Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
PT Live and Heavy
bruceski | FLA United States | 09/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I received an advance copy of this from PT distributer Burning Shed (#417 for those of you keeping count). This DVD is Porcupine Tree live at Chicago's Park West October 11-12, 2005.
The material list is:
Revenant (opening theme music)
Dont Hate Me
Mother and Child Divided
Buying New Soul
So Called Friend
Arriving Somewhere but Not Here
Heartattack in a Layby
The Start of Something Beautiful
The Sound of Muzak
Lazarus Video, Futile and Radioactive Toy from German TV Show Rockpalast, Drummer Gavin Harrison's Cymbal Song, the Movies that accompanied Halo, Start of Something... and Mother and Child Divided and Photo Gallery.
OK reviewing this, the short review is; get it, this is the best band out there right now and this DVD is a great representation of how good they are.
The longer version is, Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson alter their musical direction every couple of years (sort of the theme of the rarely played Buying New Soul) and this is where they were in 2005 and 2006. This is their first DVD and it perfectly captures what that 2005 Deadwing tour was. I happened to see the first show of this tour in Tampa and the DVD shows that they just became tighter and heavier as the tour went on.
The Deadwing Tour was heavier than the old psychadelic, progressive and song based material (yes its too bad there werent official DVDs for the previous phases of PT), but it is still great stuff. (as Steven sings on Arriving somewhere-- all my designs simplified, all of my plans compromised, all of my dreams sacrificed). While the music now may be slightly simplified, anyone would be hard pressed to say much has been sacrificed.
Some may question the inclusion of non-cd tracks such as Mother and Child Divided or So-Called Friend, but fans of the band either know these or get to know them quick and they fit the overall feel of the tour very well. Anytime you have as much great material as PT the song selection can be questioned, but this performance is so powerful I reccomend just sitting back and enjoying what there is rather than lamenting what there isnt.
The 5.1 audio on this release is better than any Ive heard (I also highly reccomend the DVD-A versions of Stupid Dream, In Absentia and Deadwing, if you want hear how good 5.1 DTS can sound, and make yourself slightly deaf without realizing you are doing it;-).
The video is nicely shot, lots of shifts of focus without being jarring, and the camera seems to be where you'd like it to be most of the time (a real flaw in tons of Live DVD's). Also, there are no cheesy effects or technological experiments which means this should stand the test of time (there is some shifting of black and white to color, but it is pretty unobtrusive, although Im used to a lot of vids from the 70s some of which have really bad effects).
Now let me add, this DVD isnt perfect, but the complaints are fairly minor. The thoughts I had after only a couple of watches... 1. On Open Car the vocals seem buried (may have been purposeful, but its a distraction. 2. The video never captures(and maybe couldnt)the size and integration of the films that accompanied the songs. 3. The packaging is nice, but its cardboard and vulnerable to fingerprints, dents, etc.
Also, don't think you are getting 2 discs of live music, Disc 1 is a full concert, Disc 2 is odds and ends. I wasnt sure why they didnt just include the entire Rockpalast show (if they could show 2 songs, why not the whole show?) My guess is because it was largely the same material, but fans wouldnt have minded.
Fans can argue for the different albums of PT being their best, but this really seems to a document of a great band at the top of their game. If all music was this thoughtful, composed and sincere, I would like a lot more music.
End thought, if you like PT at all, get this! If you are curious, get this! If you have friends that might like this; show them! People into this band know there really isnt a way to describe how close to perfect they are (only God knows why they arent HUGE, and I suspect he has questions)and this DVD is a great document of that circa 2005-06."
Excellent, but seeing them live is better!
Anthony Morelli | Montreal, Canada | 09/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a pleasure to watch & listen to this concert & bonus stuff, each time I play it. Considering it's PT's 1st official DVD release, I'm sure they'll continue to put out some really good stuff on DVD in the near future. This is only the start of something really good, although I wish they hadn't become so widely known, compared to back in the '90s. There is a lot of material missing from "Arriving Somewhere..." setlist, and I don't understand why it was omitted (Shesmovedon, Deadwing, Radioactive Toy). The question that comes up in my mind is: "Why release a DVD from the "Deadwing" tour and not put the title track on?"
