Indigo Girls-Live at the Fillmore (2000) (NTSC)

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Released 17-Sep-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Biographies-Cast
Notes-Career Highlights
Gallery-Photo
Discography
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 91:17
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Michael Drumm
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Amy Ray
Emily Saliers
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $24.95 Music Indigo Girls


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
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 Yes, during credits

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

Plot Synopsis

   Another opportunity to indulge in one of my favourite musical acts, this time live at the rather famous Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, Colorado. This was recorded on 20th November, 1999 at the end of their rather long world tour in support of their then-new album Come On Now Social. Now even though categorising their music is a little difficult, and ultimately pointless (why do we have this incessant need to categorise music?), this particular album has a slightly rockier feel and this concert is thus a little more dynamic than perhaps their usual fare - at least for the non-fans out there. For me, this is ultimately another testament to the talents of this duo.

    A rather decent concert indeed, albeit one that could perhaps have been a little longer since some of the songs are split by some interview material. Interestingly, you have the option of listening to and watching the whole programme, or just the actual songs or just the interview material. A nice change to see this sort of option available, since I know that some people don't like to indulge in interview material in a live concert.

    The tracks on offer in this incarnation of the live concert experience of Indigo Girls - well, nearly completely concert live since Closer To Fine is a studio recording - comprise:

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Track Listing

1. Program Start
2. Go
3. Trouble
4. Land of Canaan
5. Peace Tonight
6. Sister
7. Get Out The Map
8. Scooter Boys
9. Cold Beer and Remote Control
10. Compromise
11. Closer To Fine
12. Power of Two
13. Shed Your Skin
14. Soon Be To Nothing
15. Least Complicated
16. Faye Tucker
17. Shame on You
18. Philosophy Of Loss
19. Galileo
20. End

Transfer Quality

Video

    Somewhere I vaguely recall mentioning the inherent problems of live concert videos - about a hundred times it seems! Well, this is a typical example of the problem. The transfer is presented, as is also pretty much typical of concert videos, in a Full Frame format that is naturally enough not 16x9 enhanced. As also seems to be close to the norm for DVD releases from Sony Music Entertainment, the transfer is an NTSC formatted effort and therefore you need to have a display device capable of displaying this signal to be able to see anything bar a 1950s style snow storm.

    The main issue with the transfer is the fact that unfortunately Indigo Girls used a rather large quantum of blue stage lighting in the concert, and as we all have seen, such lighting presents huge problems with flare in general. And so it does here. But of course, that is not a DVD issue but rather a source material issue. Nonetheless, given that the concert was to be filmed you would have thought someone would have shown some sense and toned the lighting down just a tad. The flare naturally enough does rob the transfer of a degree of detail that is just a bit annoying at times. This is pretty much quite a sharp transfer, but that combined with the NTSC formatting is probably responsible for the other main gripe with the transfer - some rather nasty aliasing at times. Shadow detail is not exceptional, but that is not unexpected in the concert environment. The transfer is nice and clear and there is nothing in the way of grain here. There is no indication of any low level noise in the transfers.

    The colour also suffers a little from the stage lighting, but otherwise is pretty decent throughout with some decent saturation and tonal depth. The transfer is reasonably vibrant and overall the only issue would be the slight oversaturation that seems to go hand-in-hand with the flare. There does not appear to be anything in the way of colour bleed in the transfer (flare notwithstanding).

    There did not appear to be any MPEG artefacts in the transfer. The main issue with the transfer, though, is the film-to-video artefacts and dominant amongst those is - aliasing. And it is rather difficult to ignore at times, with some instances being rather grotesque (notably in some of the wiring around the stage such as at 37:00). But the problem crops up everywhere, such as in the microphones and in instruments. Add into the mix some minor cross colouration in the accordion at 75:10 and some moiré artefacting in the interview at 68:53, and you get the distinct impression that this was not an impressive piece of authoring. There are no film artefacts in the transfer.

    This is apparently an RSDL formatted DVD but for the life of me I did not detect the layer change. Perhaps it is a dual layered DVD, even though that would make little sense given the length of the programme and the paucity of substantive extras.

    The only subtitle option on the DVD is English, which covers the lyrics as well as the interview material. They seemed to be quite accurate and really easy to read.

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

Audio

    There are two soundtracks on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack whilst only sampling the Linear PCM soundtrack.

    The dialogue and vocals come up very well in the transfer and everything is easy to understand. There is no problem with audio sync in the transfer.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is not anything really special, but equally does not suffer from any real problems with the bass channel. About the only real issue with the soundtrack is what sounds like a slight dropout of the bass channel at around the 19:00 mark for a brief moment. It has to be said that the surround presence is not especially wonderful, with little action out of the rear channels and what sounds like a lack of consistency out of the front channels. The bass channel is if anything slightly understated, although this does suit the style of the music quite well. The Linear PCM is the usual clear and clean sound that is very easy on the ear, if lacking any sort of presence to it.

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

Extras

    A mediocre package rounds out the DVD.

Menu

    Okay theming and presentation, with some reasonable audio and animation enhancement.

Biographies - Cast

    This is not so much a biography as a bunch of notes about the making of the album Come On Now Social. It is presented in a scrolling fashion that frankly I found insanely boring. It scrolls far too slowly for me and I just could not stand having to wait for it to scroll up some new stuff to read - if the scrolling technique is to be used, at least make sure that the fast forward button will work please. In fact, this was so slow and boring that I was simply unable to go through the whole thing. It is quite detailed though.

Notes - Career Highlights

    Just as it suggests, a chronological listing of the major points of the career of Indigo Girls. Worthwhile synopsis of their career.

Gallery - Photo

    This is an automatic presentation with some audio enhancement. Nothing terrific.

Discography

    The main page listing of the albums has audio enhancement, whilst the underlying album track listings are without any such embellishment. Decent enough, but could have been better with the inclusion of audio bites and catalogue numbers.

Videos

    A listing of the videos, presented in the same manner as the discography.

R4 vs R1

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

    Since this is an all region NTSC formatted DVD, it would seem reasonable to assume that this is the same as the Region 1 release.

Summary

    Whilst it is nothing especially memorable, Indigo Girls - Live At The Fillmore remains a fairly decent concert experience of one of the better acts around. The presentation suffers somewhat from source material limitations, which is then compounded by a less than exemplary piece of mastering in my view. The audio transfer is decent enough, but the extras package is nothing really terrific. Probably one for fans only.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Tuesday, September 25, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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