Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Cure - Festival 2005|
Actor: The Cure
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Studio: Uni Dist Corp (music) Release Date: 12/05/2006
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A Wonderful Setlist Overwhelmed by Bad Presentation
D. R. Jeanclerc | Brunswick, OH USA | 12/22/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The "Festival 2005" DVD is a live compilation of performances taken from their string of performances before huge European crowds that Summer. The shows are the first recorded glimpse of their current lineup, which features the return of Porl Thompson on guitar but also the departure of multi-instrumentalist Perry Bamonte and keyboardist Roger O'Donnell. The resulting DVD is sadly limited by both this pared-down lineup and also the frighteningly bad videography/editing. Still worthwhile for Cure completists, it will nonetheless leave both them and more casual fans frustrated by poor presentation.
PERFORMANCE - 3.5 stars
Despite an ever-changing lineup, The Cure has always been one of the most cohesive live acts in popular music. Their shows faithfully recreate their studio material, displaying the members' prowess with instruments while also leaving the bulk of the energy and interpretation to Smith's unmistakable voice.
However, this decision to scrap all keyboards from the live act is a blatant mistake. Smith's aim is clearly to project a more muscular tone onto familiar material and in some cases it works well ("The Kiss", "alt.end", "Shiver and Shake"). But in reality, those tracks were the ones that never had much keyboard anyway. The unfortunate tracks that rely on keyboards are dreadfully incomplete. "Just Like Heaven" sounds like a bad cover of itself. "Fascination Street" and "A Forest" are missing critical melodies. But worst of all, the majestic lead melody of "Plainsong" performed on guitar makes it sound like a parody of the instrumental closing theme to "Top Gun". The lack of keyboards truly ruins a number of these tracks to the ear of any longtime fan.
Smith's vocals sound as good as ever, although by the time he reaches the tracks at the end of the nightly setlists, he seems genuinely fatigued. For instance, the first half of "End" is basically mumbled rather than sang. The reintroduction of Thompson's guitar style is a big plus - as always, he mixes walls of fuzzed-out feedback with nimble virtuosity (the solo for "The Blood" is a highlight for him). I've never been a fan of Jason Cooper's hyperactive style of "the more drum fills, the better", but he is finally settling into a decent impression of Boris Williams' rhythms. Simon Gallup continues to be one of the most rock-solid bass players to ever grace the stage; also, he particularly seems at home with the more aggressive, minimalist lineup.
VIDEO - 1 star
Remember how bad the "Mixed Up?!?" album was? Well, this DVD is to your eyes what that remix collection was to your ears. And by the closing credits, it's apparent why: both are Robert Smith vanity projects. In a classic example of overstepping one's capabilities, Smith co-directed and -edited the piece, and the result is utterly maddening.
From the first track, you notice that in some shots the colors are so grossly oversaturated that it degrades the picture quality to roughly that of a VHS tape. Every other amateurish video trick gets thrown in as well: posterization, chroma keying, digital black-and-white, etc. But the most infuriating of all is the use of motion trails - think of how really bad movies depict "drunk vision". Ugh. All of this overblown video trickery might still be cool for the midnight showing of "The Song Remains the Same", but here, it's wholly unnecessary.
The camerawork is also spotty. First, there is too much reliance on two static angles. First, a wide shot of the entire stage taken from a good distance back into the crowd. Second, an overhead shot from the behind the drum kit looking down on the band and into the crowd - this one has all of the visual allure of a convenience store security camera. The manual cameras also try too many cheesy tricks which distract from the power of the performance. There's enough emotional punch in the opening lines of "The Kiss" that it wasn't necessary to choose a shot where the camera jerks and spins in faux mosh-pit fury.
AUDIO - 3 stars
The disc offers both a 5.1 and a DTS mix. Both sound very good, with fine separation. The DTS mix could be regarded as unnecessary since so much of the music is bathed in distortion, reverb and/or feedback.
EXTRAS - 1 star
Simply put, there are none.
For the price, the "Festival" DVD does deliver a lot of solid Cure content. The consolidated setlist is nearly perfect - by the time the encores wrap, even the most jaded longtime fan will be pleased. Unfortunately, the videography is so engrossed in its own cheap trickery that it becomes a continual distraction from the performance. Also, the current synth-free lineup shows its limitations on many of the staple tracks. Ultimately, it just made me wonder why neither of their prior live videos, "The Cure in Orange" (their definitive live show) or "Show/Paris", have been put on DVD yet."
