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Live on Saturdays: Video Reviews and Summaries

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by riskylogic, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I’ve been enjoying and participating in Mark Winstanley’s surround thread for the last six months or so. I believe Mark eventually intends to review everything. I’ve been helping out a little by reviewing a few titles he doesn’t have (yet). It often happens that discussion spills over into live performances that aren’t “surround” productions per se. So, I’m thinking a companion thread that discusses those would be nice.

    Since I more or less stopped buying “live” albums in favor of performances that come with video a long time ago, I have semi-decent library of music with video of some sort. However, I have lots of stuff that I have probably only watched once. In addition, I’ve bought more than a few multi-disc sets that include some video that I’ve never watched at all.

    The other thing is that I have a partially new AV system (my old stereo system expanded) that required a large capital expenditure relative to my usual annual music software and hardware acquisition budget. I would like to put through its paces with what I already have. That plan probably won’t work out entirely because I can already see that I have several DVD titles that really ought to be replaced with a bluray.

    Here’s what I expect to cover:
    1. Live performances with video
    2. Movies with a music theme
    3. Band documentaries
    4. Music video collections

    Given that range of subject material, it should be evident that I’m not going to review everything. I’m just going to review what I have, which is about 70 titles. If I do one per week, it will take over a year to get through what I have on discs. At some point, I may also do some streaming. In particular, I think I can access Qello on my Sony player via Amazon prime, which has something like 2000 titles. Even if i'm only interested in 5% of them, that could keep me busy for a while.

    It’s OK with me if other posters want to put up their own reviews – I'll just put my two cents in later if I have it.

    I will also rate each title for five categories, probably with a 1-3 scale:
    1) The music
    2) The visual performance
    3) The sound quality
    4) The video quality
    5) The surround quality

    The first two categories are totally subjective, and maybe #5 too. But dynamic range is a component of #3, and #4 is mostly about the number of pixels, but lighting and contact can be important too.

    I’ll start with one that pushes all my buttons: Steven Wilson - Home Invasion. The Saturday thing is more of a guideline than a rule, but I’ll at least start out that way. I actually watched it last night, but I'm still writing up the notes.
    Sordel, Juggsnelson, zphage and 5 others like this.
  2. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall


    Released 2 November 2018
    Recorded 29 March 2018
    Venue Royal Albert Hall, London
    Genre Progressive rock
    Label Eagle Vision
    Director James Russell
    Producer Steven Wilson

    Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall is the second live Blu-ray/DVD and third live album by progressive rock musician Steven Wilson, released on 2 November 2018.[1] It was filmed on the final night of Wilson's three-night residency at the Royal Albert Hall in London, which was part of the To the Bone tour.


    Steven Wilson – vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass
    Ninet Tayeb – vocals
    Alex Hutchings – guitar, backing vocals
    Nick Beggs (introduced as 'Sir Nicholas Beggs') – bass guitar, stick, backing vocals, keyboards
    Craig Blundell – drums
    Adam Holzman – keyboards

    Additional personnel
    James Russell – director
    Andy Derbyshire – producer
    Nick Wheeler – photographic direction
    Tim Woolcott – editor
    Steven Wilson – audio mixing
    Lasse Hoile, Jess Cope and Steven Wilson – video screen content

    Track listing
    All tracks written by Steven Wilson.

    No. Title Time (Track times are from CD listing; video may be slightly different)
    1. "'Truth' (Intro)" 2:51
    2. "Nowhere Now" 4:12
    3. "Pariah" 5:07
    4. "Home Invasion / Regret #9" 11:02
    5. "The Creator Has a Mastertape" 5:32
    6. "Refuge" 8:40
    7. "People Who Eat Darkness" 6:16
    8. "Ancestral" 13:53
    9. "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" 13:51
    10. "Permanating" 5:34
    11. "Song of I" 7:13
    12. "Lazarus" 4:09
    13. "Detonation" 11:21
    14. "The Same Asylum as Before" 6:00
    15. "Song of Unborn" 6:33
    16. "Vermillioncore" 5:06
    17. "Sleep Together" 8:07
    18. "Even Less" 3:58
    19. "Blank Tapes" 3:11
    20. "The Sound of Muzak" 5:08
    21. "The Raven That Refused to Sing" 8:31

    Video Review
    There are both Bluray and DVD versions of the concert, both of which come with CDs as well. I have the bluray. Here we go:

    "'Truth' (Intro)"

    As the band makes it way to the stage, there’s a slide show with different captions for the same set of pictures. The underlying message may be that the same set of facts may be used to justify different points of view, but I knew that already.

