South Africa Freedom Day: Concert on the Square (2001)

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Released 5-Aug-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 77:15
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Tony Gregory
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Nelson Mandela
The Corrs
R.E.M.
Case Click
RPI ? Music Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/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

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Plot Synopsis

    This DVD is a recording of the South Africa Freedom Day Concert which was held in 2001 to mark the seventh anniversary of South Africa's free elections.

    The concert itself has the upbeat, feel-good energy of a charity concert, and the 20,000 plus audience, crammed into London's Trafalgar Square, really seem to enjoy themselves. This is a fairly slick production, and the content is well shot and edited.

    The highlights of the concert are the performances by The Corrs, Billy Ocean and REM. There are a few South African performers which add a South African flavour, and they include the brilliant Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Hugh Masekela. Sadly, they are each only given one track on this DVD, and it does not show them at their best. There are also a few snippets of some other performers and songs, which seem to be included just to provide some coverage of the event. One funny moment is provided by former Spice Girl Mel B, who spends her entire performance wrestling with her top. In the end, she gives up and just crosses her arms across her chest during her performance, to cover her boobs which are bursting out of her very revealing top. Dr. Mandela also makes an appearance on stage, and he pays tribute to the British Anti-Apartheid Movement. His speech is hardly inspiring, but as Prime Minister Blair introduced him, Mandela does "represent everything that's best about our world".

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Track Listing

1. 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'
2. The Corrs - 'What Can I Do?'
3. The Corrs - 'So Young'
4. The Corrs - 'Breathless'
5. Lisa Roxanne - 'No Flow'
6. Baaba Maal - 'Fanta'
7. Commonwealth - 'The Way It Goes'
8. Lebo Mathosa - 'Lord'
9. B Ocean - 'When The Going Gets . .
10. Dave Stewart - 'One Love'
11. Atomic Kitten - 'Whole Again'
12. Mel B - 'Feels So Good'
13. Hugh Masekela - 'Thanayi'
14. Beverly Knight - 'Greatest Day'
15. 'Congratulations South Africa'
16. R.E.M. - 'Imitation Of Life'
17. R.E.M. - 'Losing My Religion'
18. R.E.M. - 'Man On The Moon'
19. L Siffre - 'Something Inside So . .

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a recent made-for-television production, and it exhibits a broadcast quality image. The image is crisp and clean and glorious to watch on a widescreen television.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness, black level, and shadow detail are all as one would expect from a recent broadcast quality production.

    This concert exhibits excellent lighting, and the colours are rich and vibrant. Occasionally I thought that the colours might be a tad oversaturated, but the fleshtones are accurate.

    There were no MPEG artefacts or film artefacts to complain of.

    Film-to-video artefacts appeared in the form of frequent aliasing, such as on the edge of the stage at 5:43, and throughout the rest of the concert. Basically, anything that could fall victim to aliasing did, such as patterned shirts, microphones and musical instruments.

    There are no subtitles on this DVD.

    This is not a RSDL disc, but this single layered (DVD-5) disc is adequate considering the length of the content.

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

Audio

    There are three audio options on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, and DTS 5.1 audio. Both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS options exhibit a great dynamic range, a clear sound, and deep bass. The Dolby Stereo option is somewhat limited in comparison.

    The dialogue quality (lyrics) and audio sync are generally excellent on all three audio tracks. I will note that Mel B's and Lisa Roxanne's vocals both appeared buried in the audio mix. I wonder if this is related to the fact that they both appeared to be miming their pre-recorded songs. The other problem is that Billy Ocean's back up singers are almost lost completely in the audio mix, although his voice is very clear.

    The music, of course, is provided by the various musicians, and as I stated earlier, The Corrs and REM are the stand-out performers here.

    The surround presence and activity is excellent for a concert DVD. The surround sound mix is pretty aggressive, and the rear speakers are used effectively to place the viewer in the audience. There was a little echo at times through the rear speakers, but I did not find it too distracting.

    The subwoofer is also utilised to support the deep bass of the music.

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

Extras

    There are no extras.

Menu

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title was released on DVD in Region 1 in June 2002, and it appears to be identical to the Region 4 version, apart from the Region 1 disc being presented in NTSC and encoded for Region 1.

Summary

    This disc helps prove why DVD is the perfect medium for concert recordings. It is a great example of how music concerts should be recorded. If you're a Corrs or REM fan, or just like big charity concerts, then I recommend this title.

    The video quality is great.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Thursday, August 15, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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