One of rock's nobler dividends has been a legacy of ambitious fund-raising concerts that carry on the social consciousness that first entered the music in the '60s as a byproduct of that decade's urban folk music. Even a... more »fter much of the music retreated to safer, less partisan themes, the right crusade has been able to mobilize artists to raise funds and awareness, and Amnesty International has proven among the most reliable of these missions: from The Secret Policeman's Ball shows produced in England, to more recent tour packages helmed by '80s superstars such as Peter Gabriel and U2, the human rights organization has inspired bold concerts. This production, mounted December 10, 1998, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a milestone underscored with between-songs informational segments that succinctly promote the beneficiary's themes of tolerance and social responsibility. Filmed and live cameos mix celebrities with sage comments from the Dalai Lama (whose impish "thumbs up" to the crowd elevates the entire affair) and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. An underlying fervor also sparks much of the music, particularly from Peter Gabriel, Youssou N'Dour, Tracy Chapman, and a solo Bruce Springsteen, whose songs all allude to the human rights agenda. Alanis Morissette's brief set likewise takes on a spiritual glow consistent with both her second solo album and the context at hand, while jubilant sets from Kassav and the Asian Dub Foundation serve as potent multicultural celebrations. The show isn't without its rough spots: an opening rendition of Bob Marley's "Get Up, Stand Up" by Chapman, Gabriel, N'Dour, and Springsteen is more awkward than transcendent (especially in Springsteen's wooden delivery), and Gabriel's subsequent duet with N'Dour starts out shakily. Two Led Zeppelin classics from Jimmy Page and Robert Plant incite Zep fans but seem nearly irrelevant here, as does Shania Twain's slick but shallow stint. But Radiohead's three-song set restores the two-hour concert's generally thoughtful and thought-provoking substance. --Sam Sutherland« less
Performances by Peter Gabriel, Alanis Morissette, Tracy Chapman and Shania Twain were solid but the other performances were not so great and ones that I have not heard. Some of the in between song performances were entertaining but the sound quality and video at times were poor.
A more objective review
David White | 02/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Unlike the first reviewer above, I thought the purpose of these reviews was to give people an idea of what the video is like, rather than writing a completely parochial view of your musical taste - complete with advertisement. People can check the list of artists and decide for themselves if the other acts are "truly terrible". Most of them don't appeal to me either, but, as far as I could tell, they generally hit the right notes and didn't forget the words.The picture and stereo sound quality of the video are excellent. Note that there are no more than three songs from any one artist. Also, the following songs are included in the description but are not actually on the video: In Your Eyes, Baby Can I Hold You, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, Gallows Pole, Paranoid Android.I hope this was actually helpful."
Good video, lousy audio
David White | 07/29/1999
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Being a Peter Gabriel fan, I was looking forward to watching this DVD. It supposedly is encoded with Dolby 5.1 surround. I was very disappointed. The concert video footage was good, but the audio was horrible. The vocals were muffled and unintelligable and several times one instrument or another would overpower the vocals. I guess this could all be blamed on the fact that it is a "live" recording. Every set has a small "commercial" following it for Amnesty International which is annoying, but I realize that is the whole gist of the disc. Seeing the Dali Lama on stage is a real treat - although I would have loved to hear him say "Rock On, Dudes!""
Great DVD, Great Concert, Great Idea
Mauricio Sougarret | Lima, Peru | 06/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first reason why you must buy this DVD has nothing to do with it's content or quality, it's just because it's an Amnesty International Concert and this world is in profound need of this kind of institutions, yeah even in America or Europe there're people whose most elementary rights are compromised.
But if that's not enough maybe you should buy it because of it's content and quality. The astonish performance of Radiohead (Karma Police at its best), or the great Pete Gabriel ("In Your Eyes" with Yousou n'dour is very emotive), or Tracy Chapman singing better than ever, or his holiness the Dalai Lama or ..... Buy it, Share It, and Enjoy It."
Very disappointig DVD
Mauricio Sougarret | 08/23/1999
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The Dolby Digital audio was so bad and the performances leave a lot to be desired. Do not waste your time and money."
Peter Gabriel's best performance!
Mauricio Sougarret | 05/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Rented this DVD and then bought it based on Peter Gabriel's performance of "In Your Eyes". Unbelievable performance, and I wasn't a PG fan until then. Bruce is great and many others!"