Tupac – The Complete Live Performances (DTS/Eagle Vision)
Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: C+ Concerts: B-
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
- Nicholas Sheffo