Sound quality is excellent, although they could've shown more of SW and the band. Personally, I think they honed in on the audience too much, and one of the cameramen went as far as zooming in pretty close on some salt-pepper bear-ish guy in the front row. PT are a fantastic band, but we need to see more of Steven Wilson & the band members...and not some shy & out-of-place audience member. Finally, the guy appeared rather uncomfortable, knowing he was in the spotlight on camera. Picture quality wasn't too great at times, and there were lots of grainy shots here & there. Also, I found it distracting when the picture would go from grainy to clear (in color) to black & white and back to grainy color & clear again (in color). I know this was done on purpose, but come on, it was quite distracting. What i did like were the closeups (not only of SW's face, but the band & instruments as well). Being a huge fan of the mellotron & keyboard arrangements in music (generally), I enjoyed seeing those zoomed in shots.
I've been a loyal fan of PT since '99, when I first heard the Stupid Dream CD playing in a local music store. Since then, I've bought nearly everything PT have released. Having seen PT three times in Montreal (in person).....twice for In Absentia and once for Deadwing, I've come to realize it's far better to experience PT live and then watch this DVD, than to watch the DVD without first experiencing a live PT show in person. Given the songs the setlist is lacking, I'm a tad disappointed. But, like I said, the sound quality is superior and I appreciate owning the item. We pre-ordered ours from Burningshed too, but ours isn't one of the limited edition with postcards & number (a minor error), although we were among the 2000 who pre-ordered. Nevertheless, am still happy to own the item and will watch it from time to time without wearing it out. ;-) All the bonus features are super and have by far, met my expectations. I already own the "Futile" CD which is extremely hard to get hold of. Photo gallery is great too.
Disc One (Filmed at the Park West, Chicago, USA, 11-12th October 2005
01- Revenant (Opening music & Screen sequence) (3:04)
02- Open Car (4:46)
03- Blackest Eyes (4:41)
04- Lazarus (4:06)
05- Hatesong (9:14)
06- Don't Hate Me (8:38)
07- Mother and Child Divided (5:11)
08- Buying New Soul (7:17)
09- So Called Friend (4:55)
10- Arriving Somewhere but Not Here (12:57)
11- Heartattack in a Layby (4:07)
12- Start of Something Beautiful (7:19)
13- Halo (6:42)
14- Sound of Muzak (5:14)
15- Even Less (6:54)
16- Trains (7:18)
17- End Credits (w/alternate mix of "Mother and Child Divided" (2:05)
01- Rockpalast TV: Futile (6.29)
02- Rockpalast TV: Radioactive Toy (6.45)
03- Lazarus - promo clip directed by Lasse Hoile
04- Start of Something Beautiful (live film directed by Przemyslaw Vshebor and Lasse Hoile )
05- Halo (live film directed by Lasse Hoile)
06- Mother and Child Divided (live film directed by Lasse Hoile)
07- Gavin Harrison - Cymbal Song film (in stereo and 5.1 audio)
08- Photo Gallery (featuring ambient music by RB+SW)
- Front of outer packaging features artwork as seen on amazon
- Back of outer packaging features setlist & Bonus Features list
- Inner package (4-fold digipack) features pics of band in various shots
- Discs are housed in inner, middle panels of 4-fold digipack
- NTSC, DTS, Region-Free, Exempt from Classification"
The Tree's 1st DVD is worth every penny
R. Gorham | 10/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE BAND: Steven Wilson (guitar, vocals), Richard Barbieri (keyboards, synthesizer), Colin Edwin (bass), Gavin Harrison (drums & percussion), and touring guitarist John Wesley.
THE DVD: (2006) 2 discs. Disc-1 contains the 105 minute club-sized venue recorded live at Chicago's Park West on October 11-12, 2005... 15 complete songs. Disc-2 contains a photo gallery (9 minutes of picture after picture with background music - color, as well as black & white photos along the "Deadwing" tour... indoor/outdoor performances, festivals, behind the scenes, rehearsals, etc.); two bonus songs performed live ("Radioactive Toy" and "Futile" from 'Rockpalast' recorded in Budapest); Harrison's 4 minute cymbal song; "Lazarus" promo video; and three live projections from "Halo", "The Start Of Something Beautiful" and "Mother & Child Divided". The sound is crisp (and the 5.1 DTS is all that you can imagine). The DVD container itself is a 4-fold digipak. Sadly, no booklet containing any written words/lyrics/musicians or additional pictures comes with the DVD.
