Oasis-Familiar to Millions (2000)

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Released 2-Mar-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Active Subtitle Track-Blue Tambourine
Multiple Angles-Cigarettes And Alcohol
Featurette-Go Let It Out
Featurette-Supersonic
Featurette-Rock 'n' Roll Star
Featurette-Live Forever
Featurette-The Soundcheck
Featurette-The Show
Featurette-They Think It's All Over...
Featurette-The Chat
Discography
DVD-ROM Extras-Songplayer-Live Forever
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 94:52
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (56:47) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Dick Carruthers
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Liam Gallagher
Noel Gallagher
Gem Archer
Andy Bell
Alan White
Zeb Jameson
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $29.95 Music Oasis


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Audio Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Audio Dolby Digital 5.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, end titles over pans across audience and stage

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

Plot Synopsis

    Oasis-Familiar To Millions captures the first show of Oasis' two night stand at Wembley Stadium in London (21 July 2000), which formed part of the band's rather successful 2000 World Tour. All-in-all, Oasis played to 1.2 million people in 23 countries, including 450,000 in the UK and 70,000 each night at the Wembley.

     Following on the heels of the Beatles and Rolling Stones, Oasis is a British rock band featuring a few young men (including brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher) with funny accents, catchy songs, and an appeal that extends beyond their country of origin. Their first album Definitely Maybe was released in 1994 and sold over 4 million copies in the UK but success across the Atlantic puddle had to wait until the second album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? which peaked at #4 on the Billboard charts and had two #1 singles. The band also had at least 15 minutes of fame through the off-stage antics of the brothers, which involved sibling rivalry, feuds with other bands and drug use. The band then went a bit quiet and there were rumours of a break-up, but they resurfaced in 1997 with a third album Be Here Now. The boys then calmed down a bit, got married and started families and got off the drugs and alcohol. Oasis is still around today (albeit with some changes in the band line-up), a few years and a few albums later - the latest being Standing On The Shoulder (sic) of Giants. Oasis has obviously retained a core group of loyal fans - as evidenced not only from their fairly comprehensive official web site but from fan sites as well.

    I reviewed this disc straight after Oasis ... There and Then (NTSC), and it's interesting to compare between the two discs, not only in terms of the band's performance and transfer quality, but also in terms of the sophistication of the DVD production.

    Oasis ... There and Then was an early DVD disc with just one title - DVD5, NTSC full-frame formatting, laserdisc quality video with analogue video artefacts, a remixed surround audio track, static menus and no extras whatsoever. This disc, on the other hand, features an RSDL disc crammed with extras, PAL 1.78:1 with 16x9 enhancement, a true-blue Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track, and animated menus.

    The extras are also very sophisticated for a music DVD and makes use of active subtitles (a la "Follow the White Rabbit" in The Matrix), multiple viewing angles and DVD-ROM content. I must say I'm impressed - this is the most feature-packed music DVD I've yet seen.

    However, despite the 16x9 enhancement, 5.1 audio and innovative extras, I ended up preferring the band's performance on the earlier DVD rather than in this concert. Despite all its faults, the music on the earlier DVD sounded more exciting and alive - five years later Oasis seems to have lost some of the exuberance and sheer energy of their heyday. As an example, I compared Acquiesce and Champagne Supernova (two of my favourite Oasis songs) on both discs - in each instance the version on the earlier disc seems more alive and kicking compared to the more pedestrian interpretation on this disc.

    For once, this music DVD fully deserves its M rating - the Gallagher brothers seem to be inordinately fond of issuing four letter expletives in between songs. For those of you dying to know where the infamous scene is featuring an enthusiastic female fan baring her bosom to the band (as well as to the rest of the audience via the big screen) - it occurs at 46:07-46:13 (although there is a much earlier glimpse - but only if you have sharp eyes - at 30:40).

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Track Listing

1. F***in' In The Bushes
2. Go Let It Out
3. Who Feels Love?
4. Supersonic
5. Shakermaker
6. Acquiesce
7. Step Out
8. Gas Panic!
9. Roll With It
10. Stand By Me
11. Wonderwall
12. Cigarettes & Alcohol
13. Don't Look Back In Anger
14. Live Forever
15. Hey Hey, My My
16. Champagne Supernova
17. Rock 'n' Roll Star

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with 16x9 enhancement.

    The transfer is rather problematic as it is riddled with MPEG artefacts including rather pronounced instances of Gibb effects, pixelization and occasional posterization. I suspect that it suffers from over-compression due to the DVD authors trying to fit both a Linear PCM track and a full 5.1 Dolby Digital track onto a 95-minute title together with a whole bunch of extras.

    The transfer is also below reference quality in terms of sharpness and detail.

    Colour saturation seems okay, but somehow I was dissatisfied with the colour reproduction - maybe it's because of a combination of various artefacts including slight colour bleeding and posterization.

    This is a single sided dual layered (RSDL) disc. The layer change occurs at 56:47 and is about average in terms of disruption - it is definitely noticeable but at least occurs in a reasonably quiet part of the concert in between songs.

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

Audio

    The concert is accompanied by two audio tracks, Linear PCM stereo encoded at 48 kHz 16 bits (default track), and Dolby Digital 5.0 encoded at the higher bitrate of 448 Kb/s.

    The Dolby Digital track is mastered at a relatively high level and features rather aggressive use of all five speakers (with audience noises in particular split across the rear surrounds), but does not contain an LFE (subwoofer) channel. Despite that, however, the music features plenty of bass directed at all speakers.

    The best way of describing the overall sound of the Dolby Digital track is thus: Do you own or have you ever owned an AV amplifier/receiver that features a fake surround mode called "Stadium" or "Super Stadium"? Have you ever engaged that effect either intentionally as an experiment or by accident? And did you turn if off pretty soon afterwards because the end result is so over-the-top? Well, that's exactly how this audio track sounds...except you can't turn it off.

    The Linear PCM audio track is mastered at a much lower level and sounds pretty underwhelming compared to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track. It is definitely below CD quality - more like FM radio I would say. Unfortunately, it is also the default audio track. Honestly, if this is the best they can do I'd rather they skip this format and use the valuable bandwidth for a DTS track or for improving the quality of the video transfer instead.

    Although I can't detect any audio synchronization issues, the Gallagher brother's accent is pretty much indecipherable by me so I have no idea what they are singing about nor am I able to appreciate most of the stage banter (apart from the four letter words which came through loud and clear thank you very much).

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

Extras

    I must say that I am impressed with the quality as well as originality of the additional features present on this disc. This has to be the most extensive set of extras I have yet encountered on a music DVD - about the only feature missing is a commentary track. What's even more impressive is the fact that ALL extras (including the menus) are presented with 16x9 enhancement. This disc fully deserves a rating of five stars for extras.

Menu

    The menus are all 16x9 enhanced and feature extensive animation and sound within the menus and also in between menus.

Active Subtitle Track-Blue Tambourine

    This extra is similar to the "Follow The White Rabbit" feature on The Matrix DVD - it enables a subtitle track that will display a blue tambourine on screen at various points during the concert. If you press the "ENTER" key on the DVD player at these points the DVD will branch into a featurette appropriate to that point in the concert. Each of the featurettes can also be individually accessed via the menu. Most of the featurettes are on-location footage taken before, during and after the concert by Grant Gee (the director of Radiohead's 'Meeting People Is Easy' film).

Multiple Angles-Cigarettes And Alcohol (5:19)

    This is a very impressive showcase of the capabilities of the multiple camera angle feature of DVD-Video. We are presented with an excerpt from the concert (Cigarettes and Alcohol) from the perspective of four cameras as well as the edited version as shown in the main feature. At all times, we get to see all five camera angles as tiny pictures-within-picture on the left side of the screen so we can use the angle button on the DVD remote to select the angle that looks the most interesting.

    This feature has two audio tracks (Linear PCM and Dolby Digital 2.0) but the Dolby Digital 2.0 track is silent.

Featurettes-Visuals

    This is a set of films and graphics shown as background images accompanying various songs in the concert. The audio track accompanying these mini-featurettes are the associated songs encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0
Go Let It Out (4:35)
This is mainly a set of vignettes featuring scenes of New York City. Most of the scenes feature an excessive amount of grain, which I presume is intentional
Supersonic (4:40)
This is a montage of various scenes, with the predominant image being something that looks like a bed of nails.
Rock 'n' Roll Star (2:56)
This a montage of various shots of the band, interspersed with various album and video covers.
Live Forever (4:33)
This is kind of cute - it contains the text of various quotes gradually shrinking into a background which then slowly dissolves into a black and white photograph of John Lennon.

Featurette-The Soundcheck (17:32)

    This is the first of several featurettes that can be accessed individually as well as part of the "Blue Tambourine" interactive subtitle track. Presented in black and white, this features various footage in and out of Wembley stadium during the soundcheck prior to the concert, including various members of the audience generally acting like the hooligans that they probably are. The transfer for this featurette is riddled with MPEG artefacts including Gibb's effect ringing, posterization and pixelization. The audio track is excessively loud and sounds distorted in places.

Featurette-The Show (20:42)

    This features even more footage of various members of the audience taken at various points during the actual concert. I liked the guy with the crutches singing along with the band during Acquiesce. Most of the shots are in black and white, and occasionally the screen is split into two 16:9 halves. Chapter 3 seems to contain the voice of an unidentified film crew member shouting what appears to be editing instructions. Some of the scenes feature a high degree of video noise which I assume is due to shooting in very low light conditions. The last chapter is some backstage footage of Liam watching his brother during one of the encore pieces.

Featurette-They Think It's All Over... (4:38)

    This features footage of the band leaving the stage at the end of the concert, as well as the audience leaving the stadium. Most of the shots have a high degree of video noise.

Featurette-The Chat (9:59)

    This is a short interview with the band members. I'm glad the Gallagher brothers consistently display a strong sense of humility and and a realistic sense of their importance - NOT!

Discography

    This is a set of sub-menus featuring stills of Oasis albums and singles plus song listings. Each still is accompanied by an audio clip from the album/single.

DVD-ROM Extras-Songplayer-Live Forever

    This consists of web page and associated images (with links to a special page on the Oasis website featuring various stills from the concert) and a Windows application called "Songplayer" that provides electronic music tuition on the chords, lyrics and riffs for the song 'Live Forever'.

R4 vs R1

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

    According to Amazon, the R1 version of the disc has a very similar set of extras but seems to be in a (pan & scan?) aspect ratio of 1.33:1 as opposed to widescreen (and also missing out on the Linear PCM audio track). If this is true, then it would make R4 the obvious choice.

Summary

    Familiar to Millions is a so-so concert from the once-superstar status British rock band Oasis. It is presented on a DVD with problematic video and audio transfers, but one that has a pretty amazing collection of extras, particularly for a music DVD.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Wednesday, April 18, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront left/right: B&W DM603; centre: B&W CC6S2, rear left/right: B&W DM601

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
The best concert i have ever seen - bobby_oasis