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  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.59:1
  • Dual Layer ( 76:16)
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • None
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Photo gallery
  • Animated menus
  • DVD-ROM features - Catalogue and Weblinks
  • Interviews
  • Multiple angle - On 3 Songs: Fear, Into The Fire, Sweet Surrender
  • Discography

Sarah McLachlan - Mirrorball Live

BMG/BMG . R4 . COLOR . 114 mins . G . PAL


Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan shines so brightly on her Mirrorball, a live performance of her successful US tour of the same name.

Sarah McLachlan grew up in Halifax in Canada and from an early age knew that she had a talent for music. She started with piano, ukulele and voice and then spread to guitar too. At 17, while in a band called The October Game, a talent scout from Nettwork Records was present at their very first gig and wanted her to sign. Her parents “freaked” at the idea and said she couldn’t until she left high school, so she finished school and went to art college where she was approached again to sign for a five record contract. This time she accepted the contract, moved to Vancouver and got the show on the road... literally.

Her first record, Touch, was released in 1988 and sold 50,000 copies which, according to McLachlan, was very well, or as well as she could have ever imagined. The follow-up Solace in 1991 also did well, yet these two releases were limited to Canada, and had little exposure in the US. Her third release, 1994's Fumbling Towards Ecstacy, sold over 2,000,000 copies and was helped along by her participation in Lilith Fair. Surfacing in 1997 debuted on the Billboard Charts at number two and has sold over 6,000,000 copies worldwide. Surfacing gave her 'diamond' status in Canada, and won her two Grammy Awards and four Juno Awards. Mirrorball was recorded across America in support of her Surfacing tour. This concert series showcased McLachlan’s music from her previous four records and she put on over 35 amazing shows.

The information contained on the DVD is slightly outdated. For example, at one point she says she would love to have children soon, and it was only a few weeks ago (at the time of writing) that she gave birth to her first child.

This disc was filmed over two nights and features Sarah along with her band, which consists of Ashwin Sood on drums, percussion and vocals, Camille Henderson providing backup vocals, David Sinclair on guitar and vocals, Sean Ashby also on guitar and vocals, Brian Minato on bass guitar and Vince Jones on keyboards and vocals. The DVD contains nine extra tracks that the CD misses out on, and serves incredibly well as a best-of. Often, live CDs contain lots of crowd noise and low quality recordings, but Mirrorball sounds great. There is crowd noise at the start and end of songs, but during songs it almost sounds like a studio recording.

"And I would be the one to hold you down Kiss you so hard, I’ll take your breath away And after I’d wipe away the tears Just close your eyes dear"

All of McLachlan’s hits are present somewhere on this two-hour disc. The rocking Building a Mystery opens the show and progresses through her earlier work and ends with the hits from Surfacing and Fumbling Towards Ecstasy such as Possession, crowd-favourite Ice Cream, Sweet Surrender and Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. The interesting thing is that some of the video versions are different from the CD versions, which gives fans just that little bit extra.

Track listing...

Building a Mystery
Hold On
Good Enough
Do What You Have to Do
I Will Remember You
I Love You
I Will Not Forget You
Path of Thorns
Into the Fire
Ice Cream
Sweet Surrender
Fumbling Towards Ecstasy


The video is presented in a widescreen aspect of 1.59:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced. And, for the record, it is a PAL transfer, not NTSC.

Being a live concert there are large portions of the screen that are just black. These blacks are incredibly solid and bold, with superb, sharply defined shadow details. The colours throughout the whole show, whether it be through clothing, backdrops, makeup or lighting, are all rendered in a glossy brightness which suits the ‘live’ feel to the disc.

The picture is generally sharp, with some softly focused areas when the auto-focus has failed in the poor light. Given the conditions, it looks great on the whole. The clarity of the image is superb.

There is no film grain on this disc, nor any film artefacts. There are very fine MPEG artefacts on some of the backdrops that merge with blacks, but these are so fine and minute that they are in no way distracting. There is incredibly slight low level noise present in some scenes, but again it is not distracting.

Skin tones are generally realistic apart from when they are washed with a bright pink or deep blue from downlights.

Sadly there is no subtitle track, so for all you karaoke fans, you can’t sing along.

This is a dual layer disc with the change occurring near the end of chapter 14 at 76:16. It is very neat, and unnoticeable.


There are two audio tracks on this disc – a Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a Dolby Digital 2.0 track. The ideal track is the 5.1 track as it offers great sound.

The soundstage is built from the front back, and sounds like a live concert. No ‘Hall’ or ‘Live’ settings are needed on your amplifier for this disc as the 5.1 track creates them for you. The front of the soundstage is generally the same from all three speakers, with subtle instrument changes from the front left and right channels. The rear channels carry an echo of the front of the soundstage and add an enveloping quality to the sound. The bass supplied from the subwoofer is rich and deep, giving depth to the sound and a lovely bulky quality.

The stereo track sounds great too, but nothing like the 5.1 track. The sound is very flat and comes from the front end only. The front left and right speakers are used discretely more than the 5.1 track, and offer a great stereo soundstage.

There are no audio sync problems on the disc, and the levels are consistent throughout the concert. This is the sort of disc you don’t even need to watch. You can just put it on in the background and carry on with your work. Saying this, it is a soundtrack that you reaaly want to crank up and listen to loud. The music really deserves it.


There are some great features on this disc including:

Interview: A 15 minute interview with Sarah taken in her house, which is very informative about her history and nicely shows her humour. The picture is generally sharp, except when the cameraperson gets carried away and zooms in too much.

Multiple Angles: Three songs contain multiple angles, Fear, Into The Fire and Sweet Surrender. Fear has four possible angles, Into The Fire also has four and Sweet Surrender only has three. These are a great touch to the disc, the only thing that would make it better would be if the whole concert was in multiple angles. But then, who wants to sit there for two hours constantly changing angles when someone else has already done that and found the best ones?

Biography: Eight pages of textual information including some Q&A with Sarah McLachlan.

Discography: Nine pages of textual information showing cover art and track listings for her released CDs. These are slightly out of date with Remixed recently being released in Canada and Australia.

Photo Gallery: 31 images of Sarah accessable through thumbnail images on a menu.

Lyrics: The lyrics for every song on this DVD are here, its just a pity they are not there as a subtitle track.

Fan Club Info: A brief advertising spot for Murmurs, the official Sarah McLachlan fan club.

DVD ROM: There are two uncredited DVD ROM features. A series of weblinks to the record company's home pages, as well as a link to Sarah McLachlan's home page. There is also a catalogue of Sarah McLachlan merchandise.

The main menu is animated with a mirrorball (surprise, surprise!) and has background audio from the song Last Dance. The rest of the menus are static and silent. The 'Multiple Angles' menu shows thumbnails of all of the different angles possible.


This disc is a must have for any Sarah McLachlan fans out there, and worth a listen if you simply like good music in the alternative rock/pop genre. The video is very good for a live concert, and the audio is great. The extras are relatively good given it is a music DVD. There are few extras, but they are of decent quality.

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      And I quote...
    "Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan shines so brightly on her Mirrorball..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nowa DS-8318
    • TV:
          TEAC 68cm CTV
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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