Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up – Live (HD-DVD)
B Sound: B Extras: C Concert: B
third look of what is now one of the best demo concerts for home video on the
market, Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up –
Live from Eagle Vision HD becomes like an old friend the more you turn to
it and watch it. To recap, when DVD
first arrived, the surprise boom besides the usual film sales was in
music. Concerts and Music Video
collections were surprise sellers and more than just the record labels took
advantage of that. With the introduction
of HD shooting, everyone has been rushing to make new state-of-the-art concerts
in the format and cash in on what they hope will be the next boom. On standard DVD, one of the latest best is Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up – Live from
Eagle Vision, who has become the leader in concert discs.
looked at many of their concert DVDs and now, they are releasing this material
in both HD-DVD and Blu-ray. The Way Up is the first concert being
issued in both HD formats, previously looked at the Blu-ray version and we now
have the equally solid HD-DVD to look at first.
I liked the concert and loved the sound fidelity in particular, as
covered in my review of the standard DVD at this link:
all the titles Warner Bros. and Paramount have issued in both formats, the best
title to come out in both HD formats is now this one. Though 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 image turns out to be
shot in HD 1080i and though this format is 1080p, you still get the best look
at both with the two very evenly matched versions of the same title. Part of the problem is simply that the
Blu-ray feature films have been shortchanged slightly over the HD-DVD versions
by having 5GB of space less than the HD-DVDs.
This has limited picture and even sound somewhat to Blu-ray’s
disadvantage. Here, it is an even match.
this HD-DVD is only the second (and few to come, it looks like) HD-DVD title to
have DTS-HD of any kind and is Eagle Vision HD’s first release in the format,
so it is an important early disc at that.
In addition, it is actually better than Paramount’s HD-DVD of the all-HD
feature Sky Captain & The World Of
Tomorrow, whose Blu-ray version was not as good and looked much softer than
this concert. To recap, color and
definition are improved enough over the standard DVD to be noticed, on par with
the Blu-ray (also reviewed on this site) and makes the concert even more
engaging as a result, even more so than the differences between the DVD and
Blu-ray of Alice Cooper – Live At
Montreux 2005 also reviewed elsewhere on this site.
there is the sound, again here in strong PCM 2.0 24bit/48kHz Stereo and
better-than-usual Dolby Digital 5.1. The
articulate standard DVD’s DTS 5.1 is here in a DTS HD 5.1 mix that is once
again better, as was the case with the Blu-ray version. It was a high watermark for music audio in
the HD formats when we first covered it, but that time has passed, though I
still enjoy hearing it.
in the DVD review, this is a top rate recording that audiophiles will be
impressed with and home theater fans will be stunned by. Like Eagle’s Chick
Corea & Gary Burton – Live At Montreux 1997 also reviewed on this site, The Way Up
is the kind of demo-quality concert disc and high definition disc release in
particular that shows how great the format can be. For home theater fans, Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up – Live is about to become some kind
of classic and Eagle Vision HD is just getting warmed up.
- Nicholas Sheffo