Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|How to Be a Megastar Live |
DVD with CD
Actor: Blue Man Group
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
After playing to capacity crowds throughout 2006 and 2007, Blue Man Group's How to Be a Megastar Tour hits the road again in 2008. The live rock show takes the audience through a satirical workshop on how to create the per... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Enjoyable Expansion of "The Complex"
Scott C. Smith | Beaverton, OR United States | 04/13/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Blue Man Group return to their rock concert experience in their latest DVD, captured during their "How to Be a Megastar 2.0" tour. If you already own "The Complex" much of this material will be familiar as it nearly the same format as the group's previous rock concert tour. That's not necessarily a bad thing. As in "The Complex," "How to Be a Megastar" opens with "Above," which if you've seen/heard from "The Complex" you know is simply an amazing song. The concert presentation is exciting, with a screen obscuring the stage and only shadows of the Blue Men projected on the screen as, one by one, each takes to their PVC instruments to begin the melody, with a swirling of images of the band and the Blue Men as the song launches into guitar, drums, keyboards, bass, and percussion in an explosive cresendo. Awesome. The remainder of "How to Be a Megastar" essentially follows the same progression as "The Complex" with some new material and new rock conert movements. The premise of the tour is the Blue Men have purchased an "updated" rock concert experience manual from an infomercial and are incoporating the new material into the show. The band is amazing, as it was before in "The Complex." I miss the guest vocals of Tracy Bonham and Annette Strean of Venus Hum. Annette was gorgeous and belted out an exciting cover of "I Feel Love" in her unique style in "The Complex" and is replaced on the current tour with a new vocalist. She's fine, but it's hard to follow in the footsteps of Annette and Tracy.
Bonus material includes a music video for "I Feel Love"; a piece of comedy called "Mono Makes a Plea -- Save the TVs" campaign (bemoaning the switch to digital signals which will effect us all...) and finally, and perhaps most importantly, a documentary called "Inside the Tube." It features the founders of Blue Man (Phil Stanton, Chris Wink and Matt Goldman) as they discuss the group, the philosophy of the Blue Man and the evolution of Blue Man from a theatrical presentation to the rock concert experience of "The Complex." It's a fascinating insight; Stanton, Wink and Goldman are extremely intelligent and creative individuals with a lot of passion for what they do. As far as I know the documentary aired only on PBS during a fund raising drive, with the documentary being sold as an incentive gift for new PBS members. If my memory is correct the documentary was being sold for a $75 contribution; now you can watch it for free!
If you already own "The Complex" and are on the fence about purchasing "How to Be a Megastar," I would suggest it primarily for the documentary included in the DVD extras. The DVD also includes a CD version of the concert, so for less than $20 you're getting a DVD and audio CD; a great deal. If you are new to Blue Man I would recommend starting with "Blue Man Group - The Complex Rock Tour Live" to see what you think. I think you will enjoy it."
What The Complex couldn't be
Jeffrey Putz | Seattle, Washington, USA | 04/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Blue Man Group created a touring rock concert with The Complex, they recorded and released a DVD. It was, at best, a tease to get you to see the stage shows, since the tour ended about the same time. The DVD was horribly flawed. It wasn't mastered correctly as anamorphic widescreen, but rather it was letterboxed. The audio mix was questionable. There were visible compression artifacts. The exposure during dark parts of the show was poor, and they tried to compensate with bad video effects. The editing was terrible too, with visuals not matching audio, and countless shots of a lame crowd. This new DVD corrects all of that.
When the How To Be A Megastar tour launched three years later, the show had been heavily tweaked. Through five legs of the tour, changes were made at least three times, and various performers came and went. The last iteration of the tour is what's represented on this DVD (and CD), and it's easily the tightest version of it.
Almost the entire show is represented, with a lively crowd and a great performance by the excellent band. The arena experience is captured with a lot of great wide shots, including a camera in the "crappy seats," to give you an idea of how "big" the show feels. The scope is much bigger than the fixed theatrical shows, though many of the same comedic bits are shared.
The video clips for the "Megastar" manual are included here, played by Fred Armisen of Saturday Night Live fame, as well as the Floppie the Banjo Clown clips.
