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Blu-ray Reviews

Audiophiles Share Their Thoughts About Blu-ray Concerts They’ve Enjoyed 
stars-5-0._V192240943_The Ultimate Mahler Cycle June 20, 2011
Mahler Symphonies
As a dedicated classical music listener and audiophile for decades, I can say that this set has totally changed my view about the future of home entertainment. I was somewhat burned out on Mahler given the plethora of releases of his symphonies and numbers of live performances I have seen. I was also somewhat indifferent to Maestro Abbado, not having included much of his output previously in my collection. I knew him to be a great conductor, but there were plenty of other great ones, too, I thought.All that changed dramatically upon obtaining this set. This is a definite “must have” among all other renditions of Mahler’s symphonies.
I doubt I will ever seek any other performances of these works after traversing this absolutely magnificent set. They are superbly and movingly performed by wonderful artists with superb sonics. But, the beautifully done video component adds a whole new dimension of insight into the passion, the sensitivity and the artistry of Mahler’s music and of the musicians who perform it.
I have been an SACD multi-channel music lover, but this is in a class by itself. After being dazzled by opera on Blu-ray, I have now come to realize how live concert performances in this medium can offer even more listener involvement in the music and the performance than audio-only. It is totally engrossing, totally enjoyable. Not only does it exceed the hi rez audio-only listening experience, but in some ways, it exceeds even live performance because of the deftly done, intimate close-ups of conductor and performers. It gets us closer to live performance than anything in any medium to date.And, what can one say about Maestro Abbado himself? One gets to know him musically and on an emotional level that is unparalleled.
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stars-5-0._V192240943_Concert rocks on Blu-ray, December 15, 2013Adele blu-ray
 This review is from: Adele Live At The Royal Albert Hall (Blu-ray/CD) (Blu-ray)
You already like Adele’s music, or you would probably not be reading this review. What I did not expect is the chance to get to know Adele better as she connected with her audience between songs.  Blu-ray put me up close to her as she sang those songs, in a way nobody except those in the front rows could experience.  It was intimate in a way a concert rarely achieves.
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stars-5-0._V192240943_Very Well Done, September 27, 2013
By gobirds2 (New England) (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Adele Live At The Royal Albert Hall (Blu-ray/CD) (Blu-ray)
Adele Live At The Royal Albert Hall in this Blu-ray/CD combo pack is very impressive. It is beautifully done and looks and sounds terrific. Actually I was surprised how well this was produced. It is an exceptional experience. Adele continues to amaze.
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 stars-5-0._V192240943_Outstanding Sade concert – stunning performance, May 22, 2012Sade blu-ray
Sade: Bring Me Home – Live 2011 (Blu-ray) (Blu-ray)
Sade’s new blu-ray concert video is exceptionally crystal-clear, great to watch and highly recommended. Sade performs with style, grace, and elegance as always. Her voice is even more beautiful and clear than ever — and the band is tight; a great ensemble. Stuart’s sax playing, esp. on Jezebel, is legendary…way to go!There’s many new tracks in addition to familiar favorites like Paradise, No Ordinary Love and Smooth Operator; for example the new “Love is Found” song is upbeat, fun to watch. Thanks Sade for continuing to shine, to the band for musical brilliance, and to everyone for making this possible (clear audio and excellent visuals/dp/production/staging). As a longtime fan since the 80s, it’s great to see Sade continue to perform magnificently. Very professional and well-produced.7/2012 Update: Two months later, this is my most-played recent concert DVD… I’d watched Sade’s earlier dvds dozens of times over the years; I’ve been watching this at least 1-2x/week since I got it, lots of replay value. Really enjoying the high-impact production touches; like lightning flashes on No Ordinary Love, the staging on Smooth Operator a la film noire look, upbeat visual background scenery on Kiss of Life, circles/visuals in video background on Paradise. Perfect way to highlight Sade’s most-beautiful vocal stylings.Sade’s band redefines “tight”, with smooth backup singers, and brilliant ensemble musicianship this one’s a real treat to watch over and over again. Thanks Sade for shining some light into these times. As always you sparkle with clear, thoughtful vocals, wit, professionalism, talent and stylish worldclass musicianship. You ‘bring it’; we all appreciate it. Like a fine wine, you and the rest of the band just get better with time. Thank you! A+++ This one’s a winner.

9/2013 update: all this time later, I like this blu-ray dvd better than any other concert one I have, imho it’s the best released in recent years. I watch it over and over again, Sade and her band bring beautiful music better than anyone else. Tight, hip, fun, immensely musical; thanks so much to all of you for producing this treasure. Best. Concert DVD. Ever. This is very watchable/listenable, over and over again; I watch favorite tracks from this more than any other, in my considerable library. Sade’s the best. Smooth, stylish, tight, and wonderfully brilliant. Thanks a million, for adding so much. Classy musicianship reinvented and kept more vibrant and alive than ever. You’re my favorite singer, and favorite band, of them all. Unlike others, I never get tired of listening to Sade. I still watch ‘Love Is Found’, ‘Paradise’, ‘Your Love is King’ and others every week, very enjoyable.

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stars-5-0._V192240943_A must have for any Led Zeppelin fan – and why you should buy two copies, December 1, 2013Led Zep  Blu-ray jacket
Having seen the mighty Hammer of the Gods at least a dozen times live in their heyday – and being one who would have literally paid tens of thousands to be at the O2 if I could have – it is needless to say that the arrival of this box set into my man cave many months ago was a heralded event. When it arrived – I disappeared for a weekend with enough food and alcohol to get me through the event numerous times. We waited many years for Jimmy and company to perfect this – and the fact that they were even doing it was kept well under wraps. Sure – I had most of the bootlegs of the O2 event. One had to wonder how they would fix the feedback issues plainly heard on all of the bootlegs. But once you sit down with this Blu-Ray – you understand why it took nearly 5 years to get it out after the show. It becomes readily apparent that this release is intended to be the exclamation point – and the period – to this bands legacy – and the level of intricate care in it’s production is proof of that.

I was able to enjoy this shortly after building the home theater system of my dreams – perfect timing. The DTS-HD audio is nearly perfect in every way. There is little trace of the feedback issues that plagued the live event – a testament to the amount of time spent mixing and correcting the live recording. The sound stage delivered is a perfect balance of directly recorded instruments with enough live feel for the arena – something many live recordings miss the mark on. This concert is the tightest I have ever seen them play – the amount of rehearsal and sober preparation was plainly evident. Speaking of rehearsals – the box set includes a great recording of their final dress rehearsal before the O2 event – recorded from a single unmanned camera at the rear of the room – with an awesome sound mix. And yes – they played some of the numbers better in that rehearsal (Dazed and Confused) than they did at the O2. It was fun to watch – made you feel like one of the “roadies” helping to prep for the event – the proverbial fly on the wall.

I have been a professional video producer and live event production manager for thirty years. There has been some criticism of the video editing style – and I have to admit that my first few passes through the DVD left me feeling that the pace of the editing detracted from the show. But then – it grew on me – and the more I watched it – the more I realize that there was so much good material to work with, that eliminating those cuts would have robbed us all from seeing the true magic behind this show. Subtle glances between the band members – body language – audience reaction – mixed in with Super8mm film clips intentionally interspersed with sparkling HD footage. What?? – Super 8mm film clips – why? Because – it depicts Zeppelin – how they look now in sparkling HD – and how they were recorded in yesteryear – all mixed together – a little bit of the past with a blast from the present – PERFECT! Every time I watch it – I catch something new. Every time I watch it – I am transported back to the Long Beach Arena in June of 1972 – but it sounds WAY better than it did back then.

I can Ramble On about this for hours – but it all pales when you get to Kashmir. This is the best performance of this epic song by Zeppelin ever to be captured. I must admit that I fell to my knees and nearly wept when I first heard it. For any Zeppelin fan – hearing this cut on this Blu-Ray is a must – and crank it up – to hell with the neighbors!

Obviously – I can not recommend this highly enough. I am in some ways saddened to think that this may be the mighty Zeps swan song – but what a beautiful way to go. Buy two – you may want to be buried with one copy and leave the other in your will 🙂

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