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.
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 🙂