    "Nowhere Now" from To the Bone

    This track sets the stage. There are obviously many cameras, but most of them are near the stage. However, there are at least two that are not – one at the back of the ground floor that gives a view of the entire stage, and another as far away as possible at the back of the top level that gives view of the entire arena. It also becomes apparent that this is a surround mix – during his main solo in the middle of the song, Hutchings is mixed rear right. Wilson has a guitar, but he mainly just sings.

    "Pariah" from To the Bone

    Swirling synth from Adam, Ninet comes out to sing duet with Wilson – she’s also shown singing on the screen in back. Wilson has an acoustic guitar which gets mixed in surround.

    "Home Invasion / Regret #9" from Hand. Cannot. Erase.

    First segment - Wilson plays bass, Blundell has a big smile, and Hutchins is way over on the right again. Then Wilson trades the bass for an electric guitar and Beggs returns. Then they get into it on Regret #9. There’s a video in the background, but they don’t show much of it. Having seen it in person, it’s much cooler that way.

    "The Creator Has a Mastertape" from In Absentia (Porcupine Tree album)

    Yay, Porcupine Tree. Wilson starts with his own guitar, then Hutchins takes over on the right again. Oscillating light show – that looks quite blinding from the balcony camera, synth mixed in back. Holzman finishes with piano solo. Video on screen in back, but you can’t see much of it.

    "Refuge" from To the Bone

    Synth in surround, Wilson vocals and guitar in center, Hutchins on the right. Video of clothing washing up on shore during the ethereal passage at the end.

    "People Who Eat Darkness" from To the Bone

    Ninet is back, and the video screen is prominent. When I saw them in person, it was just the screen and her recorded voice. Guitar mixed to back – Wilson’s I think.

    "Ancestral" from Hand. Cannot. Erase.

    Wilson starts at the back the stage on keyboards behind the rest of the band. But, he’s still the lead vocalist, with Beggs and Hutchins doing background. When Hutchins starts playing, he’s on the right with Holzman on the left. But after a about three minutes, they get into it. Now here’s where I admit that I didn’t like Wilson’s first three solo albums all that much. Hand.Cannot.Erase. turned it around a bit for me, but just a little. Furthermore, I never though this song was anything special. But, for the last 10 minutes of this track, Wilson comes up front with his guitar and stops singing – and the results are positively are positively PTish. There are some passages that are mixed completely up front. Other parts have synth and guitar mixed to the back – I think it is Hutchins this time.

    "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" from Deadwing (Porcupine Tree album)

    Blundell has a big smile on his face again. Who knew someone could have so much fun shaking a bean bag or whatever it is he, Wilson and Beggs have. Hutchins on guitar on right, Holzman on left, everyone else on front. Crowd noise in back. After he finishes singing, Wilson guitar on left as lead, also in the back later on. Bass and drums are mostly up front, but there is some percussion in the back at one point. Screen is active, plus some amazing holographic lighting – I’m don’t know how they do that.

    "Permanating" from To the Bone

    Wilson intro that may be summarized as follows” The time has come… you’re going to disco dance”. This is what Wilson calls a pop song, and it has dancing girls. There definitely is some Indian influence in the choreography. That was nice, but the time has come to move on.

    "Song of I" from To the Bone

    This is best track, and I will therefore utilize my one allotted video track per post here. The holographic projection is amazing – see for yourself:

    When I saw them in person, there was just a screen projection – not so amazing. Bass and percussion is up front, lots of synth and guitar in the back – including Hutchins playing guitar with a bow.

    "Lazarus" from Deadwing (Porcupine Tree album)

    Slow classic PT song with Wilson on acoustic guitar, Hutchins back on the right.

    "Detonation" from To the Bone

    Another two part song with vocal introduction followed by a long instrumental. Lots of activity in the back in the first part, including reverbing vocals and some bass. The second part has most synth in back – must be programmed because Holzman playing a solo while it was going on. Reminds me of how ridiculous it was to watch Richard Barbieri in concert – he’s just sit back there pressing the start button every once in a while. Screen during second part shows replicating female robo dancer - impressive.

    "The Same Asylum as Before" from To the Bone

    Starts off slow, has accompanying video that features a guy with a large paper mache head. The surround mix is uninteresting until the second part. Synthesizer in back followed by Wilson solo on the left, with Hutchins on right.
    "Song of Unborn" from To the Bone

    Video screen is prominent again, and it is cool. Wilson acoustic guitar and vocals in front along with bass and drums, Synth chorus in back. Hutchins comes in with solo on the right. He really does sit over there on the right side of the stage often not doing very much – but when he comes in, he dominates the mix from the right side.

    "Vermillioncore" from 4½

    Another holographic light show, and I think it’s one of the ladies from the cover of 4½. Most of band in front, synth in back, then Hutchins comes in rear right. Beggs takes turns on left, then right. Best surround mix and very PTish.

