INXS-Live Baby Live (1991)

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Released 8-Aug-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 92:14
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (56:44) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By David Mallet
Studio
Distributor
PolyGram Video Int
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring INXS
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music INXS


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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

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

Plot Synopsis


    In the late 80s and early 90s, long before the untimely death of lead singer Michael Hutchence, INXS were the biggest band going in this country and probably among the top three or four supergroups in the world at the time. 1987's Kick had been a hugely successful album, selling over 9 million copies. The band's next album X, looked likely to be just as popular and the band embarked on a world tour to promote it. This concert was recorded on July 13, 1991 at Wembley Stadium, London as part of that X-Factor tour. Over 74,000 fans were in attendance, just about the biggest crowd INXS had ever played to.

    I've always felt that this time was a turning point for the band and I feel that the music they produced after 1991 was not anywhere near as good as that which came before. Songs from the1992 release Welcome to Wherever You Are and the later release Full Moon Dirty Hearts just didn't capture that INXS feel so present in Kick. Going back even further to the likes of Shabooh Shoobah, and my all-time favourite INXS release, the 1984 album The Swing were what INXS was all about. Fortunately, this concert features many of the INXS classics up to the X album.  Songs like Original Sin, Send a Message, What You Need, and Never Tear Us Apart are performed, and performed well.

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Track Listing

1. Guns In The Sky
2. New Sensation
3. Send A Message
4. The Stairs
5. Know The Difference
6. Disappear
7. By My Side
8. Hear That Sound
9. Original Sin
10. The Loved One
11. Wildlife
12. Mystify
13. Bitter Tears
14. Suicide Blonde
15. What You Need
16. Kick
17. Need You Tonight
18. Mediate
19. Never Tear Us Apart
20. Who Pays The Price
21. Devil Inside

Transfer Quality

Video

    Considering the age and nature of the source material, I was reasonably surprised by the quality of this transfer.  It has its problems, most notably excess grain and several other video artefacts, but overall this is a quite watchable video effort.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced.

    Shot using some 17 cameras, the transfer is of only average sharpness, with some shots particularly well rendered and others that have a certain muddiness pervading the image. Whether this is because of the lighting or is caused by the excessive grain is difficult to determine, however it's not overly distracting.

    Grain is a bigger problem. Present throughout, it does become distracting at times, mostly when dark blue lighting is used. There is also frequent low-level noise present when the lights drop right off.

    Colours are the highlight of the otherwise average video. All too often, concerts play havoc with oversaturation and bleeding, but these have been tamed here to such a level that only Kirk Pengilly's red jacket cops only the slightest hint of colour bleed.

    I didn't notice any distracting MPEG artefacts. Video artefacts were slightly more noticeable with a handful of minor shimmers on some straight edges and another artefact that appeared as a vertical black line down the screen at 85:13 lasting for over a second.

    There are no subtitle tracks on offer.

    This DVD is a dual-layered, RSDL-formatted disc, with the layer change placed at 56:44, directly between Suicide Blonde and What You Need. It is rather well-placed.



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

Audio

    Given my good fortune in having my last two concert DVD reviews feature dts soundtracks, I was slightly disappointed to learn that this disc only featured Linear PCM 2.0 and Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks with the PCM track as the default. I listened to the whole concert twice in order to make a full comparison of both tracks. I must say that I favour the Dolby Digital 2.0 track over the PCM by quite a considerable margin.  There is a definite difference in the vocals on the Dolby Digital track that provides a wider dynamic range and more oomph at the lower end. The Dolby Digital track is also mastered just a little louder than the PCM track.

    Dialogue is fair. Michael Hutchence doesn't communicate a great deal with the crowd, though when he does it is difficult to understand (mostly due to mumbling). The vocals are pretty clear, though again, at times it can be difficult to work out what he is actually singing. There are no audio sync problems.

    There is no surround use and the subwoofer use is limited to its usual capacity for a 2.0 stereo track. You could happily listen to this concert with it switched off.



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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    Hardly qualifying as an extra these days, this is a 40 second snippet from the concert version of Mystify and plays in Dolby Digital 2.0.

R4 vs R1

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

    I can't find any reference to this title being released in Region 1. It is available in Region 2 with exactly the same specification as the Region 4 DVD.

Summary

    INXS-Live Baby Live is a fairly bare bones disc with no extras at all, but don't let that dissuade you. Fans of INXS will lap this up no end, as video concerts featuring the band are a rare commodity. The fact that this concert runs for over an hour and a half should persuade many others to take a look, since a large number of recently reviewed concert titles have been of quite short duration.

    The video is better than I was expecting given the age of the source, and aside from grain problems is watchable.

    The audio is average but I couldn't help but think what a remixed dts 5.1 soundtrack would have sounded like.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Tuesday, August 14, 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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