U2-Elevation 2001: Live from Boston (2001)

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

Released 5-Dec-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Booklet
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Making Of
Multiple Angles-12 x 3
Featurette-Road Movie
Featurette-Additional Tracks (5)
Notes-6
DVD-ROM Extras
DVD Credits
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 108:05 (Case: 107)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (64:21)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,3,4 Directed By Hamish Hamilton
Studio
Distributor
Dreamchaser
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Bono
Adam Clayton
Larry Mullen
Edge
Case Slip Case
RPI ? Music U2


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, only on the bonus footage.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, the final credits run over the end of the concert.

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

Plot Synopsis

    As a live act, U2 have become well known for their larger-than-life shows, such as ZooTV and Popmart. Elevation is not one of those shows. This really is a back-to-basics show for U2 that is about the music and the band getting involved with their audience. Sure, the big TV screens are still there, but this time they play a much smaller part, only really coming into play in the show during the encore. Even then, apart from the end of The Fly, they only play a supporting role. The set is starkly simple, only featuring a love-heart shaped walkway that arcs out into the crowd, and a flat stage for the band. Gone are the huge sets, enormous props, and strange costumes. During this show, U2 get to demonstrate why they became known as one of the greatest rock and roll acts in the world to start with. They play their music with power, and sing their lyrics with passion.

    What we have presented to us here may not contain all the hits that you remember from U2, but what there is is certainly enough. The 19 tracks included run for almost two hours, and range from the very recent all the way back to some of their oldest work. Bono's voice is not at its best, but with the enthusiasm of the crowd backing him up, there are never any problems.

    As far as shows go, this is a good one. It is a must-buy for any serious U2 fan, and there is enough there for those who have only delved far enough into U2 to own a greatest hits album, and who want to experience the masters of concert cutting it back to (almost) the basics.

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

Track Listing

1. Elevation
2. Beautiful Day
3. Until The End Of The World
4. Stuck In A Moment...
5. Kite
6. Gone
7. New York
8. I Will Follow
9. Sunday Bloody Sunday
10. In A Little While
11. Desire
12. Stay (Faraway, So Close)
13. Bad
14. Where The Streets Have No Name
15. Bullet The Blue Sky
16. With Or Without You
17. The Fly
18. Wake Up Dead Man
19. Walk On

Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a very high quality transfer, with only a few problems common to most concert discs.

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, this transfer is obviously not 16x9 enhanced. I was unable to ascertain if this was actually shot for widescreen, but from the footage available on some of the extras, I would hazard a guess that it was.

    This transfer is very sharp, showing more than sufficient detail to make out the finer aspects of the image. There are only a very few instances of visible grain present here, most occurring when the presentation goes black-and-white for one song at 35:03. The shadow detail is excellent, and really gets to show its worth here in a concert with large amounts of darkness. There is no low level noise present.

    The colours, while quite good, appear to be a little too warm for the most part, giving the whole concert somewhat of a sunbaked appearance. This, however, is more than likely due to the enormous number of lights put in place for the concert.

    There are a few instances of light posterization that occur - most often when the stage-lights are filtered through effect smoke. The "spy-cam" fitted to Bono's glasses exhibits an extremely large amount of pixelization, and some image break-up - but this is due to the nature of the camera rather than any MPEG artefacting in the transfer. Fortunately this camera is rarely used. For such a sharp transfer, there is an impressively small amount of aliasing, but when it does occur it is fairly obvious. The worst example is at 50:26-50:38 on the edge of Bono's microphone, but the entire time the band is at the front of the platform, aliasing is far more prevalent than while they are on the stage. There are no film artefacts at all.

    There are no subtitles at all on this disc.

    This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 64:21. As with any concert, there is no real way to hide the layer change, but at least it does come when the band are not playing.

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

Audio

    The audio presentation for this disc is of a very high quality, although the intensity of the surround track is significantly greater than that of the stereo track.

    There are two audio tracks present on this disc, being a Dolby Digital 5.1 track encoded at the higher bitrate of 448 Kbps, and a Linear PCM stereo track. Somewhat annoyingly, the stereo track is the default. I listened to the surround track in its entirety, and sampled the stereo track extensively.

    The clarity of the sound is extremely good, with crowd noise mixed in to provide pleasing ambience. Each instrument and vocal can easily be made out, and there is no problem with the music being overridden with crowd noise. There is only one slight problem in the surround soundtrack and that is that on occasion the extremely aggressive bass track will begin to interfere with the vocals. This does not happen often, and when it does, it is not for long, but it does happen enough to be at least a little distracting.

    There were no audio sync problems at all with this disc.

