Fogelberg, Dan-Live: Greetings from the West (1991) (NTSC)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 3-Aug-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Biographies-Cast
Discography
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 103:23 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Jim Shea
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Dan Fogelberg
Case Brackley-Opaque-Lipped
RPI $24.95 Music Dan Fogelberg


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    If you know and like Dan Fogelberg's music, then I can tell you that Greetings from the West  is a near complete rendition of a concert he gave at the Fox Theatre in St Louis, Missouri on the 25th June 1991. There is some footage of wilderness and some interview pieces interspersed, breaking up the concert footage - this is nice.

    Dan Fogelberg's music is contemporary, and not easily categorised. The interviews snippets scattered through the concert footage give you some idea of what is going on in his head - I wonder if I'd rather not know? 

    He describes his music as influenced by European folk traditions, with an admixture of American blues and even some rock. In a segment near the middle of the concert he played with flautist Tim Weisberg, and the combination brought Jethro Tull to mind (now that's a folk / rock blend, if there ever was one!).

    I'd describe his music as more pop or rock than folk, but there are traces of folk in there. There are lots of keyboards, too - at times he has up to three people playing keyboards.

    The band performing with him in this concert are:

    Dan Fogelberg plays guitar or keyboards, depending on the song.

    I should be honest - I took a bit of a dislike to Mr Fogelberg, perhaps because of some of what he said in the interview snippets. I wanted to be mean about his performance. But I can't, in truth. I wouldn't describe his music as fabulous stuff, but it is pleasant, and I enjoyed listening to it. It is quite possible that you will do so, too.

    There is one subject I would like to comment on, though. I am sure that the directors of concert videos have a very low opinion of our attention span. It seems to be de rigueur to make a concert video with a cut from one shot to another every second or two. I find this distracting - I do not consider it to be enhancing the experience. Perhaps they are trying to justify their existence? I do wish they adopt a more leisurely approach, perhaps concentrating on one shot for a minute or so at a time. I understand that at least one DVD has been made which uses DVD's multi-angle facility to let the viewer choose their own viewpoint - sounds like a fine idea to me.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. Program Start/Aurora Nova
2. The Wild Places
3. Heart Hotels
4. Over & Over
5. The Spirit Trail
6. Make Love Stay
7. Believe In Me
8. Road Beneath My Wheels
9. Run For The Roses
10. Leader Of The Band
11. Band Intros
12. Twins Theme/Intimidation
13. The Power Of Gold
14. Lonely In Love
15. Missing You
16. Part Of The Plan
17. Same Old Lang Syne
18. There's A Place In The World..
19. Closing Credits

Transfer Quality

Video

    One caution: this disc is NTSC, so you must have a system capable of handling NTSC to be able to play this disc.

    This concert was captured in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Judging by the occasional peek at the cameras we get, it was captured on video, perhaps for broadcast on MTV, so we might expect this to be the intended aspect ratio. I noted in the credits several references to film, but I suspect that the film footage was restricted to the nature shots that appear at the start of the program, and intermittently through it.

    The concert footage is soft, and I think this was quite intentional. Concerts are a nightmare to film, with lots of hard edges, appalling lighting, and massive contrasts between illumination and darkness - I think choosing to make the image soft is wise. Shadow detail is limited, but this, too, can be blamed on the concert lighting. Astoundingly, there seems to be no low-level noise in the video; there are moments that look like low level noise, but having studied them, I think they are optical effects from nearby lights. The blacks are deep, solid black - that's nice.

    Colour is a real problem for any director capturing a concert. The lighting technicians are more interested in illuminating the performers for the audience, and less then interested in helping the video crew. They use coloured gels on lights for effect, resulting in blue skin, red shadows, pools of green overlapping with pools of red - difficult to imagine a more difficult environment for the director of photography. There's certainly plenty of colour on view. But we do get some hot whites, and a heap of flaring on chromed microphone stands, instruments, and even some of the clothing. In fact, on a heck of a lot of the concert footage involving close-ups we see halos - generally a blue (sometimes red) glow around the mike stands, and a white halo around the sleeves of Dan Fogelberg's white shirt. This is not edge enhancement (although edge enhancement would have exacerbated the problem); I think it is an optical problem, caused by the unfriendly lights.

    On distance shots the performers on stage dissolve into blurs - this is due, I think, to interaction between the optical issues and MPEG encoding.

    The video shows no film artefacts (understandable, if it was captured on video). There's a fair bit of aliasing, but it is controlled by the softness of the image. There is some MPEG blocking on backgrounds, but it is not troubling. No, it is the haloing that is the big problem, and it is quite distracting. There are a few hiccups in the data stream, notably at 26:32, 69:37, and 82:11, which affects the sound more than the video - the video seems to stall for a moment.

    The only subtitle track is in English, and it includes subtitles for all of the songs, plus any voice-over.

    The disc is single sided, single layer. No layer change, but less room for the picture, given the use of a PCM soundtrack.



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

Audio

    There is one soundtrack, in English, encoded as PCM 2.0 48kHz / 16 bit. That's a good choice for a concert. There's not a lot of stereo imaging - the sound seems basically monophonic.

    The singing is tuneful, but diction is not fabulous. I had cause to be very grateful that they included subtitles for all the words of the songs, because there were many words that I could not understand. Nothing wrong with the recording - it is just the way the words are being sung. I didn't see any sync glitches. There were the hiccups I mentioned earlier, which affected the sound more than the video, but these were not audio sync errors.

    There was a crackle in the voice-over at around 30:00.

    The soundtrack is PCM, which implies straight stereo. No surround encoding, no surround sound, and no subwoofer. The sound seemed mono, in fact.



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

Extras

    The extras are very limited.

Menu

    The menu is static and silent..

Biography

    This is four pages of text.

Discography

    This is a four page list, showing the cover of every album (3 to 5 albums per page).

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of this disc has identical features. This disc is NTSC. I suspect we have the exact same disc.

Summary

    I found this concert pleasant listening, but the DVD is not particularly high quality.

    The video quality is not high.

    The audio quality is reasonable.

    The extras are rudimentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Sunday, September 16, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE