Search - Live on DVD

Actor: Radiohead
Director: Various
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
NR     2008     1hr 52min

"They transform studio-centric creations into live songs that are both towering and incandescent ... in concert Radiohead are as organic and explosive as any band playing today." -- PopMatters Radiohead's live performance...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Radiohead
Director: Various
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll
Format: DVD - Color - Live
DVD Release Date: 09/09/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

RADIOHEAD LIVE.....a gift from the gods themselves
W. T. Hoffman | Pennsylvania, United States | 01/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"IF I had paid attention to some of these reviews, and NOT bought this DVD for some lame reason like "its not really 5.1 sound", or, "There's some digital distortion in the picture at times", I would have missed out on owning one of the VERY BEST concert films, I have in my collection. I have never seen the band in concert, and i'm sure i'm not the only human on earth, who says that. When they realized their best work, from around OK COMPUTER thru to AMNESIAC, they were opening up for Atlantis Morrisette. Radiohead were very underrated at the time with the masses. Maybe its cos they only had that one hit in the States with CREEP, or maybe its cos their Krautrock inspired electronic experimentation, was too far out for most people's tastes, who knows, who cares. Unfortunately, there is only that one offically released concert film, recorded around THE BENDS, for fans of the band's later, heavy electronica phase. I have been waiting, and hoping, that a concert film would be released of a show from around 1998, or slightly later. This DVD surpasses anything I could have hoped for.
Now a word about the 5.1 sound. It's apparent that the show was recorded for Germany's famous ROCKPALAST TV show. So, the sound would obviously be stereo. The mixers used that sound source, and a computer program, to digitally derive the middle front channel, and the back channels. Since we are watching the band from the front, it only makes sense for the sound to come out of the front speakers. Do people expect a 5.1 surround mix that sounds like Flaming Lips' 5.1 remix of YOSHIMI? Even if they could have done that, it would have sounded horrible, certainly dated. People complained also about minimal "digital distortion" in the picture. Again, in no way could this show have come from youtube, or a home taping of the show. Legally or not, it was certainly sourced from ROCKPALAST's digital copy, from the broadcast. In fact, the show was very well filmed. The stage has about 3 cameramen, one on Thom, and two on the rest of the band, with another camera dedicated to the band's giant viewscreen. Also, there is a crane camera suspended over the audience, and another camera that takes shots from the back of the audience, so we can see the stage setup, and the audience. All of this is important, to complete the LIVE VIBE, of the band's concert milieu. So, the camera work, editing, etc were all strictly professional, as was the sound recording and mixing. Knowing that this band is experimental, I accept these digital distortions as deliberate....something like the loop of a needle moving in a dusty old record, that TRIP HOP musicians employed so often. If this video had the digital effects common at the time (mirrored reflections into infinity, or color bleed outs, etc), the concert footage would have looked dated. BUT, thankfully, there is no post production with the image, to obscure the transcendental nature of how the musicians expressed their stage show. If there are a few "old age distortions" on the DVD's source, it only reinforces a certain timelessness that is present in RADIOHEAD's sound, and visual expression. So, if you dont think this DVD concert is worth buying, because you might not get the best 5.1 seperation possible, or because it might look a little grainy, or has a few digital distortions in the film, reevaluate your decision. These pictorial distortions occur about 5 or 6 times, for a quarter second. On one occasion you see a color bar flash, another time there's a moment of image slippage. In the low lighting on stage, sometimes the TV camera produces a grainy image. This is normal in low light settings. RADIOHEAD's light show was a moodly palette of blues, indigos and purples, when they did their dreamy electronical peices. So, thats the "distortion" issue. Judge for yourself, if that makes this DVD unworthy of your attention. If it is, then deny yourself, and wait to see if RADIOHEAD ever releases a better concert filmed than this one. And you'll be waiting, for some time. Besides the official concert film from THE BENDS era, I doubt the band EVER had the money to film a concert tour, and then, edit together 4 or 5 concerts, for the perfect wide screen image. Not to mention overdubs on the sound, and a perfect 48 channel digital source from the mixboard, to produce a perfect 5.1 surround sound. RADIOHEAD are not a corperate commodity, remember? They are not into the big studio games, and who doesnt love them for that? If you want SLICK, PERFECT picture and sound, and not a complete RADIOHEAD concert filmed professionally for German TV, go watch the Rolling Stones last few concert films. And do try to enjoy.