    For the surround soundtrack, the surround usage was quite nicely done, giving a very good spatial representation of the music across the front soundstage while reserving the surround channels mainly for crowd noise. There are a few noticeable exceptions, particularly BAD, however for the most part this segregation of sound is a good thing, leading to a very immersive atmosphere. The stereo track is significantly less immersive, and while the music is still displaced nicely across the speakers, all you are really getting is a live CD with pictures - not bad, but the 5.1 track is where the action really is.

    One word in particular comes to mind where the bass track in the 5.1 presentation is concerned - aggressive. Not only will your subwoofer receive the workout of its life, but there is also very aggressive bass pushed to the front soundstage, and the centre channel in particular. Whether or not you like this kind of mix is really a matter of personal taste, but frankly the stereo track sounds positively wimpy in comparison. One final note is that the 5.1 track is encoded at an extremely high level - I was forced to watch this at about two thirds of my normal reference volume to avoid ear bleed. In comparison, the stereo track appears to be encoded at a more "normal" level, and hence seems considerably more subdued than the surround track at the same volume.

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

Extras

    There is a good selection of extras available on this two-disc disc, although the 6 hours claimed on the back of the sleeve is somewhat misleading (nor could I find any mention of the "trailers" also listed as a special feature on the sleeve).

Menu

    The menus on both discs are animated with a similar artistic style, and set to snippets of U2 music.

Featurette - The Making Of The Filming Of... (23:53)

    Presented in letterboxed 1.85:1 aspect ratio and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, this feature is not 16x9 enhanced. The content of this feature is very interesting and it is presented in an extremely engaging manner, making it one of the best documentaries of its type that I have seen.

Another Perspective - Multiple Angles (3) (Disc Two)

    This features a selection of the songs from the concert (tracks 1, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, and 19) with three available angles. The angles each feature a different audio track. The angles are the normal show, as available on the main disc, the directors room, and "fancam" (a single camera placed in the audience). Changing between the angles and tracks is achieved by selecting them from a menu that covers a good half of the screen. In fact, the angle button has been locked out here, so there is no choice but to use the menu. The audio for each angle is Dolby Digital 2.0 sound encoded at the higher bitrate of 224 Kbps. The value of this extra is extremely questionable, especially given the number of tracks that are repeated here with only half a screen visible, and an inferior audio track. The final problem with this extra is that the additional angles become extremely tedious to watch after a short period of time. This really should have been restricted to only one or two tracks.

Featurette - Road Movie (Disc Two)

    Presented full frame and featuring a Dolby Digital 2.0 rendition of Walk On, this featurette shows time-lapse photography of the preparations for the concert, through the concert itself, and then the deconstruction of stage and lighting afterwards. It is a very interesting feature, and is certainly worth a watch.

Additional Tracks (5) (Disc Two)

    The tracks are:     The title Additional Tracks is somewhat of a misnomer for the ZooTV and Popmart tracks, as they are simply the band's stage entrance at these shows. All tracks feature Dolby Digital 2.0 audio encoded at the higher bitrate of 224 Kbps.

DVD Notes (Disc Two)

    This feature is matched by the DVD-ROM weblinks, but is simply a series of text pages explaining the various causes that U2 stand for, and will really only be of interest to those who share the same political views as the band.

DVD-ROM content (Disc Two)

    This is a series of weblinks to each of the organisations/causes outlined in the DVD Notes, and a collection of bitmaps that can be used as Windows desktops.

Booklet

    This booklet contains a number of photos from the concert, a short article about the Elevation tour, and the concert/DVD credits.

R4 vs R1

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

    The same two-disc set appears to be standard world-wide, with only the PAL/NTSC difference to account for - a draw then.

     Update: I have been informed that the R1 version of this concert conatains two bonus tracks: Elevation and Until The End Of The World through the sunglasses-mounted camera that Bono wore during the concert. These are included as easter eggs, and are not available on the PAL formatted version of the disc. However, two extra tracks from a low-quality camera still do not change my assesment of the merit of the discs, and I still declare this one a draw.

Summary

    Elevation is a very good concert presented on a very good DVD.

    The video quality is extremely good, with only a few problems that are often associated with concert discs.

    While the audio is not the greatest concert mix you will ever hear, it is extremely serviceable, and easily gets the job done.

    The extras present are good, although there are some glaringly obvious omissions such as a discography. The number of extras is also somewhat small for a two-disc release.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Saturday, January 12, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayRCA 80cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

Other Reviews
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Kevin S

Comments (Add)
easter eggs -
correction -
U2 Live in Boston -
U2 Go Home - Live at Slane Castle, Specs - Ben H (My biography. Go on have a read...)