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Reviewed October 29th, 2000 by Brian White


Why is there such a shortage of concert videos on DVD? And why is the quality of the few available concerts so poor? Yes it’s true than the DTS version of the Eagles concert has become a reference disc to many, but this reviewer isn’t old enough to hold any interest in the Eagles. Along comes Sting’s concert DVD. Finally, twenty and thirthy-somethings have a reference-quality concert DVD.

Filmed last year, at the Universal Amphitheatre in L.A., the video captures an early performance on the Brand New Day tour. As usual, Sting has a fantastic backup band. Of particular interest is the ultra-talented Manu Kache, who has drummed on several of Sting’s albums, but never toured with the singer. The performance is top-notch. Sting is in great voice as well. Many of his live performances have been blemished by his seemingly frequent bouts of laryngitis. Both his voice and bass playing are perfect here.

The staging is minimal. There are some fans and banners that appear from behind the set, but nothing too distracting. This concert was about the music. That is spectacle enough. Cheb Mami makes an appearance to perform the excellent Desert Rose. In an unusual display of modesty, Sting keeps his shirt on for the whole show.

How does the disc look? Brilliant. The 4:3 video is beautiful. Don’t tell my boss, but I snuck into a meeting room at work and auditioned the disc on a 10’ screen. From this experiment, I can attest that the detail is absolutely amazing.

The 5.1 mix is fantastic as well. There isn’t that annoying crowd noise in the surrounds. Instead, the surrounds extend the soundstage. It isn’t gimmicky at all; the mix is quite impressive. When Sting plucks his bass, your sub reacts in turn. The classy, jazzy music fills all speakers. The AC-3 mix is great. A DTS version of this concert would give the Eagles a run for their money.

For extras, the disc boasts a great little featurette filmed prior to the show. Essentially, you get to meet the band, crew, Miles Copeland; and see Sting sitting around, waiting for the show to start. It’s a great little film, if you’re a fan. It’s also best enjoyed before watching the concert. The songs are also tracked, which is far too convenient when enjoying a concert film.

Song List:

- A Thousand Years
- If you Love Somebody (Set Them Free)
- After the Rain Has Fallen
- We’ll be Together
- Perfect Love… Gone Wrong
- Seven Days
- Fill Her Up
- Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
- Ghost Story
- Moon Over Bourbon Street
- Englishman in New York
- Brand New Day
- Tomorrow We’ll See
- Desert Rose
- Every Breath You Take
- Lithium Sunset
- Message in a Bottle
- Fragile


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