue, as well as the sound of the audience, and these effects sound quite clear if a little muffled. The DTS soundtrack offers more fidelity, and it is in these subtle effects from the rear channels where the difference is really noticed, with the audience cheers in particular having more vibrancy to them. In this case, the DTS soundtrack wins by a little more than a nose.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 soundtracks both use the subwoofer to support the sounds of Flea's bass and Chad Smith's drumming, doing so without calling any attention to itself. Again, the DTS soundtrack offers tighter bass reproduction and a smoother sound to the bass drums, making it the soundtrack of choice on this disc.
|Surround Channel Use|
One thing that must be clarified before continuing is that the five bonus songs on this disc are also encoded with DTS sound, but one must make sure that the DTS soundtrack is turned on from the main menu in order to hear that soundtrack. This is a minor annoyance if you happen to play one of the Dolby Digital 2.0 only extras first, but that's life with a digital format. All of the extras on this disc are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound unless otherwise stated.
The menu features the sort of animation that makes one wonder if someone didn't drop something in their drink, and a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. It is not 16x9 Enhanced.
This ten minute and thirty-two second featurette basically consists of footage of the band members goofing off on the plane, goofing off on the tour bus, and goofing off behind the stage. It may have some hidden interest to someone who is a bigger fan of the band.
This nine minute and fifty-seven second featurette consists of the four band members answering questions that are never presented, making it seem like a bunch of random statements. Some of the responses are quite funny, others not so.
This two minute and thirty-four second featurette automatically plays after the end of the concert, or it can be accessed separately from the extras menu. It lists every person who was involved in some way with the presentation and organisation of this tour.
Selecting the Bonus Tracks option from the Extras menu takes the user to another submenu from which five songs that didn't make the final cut of the concert are listed. In order, these are Skinny Sweaty Man (1:10), I Could Have Lied (4:23), Parallel Universe (4:46), Sir Psycho Sexy (6:26), and Search And Destroy (12:13). Each of these songs also has the option of playback with Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 sound.
A listing of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Warner Brothers Records web sites. Whoopee.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The only other discernable difference from what I have been able to read online is that the Region 1 version of this disc is NTSC formatted. Given that the Region 1 disc is also packaged in a Snapper, I would happily accept the local version.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are, or were, depending on your point of view, one of the more interesting bands to come out of the alternative commercial rush of the early 1990s, despite the fact that they had been hacking away since about 1981. Off The Map contains a good mix of material that is both classic and average, but it is all played with an aplomb that defies the impression created by the last couple of albums that they are simply going through the motions. With such a clear and lifelike DTS soundtrack, this DVD is basically another nail in the coffin of music videos on the Very Hazy System.
The video transfer is of very good quality.
The audio transfer is of excellent quality.
The extras are sufficient to almost fill another concert DVD.
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-835|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|