The B-52s With The Wild Crowd: Live In Athens, GA (Eagle Blu-ray)/Dinosaur Jr. Live At The 9:30 Club In The Hands of The Fans (MVD
DVD)/Phil Collins Live At Montreux 2004
B-/C/B- Sound: B/C+/B Extras: B-/C+/C- Concerts: B/B-/C-
A new set
of concert discs from established artists show us some highs and lows of legacy
The B-52 With The Wild Crowd: Live
In Athens, GA was
taped in 2011 and two things should be said for starters. It is amazing the band stayed together past
R.E.M. and this is the entire original band with Cindy Wilson back ands
reunited with fellow bandmates Kate Pierson, Fred Schneider and Keith
Strickland. That should have been bigger
news at the time it happened, especially since they are as impressive as ever
and still manage to have the energy that made them one of the best New
Wave/Punk/Dance/Pop bands in the business.
a strong 20-song set, including megahits Roam
and Love Shack, early classic Rock Lobster and fan favorites like Private Idaho, making them as much the
pride of Athena, Georgia as anything. As
is the case with the greatest bands in music history, when the original members
reassemble, they become that band fully again and that is exactly what happens
again here. This was a real surprise and
pleasure, seeing that the band (unlike many of its contemporaries) still got it
and that is part of what makes this one of the best music Blu-rays of the year,
a status it will hold onto for the rest of the year with ease.
a nice, long, fun, on camera interview with the band and illustrated booklet
inside the case with some text information.
few years later and also having a period where they were not together in their
original form before reuniting, Dinosaur
Jr. Live At The 9:30 Club In The Hands of The Fans has the Punk/Alternative
Rock band playing their entire classic Bug
album in another concert from 2011, but this time, they have some hand-picked
fans shooting footage of the performance.
Beastie Boys did this with Awesome… I
(@#$%!) Shot That (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and the makers
(including Year That Punk Broke
director Dave Markey) do the same on a smaller scale and it is really just as
effective as the band shows they also still have it. I was not as familiar with the band, but
always thought they were good and never understood why they did not at least
have one big crossover hit of some kind because they deserves some more
commercial success than they received, even if some fans would disapprove. Still, this is a solid DVD and if you have
never seen or heard of them, a great place to start.
include On Stage interview with Henry Rollins, Rollins explaining the history
of the 9:30 Club, backstage interview with the fans, J & Dave Market
Interview and bonus live footage in a Jar & The Wagon, which is better than
many larger releases.
we have Phil Collins Live At Montreux
2004, the third Eagle/Collins release we have covered to date and it is our
lamest entry here. The first was an
interesting analysis of his Face Value
album and the second, a horrible concert.
This time, we get two horrible concerts, as a bonus analog-taped 1996
Montreux performance is also here, but wow, he was lazy and bored even then.
non-fans would have to wonder why he is not drumming in the 2004 show, why we
get weak performances of the already weak Two
Hearts, Invisible Touch, Against All Odds, obnoxious Sussudio (who would name their child
that?) and once-listenable In The Air
Tonight on the 1994 show where he still drums or 2004 butchery of Cyndi
Lauper’s True Colors, awful Groovy Kind of Love, I Missed Again, tired-on-arrival Separate Lives, uber-annoying One More Night, Don’t Lose My Number, gutting of The Supremes’ You Can’t Hurry Love, Take Me
Home and horrific Easy Lover all
add up to show that Collins helped kill the music business with a string of
hits so terrifying that even Jason and Freddie would run away. Any hope this would be better than the later
show was wishful thinking. And in two
illustrated booklet is included as an extra, as is the earlier concert, but
more is not better here. This is for
fans and those who like to torture themselves with recent oldies from hell in
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer on both Blu-rays are about on
par with each other, but B-52s
should look better because of the colorful nature of the stage show, however,
this early HD shoot cannot handle the color range and that causes anomalies
with the HD format that film would never have trouble with, reminding one of
the early limits of analog TV (you had to film shows with TV contrast limits in
mind) and analog videotape (i.e., too much video white would turn yellow, etc.)
proving once again that digital and HD are not the technical miracle they are
being touted as being. Still, like the Chris Issac Soundstage double feature
Blu-ray, it is a fun concert visually and you should ignore the visual limits.
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image on Dinosaur
is a mix of video formats, mostly handled by amateur cameramen, so the result
is softer and more choppy than an outright concert, which is to be
expected. Otherwise, this is fine for
DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes on both Blu-rays is surprisingly
goods, even with the Collins show
sounding well-recorded, actually making it more difficult to sit through. The B-52s
has a slight fidelity edge and is a nice, lively live recording that really
delivers and fans (especially those unhappy that no high fidelity digital audio
version of their work has been issued yet) will be happy with the soundstage
and range of this mix. Lossy Dolby
Digital 5.1 and uncompressed PCM 2.0 Stereo tracks are also included, but they
are no match for the DTS-MA in both cases.
The lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 on Dinosaur
has its moments, but due to the multiple-tapings, is not consistent in
soundfield, so expect anomalies.
- Nicholas Sheffo