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-
for the latest round of music titles, mostly concerts, including several
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:
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 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:
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:
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:
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
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.
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