    "Sleep Together" from Fear of a Blank Planet (Porcupine Tree album)

    Alrighty then, let’s have another PT song. After he is done singing, Wilson takes another turn on keyboards while Hutchins does most of the guitar work. The mix starts out mostly in front, but at the end is heavily mixed to the back – almost sounds like listening on headphones. The crowd loves it. Why wouldn’t they – it’s a PT classic. They walk off stage – encores from here on out.

    "Even Less" from Stupid Dream (Porcupine Tree album)

    Wilson comes back to give the crowd what they want – another PT song, but not without some jabber first. Also, he forgot the rest of his band - he's doing a David Byrne impression with his amp instead of a boom box. It’s a nice concert hall mix – what else can you do with one guy playing in a concert hall?

    "Blank Tapes" To the Bone

    The band plus Ninet come back for what is totally not a Porcupine Tree song. Hutchins is moved to the middle on stage, and surround in the mix.

    "The Sound of Muzak" In Absentia (Porcupine Tree album)

    Ok, we’re back. One last PT anthem. Background vocals in back, Hutchins spilling over into the right rear again, Wilson solo on left. Crowd sings in rear.

    "The Raven That Refused to Sing" The Raven That Refused to Sing (And Other Stories)

    OK, it’s over. So sad. I guess you just can’t hold on to music – you have to let it go. Video included, with synth in the back.

    In Summary
    Yeah, I really like it. Maybe not every song is my fave, but it’s all what I like to call music. As a pro tip, you can start with Ancestral and end with Let’s Sleep Together and feel like you’ve been to a Porcupine Tree concert. The holographics and video also make the visual presentation top notch. The sound quality is also excellent throughout, as is the video quality of this modern recording. Finally, it really is a great surround mix – I don’t think you can say that about many concert videos.

    Music -3
    Sound quality – 3
    Video presentation – 3
    Video quality – 3
    Surround - 3
    Juggsnelson, zphage, DaverJ and 6 others like this.
  3. jamesc

    jamesc Formerly Known as Undertow

    Dallas, TX
    I had to re-read your first post to check what the scale was for your ratings!

    I really enjoyed this Blu-ray as well. Great release all around.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  4. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    Good one mate.
  5. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter



    The Beatles - Movie
    Directed by Richard Lester
    Produced by Walter Shenson
    Screenplay by Marc Behm, Charles Wood
    Story by Marc Behm
    Cinematography David Watkin
    Edited by John Victor-Smith
    Production company: Walter Shenson Films, Subafilms
    Distributed by United Artists
    Release date: 29 July 1965 (UK), 11 August 1965 (US)
    Running time: 92 minutes
    Budget $1.5 million
    Box office $12.1 million

    Help! is a 1965 British musical comedy-adventure film directed by Richard Lester, starring the BeatlesJohn Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr—and featuring Leo McKern, Eleanor Bron, Victor Spinetti, John Bluthal, Roy Kinnear and Patrick Cargill. The second film starring the Beatles following Lester's A Hard Day's Night, Help! sees the group struggle to record their new album while trying to protect Starr from a sinister cult and a pair of mad scientists, all of whom are obsessed with obtaining one of his rings.[3] The soundtrack was released as an album, also called Help!.

    The film had its Royal World Premiere at the London Pavilion Theatre in the West End of London on 29 July 1965 in the presence of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon and the Earl of Snowdon. While not reviewed at the time with the same high level of admiration as their first film, the film is regarded a half century later as being influential, including in the subsequent development of music videos.

    And 16 others

    An eastern cult (a parody of the Thuggee cult) is about to sacrifice a woman to the goddess Kali. Just as she is about to be killed, the high priestess of the cult, Ahme, see that she is not wearing the sacrificial ring. Ringo Starr, drummer of the Beatles, has the ring and is wearing it; it was secretly sent to him by the victim in a fan letter. Determined to retrieve the ring and sacrifice the woman, the great Swami Clang, Ahme, and several cult members including Bhuta, leave for London. It goes on from there.

    The Beatles said the film was inspired by the classic Marx Brothers film Duck Soup;[7] it was also directly satirical of the James Bond series of films.[8] At the time of the original release of Help!, its distributor, United Artists, also held the rights to the Bond series.

    According to interviews conducted with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr for The Beatles Anthology, director Richard Lester was given a larger budget for this film than he had for A Hard Day's Night, thanks to the commercial success of the latter. Thus, this feature film was in colour and was shot on several exotic foreign locations. It was also given a more extensive musical score than A Hard Day's Night, provided by a full orchestra, and including pieces of well known classical music: Wagner's Lohengrin, Act III Overture, Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture", Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony" ("Ode to Joy"), and, during the end credits and with their own comic vocal interpretation, Rossini's "Barber of Seville" overture.

