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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Pop > Rock > Jazz > Vocal > Soul > Blues > Rockabilly > Punk > Glam > Peter Cetera – Live In Concert (2006)/Chris Isaak – Live In Concert & Greatest Hits Live (2008/Soundstage/Image Blu-rays)/New York Dolls: Lookin’ Fine On Television (MVD DVD)/Placebo – We Come In Piec

Peter Cetera – Live In Concert (2006)/Chris Isaak – Live In Concert & Greatest Hits Live (2008/Soundstage/Image Blu-rays)/New York Dolls: Lookin’ Fine On Television (MVD DVD)/Placebo – We Come In Pieces (2011/Eagle Blu-ray)/Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Live In Concert (2003)/Ringo Starr & The Roundheads – Live In Concert & Greatest Hits Live (2008/Soundstage/Image Blu-rays)


Picture: C+/B/C/B-/B-/B-     Sound: B-/B+/C/B/B+/B     Extras: C-/C/C/C+/D/D     Concert: C+/B+/B-/C+/B-/B-



And now for the latest round of music titles, mostly concerts, including several upgrades…



Peter Cetera – Live In Concert (2006) we have previously covered on a DVD that is now out of print, but you can read about it at this link:




Image has issued it in Blu-ray, one of several Soundstage concerts from before, but it has not aged well and it continues to be very disappointing.  Cetera is not trying and Amy Grant does not help matters.  There are no extras here, unless you count the two bonus songs and we will not.


Much, much better is Chris Isaak – Live In Concert & Greatest Hits Live (2008), two very strong shows form one of the best male vocalists and performers in the business.  We did cover the earlier show on its own out of print DVD at this link:





The Greatest Hits show is newer and just as incredible, but this time, Dancin’, Can’t Do A Thing To Stop Me and Goin’ Nowhere are among the tracks performed this time.  He and his band are 100% on the mark throughout both shows and that makes this one of the best Blu-ray concert releases to date.  There are no extras save two bonus tracks, but you get two shows and that’s great!



New York Dolls: Lookin’ Fine On Television is a rough compilation of the band we first covered at this link:





This includes some very old, early, analog NTSC video (think black and white) that shows the band in their early prime performing some of their best songs and being amazing.  This runs 70 minutes and includes vintage interview footage as an extra.  Fans will also want to see it with the documentary New York Doll (2005) about the late Arthur “Killer” Kane.



The band Placebo launched back in 1994, yet I had not heard much about them and they have not had much of an impact in the U.S. market, which might be why watching We Come In Pieces was somewhat surreal.  The audience seems to know them and their songs, singing many lyrics and having a good old time.  At least they seem like a smart boy band, but they are (or are trying to be) more as they play through their 20-song set of mixed but sometimes interesting songs.


Led by guitarist/lead singer Brian Molko, the band is at least consistent and the Glam Rock influence can be seen and hear din their work, but it is faint (they even did a song for The Velvet Goldmine soundtrack) and despite some good songs, this is a for-fans-only affair.  They are good showmen and there is more energy here than in many big-name shows we have seen lately, but it is not music that stuck with me or offered much that was memorable.  With its extras, it is a good introduction to the band and one of those situations where the backstory is more interesting than the music.  It also encourages one to revisit them to see what they might do next or look into other past works.



Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Live In Concert (2003) is new to us and is actually a concert in two parts, so it is long.  No big fan of the man or his music, it includes most of his hits to that tome and I give him credit for hanging in there when so many of his contemporaries have faded or become nostalgia acts.  Fans will love this disc, but others might think it is too much.  There are no extras, but you can also check out this look at the band’s best early work with their breakthrough album with this Classic Albums Blu-ray:





Finally we have Ringo Starr & The Roundheads – Live In Concert & Greatest Hits Live is a nice variant on this DVD concert of Starr and his All Starr Band at this link:




The Soundstage Blu-ray is not as star-studded, but is about as fun with 14 tracks in all including some Beatles hits, Ringo’s big solo hits (he sings Octopus’ Garden and Back Off Boogaloo this time) and Men At Work’s Colin Hay with another fun rendition of Who Can It Be Now?  You can also tell once again that all the band member’s are having fun and the audience gets it.  There are no extras.



The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on all the Blu-rays are about the same, though the Isaak concerts are especially colorful and clean, while the Cetera show looks aged and the Placebo show is stylized downward, affecting it, but has some good color and nice shots, but also has some noise and other shots that are not as good including darker shots as this is often a dark concert.  However, it is nicely edited and has its moments.  Audio options include a DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix that is the highlight of this release, as well as better than the Dolby Digital 5.1 and deeper than the PCM 2.0 Stereo also included.  Extras include a nicely illustrated booklet on the film including informative text, the Coming Up For Air documentary on the band, Trigger Happy Hands film and six bonus song performances.


The Image/Soundstage Blu-rays also have DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes and PCM 2.0 Stereo tracks, but the PCM usually is inferior save the Starr Blu-ray where the DTS mixed is compressed and botched, while the PCM sounds really good.  The Cetera DTS is the next weakest 5.1 mix and the Isaak DTS mixes are the best on the whole list.  That leaves the 1.33 X 1 image on the Dolls DVD very rough and sometimes hard to watch, but that is the nature of the old footage, which is the same that can be said for the lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 sound which is more monophonic than stereo and has audio dropouts all over the place.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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