Articles

Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part II

ARTICLE INDEX

"David Gilmour: Live at the Royal Albert Hall" (Blu-ray)

movie-david-gilmour.jpgSynopsis

The disc features a live version of On An Island, David's long-awaited third and best selling solo album, in its entirety, Pink Floyd classics, guest appearances from Crosby & Nash, Robert Wyatt, as well as David Bowie on "Comfortably Numb" and the Syd Barrett 1967 cut "Arnold Layne".

 

Specifications

  • Sony/BMG Columbia Music
    2007, Color, Unrated, 5 Hr 13 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • 1080p
  • English Dolby TrueHD 5.1
  • English 5.1
  • English PCM 2.0
  • Directed by David Mallet
  • Starring David Gilmour, Richard Wright, Phil Manzanera, Jon Carin, Guy Pratt, Steve DiStanislao, Dick Parry, David Crosby, Graham Nash, David Bowie, Robert Wyatt
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

I’ve long been a fan of Pink Floyd (really who in the A/V business isn’t?) I was excited to see David Gilmour releasing a concert in high definition, especially one done at The Royal Albert Hall. The concert starts with a few Floyd classics and then covers David’s newest album. The second act rehashes more Floyd classics and includes a few guests such as David Bowie. From a musical standpoint, this is an amazing concert, though I’m a bigger fan of the Floyd tunes than David’s solo work. The production is outstanding, and you really get a sense of how great this show would have been live. If you’re a fan of Gilmour’s solo work or Floyd in general, this is a must have.

Technical

This is one of the more disappointing Blu-ray concerts I’ve seen so far from a visual standpoint. Consistency seems to be the biggest issue. All of the footage shot up near the stage is excellent in terms of detail and dimension, but longer shots don’t look much better than what we find on most standard DVDs, and in some cases, worse. The lighting definitely took its toll on the photography. The darker moments are full of grain, and it appears that some noise reduction techniques were used in the transfer because the image tends to have a “swimmy” appearance at times. The intense colored lights hurt detail and come off gimmicky at times, but I bet they were a sight to see if you were there live.

The audio is presented at 24 bit/48 kHz resolution in 5.1 via Dolby TrueHD and the same resolution in stereo with the PCM track. The production value here is outstanding, and the audio presentation is terrific. The soundtrack does a great job of capturing the nuances of Gilmour’s performance and reproducing all of the great instrument work of the whole crew. Dynamic range is great, but not quite as satisfying as some of the other HD presentations I’ve see. The balance of the crowd noise is also a bit distracting as it ramps up to ear splitting levels between each track, creating the need to adjust volume on occasion to save your eardrums.

Extras

This two-disc set has some great supplements on the second disc, including over a dozen bonus tracks, tour documentaries covering everything from production to interviews, two music videos, and a photo gallery.