    Help! was shot in London, Salisbury Plain, the Austrian Alps, New Providence Island and Paradise Island in the Bahamas and Twickenham Film Studios, beginning in the Bahamas on 23 February 1965. Starr commented in The Beatles Anthology that they were in the Bahamas for the hot weather scenes, and therefore had to wear light clothing even though it was rather cold. Tony Bramwell, the assistant to Beatles manager Brian Epstein, stated in his book A Magical Mystery Tour that Epstein chose the Bahamas for tax reasons. According to The Beatles Anthology, during the restaurant sequence filmed in early April, George began to discover Indian-style music, which would be a key element in future songs such as "Norwegian Wood". Filming finished on 14 April at Ailsa Avenue in Twickenham.

    The ski scenes were shot at Obertauern, a small village in Austria. One reason this location was chosen was that the stars of the film were less likely to be recognized there than at one of the larger resorts with many British tourists. The Beatles were in Obertauern for about two weeks in March 1965 along with a film crew of around 60 people. Locals served as ski stunt doubles for the Beatles who stayed at the hotel "Edelweiss". Most of the crew were based in the hotel "Marieta", where one night the Beatles gave an impromptu concert on the occasion of a director's assistant's birthday. This was the only time they ever played on stage in Austria.

    The Beatles did not particularly enjoy the filming Help!, nor were they pleased with the end product. In 1970, John Lennon said they felt like extras in their own film.

    The film was out of our control. With A Hard Day's Night, we had a lot of input, and it was semi-realistic. But with Help!, Dick Lester didn't tell us what it was all about. ​

    Ten years later Lennon was more charitable:

    I realize, looking back, how advanced it was. It was a precursor to the Batman "Pow! Wow!" on TV—that kind of stuff. But [Lester] never explained it to us. Partly, maybe, because we hadn't spent a lot of time together between A Hard Day's Night and Help!, and partly because we were smoking marijuana for breakfast during that period. Nobody could communicate with us, it was all glazed eyes and giggling all the time. In our own world. It's like doing nothing most of the time, but still having to rise at 7 am, so we became bored.​

    A contributing factor was exhaustion attributable to their busy schedule of writing, recording and touring. Afterward they were hesitant to begin another film project, and indeed Help! was their last full-length scripted theatrical film. Their obligation for a third film to United Artists was met by the 1970 documentary film Let It Be. The 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine did not meet contractual obligations because it did not star the Beatles, and their only live appearance was featured for less than two minutes at the film's conclusion.


    The songs played in their entirety during the film are:
    1. Help!
    2. ·You're Going to Lose That Girl
    3. You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
    4. Ticket to Ride
    5. I Need You
    6. The Night Before"
    7. Another Girl"
    The seven main songs formed the first side of the British release of the album of the same name. The second side consisted of other new Beatles songs recorded at the same time or shortly afterwards.

    There many different versions of this movie. I have a DVD with Dolby Digital stereo. The bluray currently for sale does have 5.1, but it’s still just Dolby Digital, plus I don’t see how it could be any more “restored” than the DVD.

    First song with band playing on stage in black and white. Messed up by opening credits.

    You're Going to Lose That Girl
    Beatles playing in studio. Silly love song.

    You've Got to Hide Your Love Away

    The Beatles playing at their pad. John looks serious, but no one else does. Not a silly love song. John has his foot on Ringo’s shoulder at the end – what that about?

    Ticket to Ride
    Scene recorded in the Austrian Alps. The Beatles do some skiing and sledding. Groundbreaking sound in 1965 - was this the invention of heavy metal?

    I Need You
    Scene recorded at Stonehenge, with a bunch of tanks thrown in for good measure. A George Harrison song, I’ll spend my video clip here:

    The Night Before
    Later on in the same scene, still at Stonehenge, this time with more action from the tanks. Interspersed with excerpts of "She's A Woman" with an explosion at the end not heard on the Beatles' commercial recordings

    Another Girl
    Beatles on the beach in the Bahamas, with Paul playing a girl instead of a bass.

    Alrighty then, I made it through the whole thing. The songs are Beatles classics with passable audio, but you must sit through way too much silly movie to hear them. Since the songs are short, there isn’t much more than 15 minutes of music. The video quality is what you would expect from a 50 year old low budget movie – not good. No surround on my DVD. Then again, the bluray of A Hard Days Night supposedly has a new surround mix.

    If nothing else, the scene with Ringo and the Tiger and Beethoven’s Ninth needs to be seen at least once.

