Matchbox Twenty-VH1 Storytellers (2001)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Music Video-Push (Country Version)
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Dave Diomedi|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/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, The credits roll over the final applause.|
This entry in the series focuses on Matchbox Twenty, and this release has been timed to coincide with their third studio album, More Than You Think You Are. As this performance was filmed only a few months after the release of their second album - Mad Season - it heavily favours songs from that album. This is not actually a bad thing, as while their first album (Yourself Or Someone Like You) was full of raw energy, and the good songs (including the break-through hits Push and 3am) showed a lot of promise, it lacked cohesion and contained some very ordinary songs - songs that, thankfully, do not get an airing here. Shortly after lead singer and songwriter Rob Thomas co-wrote the huge Santana hit Smooth, the band released Mad Season and demonstrated that with more studio money, and a desire to try new things, they could fulfil their potential. Thomas's writing had improved, and he had learned to play up the melodic hooks to often spine-tingling effect. Mad Season contains some of the very best mainstream rock songs produced in the last ten years, and while the band still have a long way to go to prove that they can be consistent producers of quality pop-rock in the calibre of Rob Thomas's idols (such as Tom Petty), they certainly have a lead over the other middle-class white American rockers to become this generation's Springsteen.
To continue the analogy with MTV, this performance is to Matchbox Twenty what Unplugged was to The Corrs - it finally proves to all that they are (at the very least) talented musicians who are capable of putting together a first-class performance. The songs are very good, and Thomas even takes to the piano in the second half of the concert. The band give, for the most part, straight down the line renditions of their songs, but are good enough to throw in some variation, in the form of a cover of Lonely Weekend, a swing version of Crutch, and a country version of Push. Probably the most surprising variation however is the piano-solo version of 3am with Thomas behind the keys giving a very personal performance. Admittedly, not all of it comes off perfectly - the slower nature of 3am drags a little (despite the personal nature of the performance), and the swing-enhanced Crutch comes over as a little pretentious, but the overall effect is still very positive. This is a band willing to challenge themselves and their fans, and if this performance is any indication, they have an extremely bright future ahead of them.
As a final note, be aware that while this DVD is classified "E" (exempt from classification), it contains a few expletives (and not the "nice" ones).
2. Mad Season
3. Black & White People
5. If You're Gone
8. Lonely Weekend
9. You Won't Be Mine
10. Rest Stop
11. 3 AM
Presented at 1.33:1, this transfer is not 16x9 enhanced. This is most likely the correct aspect ratio, as the performance was filmed for Cable TV in the US at the start of 2001.
The transfer is quite soft, with most detail being subdued. It is not soft enough to be distracting, but a lot softer than expected. There is also a not insubstantial amount of grain present, with shots across the stage being particularly affected. Shadow detail is very poor, with any area even slightly dark simply disappearing into the shadows. This could be an intentional choice however, as it does tend to work quite well with the lighting style used for the show. There is no low level noise.
Colours are quite good, with the whole performance given a "warm" feel thanks to the favouring of orange lighting, although the blues get quite a workout as well. There are few colour highlights in this transfer, but the whites are well presented, and the lighting intentions are carried across to film nicely.
Compression artefacts consist mainly of some background pixelization when grain is visible, but there is also some chroma noise to be found in the large expanses of blue light (such as at 28:15). Aliasing causes more problems than would be expected from the softness of the transfer, with guitar strings breaking up, and the mike (and mike-stand) in particular proving problematic, such as from 48:08 to 48:22, and 56:13 to 56:17. Film artefacts are relatively infrequent, but can be very large and distracting when they do appear, such as the large hair that appears right over Rob Thomas's face at 29:51.
There are no subtitles for the lyrics on this disc, presenting only non-English subtitles for the dialogue.
This is a single layered disc, and as such does not have a layer change.
There are three audio tracks on this disc, all being the original performance in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448 Kbps), full bitrate DTS 5.1 (at 1536 Kbps), and Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (at 224 Kbps).
The vocals are always clear and easy to make out, as is the between-song dialogue. The music is very well presented, with instrument clarity being superb - it is easy to hear the different instruments - and the backing vocals are rock steady. The only real problem is some crackling present in the soundtrack that recurs on a disappointingly frequent basis. Some examples are from 19:35 to 19:47 in the left channel, and at 60:15 more centrally. It is difficult to track down what might be causing this problem, but it is present in all three soundtracks, so it is not an encoding error.
Audio sync is spot on and never causes any problems.
The use of surround channels in music presentations is becoming more and more standardised these days, and this soundtrack deviates only a little from that, largely using the surrounds for ambient sound reflection, and audience reaction. There are a few instances where instruments are panned to the surround channels (the "studio" nature of this recording makes that acceptable), but for the most part the surrounds are used sparingly.
The subwoofer gets a light, but well controlled workout. Bass is not booming, and is certainly not going to bounce the chair around the room, but it is there, and adds a very nice backbone to the audio mix.
Of the soundtracks, the pick is the Dolby Digital 5.1, despite the DTS track being a full-bitrate track. The Dolby Digital is brighter, with a larger bass impact, while the DTS is more controlled and less enthusiastic. In this instance, the Dolby Digital suits the style of the music more. The Dolby 2.0 track is also very good, and certainly won't let those who only have two speakers down, however the added ambience of the surround tracks makes them the more enjoyable listening option.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video transfer is only of average quality, being quite soft, afflicted with aliasing problems, and containing some fairly obvious film artefacts.
The audio quality is very good, with all three soundtracks giving an enjoyable listen. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is the most impressive, but the DTS and Dolby Digital 2.0 are both very good.
The extras are quite disappointing, especially as this is the first DVD outing for this very popular band. It would have been nice to see a little bit more here.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All 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)|