Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Energetic, hard hitting and visually entertaining. Check it
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 08/08/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With the release of albums featuring Japanese rock bands D'espairsRay and the Underneath from new Japanese music distribution company J SHOCK, the company also debuted their first DVD release with D'espairsRay "Spiral Staircase #15 Final - 20070513 Shibuya AX Japan".
Having listened and enjoyed their album "Mirror", I was definitely interested in seeing how D'espairsRay would perform in concert.
One thing I'm very adamant on in regards to a band is that if they sound as good as they do on an album, they better sound just as good live.
Nothing destroys it for me than to hear a beautiful or hard hitting song and then watch a lame performance, lack of passion and just overall just the epitome of "suck".
Fortunately, I can give a positive thumbs up that D'espairsRay's new DVD was a very good concert and the overall energy of the band and the audience was captured very well, thanks to the many cameras utilized throughout the venue.
Shibuya-AX is not a super large venue but from concerts that I've seen in the past, if camera footage is placed well and depending on the bands performance and the audience reaction, things can come out quite effectively.
So, for the band's stage presence, one thing that caught my attention was the spiral staircase wrapped around the background. Definitely a nice touch to use the stage effectively (since many other bands just typically use a curtain or secondary level stage to make things look good, especially at Shibuya-AX).
As mentioned prior, the use of cameras was effectively used. That is many of them. But before I go on, let me talk about quality. One thing that I noticed that many bands tend to go for more of a digital video type of recording for their concerts these days, for this concert, it looks as if the folks of Visual Trap went for film. So, the digital crispness that some may be used to from concerts of major labels is absent.
But don't think that this works against the concert that they didn't go visual because what the camera crew employed was a good number of cameras fixed around each band member with various angles, closeups. This includes cameras behind the audience, above the audience and so you don't miss a beat.
When it comes to editing, I tend to be a bit fickle about how many seconds before transitioning to the next band member. I tend to prefer to like the camera staying on a fixed band member for four seconds or more but many times, on this concert, the camera stays for only a second. And on many pop acts, this would be a no-no, because it could be dizzying and just doesn't work.
But for this concert, the transitioning worked because you actually are getting a good view of each band member and around the stadium as if you were truly there and for the multiple closeups from a variety of angles, you get even more visually.
As for the audio, the audio is in PCM Stereo, no digital 5.1 ch but it's OK. As much as I like the audio to be digital 5.1, for an independent release, I think what was delivered on this DVD was more than I expected to receive compared to other Indie concerts on DVD.
As for special features, you can choose the encore songs and the cool part about this is although four tracks are listed on the DVD track listings, there are actually I believe six tracks and you get the nearly seven minute "Off Shot" which shows the crew building the stage, the band checking out the stage and everything leading up to the concert
The menu is simple with the play all, song selection and special features.
As for the DVD insert, it's a vertical tri-fold featuring pictures of the group and the venues performed at for the band's live tour. Other side features credits and track listing.
I actually found the concert to be very cool. I'm not exactly knowledgeable on the bands members or a lot of their music but a lot of the songs from their "Mirror" album, it was great to see them perform live.
The performances were very energetic, the band performed very well on stage, great stage presence, lighting and overall, the camera crew and editing crew did a great job in trying to capture the concert moment, especially for those who are not physically there.
The concert does not include the complete MC segments and not sure if they did much speaking during the live concert to begin with but all in all, taking for what this DVD features, I have to say that among the many Indie bands I have watched on DVD, production-wise, the quality and what the production crew was able to capture, was pretty impressive.
Very good camera footage and again, although not digitally recorded, the editing crew made up for that by making sure that you didn't miss a beat.
So, for those who are fans of D'espairsRay and have been curious about this DVD, I'm telling you right now, you can't go wrong.
With J Shock now bringing J-Rock fans distribution for some of their favorite bands to the United States audience, please support them by purchasing the DVD.
"Spiral Staircase #15 is energetic, hard hitting and visually entertaining. Check it out!"