    Music -2
    Sound quality – 2
    Video presentation – 1 (This rating is for the movie)
    Video quality – 1
    Surround – 1 (Maybe the bluray is worth an extra point here, but I doubt it)
  6. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Home Invasion and Help! do a pretty good job of delineating the intended scope of the thread. I was going to do my DVD of A Hard Day's Night instead of help, but when writing it up, I ran across this description of the Bluray:
    • New 4K digital film restoration, approved by director Richard Lester, with two audio options—a monaural soundtrack and a new 5.1 surround soundtrack made by Apple Records—presented in uncompressed monaural and DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
    Uh Oh. I may have to get that. This thread is going to cost me money, but I still figure it will be a cheaper hobby than the surround thread.
    longdist01 and mark winstanley like this.
  7. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    definitely lol
  8. Guy Smiley

    Guy Smiley America’s Favorite Game Show Host

    Sesame Street
    So that video was... Something. Not to be confused with George’s “Something.”

    As for Help! The music, what little there is, is all top notch. No idea how such wonderful pop/rock songs could only rate “2.” Regarding the video quality, I saw the blu-ray a few years ago and I was rather struck by how vibrant this 50+ year film actually looked. Not sure what version you saw. But the BR looks pretty damned good as I recall.

    The story is dumb of course, not to mention racially insensitive, but just watching The Beatles is fun. The music video sequences are all great, from the darts being throw at John during “Help!” to Paul holding a lovely young woman like his bass guitar to the Fabs frolicking on the ski slopes.

    The boys’ shared house is way cool (First time I saw the movie, as a kid, I wanted to live there!), and the movie has some good moments, like Ringo and the tiger.

    It’s not A Hard Day’s Night or Yellow Submarine, but it’s also not Magical Mystery Tour. It’s stupid, a bit uncomfortable, but fun and a great soundtrack. Worth seeing, for fans who haven’t.
  9. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    All the ratings are three point scales, so a 2 is still pretty good, and a 1 isn't necessarily terrible (I have a DVD). I agree that the movie is quite worth seeing at least once.

    I may hand out zeros every now and then.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
  10. Guy Smiley

    Guy Smiley America’s Favorite Game Show Host

    Sesame Street
    Fair enough.

    Now what was up with that video short? o_O
    mark winstanley likes this.
  11. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Oh, I had the wrong video linked when I first posted. However, I noticed it and fixed it before the half hour editing window closed.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  12. Guy Smiley

    Guy Smiley America’s Favorite Game Show Host

    Sesame Street
    Oh! I’ve done that before too.

    Now my earlier comments make no sense. :) It was... Interesting.

    The clip of “I Need You” is great. Another highlight of the movie. Watching them play while avoiding being shelled and bombed.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    Devin Townsend
    Ocean Machine – Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv
    Video by
    Devin Townsend Project
    6 July 2018
    Recorded 22 September 2017
    Venue Ancient Roman Theatre, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
    Genre Progressive metal, progressive rock
    Label Inside Out Music

      • Failure (from Transcendence)
      • Bad Devil (from Infinity)
      • Higher (from Transcendence)
      • A Simple Lullaby (from Synchestra)
      • Deep Peace (from Terria)
      • Seventh Wave (from Ocean Machine)
      • Life (from Ocean Machine)
      • Night (from Ocean Machine)
      • Hide Nowhere (from Ocean Machine)
      • Sister (from Ocean Machine)
      • 3 A.M. (from Ocean Machine)
      • Voices in the Fan (from Ocean Machine)
      • Greetings (from Ocean Machine)
      • Regulator (from Ocean Machine)
      • Funeral (from Ocean Machine)
      • Bastard (from Ocean Machine)
      • The Death of Music (from Ocean Machine)
      • Things Beyond Things (from Ocean Machine)
    Devin said
    Plovdiv and this live package represents a lot to me, it signifies the end of one era, and the celebration of another. Amidst a gruelling touring year, this show came together with much blood, sweat, and tears, and the result is the culmination of many aspects of my work on one stage.
    Ocean Machine was released 20 years ago, and though Marty (Chapman) is no longer with us, I was able to finally perform the album in its entirety with the original bassist John 'Squid' Harder on this night. On a cold evening in an old city in the ancient theatre, many lifelong milestones came to a conclusion on this night and I'm exceptionally proud of it.

