Joe Satriani-Live in San Francisco (2001)
Menu Animation & Audio
Multiple Angles-Time; Devil's Slide; Crush Of Love
|Year Of Production||2001|
|Running Time||147:39 (Case: 150)|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 48/24 2.0 (2304Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I first heard Joe Satriani on JJJ one night whilst heading home from work. The track was Return to Shalla-Bal and I was instantly hooked. Since then, I've managed to collect nearly all his albums and when the chance to review this DVD came along, I snapped it up. Filmed in concert over a couple of nights (from the way it's cut, possibly even 3 or 4 nights) this is a selection of some of his best and favourite tracks presented in a very stylish package with some superb sound and visuals.
Some might consider this one only for the fans, but any first-timer buying this off-the-shelf with a view to sampling his music will find this a very presentable disc that shows off his amazing talent brilliantly. Worthy of a look for any discerning 'axeman' as well.
2. Devil's Slide
3. The Crush Of Love
4. Satch Boogie
5. Borg Sex
6. Flying In A Blue Dream
7. Ice 9
8. Cool #9
10. Until We Say Goodbye
12. The Extremist
13. Summer Song
|14. House Full of Bullets|
15. One Big Rush
16. Raspberry Jam Delta-V
17. Crystal Planet
18. Love Thing
19. Bass Solo
20. Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing
21. Always With Me, Always With You
22. Big Bad Moon
24. Surfing With The Alien
Quite obviously, these two discs are either direct-from-source tape or off a master print since they are almost totally flawless in regards to the video presentation.
The only real letdown as far as I was concerned with the video on these discs was their presentation in 1.33:1/Full Frame and not widescreen mode. I guess that's more a personal issue though, and no reflection on the transfer or the original source material.
The sharpness was quite exceptional with no trace of edge enhancement noted. Shadow detail was a little lacking due to the lighting at times, but since there isn't a whole lot going on in the background that you need to discern, this wasn't a problem. Grain was very minimal, only raising its head where smoke was used and even then it was almost unnoticeable. Low level noise was not detected.
Typical of a concert, the colour is all over the place. Excessive reds, greens, blues and purples dominate for the most part. Where normal lighting is used, everything looked fine, skin tones on the mark and no bleeding was seen. Saturation is pretty self-evident as you'll note, but you get used to it within a few minutes.
This is almost a pristine effort in regards to artefacts and compression problems. If you wanted to be really picky there was some minor aliasing and pixelization on offer, but you need to look for them rather than them being obvious problems. The normal film artefacts are totally absent making this a stylish presentation.
There are no subtitles on either disc, but then the amount of singing and talking involved make this almost irrelevant. The only thing that might have been of value would have been the song titles before each track, but again this is a personal preference only and I am sure purists would disagree with having the vision marred with burned-in titles. All-in-all though, I doubt there will be too grievance with the lack of subtitles.
The concert is split over two discs using RSDL discs. Disc 1 had a layer change at 61:37 and Disc 2 at 44:17. Due to the nature of any live concert, any location for the changes would have probably been noticeable. As it is, these are well-placed so as to interfere as little as possible with the flow of proceedings.
There are two soundtracks in use on these two discs. The first is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 kilobits per second and the alternate is a PCM track at 2304 kilobits per second (2.0 channels, 48kHz sampling rate, 24 bit sampling depth). To be honest, after listening extensively to both, I doubt whether you'll be able to make much of a case for either being preferable unless you prefer surround channel activity and an active subwoofer. For the purists, the PCM track is every bit as listenable as the Dolby Digital track. My personal preference for the most part (being a philistine) is to go for the surround sound offered by the Dolby Digital track, although I did listen extensively to the PCM track, especially on Disc 2 (kudos to one of our readers, Ben, for alerting us to a MAJOR flaw with this track).
There is little dialogue on offer but it is clear and understandable. The audio sync on Disc 1 is fine on both Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM tracks, but the second disc has a real problem with the PCM soundtrack. A delay of approximately 1 second makes this very annoying when tied into the video. The lag is consistent over the entire disc and makes it almost unwatchable at times. Just watch the track Big Bad Moon (the only one Satriani sings on) for just how obvious it is. If you are playing the DVD as a CD/via headphones or with the video off, you won't have a problem.
The Dolby Digital soundtrack offers a decent amount of surround usage. There is no separation of the rears and it simply adds a dimension to the whole sound envelope that, unless you are a purist, is hard to go past. The surrounds are very active throughout both discs. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track offers some nice redirection to the subwoofer without going overboard. For the most part, the sound is subterranean but occasionally certain songs cut in and give you that hard thumping sound you want to hear from the .1 channel.
|Surround Channel Use|
The Region 1 version of this DVD appears identically featured to the local release, although no mention is made of an audio sync problem with Disc 2 in what limited references we could find.
A decently presented 2 disc set with one major audio flaw, this is definitely one for the fans and also those who enjoy a great guitarist. Satriani may not jump and prance about but he certainly can play that 'axe'.
The video quality makes this DVD worthy of a place in any collection. Solid, spectacular, bright and almost flawless (except not in widescreen).
For the most part, the audio is the equal of the video. Only a spectacular flaw in Disc 2's PCM soundtrack makes this less than stellar. Otherwise, it's a joy to listen to.
The extras are pretty standard for a concert-type DVD, but the multi-angle tracks plus the backstage documentary were nice additions.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Rotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Rotel RB 985 MkII|
|Speakers||JBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer|