Train-Midnight Moon (2001)

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Released 8-Apr-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Audio
Biographies-Cast
Interviews-Cast
Discography
Music Video-Drops Of Jupiter - Live Video Version
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 84:33 (Case: 130)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Marc Smerling
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Patrick Monahan
Rob Hotchkiss
Jimmy Stafford
Scott Underwood
Charlie Colin
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $29.95 Music Train


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.49:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, during the interviews.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    Train are one of a number of white middle American pop/folk rock bands that have appeared over the last few years. In only the last two years, we have had bands such as Nine Days, Vertical Horizon, Lifehouse, and of course Train making break-out successes. All these are just following in the footsteps of bands from the early to mid nineties such as the Gin Blossoms and the Counting Crows. While arguably none of the former are up to the standards of the latter, they are still honest producers of traditional guitar-rock.

    Train's first big success was with the single Meet Virginia. It had minor chart success here in Australia, and featured Rebecca Gayheart in the role of Virginia for the music video. It was a traditional style guitar-rock song. Following that, however, Train largely disappeared from both the Australian consciousness and the airwaves. Given the guitar-rock heritage of Train, it is somewhat ironic that the single that launched them into the stratosphere - hitting number one not only here in Australia, but around the world, including the US - was the extremely Elton John-esque Drops Of Jupiter. Featuring an Elton John style piano line, the resemblance did not end there, as the man responsible for the orchestral score on Drops Of Jupiter was none other than Paul Buckmaster - who has scored numerous Elton John albums, including the recent Songs From The West Coast. If Drops Of Jupiter and Elton John's Levon are played back to back, excluding the different vocal styles, the songs could easily have come from the same album, despite being released almost 30 years apart.

    Having said all that, there are many worse things a band could do than copy the style of one of the most successful artists of all time. It could, however, be somewhat of a rude shock to people who buy the Drops Of Jupiter album that the remainder is fully in the normal Train style of guitar rock. In fact, no other track on the album features piano.

    As far as the concert is concerned, it presents all bar one song from Drops Of Jupiter, but only five songs from Train (the band's debut album). This is not a bad thing, however, as the songs on Drops Of Jupiter are generally more polished, and represent the band coming to know what a good pop-rock tune is. They perform with honesty and skill - there is no trickery here, just a rock group performing good, solid rock songs. They may not be at Counting Crows level yet, but if they keep working as hard as they obviously are, and keep improving, they may just get there yet.

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Track Listing

1. Program Start
2. Respect
3. It's About You
4. Meet Virginia
5. Mississippi
6. Ramble On
7. I Wish You Would
8. She's On Fire
9. I Am
10. Hopeless
11. Getaway
12. Drops Of Jupiter
13. Heavy
14. Eggplant
15. Free
16. Something More
17. Let It Roll
18. Credits

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer presented for Midnight Moon is only of mediocre quality. While it is certainly watchable, it could very easily have been better.

    Presented in the unusual aspect ratio of 1.49:1, the transfer is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is quite soft, looking a lot more like a video image than what DVD is capable of. There is also a high level of grain present, and although mostly restricted to the background it does become painfully obvious on occasion, such as at 6:47-6:50, and 81:04. Shadow detail is quite simply dismal. Anything that is not well lit completely disappears into the murk, and that includes the audience.

    The colours are also not very good. They have a slightly unnatural tone to them that makes the entire concert appear not quite real. This could well be to do with the stage lighting, but the overall effect is quite disappointing.

    The transfer fares a little better when it comes to artefacts. There are only a very few instances of pixelization, and these coincide with when the grain rises to high levels. There is almost no aliasing at all, with only a few very minor incidents, such as at 41:36 on Charlie's shirt, and at 79:33 on the strings of a guitar. The transfer is mostly free of film artefacts, although a few flecks appear on occasion, such as at 10:41.

    There are no subtitles on this disc, so singing along is restricted to fans only.

    This is a single layered disc, and therefore no layer change is encountered.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is better than the video. While that is not really saying much, it was good enough to make the concert an enjoyable experience, but it is not going to win any awards for quality either.

    There are two audio tracks present on this disc, being a 48kHz 16 bit Linear PCM 2.0 track, and a 448 Kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 track. There is little difference between the two tracks, as the Dolby 5.1 track concentrates on preserving the stereo imaging, only using the surrounds for crowd ambience. The bass definition on the PCM track is slightly better, although the bass on both tracks is well controlled.

    Vocals were always clear and audible. The mixing was good enough, with a fair stereo separation, although early on it did have somewhat of a muted feel that sounded as if the band were playing in the next room. This clears up after the first couple of tracks, but is somewhat disconcerting while it lasts. The music levels were always appropriate, never drowning out the vocals, and on the 5.1 track the crowd noise was used quite sparingly, which is a nice change.

    There were no problems with audio sync during the transfer.

    The surround and subwoofer usage was quite restrained on the 5.1 track. The result is that the PCM track gives a slightly better concert experience, although those that really need to use the 5.1 track will not be too disadvantaged.

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

Extras

    The extras are not particularly extensive, and are somewhat repetitive. Generally a fairly poor selection, and well surpassed by many recent music DVDs.

Menu

    The menu is static, themed around the band, presented in 1.33:1 (not 16x9 enhanced), and features a Dolby Digital 5.1 rendition of Mississippi - the song that includes the line from which the name of this DVD is taken.

Bios and Interviews

    This section includes a few pages (between 1 and 4) on each band member - interestingly written by the band members themselves - and an interview with each band member as follows:     These interviews are quite interesting, giving a fair amount of insight into each band member. They are presented in 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and feature Dolby Digital 2.0 audio (at 192 Kbps).

Discography

    This is a whole two pages that includes the cover art and track listing for the band's two albums.

Music Video - Drops Of Jupiter Live Video Version (4:51)

    This is simply the Drops Of Jupiter performance from the concert with some footage of the band around San Francisco inserted. Additionally, the line of the song that is sung by the crowd in the concert has had Patrick Monahan's vocal dubbed in. Extras like these are truly beyond explanation - why not give us the original music video for Drops Of Jupiter instead? Presented in letterboxed 1.78:1, not 16x9 enhanced, and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 audio (at 192 Kbps).

Booklet

    There is no text at all in this two page effort - it is simply a collage of photographs of the band on tour.

R4 vs R1

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

    Strangely enough, this disc is not available in R1, although an identical disc does appear to be available in Europe - not really that surprising, as the disc is coded for all regions.

Summary

    Midnight Moon is an enjoyable concert presented on a seriously sub-par DVD. With almost VHS quality video, and only passable audio, the DVD is a real disappointment. The extras are focused, but their brevity is quite noticeable.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Tuesday, May 07, 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)

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