    Devin Townsend is one of my favourite artists of recent years. His uncompromising need to just keep moving forward is something I greatly respect. His vocal ability is quite remarkable, and although I am not a fan of modern metal vocals, the way he uses his voice is quite remarkable. We get smooth, and quite beautiful, and we also get a Fry vocal that is used for emphasis, but not overbearing or gratuitous. Townsend is also an excellent guitarist, and his compositional skills are also excellent.
    He basically flies by the seat of his pants doing what he loves, and relying on people buying it, to move onto the next project, very much like Frank Zappa did.
    I highly recommend listening to last years album Empath, which is just a magnificent album in the prog/prog-metal genre. Mike Keneally who would be well known to many of the muso's on the forum was brought in as a sort of Producer, guy to bounce ideas off.
    This concert is from 2017 and it is a monster of a show.
    The first set, is somewhat like a greatest hits best of set featuring the orchestra and choir of State Opera Plovdiv, and Townsend's then touring band
    Dave Young - Guitar
    Ryan VanPoederyooyen - Drums
    Mike St-Jean - Ketboards
    Brian Waddell - Bass
    The Second set is the entire Ocean Machine:Biomech album, without the orchestra and choir
    In that set Brian Waddell chills backstage and Devin's old mate John (Squid) Harder comes out to play the bass, because he was on the original album, released in 1997. Squid now suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, and it is quite a warm feeling seeing him up there in his deteriorating condition rocking out on the bass. An amazingly beautiful thing fro Devin to get him out there.
    Devin wasn't able to get original album drummer Marty Chapman to play, because unfortunately he had passed away.

    This bluray (also available on dvd) is the first time Deving had used 5.1, and my understanding is that he loved it, and is going to be releasing Empath in 5.1 sometime in the near future... and I am really looking forward to that.

    We start with grainy old super8 looking video with a few pre show bits of footage. Move to the guys backstage in black and white, and then full colour as the first song starts.
    The picture quality is top notch.
    The venue is a very old amphitheater, and has a ton of character. Suiting the grand, semi-orchestral music, with a hard edge, that Devin plays.
    The opening track is pretty much an instrumental, and it is magnificent.
    Devin is a tall Canadian fellow, with a bald head, a goofy sense of humour, whi doesn't take himself too seriously.
    Storm bending, was the lead single from the previous Devin Townsend Project album Transcendence, and come in next, beautifully.
    The band are sensational.
    The mix is excellent, and full.
    Devin goes for, and achieves a wonderful wall of sound approach that translates nicely to the 5.1 field we have here.
    The performance here is stunning.
    Om follows. Ryan on the drums is a great drummer with a great sound, and we get a nice sub assist, that isn't overbearing.
    The choir has a kind of gothic sound, and add to the proceedings really well.
    The orchestra members really seem to be enjoying the show, and appreciating the music.
    Everything really comes together well as a unified whole.
    To me, the music is emotive, grand, melodic and full of rich textures.
    It is very cool seeing the orchestra members having so much fun with something like the straight metal outro of By Your Command, they just seem to be getting a real kick out of it.
    We move through the beautiful landscape of Deadhead, the wide landscapes of Canada, into the rockabilly metal of Bad Devil, into the epic beauty of Higher, the gently swaying melody of Lullaby, and finish the first augmented set of the show with the beautiful balladry of Deep Peace.

    The second set starts with just the band, Squid gets helped out to his chair, and with a narrator's voice over the album begins.
    Again we are struck by the grand melodic atmospheric textures produced by this band.
    Life is the second song, and really could have been a hit single for a more well known band.
    Night also has such hit single potential, aside from the crunchy chunk guitars.
    The acoustic comes out for the beautiful Sister.
    The album and show closes out with the magnificent Funeral/Bastard/Death Of Music trilogy.

    Sorry I couldn't go into more detail, the missus got out of bed, so I'll wrap it up there.
    The is really a magnificent bluray, and covers a very broad scope of music, within its style. I highly recommend it for anyone that doesn't mind some aggressive drums (on occasion) and some distorted guitars with nice use of echo reverb and delay.
    It is excellent value, being a nearly three hour show. I think the video and audio quality is excellent. The show isn't interrupted by interviews or any else, just a straight concert

    Here is a taste of the show.


    Bad Devil
    Devin Townsend Project - Bad Devil ! Live Plovdiv (Blu-Ray)

    Devin Townsend Project - Life ! Live Plovdiv (Blu-Ray)

    Death Of Music
    Devin Townsend Project - The Death of Music (Ocean Machine - Live In Plovdiv 2017)

    They aren't necessarily the best tracks, they just seem like a nice overview of the kind of thing you can expect from this excellent disc.
  14. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I think what happened is that since vimeo was on autoplay, it had advanced to the next video before I copied the link. If I recall, it had something to do with a religious cult and music (I didn't watch it), so I guess it had some of the same tags as a video from Help!
    mark winstanley likes this.
  15. Guy Smiley

    Guy Smiley America’s Favorite Game Show Host

    Sesame Street
    I watched it, thinking it would have a Beatles connection but it didn’t. It’s... Well, see for yourself:

  16. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    That must be a video from the Rush 2112 documentary. :shrug:
    ARK, Guy Smiley and mark winstanley like this.
  17. Guy Smiley

    Guy Smiley America’s Favorite Game Show Host

    Sesame Street
    Like I said it’s... Something. :D
    ARK and mark winstanley like this.
  18. weekendtoy

    weekendtoy Rejecting your reality and substituting my own.

