Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble

Live At The El Mocambo

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1991 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 62:51 minutes Other Extras Biography
Interview - Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon (from Double Trouble)
Menu Audio and Animation
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 1,2,3,4,5,6 Director Dennis Saunders
Epic Music Video
Sony Music
Starring Stevie Ray Vaughan

Double Trouble:
Tommy Shannon
Chris Layton

Case Black Brackley
RRP $34.95 Music Stevie Ray Vaughan

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio No Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 224Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision No Smoking Yes
Subtitles English Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, of sorts (crowd tape)

Plot Synopsis

    If you need a bit more background on just where Stevie Ray Vaughan stands in the history of guitarists, just check out my previous review of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Live From Austin Texas.

    This DVD is the the complete recording of the appearance of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble at The El Mocambo, an intimate club in one of my favourite cities - Toronto, Canada. Although released in 1991, it was obviously recorded earlier than that (otherwise we are all watching a ghost), and actually it was recorded back in 1983. In that regard it makes an interesting comparison to the first three songs off the previous DVD, recorded in the same year. The track listing is:

    Okay, so anything he did was worthwhile just about so this too is an enjoyable enough concert experience of a master guitarist in every sense of the word.

Transfer Quality


    Even though this was presumably first taped for use on television, and it does date back some seventeen years, the overall quality is good. As is usual for Sony Music DVDs however, this is an NTSC format disc and you will need a display device capable of accepting and displaying the data in order to see anything meaningful when watching this DVD.

    The concert is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and of course it is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The big difference here to the earlier DVD is the fact that this is distinctly more variable in sharpness and detail, and in general is not exactly exemplary in this regard. Presumably it was shot on videotape, and to compound the situation, in the inherently inferior resolution of NTSC as well. At times the focus does border on being decidedly dodgy, although overall it is more than acceptable. The transfer is reasonably clear throughout and the shadow detail is decent if nothing more. There did not appear to be any low level noise in the transfer.

    The colours have come up reasonably in the transfer, although this does suffer a little from washout and flare problems as a result of the stage lighting. In general it lacks just a little in the depth of colours, although somewhat perversely it does suffer from slight oversaturation at times owing to the failure of the tape to handle the wide variances in the stage lighting. However, in view of the age of the transfer and the source of the material, allowances are readily made.

    There were no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There was a very minor and barely noticeable problem with aliasing during the transfer, which again in all honesty is probably more due to the inherent lack of solid resolution of an NTSC transfer rather than actual aliasing as a result of the transfer process. There was no problem with film artefacts in the transfer.


    Well, at best I can say that the Dolby Digital effort is better here, but that really is not saying an awful lot. Once again we have a rather average Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack on offer here. Interestingly, the data rate on the transfer is much lower than normally seen for a Dolby Digital soundtrack (224Kb/s versus 448Kb/s), and it is possibly the reason that this sounds very muddy.

    There are two English audio tracks on the DVD, a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 track. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is far more listenable than that of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Live From Austin Texas, but not by a whole lot. The Linear PCM soundtrack makes for infinitely better listening and is the track to stick with.

    The music and vocals came up pretty well in the Linear PCM soundtrack, but the Dolby Digital soundtrack is a different matter altogether. Although nowhere near as pronounced as the earlier DVD, the problem with the Dolby Digital soundtrack is that the sound mixer has again decided to mix the bass too prevalently in the mix and it really does tend to drown out not just the vocal track but also the instrumental tracks. The overall sound is extremely muddy and it lacks a lot in definition, making this far less like a Dolby Digital 5,1 soundtrack and more like an early Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack with bass enhancement. Once again, I was never able to get a good enough balance in the sound to make this a pleasurable listening experience, although at least I was able to suffer the whole soundtrack this time. However, you really should just stick with the excellent Linear PCM soundtrack that lets the master guitarist shine through.

    Audio sync did not appear to be a problem with either of the soundtracks.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack does not only suffer from too much bass in the mix. As well as this, the surround channels seem to be very congested, especially in the front, giving the whole soundtrack a very rearward sounding balance to it - not exactly the best way to listen to great guitar playing. In comparison, the Linear PCM soundtrack is a lot clearer, with a lot more space in the sound and it really ends up sounding very natural indeed.


    Well, after lamenting the lost opportunities on the previous DVD, what do we get here? Exactly what I asked for!


    This is decently themed with some decent animation and audio enhancement throughout. One of those rare instances where the highlighted option is an absolute doddle to see - the sort of thing that we should always get but very rarely do!


    Called a timeline on the DVD, this is basically a short recording history of Stevie Ray Vaughan, highlighting the Sony name just a little too much for my taste. This could have been and should have been a whole lot better but at least it is a start in the right direction.


    Not exactly exhaustive and really just giving track listings for the various albums released. Acceptable as it is, but I would have thought that base information like catalogue numbers, release dates, chart placings and so on would not have been asking too much. Oh, and what about the singles and EPs? There surely must have been plenty.

Interview - Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon (from Double Trouble) (22:14)

    Recorded in October, 1999, this is a collection of mildly interesting snippets from a specially recorded interview with two guys who probably knew Stevie Ray Vaughan better than anyone. Presented in a full frame format, not 16x9 enhanced and with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, this is an interesting enough addition to the package that could have again been so much more.

R4 vs R1

    This appears to be the same as the Region 1 release so we have an instance where R4 = R1 in all respects.


    Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble-Live At The El Mocambo is another pleasurable look at one of the great guitarists of the twentieth century, let down by a decidedly average Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The same caveat applies to this DVD as for the earlier effort, although this time around the extras package is significantly more worthwhile.

    A good video transfer for both its age and the source.

    A very average Dolby Digital audio transfer offset by a very good Linear PCM audio transfer.

    A pretty decent extras package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Audio (Linear PCM)
(Dolby Digital)
Overall (Linear PCM)
(Dolby Digital)

© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
13th June 2000

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-515; S-video output
Display Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Built in
Amplification Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Speakers Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL