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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Rap > Hip Hop > Tupac The Complete Live Performances (DTS/Eagle Vision)

Tupac The Complete Live Performances (DTS/Eagle Vision)


Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: C+ Concerts: B-



A bold new DVD set has arrived form Eagle Vision of concert performances by the late, slain Rapper Tupac Shakur that calls itself Tupac - The Complete Live Performances. Whether this is every one captured on tape and film ever or just officially is something only a scholar (specifically on Tupac) knows for sure. They more likely are the only complete full-length ones, as the case notes, so that leads one to ask if he was really that good or great.


The answer is actually yes. Even a non-Rap fan can appreciate his boldness in calling out the names of his competitors, doing their music and saying he going to show them up by outdoing their own work takes guts in any music genre or any other artform. Sure, some people have quietly remade other hits into classics and their own larger hits, but for Tupac, it was political, heightened competition, heightened animosity and fired up Rap at its height. As comatose as the music art and industry are today, this would be welcome by anyone with his talent and/or guts.


His hits are all here, plus collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, K-Ci, Jo Jo and with Tha Dogg Pound show both Tupac and the genre in its original hardcore glory. It is amazing that this period of Rap is actually over, also proving that Tupac was definitely one of its most important artists. His talents even extending to a promising acting career which got surprise positive reaction and likely might have been something he would be doing more of now if Rap was in (temporary?) remission as it is now.


The first DVD is three parts Live At The House Of Blues in Los Angeles, while the second DVD is Live At Club 662 in Las Vegas. They are both full of energy and proof that for all intents and purposes, He was just getting warmed up before his death under what we can understatedly say is still very mysterious circumstances. The Blues footage runs longer than the Vegas footage, but there are hours of his peak live act here even before you add extras. Fans will be pleased with that. Then there is the performance of the DVDs.


The first concert is anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1/16 X 9, while the second is full frame 1.33 X 1, with the former looking a little better than the later. Even the case explains the footage varies in quality, typical of even the most professional circumstances of the time. Music Videos are usually the best music artists were captured at the time when filmed, though Tupac has the added luxury of several 35mm features, pretty much all of which are on DVD.


When the multi-channel formats arrived and many classics were issued, this critic thought Rap would benefit since 2-channel CDs (with their limited PCM 16bit/44.1kHz Stereo) was not enough to capture that entire range of base. Unfortunately, Super Audio CD and DVD-Audio did not fly and their decline matched that of rap, oddly. Here, while both discs offer Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, Eagle has remixed all the audio for the first L.A. concert in 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS. The results are very impressive, even surpassing Tupac Resurrection (reviewed elsewhere on this site) as the best-sounding Tupac material on the market (give or take vinyl for that hardcore audience) to date. Even though it shows some sonic limits, there is enough warmth and presence that in the middle of watching, I had to re-remind myself that he was no longer with us. The result is bittersweet, but makes for a great record of his work on an archival level.


There are five video clips on DVD 1 and two bonus pieces, alternate angles piece and Treach audio commentary on DVD 2 as the extras, along with two essays on a paper pullout inside the DVD case. Overall, this is as solid a Hip Hop DVD title as has been released to date.



- Nicholas Sheffo


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