    Northern MN
    This one has been sitting in my Amazon cart for a long time. Musically it checks a lot of my boxes so I'm sure why I've never bothered to purchase it.

    Anyway, ordered!
    mark winstanley likes this.
  19. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    I reckon if you like Devin, you'll love it.
    The Royal Albert Hall Ziltoid concert is very good, but it is just in stereo - the only slight disappointment.
    Retinal circus is very good, but the presentation is pretty goofy, and again just stereo.
    With Plovdiv, you get a great show, one of Devin's great albums complete, and a bunch of great material in the opening set, and the 5.1 just gives it a nice full, wide sound.

    When you get a listen, let us know what you reckon. :righton:
    weekendtoy likes this.
  20. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I just figured out that the Ocean Machine "Audio CD" also has the bluray in it. Ordered. The rumored 5.1 of Empath is also supposed to have video.
    mark winstanley likes this.
  21. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    Are you sure?
    I have never seen a copy of the cd with the 2019 Plovdiv concert

    unless you mean the cd of the concert of course ...
  22. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Seems to be a 3 CD + BR set
    mark winstanley likes this.
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

  24. riskylogic

    riskylogic Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Secret World Live


    Live Performance by Peter Gabriel
    Released: September 13, 1994
    Recorded 16–17 November 1993
    Venue: Palasport Nuovo, Modena, Italy
    Genre Rock
    Length 132 mins
    Label Geffen (US & Canada), Virgin

    Secret World Live is a film of a Peter Gabriel concert in 1993, as part of his Secret World Live tour to support his sixth solo album, Us. The show is performed across two stages: a square and a circular stage, bridged by a conveyor belt. It was released on VHS, LaserDisc and DVD. An album of the same title with a similar track listing was also released.

    The film received the 1996 Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video.

    The film has been remastered and became available on DVD and Blu-ray on 2 July 2012 in the UK and 24 July 2012 in North America. The new release also contains the song "Red Rain" that was not present on the original releases.


    Peter Gabriel — lead vocals, keyboards, harmonica ("Kiss That Frog")
    Tony Levin – bass, Chapman stick, backing vocals
    David Rhodes – guitar, backing vocals
    Manu Katche – drums, backing vocals
    Jean-Claude Naimro – keyboards, backing vocals
    Shankar – violin, backing vocals
    Levon Minassian – doudouk ("Blood of Eden")
    Paula Cole – backing vocals, co-lead vocals ("Shaking the Tree" and "Don't Give Up")
    Ayub Ogada – Backing vocals
    Papa Wemba – Guest vocals ("In Your Eyes")
    Reddy Amissi – Backing vocals
    Stino Mubi – Backing vocals

    Staged By Robert LePage
    Remixed for DVD by Pete Walsh and Paul O’Grady
    Mastered By Tony Cousins

    Track listing
    No. Title Time
    1. "Come Talk to Me" 6:39
    2. "Steam" 7:53
    3. "Across the River" 5:57
    4. "Slow Marimbas" 1:45
    5. "Shaking the Tree" 7:12
    6. "Blood of Eden" 7:02
    7. "San Jacinto" 7:34
    8. "Kiss That Frog" 6:21
    9. "Washing of the Water" 3:55
    10. "Solsbury Hill" 4:27
    11. "Digging in the Dirt" 6:55
    12. "Sledgehammer" 6:05
    13. "Secret World" 10:16
    14. "Don't Give Up" 7:34
    15. "In Your Eyes" 12:48

    There are both Bluray and DVD versions of the concert; the former is out of print. I have an older DVD – it does not have “Red Rain”. Given that it was shot in 16mm over 25 years ago, I don’t think the video on the bluray is likely to be significantly better.

    Come Talk to Me
    This song from Us starts with crowd noise, and then a phone rings 5 times – from a different speaker each time. Hey, it’s a surround mix. Then (what sounds like) bagpipes start playing in surround. Then we see and hear Gabriel singing from the middle of a stage in a phone booth. The rest of the band (except no Shankar yet) soon appears around him thereafter, with drums and organ in surround, everyone else up front. Paula Cole then joins Gabriel for a duet. While Gabriel is pretending to sing into a phone, it becomes apparent after he leaves the phone booth that he and all the rest of the band have wireless connections.