Now thats out of the way, let me say, this concert blew me away. To think that Radiohead has not released more live material from this period, is a crying shame. Even that live CD from 2001, doesnt give you the REAL gold and silver buried in this DVD. Who would have thought that Thom Yorke went into a shaman like trance, when he preformed? There were times when he morphed into a dervish ecstacy, spinning and dancing around the stage, banging tambourines together, mind obviously FAR FAR AWAY in some paralell universe. This is not to say the rest of the band is lame, far from it. In fact, the other big surprise for me, was the way the band united into a state of spiritual entanglement. They are a singular unit, with ten hands constantly interchanging their instruments. Thom moves from Tambourine ecstacy, to acoustic guitar folkie, to piano playing with strong rhythymic grace, to electric guitar flip outs, and then, just SINGER with a mic stand. Jonny Greenwood's guitar playing, and especially his electronic effects, were also a huge surprise, because they SURPASSED their dense, electronic effects from the KID A/AMNESIAC albums, and did it LIVE. My jaw dropped open so many times, I just ended up ripping it off my face, and throwing it over to the corner of the room til the show was over. (which made it hard to sing along to my favorite songs, but hey, art is suffering, right?) There is not a single performance in this entire concert which is boring, not a single one. Which leads me to some final praises for the DVD.

On the back, they list the songs. Reading thru the set list, I kept thinking, "Wow, almost all my favorite songs are preformed." Its about half way thru their show, that the band shifts gears into a whole higher level. (It's about the time they preform EXIT MUSIC.) The band transcends the boundries of ROCK, and create astounding versions of their electronica-folk rock music. NO SURPRISES, KARMA POLICE, PYRAMID SONG, and an incredible rendition of PARANOID ANDROID follows. After their mid period masterpieces, they preformed IDIOTIQUE. The set list printed on the back of the DVD stops there....but the show does NOT. Just when I thought, "The only way for this show to have been better, would be if they preformed EVERYTHING IN ITS RIGHT PLACE", the band kicked into "EVERTHING IT ITS RIGHT PLACE". This was their "last number", and the band and Thom gives the audience EVERYTHING indeed. Thom sings thru these electronic effects, modulated, and looped, by the lead guitar player. I cant say how this was done, but it seemed to employ lots of guitar gadgets on the floor. Once more, transcendence...producing a live version closer to an extended remix of the album version. Then, the band walks off stage, while the vocal loops kept playing. AND THE AUDIENCE WAS ENTRAWLED. They kept clapping to the beat of "EVERYTHING", and chanting that last chunk of the vocal loop, for at least two minutes, maybe longer. When the band comes back on stage for their encour, the audience was STILL tranced out from "everything", still singing that song! The encour was also great. This was when the band cut loose, and picked up their electric guitars, put the army of synths away, and rocked out. (Almost all these songs were from THE BENDS, except for the first encour number, "AIRBAG". And no, they did NOT preform "Creep." It was not missed.) For me, the only song I wanted to hear live, that they didnt preform was KNIVES OUT. If you want to know what their live sound, and this DVDs sound is like, would be to listen to "I MIGHT BE WRONG/LIVE RECORDINGS". This DVD sounds at least that good, perhaps better, because they are pushing the envelope so far with their music. So, for my money, this DVD beats out more expensively produced DVD concert Kilometers. So, snark this show all you want, if that's your style. The truth about this DVD is this: it has near perfect sound quality, it was filmed professionally for European TV, and its a complete concert by RADIOHEAD, when they were at the acme of their career. For fans that missed their oppotunity to see them live, see this DVDconcert.

My ONLY critism of the DVD? I dont care for the tacky packaging. It does look cheap, and if you happen to judge a book by its cover, it might be enough to turn you off from buying this DVD. DONT LET IT! As for the rumor that this might be a "grey area" bootleg from Germany, who knows. But if that IS true, buy this show NOW, before it isnt available in the states except thru eBay. You'll thank yourself later, i PROMISE YOU!"
So-So DVD: near bootleg picture quality from TV Broadcast, b
T. Scarillo | Studio City, CA | 10/06/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"First, let me qualify this review by saying I am NOT a hardcore Radiohead fan, at least not a fan of their more recent albums, which I have found to be somewhat overrated due to lack of conventional songs, and I'm not a big fan of atonal music/beeps and farts noise. I do have all their albums, more out of curiosity that I am `missing' something groundbreaking that everyone else except me seems to be hearing. However, I do think that The Bends and OK Computer are two exceptional albums, easily among the finest albums of the 90's. They are unquestionably an interesting band, and like them or not, anyone would have to admit they make challenging music, which is more than you can say for 97% of bands today. So there.

