Savage Garden

Superstars And Cannonballs

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Audio
Featurette-The Band's Commentary (22:11)
Multiple Angles-The Animal Song, Crash & Burn, Affirmation (4 angles each)
Music Video-I Knew I Loved You
Music Video-Crash & Burn
Music Video-Affirmation
Featurette-Parallel Lives (28:06)
Year Released 2000
Running Time 81:48
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (66:15)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Mark Adamson
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Darren Hayes
Daniel Jones
Karl Lewis
Lee Novak
Ben Carey
Jennifer Blakeman
Elisa Fiorillo
Angi Bekker
Case Brackley
RPI $39.95 Music Savage Garden

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Original Aspect Ratio ?1.78:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    I like Savage Garden. Their music, whilst relatively simplistic, is easy to listen to and pleasant to listen to, so I was rather looking forward to reviewing Superstars and Cannonballs. Unfortunately, Savage Garden, the slickly-produced studio band and Savage Garden live are two different entities. If I had to pick a single adjective to describe this concert DVD, it would be flat. The music sounded dull, lifeless and empty. There was little to no stage presence from either member of Savage Garden, although I am sure that the thousands of screaming pre-pubescent girls at this live concert in Brisbane would disagree with this assertion, and frankly, they aren't all that good as musicians/singers without the help of the myriad of anonymous session musos available to them in the studio. It was all so, so...choreographed.

    The track listing for this DVD is as follows;
1. The Best Thing
2. Break Me Shake Me
3. To The Moon And Back
4. The Lover After me
5. I Don't Know You Anymore
6. Santa Monica
7. Two Beds And A Coffee Machine
8. You Can Still Be Free
9. The Animal Song
10. Hold Me
11. Gunning Down Romance
12. Crash and Burn
13. Truly, Madly, Deeply
14. Chained To You
15. I Want You
16. I Knew I Loved You (into remix)
17. Affirmation

Transfer Quality


    After a horrendous start, this transfer settles down to become a decent transfer of concert-based material.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is generally sharp with a reasonable amount of detail revealed throughout. There are exceptions to this, with intense stage lighting effects leading to flaring and occasional complete white-outs of the image, but the image in general is nicely detailed. Shadow detail is quite reasonable given the harsh, stage-based lighting, so that there are lots of details to be seen in the more dimly-lit areas of the arena. Some of the backgrounds tended to exhibit a little bit of graininess, which may or may not have been low level noise.

    As with most concert DVDs, colours are intense and highly saturated as a result of the frequently monochromatic lighting schemes. The rope lights in the background of the stage lent a garishly colourful bent to the overall colourscape. There was some occasional flare with shots looking directly into the coloured lights, but there was no colour bleeding as such.

    MPEG artefacts were not an issue for this transfer, however aliasing was. The start of the concert, and in particular the SG rope-light logo, suffered horrendously from aliasing, and this continued throughout the first song with severe aliasing making the image all but unwatchable. Thankfully, both the intensity of the rope lighting and the speed of camera motion settled down after this jarring opening. Nonetheless, the combination of rope lights and cameras in motion frequently proved problematic for this transfer, with a greater or lesser degree of aliasing detracting frequently from the image to a greater or lesser extent. It got to the stage where I dreaded the combination of rope lighting and camera motion and was relieved when the camera either moved very slowly or stayed still when the rope lighting was in action. Darren's mesh shirt was also a tad problematic in this regard.

    Being shot on video, there were no film artefacts to be seen.

    This DVD is RSDL formatted, with the layer change occurring at 66:15. As with all concert DVDs, this is probably as good a place as could be found for the layer change, although it is quite jarring and very obvious due to the sudden interruption of the crowd noise.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Grain/MPEG Artefacts
Film-to-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    In a word, the audio on this DVD is disappointing. Other words I could use to describe the overall sound of this mix are; poorly-integrated and blurry, but more on this anon.

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded. I listened to the 5.1 mix in its entirety and made some comparisons with the 2.0 surround-encoded mix.

    The dialogue and vocals were always very clear and easy to make out, firmly anchored in the center channel, but they seemed very poorly integrated with the rest of the mix for some reason. Audio sync was not a problem at any stage for this transfer.

    At 64:41, the vocals suddenly become very tinny, an effect that lasts until the end of the song involved.

    The surrounds were used for musical ambience and crowd noise. I found that the instrumental sounds in this mix were all blurred together across the front soundstage instead of occupying their own space, and found this very disconcerting to listen to, as it made the overall sound very flat and lifeless, in addition to being poorly integrated with the vocals. The 2.0 surround-encoded mix is even worse in this regard than the 5.1 mix, sounding totally dull, flat and lifeless with no significant surround presence at all.

    The subwoofer was all but silent, with grossly inadequate levels of bass being sent through this channel. The output from the .1 channel was so inadequate that I wandered over to the subwoofer on a number of occasions to ensure that it was outputting bass, which it was. I also rechecked the calibration of my subwoofer channel to make sure that it was not a set-up problem, but it wasn't. There simply is not enough bass in this mix for some reason, either deliberately or accidentally. The 2.0 mix is much better in this regard.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    For a music DVD, there are a copious selection of extras on this DVD.


    A very nice animation leads you into the main menu, which features some very pleasant audio and animation enhancement. Some of the other menus are also enhanced with audio.

The Band's Commentary (22:11)

    This is presented as a linear feature with either a small picture-in-picture of Darren in the bottom right corner of the screen talking about a specific song or voice-over of Daniel doing the same. This is an entirely separate video stream to the concert itself, rather than any sort of integrated feature, as is implied by the title of this featurette. I found this only mildly interesting. There is a significant audio glitch at 4:48.

Multi-Angle Songs

    Three songs are presented with multiple angles; The Animal Song, Crash & Burn and Affirmation. Angle 1 appears to be the standard edit, Angle 2 is from a camera to the left of the stage, Angle 3 is from a camera placed centrally and Angle 4 is from an on-stage hand-held camera to the right of and behind the performers.

    I must be honest and say that I only sampled these angles, as I had tired of the concert material by this stage of the review.

Music Video-I Knew I Loved You, Crash & Burn, Affirmation

    Here it is! The missing bass. The music videos sound so much better than the concert footage that it isn't funny. These studio-finessed versions of the songs are a huge contrast to the emptiness of the concert mix, although it is worth pointing out that the video accompanying Affirmation is not the music video per se but rather a montage of scenes from the concert.

Featurette-Parallel Lives (28:06)

    This is a great documentary, with copious amounts of behind-the-scenes info. It has its fair share of bubblegum, but there is plenty of meat here to enjoy. Definitely worth the time invested in watching it.


R4 vs R1

    The Region 1 version of this DVD appears to be similarly-featured to the Region 4 version. Accordingly, I would lean towards the local product in this case.


    Savage Garden-Superstars And Cannonballs was somewhat of a disappointment both artistically and technically. Die-hard fans of the band should not hesitate, but others are advised to audition this DVD before committing your $40.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
24th January 2001

Review Equipment
DVD Denon DVD-3300/Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the RGB input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Denon AVD-1000 DTS AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials and the NTSC DVD version of The Ultimate DVD Demo Disc Platinum.
Amplification EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifier for Left & Right Front; Marantz MA6100 125W per channel monoblock amplifiers for Left & Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer