The Main Event (1999)

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Released 11-Jul-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
dts Trailer-Piano
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 158:51
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (83:23) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Mark Adamson
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring John Farnham
Olivia Newton-John
Anthony Warlow
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $34.95 Music Various

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    The Main Event was a concert event that toured Australia's capital cities in 1998. It featured three of the most well-known musical names in the country - John Farnham, Olivia Newton-John and Anthony Warlow. The three appear to get on very well together and play off each other to a great extent, especially during the finale when all are on stage at the same time. This is a huge presentation with a truck-load of songs taken from many genres and ranging in age from contemporary to carbon-dated. The tracks on offer are:
1. Overture
2. Age Of Reason
3. Phantom Of The Opera
4. A Little More Love
5. Age Of Reason
6. Prologue
7. Music Of The Night
8. What Kind Of Fool Am I / World On A String/ I've Got You Under My Skin
9. This Is The Moment
10. Magic
11. If You Love Me
12. Precious Love
13. Hopelessly Devoted To You
14. That's Freedom
15. And I Love Her
16. Burn For You
17. Everytime You Cry
18. Have A Little Faith
19. Don't Cry For Me Argentina
Olivia And John
20. Please Don't Ask Me
21. You're The One That I Want
22. Two Strong Hearts
Olivia And Anthony
23. Not Gonna Give In To It
24. The Long And Winding Road
25. Country Road
26. I Honestly Love You
27. Love Is A Gift
John And Anthony
28. Help
29. That's Life / Bad Habits
30. Granada
31. You've Lost That Loving Feeling
32. Summer Nights
33. If Not For You
34. Let Me Be There
35. Touch Of Paradise
36. Raindrops
37. Banks Of The Ohio
38. Jolene
39. Hearts On Fire
40. Don't You Know It's Magic
41. You're The Voice
Special Bonus
42. Backstage At The Main Event

    While the concert is good, there are a couple of annoying problems with this disc. The first is that the track numbering goes out by one after the layer change (82:23) at track 22. While this is used to place the layer change in a convenient place in terms of the content, the packaging should have been updated to reflect the actual track ordering on the disc. The second, and far more serious problem is that the disc would not play in my Pioneer 535 unless the disc was placed in the player, the player powered down and then up again and the menu manually activated. Just inserting the disc would cause the player to hang when attempting to access the menu.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer presented here is a very good transfer, let down by a few major problems.

    The concert is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. As this was originally filmed for television in Australia in 1998, chances are good that this was the original ratio.

    This transfer has excellent shadow detail and is very sharp except for a short period at 131:10 when Anthony Warlow is completely out of focus, but this is almost certainly done on purpose as part of the presentation of the concert and would hence have been recorded this way.

    As with most concerts, there are a veritable plethora of stage lights moving at all conceivable angles, and covering the entire colour spectrum. Unfortunately, this sometimes causes problems for the transfer with particularly ugly incidents of severe oversaturation occurring at occasional intervals, such as on Olivia's face and shoulders at 30:00. This is a real pity, because the rest of the concert is handled very well with lighting and skin tones being represented in a very natural manner.

    The only artefact that this title suffers from is aliasing. Due to the sharpness of the transfer, there is constant aliasing throughout the concert on items such as the edge of the stage, the edges of the microphones and many other items. Usually it is light and not noticeable unless explicitly looked for, but there is one instance at 52:10 on a violin that is very noticeable.

    This disc has no subtitles at all.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed between Chapters 21 and 22, at 83:23. It is relatively noticeable coming very shortly after the end of a song while the audience is still applauding, however there is really no good location to place a layer change in a live concert. In the end, having over two and a half hours of concert without having to even stand up more than makes up for a layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio tracks available on this disc are of an exemplary standard, with only minor problems that some may not even consider problems.

    There are two audio tracks available on this disc, a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and a dts 5.1 soundtrack. This is in fact Roadshow's first release with a dts soundtrack, and it is a good one at that. Those with only Dolby Digital capabilities needn't fret either, as the two soundtracks are indistinguishable.

    The more dts DVDs I listen to, the less I believe that the higher bitrates really make a difference when Dolby Digital AC-3 compression is used properly, and this disc is yet another example where the two soundtracks are impossible to tell apart. A factor to take into account however is that the Dolby Digital soundtrack is recorded at the higher bitrate of 448kbps. It is nice to see dts available on Australian DVDs, however.

    Dialogue and singing were clear at all times throughout the transfer, although some singing appeared to be mixed at too high a level. Anthony Warlow was the major culprit here, most likely to do with the power of his voice, but the mastering of the soundtracks could have brought it down somewhat as he tended to overpower the music at times.

    There were no problems with audio sync during the transfer.

    The surround channels received plenty of use, although mostly for crowd interaction, both during general applause and the times when the audience were clapping along with the band. The only slightly disconcerting factor was that the applause was in general louder than the performances, which just seemed a little jarring.

    The subwoofer was quite disappointing. A decent amount of bass is sent to the front and centre channels, but the subwoofer barely raises a whimper, even with bass guitar and kick-drum in action. Fortunately, it isn't really missed to a huge degree, as the songs do not really call for a thumping bass track.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are no specific extras on this disc, although there is a behind-the-scenes short feature that runs directly on from the end of the concert for approximately ten minutes. It is interesting enough to watch as it shows John Farnham doing what he does best - hamming it up for the camera, and encouraging Anthony Warlow to join in.


    The menu is static with music from the concert played while waiting for your selection. It would not load automatically on my Pioneer 535, instead requiring a re-start of the machine with the DVD in the player.

R4 vs R1

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


    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     As far as I'm aware, this disc is not available outside of Australia, and probably won't be any time soon (although it is dual coded R2/R4).


    The Main Event is a good concert presented on a very good DVD.

    The video quality is generally very good, but is let down by aliasing and occasional oversaturation of colours.

    The audio could have made better use of the subwoofer, but is otherwise perfectly suited to the concert. The dts and Dolby Digital tracks are indistinguishable.

    There are no extras aside from a dressing room sequence that plays after the concert.


Read our interview with Michael Brooks of Roadshow Home Entertainment and Michael Costa of Stream AV, who were responsible for the production and re-mix of this DVD.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Thursday, July 12, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayRCA 80cm. 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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