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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Pop > Rock > Alternative > Glam > Punk > Progressive Rock > Owl City: Live From Los Angeles (2011/Eagle Blu-ray)/Rockpalast DVDs: Ian Hunter Band w/Mick Ronson (1980) + Public Image Limited Live 1983 (Music Video Distributors)/The Rolling Stones: Some Girls –

Owl City: Live From Los Angeles (2011/Eagle Blu-ray)/Rockpalast DVDs: Ian Hunter Band w/Mick Ronson (1980) + Public Image Limited Live 1983 (Music Video Distributors)/The Rolling Stones: Some Girls – Live In Texas 1978 (Eagle Blu-ray)/Styx: The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight Live (2011/Eagle Blu-ray)/Umphrey McGee Live (2008 Soundstage/Image Blu-ray)


Picture: Blu-rays: B-/DVDs: C     Sound: B/C+/B-/B/B/B+     Extras: C-/C/C/B-/C/D     Concerts: C/C+/B-/B-/C+/B-



Here is a recent slate of concerts for music fans old and new.  We start with two newer acts I had not really heard much about before.


Umphrey McGee Live is a 2008 Soundstage episode now arriving on Blu-ray form Image as part of a terrific batch of Blus from the company and great TV series that has resulted in some of the best concert discs we have seen in the format to date.  In just about all cases, many are previous issued on DVD, but all in those cases have been improvements in picture and sound.  This band is very popular in their hometown of Chicago and no doubt they are a slid band with talent, but none of the 12 tracks particularly stuck with me, yet how well they played and their showmanship left an impression.  If you like Rock and Pop music with some substance, you’ll want to try this one out.  There are no extras.


Owl City: Live From Los Angeles is a slightly more recent 2011 show, this time from Eagle and though the disc’s performance is what I expected, the 21 tracks and the performance did not work much for me, though they apparently have fans.  Doing Rock, Pop, Dance and even Alternative Rock, they are at least off to a good start, but they are not there yet.  At least this release captures them in a way in which superior fidelity gives you an idea of what they are like.  Bonus interviews are the only extra.


Going back, for our next three releases, the two Rockpalast DVDs were shot on analog PAL videotape and these are copies a little on the rough side, but I am not certain if it is permanent issues with the master tapes or the transfer to disc here.  Either way, Ian Hunter Band w/Mick Ronson is from 1980, has 13 tracks and reunites the name members of the great band Mott The Hoople.  It is a decent show, but I was not blown away by the performances of classics like All The Young Dudes.  However, this is not bad for 74 minutes and fans will want to see it.  The only extra is an illustrated booklet inside the DVD case.


The other release is Public Image Limited Live 1983 with Johnny Rotten hot off of his Sex Pistol days with as much talent, energy, sarcasm, power and angst as he ever had making this a surprisingly strong show, doing songs from both bands and on Halloween no less.  The audience is a plus here and this is one of the most interesting older concerts on home video all year so far.  Anyone serious about music should see this one once.  Extras include an illustrated booklet inside the DVD case and interview with Rotten.


Still as powerful as they ever were, The Rolling Stones: Some Girls – Live In Texas 1978 has the band on tour yet again selling out every place they played and backing yet another classic album.  Mick Jagger’s voice was still in top form here on the 17 tracks the band delivers including classics like Brown Sugar, Miss You, Tumbling Dice, Shattered and Beast Of Burden.  This Blu-ray also continues a series of Stones titles being issued by Eagle that continues to impress and I expect it will not be the last.  That’s a good thing.  Extras include an illustrated booklet inside the Blu case, while the disc adds a new Jagger interview, spoof of the late, great talk show host Tom Snyder’s Tomorrow show (reviewed elsewhere on this site) from Saturday Night Live of Dan Aykroyd as Snyder interviewing the real Jagger, classic performances of Beast Of Burden, Respectable & Shattered by the band and an ABC News 20/20 interview with the band.


Finally we have a mixed new show with the band Styx featuring The Grand Illusion/Pieces Of Eight Live from 2011 that covers most of their most popular albums, especially with fans.  It is better than the Contemporary Youth Orchestra Of Cleveland show they did a few years ago we covered on Blu-ray at this link:




The band in its new form even plays the songs well, plus Tommy Shaw can still sing as well as he ever did and he tends to be one of the most underrated male vocalists on all of Rock Music.  The problem is to hear him sound so good and then to hear new vocals in place of the still-alive Dennis DeYoung is something I could never get used to.  Add that the late John Ponozzo is missing and the whole show seems a little out of its element on and off.  Classics performed include the title songs of both albums, Come Sail Away, Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man), Lords Of The Ring, Renegade and Blue Collar Man (Long Nights).  The only extra is a behind the scenes featurette.




The 1080i 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfers are about on par with each other, though I do not understand why the Stones disc is not 1080p considering it is such a solid film shoot.  Still, they are what I expected from the format from live HD shoots we see on a regular basis and they are as consistent as expected, though you will get some softness, motion blur and other minor flaws throughout.  Both DVDs are here in 1.33 X 1 presentations and unfortunately, they are a little weaker than I expected or than many of the Rockpalast/MVD releases we have seen before.  Still, they are historic works and need to be on DVD.


DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes are featured on all four DVDs along with PCM 2.0 Stereo tracks, but the DTS is better in all cases and none so much as the especially dynamic mix on McGee Live which has a superior soundstage and is of audiophile quality that will surprise and impress all viewers.  The rest are still excellent just the same, including the Stones disc for being the oldest offering here, but they tend to always have superior engineering going back to their arrival, so we should not be surprised.  All but the McGee Blus have lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes, but they are no match for the DTS-MA at all.  The PCM 2.0 sound on the DVDs are better than a lossy choice, but the Hunter DVD is weaker than expected, but the PiL DVD is richer than expected for a show its age showing a rich stereo sound while the stereo on Hunter is a bit weak and limited.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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