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Backstreet Boys - A Night Out With
Zomba Video/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 70 mins . G . PAL


The second of Zomba’s Backstreet Boys discs embraces what the band describe as their “sentimental side”, which essentially means it’s an “unplugged” style concert in front of a calmer, seated audience, with copious guest musicians on stage including a string section whose conductor takes it all just a tad too seriously. But then, the Boys take this all seriously too - they sing earnestly and look more sombre than usual, obviously attempting to showcase their songs without the performance distractions (dancing, pouting and posing) that come as part and parcel of their usual act.

And they nearly pull it off, too - until Backstreeter A.J. McLean swaggers onto stage and delivers the memorably cringe-inducing line “Are there any single ladies in the audience tonight?” There are plenty, of course - but luckily there are laws to protect them from oversexed pop stars…!


While apparently recorded on 16:9 digital video equipment, this direct copy of the VHS sell-through video of this concert is not 16:9 enhanced and was, in fact, post-produced in full-frame NTSC. The conversion to PAL is dreadful - easily the worst of the three discs in terms of video quality, the 1.77:1 image here is indistinct, dark and massively lacking in detail - in fact, it’s the kind of quality one would expect from VideoCD, not DVD. At many times during the show, backgrounds blur into a fuzzy mess of indistinct pixels, and the whole thing has the look of nastiness.

The same audio problems (and the same authoring flub) as the other two discs affect this one - though here the 5.1 audio track is spared the gratuitous channel-panning used on the All Access disc, the bass still vanishes completely in a downmix (this is, by the way, not the way Dolby recommend music be encoded in 5.1) and the “Dolby Surround” track is in mono.

Once again, the nice animated menus lead to no extras at all - and no, a “web link” screen does not count as an extra.

Even the fans should be wary of this poor-quality product, which at 70 minutes is also the shortest of the three.

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  •   And I quote...
    "(The band is) obviously attempting to showcase their songs without the performance distractions - dancing, pouting and posing - that come as part and parcel of their usual act..."
    - Anthony Horan
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DVP-NS300
    • TV:
          Panasonic - The One
    • Receiver:
          Sony STR-AV1020
    • Speakers:
          Klipsch Tangent 500
    • Surrounds:
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Monster s-video
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