Peter Moore is the male vocalist for the show. He sang on several of the recorded tracks for The Complex, and on the original tour. The guy is all-pro and has a bit of a rockstar quality. He left the tour shortly after this show to pursue a solo record. Adrian Hartley is the female vocalist, who replaced Tracy Bonham during one of the interim tour legs. She gets a lot of crap for little reason other than not being Bonham, but she's capable on most of the songs. "I Feel Love" was delivered on The Complex tour (and recording) with Annette Strean from Venus Hum (who also opened on that tour), and admittedly it's hard to stack up against her pipes. The absence of Bonham also means that they have no violinist for "Baba O'Riley," but I maintain that it's just different, not better or worse.
As I said, the music is a lot tighter throughout the show. Where we were once left with just the Blue Man Voiceover guy, the band plays. Several pieces from the theatrical show are therefore worked in to the show, and it flows more like a Top 40 radio station than an orchestra concert with an intermission. It keeps the energy level up. We get some fresh arrangements on a number of songs as well, and Moore and Hartley complement each other well. "Sing Along" in particular is given a Mexican feel (if Mexican music used air poles), complete with the horn section from a Mariachi band. Newer pieces like the adaptation of the wire man routine from the stage shows, in this case "Light Suits," drive toward the fake ending, and the newer song "Rock and Go" really capture the old fashioned rock concert finale the way few "real" rock concerts do.
The special features include the original "I Fell Love" (with Strean from Venus Hum) and a video piece that was dropped mid-tour, with Armisen assuming the role of "Mono" with a guitarist called "The Side" (like U2, get it?). He makes his plea for saving old CRT TV's. It's followed by the TV routine made famous in the stage shows.
They've also included the documentary "Inside The Tube" from PBS. It has been edited slightly for the DVD. For example, the original program had a bit where they showed video for the light suits, something they were "working on," but has since been worked into this tour and also some of the stage shows. The biggest benefit here is that you don't have to sit through half-hour intermissions of PBS asking for money.
The CD is really the icing on the cake. Just as the iTunes-only release of the stage show from The Venetian, you get an appreciation for how good the band is live. My only complaint is that seem to mix the giant bass drum too low, which is odd because the show is so much about percussion.
Overall, this is the video that I think Blue Man Group fans have been waiting for, for a long time. My hope is that it's also a turning point, because much of this material has been around now for a lot of years, and I think fans are dying for something new. What we've seen to this point has been more of an evolution than anything else. At this point, they need something new."
Blue Man On Blu Ray
elmo | 11/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Blue Man Group: How to Be a Megastar Live! [Blu-ray]
A feast for the eye's and ears. Almost as good as going to the actual show without having to worry about getting wet or having a stick cam shoved in your mouth.
On the Blu Ray version, be sure to go into Setup from the main menu. There is an uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio option. It's only listed as English 5.1 on the cover."
rickirick | Chicago | 02/06/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the first blu-ray titles that I purchased. It was high on my list because I loved "The Complex Rock Tour" on DVD, but the video quality on that DVD was terrible.
The video quality on this "Megastar" blu-ray disk is good, but in every other aspect the "The Complex Rock Tour" is superior to "Megastar".
Bottom line: the "Megastar" concert is disappointing. The blue men themselves seem to be just going through the motions, the audience often seems bored, the sound quality is muddled, and the attempt to use "infomercials" during segues is almost embarrassing to watch. Pondering what went wrong, it seems that the focus has shifted to everything other than the 3 blue men, to the point that the title characters seem to be an afterthought. If the theme of "The Complex" was "watch these quirky guys make amazing music on odd instruments", the theme of "Megastar" is "listen to this backup band, with some disinterested guys dressed up in blue added for free."
About half way through "Megastar" the song "I Feel Love" is performed. This was a highlight of "The Complex", featuring Annette Strean of Venus Hum in the electrified dress. I have to give "Megastar" credit for boldness in its attempt to perform this song without Annette Strean, but unfortunately the attempt succeeded mainly in illustrating how lame "Megastar" is compared to "The Complex."
As another reviewer said, if you haven't seen "The Complex" you may like "Megastar", but if you have seen "The Complex" you will find "Megastar" uninspiring--it has no soul."