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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Folk > Pop > African > Politics > Dispatch – Zimbabwe: Live At Madison Square Garden (DVD/CD)

Dispatch – Zimbabwe: Live At Madison Square Garden (DVD/CD)


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



Dispatch is a trio that does a sort of Folk Rock style music (think Dave Matthews) though sometimes they song there songs, while other times they talk or even (sort of) Rap through them in their own way.  I had heard of them and they have been around for a bit, but Dispatch – Zimbabwe: Live At Madison Square Garden is a DVD/CD crash course that shows you what they offer and where they are coming from.


I did not find many of the 23 songs in the concert particularly memorable, but they were at least consistent.  They are definitely there to entertain their audience and have enough of one they are connecting to that those paying are having fun.  However, all this only added up to so much, yet I was intrigued by what they were trying to say and do politically.  More on that in a moment.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image starts out with a phony black and white look, but even HD cannot hide the fact that the footage is really gutted color.  When it turns to proper color, it is not bad, but too much motion blur and lack of detail still plague the image throughout.  This has been issued in HD-DVD and Blu-ray, but we did not receive those copies by posting time, but maybe they look better than this.  We’ll see.  The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on the DVD is not that good, with ambient surrounds more than real multi-channel and a flatness that disappoints, but the PCM 2.0 16/44.1 Stereo CD included is much more like it with full sound confirming the Dolby mix is not representative of what was recorded.


Extras include the CD if you want to count it, outtakes, behind the scenes clips and the highlight of the set, courtesy of the band: Tree With No Name.  This documentary is must-see viewing about the fall, rise and fall of conditions in Zimbabwe, where dictatorship has ruined the most progressive country in Africa.  Way ahead of South Africa, the former Rhodesia was setting new standards with a new democracy, majority rule and massive education, but “something” went wrong and a dictatorship has annihilated their once-plentiful agriculture and the combination of inflation and starvation is making a good country and good people suffer when they should be getting emergency assistance.


The documentary never points fingers or blames anyone for anything, only noting how bad things became when the government became Fascistic.  I bet if they had oil, things would be different.  Either way, the conditions are highly unacceptable and it is yet another shining example of what a wreck the U.N. is.  Even if you are not interested in the music here, this is a must see.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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