Nelson, Willie-Live in Amsterdam (2001)

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Released 23-Jul-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 108:51
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:38) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Marieke De Maar
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Willie Nelson
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Willie Nelson


Video Audio
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
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

    Willie Nelson just "keeps on keeping on", as the saying goes. Here he is, all of 68, playing to a live audience in Amsterdam in the Netherlands in June 2000 and they just love him. He appears with his sister "Bobbie" on piano and a small group of other artists who look at times unsure of whether they really wanted to be there. Either way, Willie seems to have a good time and runs through no less than 35 songs either separately or merged together.

    Now myself, I quite like old Willie and enjoy his songs whenever I hear them, but until now I had never seen him perform live (recorded or otherwise). I very quickly got used to the fact that singing can be optional for him, and that something closer to a pitched talk tends to get the job done - along with the odd bit of fancy guitar work. Still, I found him to be very entertaining and I am only a passive fan; it was an eye-opener for me to see young women almost throwing themselves on him at the end of the concert, doubtless connecting with his strong lyrics regarding men and women and his palpable charisma. It is clear to me why he remains very popular, and he will sing and play his guitar until he literally drops.

    A Willie Nelson fan should need no encouragement to get this disc, though for the rest of us perhaps a rental will keep us happy enough.

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Track Listing

1. Whiskey River/Stay All Night
2. Good Hearted Woman
3. Funny How Time Slips Away
4. Help Me Make It Through The...
5. Fast Train To Georgia
6. Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
7. Blue Skies
8. Georgia On My Mind
9. All Of Me
10. Stardust
11. Me & Paul
12. The Gypsy
13. If You've Got The Money I've..
14. My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
15. Walkin' The Floor Over You
16. Vous Et Moi
17. Seven Spanish Angels
18. City Of New Orleans
19. To All The Girls I've Loved...
20. Still Is Movin' To Me
21. Milk Cow Blues
22. Pancho & Lefty
23. Till I Gain Control Again
24. Mama Don't Let Your Babies...
25. Angel Flying Too Close To...
26. On The Road Again
27. Always On My Mind
28. I Never Cared For You
29. Please Don't Talk About Me...
30. Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms..

Transfer Quality

Video

    Being shot on video, the transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer had the typical video look we are used to from Image Entertainment, being more functional than anything. There was a slightly soft look to the image, though it was detailed enough - perhaps it was for the better given that the average age of the band members could almost boil water. Whilst the main camera focusing on Willie was fine, certain other shots were quite poorly defined and often noisy, especially long shots. Again, we have seen this kind of thing before in music videos and it does not detract from the enjoyment in any major way. Shadow detail is very good, and there was no low-level noise, making for a smooth and clean picture.

    Colours were rendered naturally enough. Being more of a laid-back atmosphere, there was little in the way of multicoloured lights, but whenever blues and reds did show up they were without chroma noise or bleed.

     There were no MPEG artefacts noticed, and no video artefacts save for some edge-enhancement and softening due to up-conversion from an NTSC source.

    This disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change occurring between Chapters 16 and 17 at 57:38 minutes, placed nicely during a song change.

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

Audio

    There are three audio tracks on this disc, being DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0. I listened mainly to the DTS track, now and then sampling the Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

    Willie Nelson's strong vocal style could cut through a brick wall, and it comes across very well in this recording. Unfortunately, his microphone is accompanied by a buzzing, which must have been a real nuisance for the engineers. The gate on his mike (a device which "opens" and "closes" an input) was getting a workout, and only when he sung could the buzzing be heard. With the whole band going full pelt, it was not a problem, but at other times it was quite obvious. There were no major audio sync issues, but then again it was not totally without problems. It seemed as though the good camera on Willie was in sync, and the other cameras peppered around were slightly out of sync, which made for a somewhat disjointed feel - but it was not enough to be distracting.

    The sound on both 5.1 soundtracks was very clean and well-balanced, with the bass guitar providing a nice warmth to the mix. The placement of the artists was reflected in the front soundstage, so that anyone "camera left" appeared to come from the left, and so on. This made for easy listening and reinforced the illusion that the band was playing live directly in front of me; the occasional buzzing only made the illusion that much greater, and having done live sound mixing I can easily forgive it. Both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS tracks performed very well, and there was little if any difference between them.

    The surrounds were used sparingly, and never to accommodate instruments; rather, they provided an ambiance much as one might expect, with Willie's mike spilling into all the speakers in a subtle manner and the crowd placed mostly up front and to the sides.

    The subwoofer was in constant use, though did not call attention to itself. It lent solid weight to the bass guitar, and was integrated very well.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

R4 vs R1

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

    Both versions are identical except for having PAL and NTSC formats respectively.

Summary

    I can recommend this concert to Willie Nelson fans, who should enjoy his intimacy and laid back nature. The video and audio, though flawed, are perfectly adequate given that this is a live recording.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Cordingley (bio)
Friday, August 17, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-900E, using S-Video output
DisplayPioneer SD-T43W1 16:9 RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationSony STR DB-930
SpeakersFront & Rears: B&W DM603 S2, Centre: B&W LCR6, Sub: B&W ASW500

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