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  Directed by
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  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: DTS 5.1 Surround
  • English: Linear PCM Stereo
  Subtitles
    English
  Extras
  • Photo gallery
  • DVD-ROM features - two desktop backdrops, photo gallery screensaver
Neil Young - Red Rocks Live
Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 122 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

I have to admit I'm not a fan of open-air concerts. Sure, it can be great, but what happens when the weather is against you? Such is the situation on Red Rocks Live, where Neil Young battles his way through a gathering storm (one of the opening scenes has the promoter conferring with the local police representative and the medical team, trying to decide if it's safe to go ahead!). It's actually kind of appropriate, given the nature of his music, but all things considered, I'm happier to watch on disc than risk being hit by lightning.

Mr. Young should need no introduction to music fans, but for those raised on a runny diet of Britney Spears and Ricky Martin, he first came to public attention with Stephen Stills in the band Buffalo Springfield before joining the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash (the Crosby in question being David Crosby of The Byrds). Finally gathering enough confidence in his voice to sing his own material, he launched a solo career which brought success with the acoustic album Harvest in 1972. Since then, Young has worked on and off with an LA bar band called Crazy Horse, balancing a reckless style of swamp rock against his more introspective work.

In Red Rocks Live, he's a long way from the high voltage feedback squalls of his '91 live album Weld (and the accompanying all-feedback mini-CD Arc). Young, accompanied by his wife and half-sister, meanders through a selection of his vast back catalog, leaning towards his country/folk side. It's difficult to go too far off the tracks when you're backed by such studio legends as drummer Jim Keltner and Donald 'Duck' Dunn (who looks disturbingly like a bass-wielding George Lucas), and Young is in fine form, the wind whipping his thinning hair as his voice echoes like a coyote howl between the mountain walls.

Track listing:

1. Intro11. Peace Of Mind
2. Motorcycle Mama12. Walk On
3. Powderfinger13. Winterlong
4. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere14. Bad Fog Of Loneliness
5. I Believe In You15. Words
6. Unknown Legend16. Harvest Moon
7. Fool For Your Love17. World On A String
8. Buffalo Springfield Again18. Tonight's The Night
9. Razor Love19. Cowgirl In The Sand
10. Daddy Went Walkin'20. Credits
21. Mellow My Mind

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

You couldn't ask more from a video-sourced transfer. Sharpness is excellent, colours are reproduced nicely without bleed and the shadows drop rapidly to black, as you'd expect from video.

Audiowise, we're provided with three tracks, a Dolby Digital 5.1, a DTS 5.1 and a simple stereo mix. The 5.1 mixes are fairly basic, sounding like tarted-up stereo mixes. The centre channel contains nothing but quiet reverb, and it sounds like the mixers have just piped the stereo mix to the rears at a lower level, added some reverb and panned the crowd noises to the back.

Does it matter? Not in the slightest, as the mix is pretty good for a live concert, while not being as glossy as, say, Sarah McLachlan's Mirrorball. Which is to say, it's perfectly appropriate to the elder statesman of stomp rock.

The extras are limited, with a couple of desktop backgrounds and a screensaver for those with DVD-ROM facilities. The most useful extra is the lyrics presented as subtitles, with the photo gallery coming in second.


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  •   And I quote...
    "Better to burn out than fade away, and both are better than getting rained on for two solid hours..."
    - Paul Dossett
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Rom:
          Pioneer 103(s)
    • MPEG Card:
          RealMagic Hollywood Plus
    • TV:
          Mitsubishi Diva 33
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha DSP-A1
    • Speakers:
          Richter Excalibur
    • Centre Speaker:
          Richter Unicorn
    • Surrounds:
          Richter Hydras
    • Audio Cables:
          Monster RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Monster s-video
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