Paul McCartney-Live at the Cavern Club (2000)

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Released 23-Jul-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Featurette-Our Paul
Featurette-Promo
Notes-The Cavern Club
Music Video-Brown Eyed Handsome Man
Music Video-No Other Baby
Biographies-Cast
Notes-Run Devil Run Tracklist
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 45:54 (Case: 63)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Paul McCartney
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


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

    Of all the stories my dad has told me about when he was growing up in England, the one that strikes me as the most remarkable is that he actually got to see The Beatles live in concert, in Bristol, England, sometime in the early sixties. Sure, he didn't get to hear much of their performance over the top of all the screaming that seemed to accompany the four lads from Liverpool wherever they went, but just the fact that he was there, in England, during the sixties, and saw the most popular and influential pop group ever, live, must be a huge buzz for him. It sort of makes my experience of seeing Paul McCartney in concert at Subiaco Oval, Perth on 5 March 1993 as part of his New World Tour pale into insignificance. I still really enjoyed that show, as many Beatles classics were rolled out in addition to Wings and many solo numbers, and I've been a McCartney fan for a long time before and after that event. It was therefore with a touch of nostalgia that I volunteered to review Paul McCartney, Live at the Cavern Club, hoping to hear a few Beatles classics and some of my favourite McCartney solo efforts performed. Alas, I was disappointed - there is only one Beatles classic on this disc and most of the tracks are either covers from the fifties or from Paul McCartney's latest album Run Devil Run. My disappointment didn't last very long, though, when I cranked this concert up. What an absolute gem this is.

    Recorded in December 1999, this was a one-off concert at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool where The Beatles made a name for themselves. It's not actually the exact same venue, since in what must rate as one of the most ridiculous and dopey decisions of recent times, some clown decided to fill in the old Cavern Club in 1973. In the early eighties, somebody with a bit of foresight decided that maybe it would become a bit of a tourist attraction and drawcard for the city of Liverpool, so they rebuilt it, using most of the original bricks in almost the original spot.

    Paul McCartney wanted to record an album that took him back to his musical roots, and so with a distinct fifties sound, the Run Devil Run album was born. This show celebrates that album and also gives Sir Paul a chance to play many of the songs from the late fifties that have special meaning for him. Sir Paul assembled a pretty mean and experienced band of musos to help him enjoy the evening, including on guitar Pink Floyd's Dave Gilmour, and Deep Purple's Ian Paice on drums. The 300 or so extremely lucky punters that filled the Cavern to capacity were treated to an absolute barnstormer of a night (there was also a simulcast on the internet for the rest of the 5 billion or so of us that couldn't fit through the door). The songs performed ranged from Chuck Berry to Elvis, with newer McCartney numbers thrown in and one of my all-time favourite Beatles tunes as well for good measure.

    The following songs are presented in what is a surprisingly and somewhat disappointingly short set (about 45 minutes duration).

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Track Listing

1. Honey Hush
2. Blue Jean Bop
3. Brown Eyed Handsome Man
4. Fabulous
5. What It Is
6. Lonesome Town
7. Twenty Flight Rock
8. No Other Baby
9. Try Not To Cry
10. Shake A Hand
11. All Shook Up
12. I Saw Her Standing There
13. Party

Transfer Quality

Video

    Concerts, as we have mentioned many times over usually suffer in the video department due to excessive bright and coloured lighting. Well I'm glad to report that this one doesn't suffer at all from that affliction and the mood of the cramped Cavern Club is captured magnificently.

    Starting off on a winning note, this is a widescreen concert - something of a rarity. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is enhanced for 16x9 televisions.

    The transfer itself is beautifully sharp. Details on each of the band members' faces are very fine and detailed. Sir Paul in particular at the forefront of the stage stands out to perfection. There is no grain or low level noise present anywhere in the transfer.
   
    Colours are certainly not what I would call vibrant, but also do not fall into the common problem that so often plague concert footage of mass oversaturation or bleeding due to excessive lighting effects. Muted colours with plenty of purples, blues, and deep reds capture that grungy, cramped feel that is such an important part of a small club venue.

    There are no MPEG artefacts present. Aliasing does occur very very briefly but is so subtle that it barely deserves a mention.

    There is no subtitle stream on the main feature.

