Bryan Adams-Live at Slane Castle (2000)

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

Released 21-Dec-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Booklet
Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Day Of Show Rehearsal
Featurette-Going On Stage Video
Featurette-Interview With BA And Band
DVD-ROM Extras
Music Video-Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman
Music Video-Into The Fire
Music Video-Before The Night
Featurette-360 Static View (5)
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 89:10
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (27:29) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Hamish Hamilton
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Bryan Adams
Keith Scott
Mickey Curry
Case Flexbox
RPI $34.95 Music Bryan Adams


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/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

Bryan Adams was the first performer that I really became interested in. I was quite young and impressionable, and my favourite movie at the time was a certain Kevin Costner effort about the legend of Robin Hood. The song associated with that movie, and more importantly the album from which it was taken, was the first real "grown up" music that I got interested in. As these things go, I kept getting older, and discovered that Bryan Adams was not the "cool" thing to be listening to. So, I dropped my enthusiastic support for Bryan Adams and switched to the Billy Joel camp (only to discover that, yes, he was even less cool than Bryan Adams), but not before I was left with a lasting interest in Bryan Adams' music.

With that in mind, this review is somewhat of a return to my earliest music roots, a nostalgic journey as it were. Imagine then my shock when I realised that Bryan Adams now plays with a three piece - Bryan himself is on the bass, with long-time guitarist Keith Scott doing all the melodic guitar work. The effect this has on his music is extremely noticeable, leading to a sound that is far more raw and open than ever before, but equally is lacking severely in the hooks that used to be so prevalent, and not well-suited to big shows in front of big crowds. And, as crowds go, they do not come much larger than the one present for this concert.

Playing in front of over 60,000 screaming Irish fans at Slane Castle, Adams admits during the interviews that even he did not think that a three piece could carry off a gig of that size. As such, a number of guest artists are used throughout the evening, from Spice Girls alumni Mel C (during her "large" phase) helping out on their duet When You're Gone, to Nick Bracegirdle of Chicane on Don't Give Up. The most interesting aspect of the entire concert, however, is that the average age of the crowd seems to indicate that, once again, Bryan Adams is "cool".

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

Track Listing

1. Back To You
2. 18 Till I Die
3. Can't Stop This Thing We Started
4. Summer Of '69
5. It's Only Love
6. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You
7. Cuts Like A Knife
8. When You're Gone
9. She's Only Happy When She's Dancing
10. I'm Ready
11. Heaven
12. Blues Jam
13. a) If Ya Wanna Be Bad
14. b) Let's Make A Night To Remember
15. Only Thing That Looks Good On You
16. Don't Give Up
17. Cloud Number 9
18. Run To You
19. Best Of Me
20. Please Forgive Me

Transfer Quality

Video

The video transfer presented here is of quite a disappointing standard. Shot in generally very low lighting levels, and using what appears to be 16mm film, the visual problems at times become enough to detract from the concert.

As with all the other Universal Music discs I have looked at recently, this concert is 16x9 enhanced and presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1.

The sharpness of this transfer is, quite frankly, not very good. Most images are quite soft, and the constant presence of high levels of grain certainly does nothing to help the problem. These start from 0:15 to 0:17, and recur so often throughout that to list them all here would lead to a very long review indeed. A particularly bad example, in a disc filled to the brim with grain, comes at 23:13 to 23:18. When the grain clears up enough to enable something of a decent image to sneak through, the shadow detail is not too bad, but as the grain is usually exacerbated on darker scenes, this is a rare occurrence. It was impossible to tell if there was any low-level noise present on this disc, as the background was always alive with grain.

Colours were quite decently represented throughout the transfer, although the choice to dress the entire band in white leads to a few instances of severe blooming during the bonus tracks. Aside from those instances, there are no real issues with the colour.

There are, interestingly enough, very few compression artefacts present in this transfer, being limited mostly to a few instances of pixelization that occur in the background on the grain (and given the amount of grain present, this is quite impressive). Most likely due to the extremely soft nature of the image, there are no instances of aliasing during the transfer. Likewise, there are no instance of wobble. This transfer is entirely free from film artefacts.

There are no subtitles present on this disc, so singing along is restricted to the dedicated fan.

This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change occurring at 24:29, between Chapters 7 and 8. As with any music DVD there is no good place to hide a layer change, but this is about as innocuously positioned as is possible in the circumstances.

