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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Afrobeat > Documentary > Live 8 At Eden - Africa Calling

Live 8 At Eden – Africa Calling

 

Picture: C     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Concert: B

 

 

Live 8 is one of the big music events of the year, so why did it not make the splash and become the media event and big fundraiser it deserved to be instantly?  Some blamed planning, others just apathy in general, though there may be another reason.  Is trying to help people out in need now something the media (of any political persuasion) consider it to Left Wing and subversive to help people?  Is it too politically incorrect to reach out and say people need help?  Has the world lost its mind and is in so much denial that there is trouble in the world that it will bury us?  It is a shame that so much work went into the Live 8 event and it did not have the initial, immediate impact it should have had.   However, as it has been before, DVD is the return of the missed and the repressed and Rhino has issued one of several sets covering the massive event with Live 8 At Eden – Africa Calling.

 

Peter Gabriel, one of the greatest singer songwriters alive from the studio to the stage and all around the world organized this leg of the event.  Like Diana Ross in Central Park and Elvis Presley in his 1968 comeback concert, this is one of Gabriel’s all time golden moments and he has yet to receive the credit for it, Sir Bob Geldof or not.  Even in his Genesis days, no one before Paul Simon and a small number of R&B artists have done more to bring the music of Africa to the world mainstream.  The artists here include:

 

Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited

Maryam Mursal

Mariza

Chartwell Dutiro

Modou Diouf & O Fogum

Shikisha

Geoffrey Oryema

Nelson Mandela

Siyaya

Youssou N’Dour Et Le Super Etoile

Dido

Coco Mbassi

Angelique Kidjo (see her own DVD elsewhere on this site)

Ayub Ogada & Uno

Tinariwen

Frititi

Kanda Bongo Man

Akim El Sikameya

Emmanuel Jai

Daaraj

 

 

And this was one of eight concerts?  Yes, what was so accepted about doing the right thing in the 1980s is suddenly unacceptably “uncool” or something equally idiotic?  If anything, events like this can produce some amazing music and this set runs over three hours altogether.  It is a golden opportunity to see some of the greatest music performers in the world and many you may never see otherwise.  The music is really good itself and you might be surprised how much you enjoy it, as it is so organic and uncontrived.  Acoustic and unplugged is not the word.  This is part of an even you do not want to miss.  Live 8 has yet to be recognized for what it has achieved and if you see this set, you’ll begin to see why.

 

The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1/16 X 9 image is limited in color and detail more than expected, looking a bit odd in the transfer.  This might be because this was a PAL mastering of any HD source, while the DVD is NTSC, but their might be other explanations.  Otherwise, it is a clean presentation.  The Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 mixes have some harshness in their high end for whatever reason, so be careful in playback when you turn up the volume.  Why this is the case, I have no idea, but both encodings have their own problems in this respect.  Otherwise, they are new and sound it.  The only extra on DVD 1 (though the informative booklet included in the foldout Digipak case says DVD 2) is a fine documentary here at a too short 29 minutes called Africa Calling At Eden.  Overall, this does a fine job of documenting this leg of the concert.  Now can we see the other seven?

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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