Could have been much better
Mike G. | Canton, MA | 12/07/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Well, I'm not one to normally complain about anything The Cure puts out but this DVD could have been much better. The song selection is overall very good, mixing songs from every studio release except for TIB and WMS, I believe. They play heavy on material from the era when Porl was previously in the band. As a four-piece, the songs that normally require keyboards are unique here with Porl filling in the keyboard parts on guitar and there has been no other "official" live releases for more than a few songs on this DVD such as "Shiver and Shake", "M", "The Baby Screams" or "Signal to Noise." I can't complain about the sound quality, although the packaging did not indicate that that the 5.1 surround was DTS only and not Dolby. I prefer DD over DTS but the stereo surround mix was fine. The fact that the press release and the packaging do warn you that the video is essentially of the guerilla/audience/amateur quality still does not prepare you for the actual picture quality. My God, I just could not continue to watch the DVD. It hurt my eyes. Going for the crappy camera/grainy out of focus quality angle was a poor choice. The cheesy blurring and double images nonense was worse than watching an old Black Sabbath video on VH1 Classic. I've got better quality (even today after multiple viewings) of a VHS recording of The Cure I made 15 years ago from a concert from Germany that MTV aired! This DVD is just plain unwatchable. I will simply turn off the video and listen to the audio. This only makes the absolute need for re-releasing "In Orange" and "Show" onto DVD sooner rather than later. Too bad. This could have been a much better release for Cure fans."
Cure Prove They Rock
J. Fowler | Richmond, VA | 02/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Throw away the synthesizers and crank up the amps. That's what Robert Smith and The Cure chose to do in the Summer of 2005. The result: a sound I like to refer to as 'rock'. No synth-pop or new wave dance stuff here. Robert Smith has always nodded to Jimmi Hendrix from time to time and in this compilation of festival appearances shows off Smith's guitar chops like no other live DVD available. The guy can play guitar.
Snooty video-philes and industry experts will tell you how horrible the editing job is and how terrible the video effects in this compilation turn out. I don't get it. After reading some of these reviews I expected some tortured, terrible creation that was barely watchable. Quite the contrary. The myth of its poor quality is just that - hardly relying on much of the 'amateur' footage from cell phones and what-not, the filming and effects capture the mood of each song nicely. If you have a Phd in film studies, you will not agree since you know oh so much better than the rest of us philistines.
Anyway, if you like The Cure, the price is nice and there is absolutely no reason you do not want this item. I'm glad I ignored the naysayers. You will be too."
I've Seen Better Cure Bootlegs
neoninfusion | Sydney, NSW Australia | 04/22/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Cure have only two live DVD's - both recorded post 2000; 20 years after they began and at least 5 years since their prime. "Trilogy" - a three hour set which includes Pornography, Disintregration, and Bloodflowers in their entireties; and this DVD - "The Cure: Festival 2005".
Released in late 2006, it was shot during the band's headlining shows at 9 European music festivals in the summer of 2005. The video features a variety of angles "captured by a mix of fans, crew and 'on-the-night-big-screen cameras'. It is noted by the return of former guitarist Porl Thompson. Festival has 30 songs taken from most of their albums so it provides a much wider range of material than Trilogy. It is also heavily waited towards the material that Porl Thompson was involved in - from 'The Top' to 'Wish'.
"Open" (from Wish)
"Fascination Street" (from Disintegration)
"alt.end" (from The Cure)
"The Blood" (from The Head on the Door)
"A Night Like This" (from The Head on the Door)
"The End of the World" (from The Cure)
"If Only Tonight We Could Sleep" (from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)
"The Kiss" (from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)
"Shake Dog Shake" (from The Top)
"Us or Them" (from The Cure)
"Never Enough" (from Mixed Up)
"The Figurehead" (from Pornography)
"A Strange Day" (from Pornography)
"Push" (from The Head on the Door)
"Just Like Heaven" (from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)
"In Between Days" (from The Head on the Door)
"From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea" (from Wish)
"The Drowning Man" (from Faith)
"Signal to Noise" (B-side to "Cut Here")
"The Baby Screams" (from The Head on the Door)
"One Hundred Years" (from Pornography)
"Shiver and Shake" (from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me)
"End" (from Wish)
"At Night" (from Seventeen Seconds)
"M" (from Seventeen Seconds)
"Play for Today" (from Seventeen Seconds)
"A Forest" (from Seventeen Seconds)
"Plainsong" (from Disintegration)
"Disintegration" (from Disintegration)
"Faith" (from Faith)
Although it is an excellent collection of songs, there isn't much variety in terms of the visual experience - a byproduct of festival touring. I don't mind the different camera techniques but I don't think the sound mix is very good for this day and age.
It seems a little strange that The Cure's best live video - the full concert "Live in Orange" has not made it to DVD, yet an average live DVD that is no better than some Cure bootlegs gets an official release."