COMMENTS: This DVD of The Tree in concert is a must have for fans. The band can do no wrong. I will continue to buy anything PT's mastermind Steven Wilson touches. THE GOOD: Filmed in color, moving to black & white at times, and going from sharply focused to grainy with specks (don't know what the artistic expression for this technique is called). Nine cameramen capture the action on stage while 3 projection screens blanket the curtain behind the band. The frame rate at which the camera shots change is fine - not too fast (as some music DVD's are). I haven't been to The Park West, but from the DVD it looks like it's an old high school auditorium. The show opens with "Open Car" followed by "Blackest Eyes" - two great rockers to really get the crowd into it. They then slow it down with perhaps their prettiest melody "Lazarus". Other highlights include "Hatesong" (with Edwin's cool bass intro, Harrison's intricate drumming, and a shredding guitar solo from Wilson); the 12 minute "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" (featuring a great jam), and "Buying New Soul" (with Barbieri's atmospheric synth intro and Wilson's acoustic guitar... mellow bliss); their concert staple "Even Less", the unreleased instrumental "Mother And Child Divided" (in the same vein as Rush's "YYZ" with some neat tricks by Wilson on the guitar), the unreleased "So Called Friend" (a B-Side from the 'Deadwing' sessions), and the closer "Trains". Not that any songs are 'bad' here... but rather these songs mentioned simply stand out. Outside of an occasional "Thank you" or song introduction, very few words are spoken in between tracks... and the one comical thing that happens just before "Trains" is when Wilson asks the audience what song they want to hear. You hear one voice from the crowd yell "Freebird" and Wilson counters with "That's tomorrow night, the full blown 17 minute version." THE NOT SO GOOD: I could say nothing here and just relish the whole DVD, but I'll be honest instead. The following two things are extremely minor - 1. As much as I love "Deadwing" and "In Absentia", I wish there were a few more songs from other albums ("Signify", "Metanoia", "Up The Downstair", "The Sky Moves Sideways" all had zero representation here... as well as only one track from one of my favorite Tree discs "Lightbulb Sun"). 2. The backing vocals by touring guitarist John Wesley were simply too loud at times. Several songs ("Buying New Soul", "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here", "Heart Attack In A Layby" and "The Sound Of Muzak" in particular) are ruined in spots by Wesley's falsetto. If his microphone was turned down a notch or he simply moved a foot back from the mic... I'm sure the problem would have been resolved. As it comes out on the DVD though, his high-pitched backing vocals overpower Wilson's singing in spots. Again - very minor... and neither (totally) ruin the experience here. Porcupine Tree is an awesome band - Wilson is a genius at his work... plays a great guitar, sings well, has a Kurt Cobain presence on stage (posture and hair) and performs utter magic in the studio. Harrison is an outstanding drummer with fast hands and even quicker feet - and I've coolly put him in the ranks with my other drummer favorites Neil Peart (Rush) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater). Barbieri's synthesizer and keyboards give the songs the perfect backdrop and splash of texture. Edwin is perfect on the bass guitar - and dare I say he didn't move more than 3 feet during the entire show. Porcupine Tree deserves more recognition than they're currently getting... hopefully soon. If The Tree is in town - go see them live. Pick up this DVD and hopefully you'll see what I mean. Great show captured here (5 stars).
Something fans of quality music can enjoy!
Christopher R. Silvia | 10/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Porcupine Tree has to be one of the best bands of the past decade. I just recently bought a cd of there's a year ago and have since been blown away by there talent. This dvd is something that critical fans of quality music will enjoy. I am fortunate to own some excellent equipment and the audio quality is top notch. The instruments are very clear and distinguishable. The video quality is not as perfect as you would hope but too me it is acceptable. I am sure they didn't have an unlimited budget and had to spend less somewhere. The video editing is perfect for me. I actually enjoy watching them play. I am not a fan of the Iron Maiden approach of changing screen shots every 2-4 seconds. This is a must buy if you are PT fan. If you never heard of them and are interested in quality progressive rock - this is something that you might want to experiment. I hope this review shed some light and wasn't one of this - "this rocks" - useless reviews."