    There is a square screen behind the stage, and a man is waving a flag; he is replaced with a locomotive. As locomotive-like percussion slowly swirls in surround, Gabriel introduces Steam, also from Us, in Italian. After the intro, Gabriel tells us to stand back, and he starts moving forward – it turns out that there is a walkway protruding from the back stage that leads to a circular center stage. Gabriel walks out there by himself, while the rest of the band stays behind. Drums in surround, guitar mixed to right. Levin, Cole, and Rhodes eventually go forward to join Gabriel on center stage.

    Across the River
    A song written and recorded by Peter Gabriel, Stewart Copeland, David Rhodes & Shankar in 1982 – the screen is showing running water. Shankar appears on center stage, everyone else is in the rear. Shankar play his double violin with a shimmering synth in the background. Gabriel and Shankar both start singing (wailing, really), Gabriel from the front stage and Shankar from the center, with the band playing now. Everything is in front except for some crowd noise in the back.

    Slow Marimbas
    This is listed as a separate track, but it seems to just be a continuation of Across the River. Everyone stops playing, except for Shankar, who continues to wail and play his violin – now in surround. Gabriel then leads the band from back stage to the center stage via conveyor built, acting as if he is pushing a boat across a river with a long pole (see picture on cover). The screen that was in the back moves overhead.

    Shaking the Tree
    Title track (which doesn't appear elsewhere) from a compilation album. After they all reach the stage where a bush has popped up from the floor, they start dancing with a little singing and keyboards thrown in for good measure. After the bush rises up further to become a tree, Gabriel introduces the band. The back channels have what must be some prerecorded horns mixed in.

    Blood of Eden
    Song from Us, a duet with Cole taking the place of Sinéad O'Connor. Some synth surround, everything else is in front.

    San Jacinto
    Song from PG IV, aka Security. The screen is back, and Gabriel is in Jail. Keyboards mixed in surround, everything else in front.

    Kiss That Frog
    Song from Us , Frogs on the screen, Gabriel plays the harmonica. All close up shots – can’t tell which stage they are on. Drums and synth in surround.

    Washing of the Water
    Song from Us. Shankar and Gabriel on center stage, everyone else in back. Nothing in back speakers.
    Solsbury Hill
    Song from 1977 debut. They start in back, move to the center. Mostly just crowd noise in back channels.

    Digging in the Dirt
    Song from Us. Gabriel is on center stage with some close up wide screen photography that is apparently projected onto the screen. Everyone else is on back stage. Lots of guitar in the back, including occasional chords that are primarily in back.

    Song from So, starts with sledgehammer guy on screen. Gabriel sprints from back stage to center. Cole eventually joins him for some song and dance. Cole moves back while Levin and Rhodes move forward. The back speakers are worthless until some background vocals towards the end of the song. But that doesn’t matter for a YouTube video.

    Secret World
    Song from Us. Gabriel narrates from the screen. They are all on back stage again. Violin, drums and keyboards in surround. Best surround track since Steam. At the end, Gabriel takes an oversized suitcase out to the middle of the runway, lays it flat, and opens it. One by one, the band members descend into it and disappear. Gabriel then picks up the suitcase and continues to the center stage where a planetarium of sorts descends to cover him up.

    Don't Give Up
    Song from So. The pseudo planetarium rises again to reveal Gabriel and the rest of the band. Cole is the lead vocalist, with drums and synth barely in surround. Crowd sings at the end, but they aren’t mixed in back. Weird.

    In Your Eyes
    Song from So. Large entourage on center stage with bongos in the back. Some guitar, background vocals and keyboards in surround after that.

    The credits roll with a backside view of someone (probably Shankar) playing the intro from The Passion.
    Peter Gabriel was arguably at the top of his game at this point, and this concert has a nice compilation of some of his best material. The video is a little grainy, but it’s not hard to get used to. The audio format is lossy DTS, but it still sounds very good. The stage performance is top notch – very entertaining pretty much all the way through. The surround mix shows some early signs of greatness, particularly on Steam, but it is rather pedestrian the rest of the way through.

    Music -3
    Sound quality – 3
    Video presentation – 3
    Video quality – 2 (bluray might be significantly better, but I doubt it)
    Surround - 2
    ti-triodes, walrus, MoonPool and 4 others like this.
  25. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums

    Secret World Live is one of my favourite concert dvd's. I do have the bluray now, but I don't generally get too messed up about the video quality unless it is bad, and I don't recall if it is better or not to be honest.

    The staging here is brilliant, and even if only for the opening Come Talk to Me, it is just sensational. It is a simple idea, but done so effectively, it is actually quite emotive.
    A wonderful and essential concert movie.
    ries, ARK, MoonPool and 1 other person like this.

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