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

Audio

    Continuing a recent trend, this is another concert disc that comes with a dts soundtrack. Let's hope that is a trend that continues. The dts track is complemented by both 448Kb/sec 5.1 Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks. I listened to the dts and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in their entirety and briefly sampled the Dolby Digital 2.0 track to verify its presence and the fact that it worked.

    Both Dolby Digital 5.1 and the dts tracks are very similar in the soundstage that they create. They are both all-encompassing but not in that cheap artificial way that some 5.1 tracks can be. The dts track is mastered a little louder than the Dolby track but they are both excellent. I'd have to give the nod to the dts track on this occasion as it seems to add slightly higher clarity and presence to the vocals. It doesn't quite match the Eagles - Hell Freezes Over dts track but this is about the closest I have heard yet.

    There are no problems with any of the dialogue and certainly no issues with audio sync.

    Surround channel usage is mostly limited to audience sounds and trying to capture that bustling crowded atmosphere that was so obviously present.

    The subwoofer is certainly used. Paul is a bass player after all, but it is used with great subtlety and in a generously understated way.

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

Extras

Menu Animation & Audio

    Presented in an aspect of 1.78:1, it is 16x9 enhanced and features a looping instrumental snip from No Other Baby in Dolby Digital 5.1.The animation is a series of still images and video grabs of the main band that features in the concert.

Scene Selection Animation & Audio

    Also presented 16x9 enhanced and 1.78:1. Three separate screens with four to five tracks selectable from each. All come with Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The songs used on the menu screens are What it is, All Shook Up, and Brown Eyed Handsome Man. The animation shows each track from the concert inside a tiny artistic rendition of a television set.

Featurette - Our Paul

    Running for 17:12 minutes, this is presented 16x9 enhanced at 1.78:1. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0. This is an interview with Sir Paul McCartney covering his thoughts on the Cavern Club and playing there again. It shows highlights from the Cavern Club from the early sixties and also excerpts from the 1999 concert. Sir Paul also runs through the tracks that are featured on this disc and his reasons for selecting them. Comes with French, German, Italian, and Spanish subtitles.

Featurette - Promotion

    Running for 21:59 minutes, this is also presented at 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced and has a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Covers similar material to the Our Paul featurette outlining Sir Paul's reasons for selecting certain songs for the concert and for those that appear on the Run Devil Run album. He also discusses his band members for the concert and his reasons for selecting them. Presented in a semi-interview format (you don't get to see that questions asked) and also contains much footage from the behind-the-scenes making of the new album.

Notes

    The history of the Cavern Club. Presented as very small text over three screens in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and 16x9 enhanced. Details some of the history of the Cavern Club and how it was 'filled in' in 1973. Rebuilt some years later on almost the same spot, it has played host to many famous acts over the years including The Rolling Stones, The Who, Gerry and The Pacemakers and many others that are listed on one of the screens.

Music Video - Brown Eyed Handsome Man

    Presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, it is not 16x9 enhanced. Audio is provided by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. Runs for a total of 2:42 minutes.

Music Video - No Other Baby

    Running for 4:21 minutes, this is the video to the other release from the Run Devil Run album. Presented in 2.35:1 and 16x9 enhanced. Audio is provided by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Biographies-Cast

    Biographies for band members Dave Gilmour, Ian Paice, Chris Hall, Pete Wingfield, and Mick Green. Quite extensive. Sir Paul is not included, but then I guess there isn't much that most people don't already know about him.

Notes - Run Devil Run Tracklist

    Lists the tracks that are on the Run Devil Run album. Those songs that are featured in the concert are able to be selected for instant access to that song.

R4 vs R1

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

    The R1 and R4 discs are identically featured in this instance, and so the local disc is the preferred option.

Summary

    Fans of The Beatles, Paul McCartney, or fifties rock don't bother reading any further - just go out and buy this disc, you will not be disappointed. For the rest of you that need convincing, this is a somewhat short concert, but what is lost in quantity is more than compensated for by quality. A better-than-average widescreen video presentation that boasts 16x9 enhancement should be enough to make you part with your dollars. Throw in a superb dts soundtrack and a couple of half decent extras and you're on a winner.

    Paul McCartney may be approaching 60 but he certainly knows how to put on a show and basically get down and rock the night away. I kept wondering what my dad's reaction would be to this concert had he watched it with me. I reckon his feet might have been tapping too and at least this time he would have had no problem hearing the band actually playing, unlike that time in Bristol...

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Friday, August 03, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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