Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Spirit in Concert|
Director: Woodhaven Ent
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
A combination of rock, jazz, blues, funk, and folk music, Spirit have collaborated with legendary musicians from each of those genres. Jimi Hendrix, Thelonius Monk and Ry Cooder are just three of their many admirers and as... more »
Terry Olynik | Canada | 07/15/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"As a long-time fan of the band Spirit, I was nearly floored to come across this D.V.D. -in a bargain bin of all places. Despite owning all the essential Spirit catalogue ( their first four albums ), I had never seen actual video of the band playing live - Spirit was an "underground" band, never a commercial success, and never appearing ( to my knowledge ), on a major television venue, or at any of the major ( filmed ) music festivals. This was the late sixties - music videos did not exist.
I could not wait to get this disc into my D.V.D. player - reading the inside packaging, my excitement was tempered by the fact that this was not the "pure" Spirit - i.e. the original band. Jay Ferguson, the lead singer had left, as had Mark Andes the bass player. John Locke, originally the keyboard player now handled the bass duties. No problem - the chance to see any incarnation of this exceptional band, after so many years of enjoying their music without any visual cues, was a totally unexpected rush.
And then I pressed play. Whoever is responsible for the release of this D.V.D., and more specifically, whoever was in charge of the audio recording should be imprisoned - trust me I'm being charitable. I "listened" to the opening song, at first thinking something was wrong with my audio system. After a quick check of my system's presets, I concluded that the sound engineer of the concert had gotten off to a very rocky start. So I waited for the audio correction which must surely be coming. Waited. Waited. But it just gets worse.
There is absolutely no balanced audio mix of any kind - the sound is muddy (to be charitable), as though, and this may be possible, the concert was audio-recorded , badly,on the Betamax video tape - without any seperate audio inputs or mixing. Frankly, today's mass market, low-end video recorders would deliver a hugely better sound than offered here.
The real frustration is this. The concert looks to be terrific. Randy California takes over the lead vocal duties and does a great job. But his guitar playing, always the highlight of the Spirit sound, is literally lost in the mix - sounding as though he's playing in an apartment two floors up. I was prepared to be disappointed by the reconfigured band - but they "look" to be in top form - which makes the audio short-comings all the more frustrating. It's great to see Cassidy pounding the skins as well as ever, and to see Randy dash off into the crowd playing a guitar solo covering two acres. You almost wish the band were bad, the horrible sound would then be a blessing. But it's the ultimate insult.
The list of technical shortcomings on this disc are many. There is fake crowd noise which is jarring and unnecessary. Beautiful guitar solos are rendered mere
ghosts in the mix. Especially sad now that we have tragically lost Randy. There is absolutely no info on this concert - where or when it was held.
My guess is this concert took place sometime in the late seventies, judging by the band's appearance. It was good to see the founding band members of a legendary group captured on video in a very, very rare live performance. Which is why I grudgingly give this video one star. Whoever released this video sat on it for twenty years, knowing they had a flawed product. Had they finally offered it with the proviso - "audio-technical limitations", this would be a justifiable commercial offering. If you are a fan of Spirit - and you should be - be forwarned. Buy this video to "watch", as an historical footnote. To buy it for the for the music, for the Spirit sound, will be frustrating beyond words."
Fake crowd noises-NOT a good start, fellas...
Terry Olynik | 06/23/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First off...this was a gift, and YES, I did have it on my Wish List. MAJOR PET PEEVE DEPT. The crowd cheering has DEFINITELY been sonically enhanced, to beef up the enthusiasm for this poorly-attended outdoor concert. Sometimes the fake crowd cheering gets in the way of the performance. It's so funny -- they tried to make it sound like a hugE, wild cheering audience, when instead, when the camera pans the small crowd, what you see are a few folks singing along, looking lit, while others look like they're thinking, "Who ARE these guys?" What can ya do? Almost EVERY DVD/Video you get these days has been doctored -- trust me on this...I do give these guys credit for still making music... why deny your passions? Nature's Way is one of my all-time fave tunes, for sure.Document and sell your goods, just give us the real thing next time..."
charles lemme jr | Miramar, Florida USA | 01/31/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First of all I have been a SPIRIT fan since the late sixties and was thrilled to get Any music of theirs on DVD. First off if the people doing this video took the time to do it right this DVD would have been pretty good. The performance was good as was the picture quality but the crowd noise at times did get in the way of the music. The sound quality was at times poor because the sound would fade in and out along with the crowd noise. The concert was way too short and John Locke is not on this video (keyboards) and he never played bass. If you are truly a SPIRIT fan like I am then get the DVD because thats the only way your gonna see Randy California and Ed Cassidy which still plays a pretty good drum for his age. If your not a true fan you might want to pass this DVD up."
Laurent Olszer | Paris, France | 03/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Notwithstanding the 2 other poor reviews I bought the DVD anyway.
Don't let the other reviews scare you. It's an honest performance typical of the band's 80's concerts. Sure we'd all love to see unedited 1968 shows but I haven't too many of those around on video or DVD, have you?
This DVD is very enjoyable, I didn't really notice the sound enhancements described by the other reviewers. Perhaps there are some but I'm only in it for the music.
At this price it's a bargain and I hope it warms your heart too to see this now deceased band."