Sting-The Brand New Day Tour (1999)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Sting-Brand New Day Live
|Year Of Production||1999|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Lawrence Jordan|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/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||Yes, titles over curtain calls|
Sting was born Gordon Matthew Sumner in Wallsend, England in 1951. He got his nickname whilst he was in the band Phoenix Jazzmen because the trombone player Gordon Solomon remarked that he looked like a bee. He plays guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, piano, harmonica, saxophone, and pan flute but prefers bass guitar. Most people will remember Sting as the lead singer in Police and as a solo artist, but prior to joining Police he had worked various jobs including ditch digger and school teacher. Musically, prior to joining Police, Sting was in various jazz bands.
I've listened to Sting ever since the Police days but more so when he went solo. The Dream of the Blue Turtles is a brilliant first solo album, and Bring On The Night a superb live double album. Both these albums featured first class jazz musicians such as Branford Marsalis, Kenny Kirkland and Darryl Jones - musicians who have played with the likes of Miles Davis and Dizzie Gillespie. Unfortunately, none of these musicians are with Sting in this concert, and their absence was sorely felt by me.
In their place is a relatively young group of musicians. Chris Botti is not bad on the trumpet, but hasn't really had the experience to be able to define his own style instead of trying to emulate the great Miles. Similarly, Jason Robello looks and plays so young it's painful to even compare him to the late Kenny that he replaced. The surprise of the night was Manu Katche who played a mean set of drums as well as doing a French rap number in Perfect Love ... Gone Wrong.
My favourite songs are the slower and more introspective numbers, such as Ghost Story and Moon Over Bourbon Street, but Sting generally acquits himself creditably in this concert. The encore pieces are Message In A Bottle and Fragile which are a lot more "unplugged" and "acoustic" than the concert set. Overall I enjoyed the concert, but I couldn't help thinking: bring back Bring On The Night!
Incidentally, the official Sting web site (sting.compaq.com) seems extremely boring. I found the Stingchronicity and Sting Etc. sites to be more interesting.
|1. A Thousand Years|
2. If You Love Somebody(Set Them Free)
3. After The Rain Has Fallen
4. We'll Be Together
5. Perfect Love . . . Gone Wrong
6. Seven Days
7. Fill Her Up
8. Every Little Thing She Does Is Mgic
9. Ghost Story
|10. Moon Over Bourbon Street|
11. Englishman In New York
12. Brand New Day
13. Tomorrow We'll See
14. Desert Rose
15. Every Breath You Take
16. Lithium Sunset
17. Message In A Bottle
In general, the transfer seems reasonably clean, with good sharpness, detail and colour saturation. Shadow detail is probably about typical for a video source.
However, there seems to be persistent signs of shimmering thoughout the concert, especially of smaller, blurrier figures. The effect looks very similar to the "combing" effect you see when a video de-interlacing circuit combines the wrong half-frames. I initially thought that the video de-interlacing circuit in my projector must be going bonkers, then I noticed the shimmering only occurs for smaller figures, never when the camera is doing close-ups. My suspicion therefore is that the shimmering is present in the video transfer itself, and may be the result of scan conversions done prior to mastering (such as NTSC to PAL conversion). Incidentally, Bill Hunt from The Digital Bits did not mention shimmering in his review, so my guess is the shimmering is a result of NTSC to PAL conversion.
Other than the shimmering which I found quite annoying, the transfer is relatively clean in terms of other artefacts. I could detect occasional aliasing and slight ringing, but nothing that would cause annoyance.
The Dolby track is quite engaging with a very expansive and immersive soundstage. All 6 channels (including the sub-woofer) are effectively utilized but more of the music is carried by the front left and right speakers, with the centre and rear channels mainly used to expand the soundstage. This is an excellent arrangement, as it allows most of the music to be produced by the front speakers which are usually the best specified in home theatre setups but at the same time taking advantage of all the other speakers.
The subwoofer is reasonably actively used during the entire concert to reproduce the low level musical information. If anything, I probably find the concert too "bassy" for my tastes but bass-lovers would probably rejoice.
The mastering level is about 3 dB higher than average. The mix suddenly becomes even louder during Desert Rose and I had to turn down the volume control by about 1-2 dB because I didn't want to annoy the neighbours.
In comparison, the Dolby Digital 2.0 track also sounds good albeit with a collapsed soundstage. It seems to be mastered at a lower level.
I did not detect any audio glitches or synchronization issues.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video transfer suffers from pixelization as a result of high MPEG compression. The footage seems to have been taken using a portable camcorder rather than professional equipment. As the lighting conditions are sub-optimal, the scenes tend to look very yellowish with muted colours.
The audio transfer sounds very monophonic and low-fidelity and in addition I can detect minor audio synchronization errors in certain shots.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-626D, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front left/right: B&W DM603; centre: B&W CC6S2, rear left/right: B&W DM601|