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

Audio

The audio transfer presented here fares substantially better than the video transfer, although that really is not saying much. The audio is certainly not great, maybe not even good - more like serviceable. Not noticeably good, not noticeably bad, simply good enough to get the job done without causing any real reason for enthusiasm.

There are two audio tracks present on this disc, being a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix at a bitrate of 448 Kbps, and a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix at an extremely high (for a two channel track) bitrate of 448 Kbps.

The audio mix is decent without being spectacular. There is really no action from the surrounds save from crowd noise, and the imaging of the instruments is quite limited due to there only being three band members. There is almost no difference between the front channels for the stereo and surround tracks, and I certainly could not hear any benefit from the super high bitrate 2.0 track. One annoying aspect of the imaging is that the person responsible for the mixing (attributed to the almost legendary Bob Claremountain) decided to get creative and place the vocals in the soundstage to correspond with the position of Bryan Adams' microphone on the actual stage (there were a number of microphones set up across the front of the stage). This leads to the vocals only emanating from a single channel on a number of occasions, such as between 11:30 and 12:30, and can become quite annoying and distracting. In regard to the mixing levels, these are generally good, with vocals only occasionally becoming overpowered by the music.

There are no issues with audio sync during this transfer, although Bryan Adams' singing style consisting of constant head bobbing can be a little disconcerting to watch in close-up for long periods.

The surround channels really only come to life during crowd applause and involvement sequences, but this quite obviously helps to place the viewer in the middle of the concert and that is never a bad thing. Just do not look to this transfer to take you to new levels of multi-channel audio.

The subwoofer is scarcely used during this presentation, barely raising above a murmur.

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

Extras

The extras presented here are not particularly extensive, and while some are decent enough, there is little to really cause any excitement.

Menu

The menu is 4:3 and not 16x9 enhanced, animated and features a crowd cheer soundtrack. It also features an extremely annoying 30 second animated intro that is quite dull the first time it plays, and only gets worse from there each time the disc is inserted.

Backstage Videos (6:56)

This comprises two short clips of rehearsals and preparation to go on stage. They are presented at 1.78:1, are 16x9 enhanced, and feature Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. They are of only limited interest, and certainly add nothing to the experience of the concert.

Interview with Bryan Adams and the band (9:29)

This is split into 9 individual chapters, and the interview will play all the way through starting from the selected chapter. The content of the interviews is quite interesting, at least from the point of view of someone who is not a die-hard fan - it was certainly new information to me. They are presented at 1.78:1, are 16x9 enhanced and feature Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. An interesting feature here is that when the band are discussing a particular track from the main concert, an icon appears on the screen that, when selected, plays the track from the concert and then branches back to the interview.

Bonus Tracks

This presents three tracks excised from the main concert. The tracks are as follows: The tracks are all presented in exactly the same format as the main feature, including the 5.1 Dolby mix.

360o Static Views

This feature is available separately from a menu, or through the multi-angle feature for the tracks within the main concert, and features the songs presented from a 360o camera. The result is a very small letterbox image that is not really that interesting. This would have been better served as a photograph or two.

Photo Gallery

This is a collection of 18 still photographs spanning Bryan Adams's career. Not really all that interesting, and nothing that is not available from his own web site.

DVD-ROM Content

This features web links and what are supposedly scrollable 360o videos presented in Quicktime with a plug in. I did not sample the video, as I could not get the plug-in to work, however the audio present is of a very sub-standard quality (which is really to be expected from a Quicktime video).

Booklet

This is a 16-page effort that contains additional photographs, the track listing, and DVD credits. In short, nothing interesting.

R4 vs R1

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

From the limited information available on the R1 release of Live at Slane Castle it appears to be identical to the local release. Given the combination of the local disc's European manufacture, and all information available on the European disc, I believe the rest of the world is presented with a single disc.

Summary

Live At Slane Castle is a good concert that shows Bryan Adams and his band in a new light. Whether the new line-up is better is a matter for debate, but once you get into the concert it reduces to a small issue.

The video quality is quite disappointing, being extremely grainy and not particularly sharp.

The audio quality is better than the video, although the tendency to mix the vocals to match the location of Bryan Adams on the stage quickly becomes annoying.

The extras are good without being spectacular. They present some interesting new information, but also quite often seem to be more padding than substance.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Saturday, March 23, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Perhaps a better informed reviewer is needed - Anonymous
Re: Perhaps a better informed reviewer is needed - Steven Cameron (read my bio)