That said, I got this DVD because I was (again) mildly curious to see what their live shows have been like, since the only time I ever saw them live was in '97 or so, on the OK Computer tour. Plus, there is not a lot of Radiohead DVD concert material out legitimately, and no serious collection should be without something of theirs. This show is from June of 2001 in Germany, and seems to have a cross-section amount of material from the albums they'd recorded up to that point, except Pablo Honey (and no, "Creep" is not on here). Maybe a bit heavier on the experimental stuff, given that they were touring Amnesiac at the time.

The performance itself is actually pretty good, as good as I recall them back in '97. If you like them, and the more experimental stuff (Kid A and Amnesiac, plus OK Computer), you'll probably enjoy this DVD. The sound quality is actually pretty good (it says it's in 5.1 - I watched it with the sound field on my home theater set to `rock concert' which redistributes the center channel, but I thought the sound overall was ok if not standard-setting. I doubt it's true 5.1). The BIG COMPLAINT here, though, and the cause of me docking it a couple of stars, is the picture. This was clearly taken from German/European TV - it says "BWF" in the upper right corner, and the Rockpalast label w/ some song titles appears periodically in the lower portion of the screen. This was professionally shot, with close ups, wide-outs, decent editing. I don't know what the source of the video was, but I watched it on a 100 inch projection screen, and not only is this thing incredibly grainy when blown up (i suspect it'll look just as grainy at 32-40 inches too), but it has moments where the picture is just absolute garbage - unintended solarization effects, the picture gets `flattened out' / `stretched', some artifacts onscreen from the source, etc. Frankly, I cannot imagine that Radiohead nor EMI would ever have approved this as-is (it was released on a label I've never heard of) nor could they be happy seeing this on the market, because I have to think there are much better concerts sitting in a vault somewhere that they control. IMPORTANT!: The packaging is somewhat misleading too, as there's a photo on the back that's "Pablo"-era, and I think the tracklisting is all screwed up - when I thought the show was over, according to the listing, there was still 20 minutes left on the disc, then they started into "Airbag", then "Just", "The Bends", "How to Disappear Completely" - NONE of which are on the packaging listing. (Guess these were the encores?)

BOTTOM LINE: Given the shortage of non-bootleg Radiohead concert videos on the market (if I recall correctly, the EMI/Capitol-released 1995 Astoria DVD was ok, but not great, at least picture-wise), I guess you'd probably want this if you're a hard-core Radiohead fan. The decent sound quality is about the sole element that is keeping this product from being really no better than a bootleg. But the band should take product like this as a cue to get on the case and put out their own DVD, now that they seem to control their own destiny (or, if there's a stricture against it in their EMI contract covering old concerts from their tenure there, at least talk to EMI about getting a concert DVD of great quality out of the vaults that they can mutually agree on). Here's my math: +3 stars for the performance, +2 stars for the setlist being pretty good (including the songs NOT on the packaging listing), and -2 stars for the horrible video quality.
Great show! But 5.1???
Christopher M. Wales | Pensacola, FL USA | 10/26/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Okay... First off. Me being a huge Radiohead fan and seeing this at Best Buy, I was curious. I did a double-take and kinda hid it in the Queen section of dvd's and headed out to research it before buying it. I wanted to make sure it was worth the $15 or what. I will agree with the prior review. The sound if MOST ASSUREDLY NOT 5.1! It appears to be a direct rip from a German TV network. That's why I only gave it a 4 star rating. Now that that's out of the way... The show itself is NUTS! I loved it!!! This was a historical documentation of Radiohead at total world dominance! The stuff that got ME hooked. I gave this set the ultimate litmus test last night with my girlfriend and she concurred about the awesomeness of the set, etc.,, Totally worth it. Get it before the band has it yanked, since it's not officially licensed. It's just a great historical document and it brought us back to seeing them in Tampa in May this year. Just a great band that is hopefully not yet at their peak.

Buy this, but with guarded expectations.

Great stuff!!!!"
San | Hawaii | 01/15/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Radiohead are great live which is the only reason I gave it a decent review. That said, the video and audio quality were terrible. I laughed at first, thinking it was a joke. The set list was good."