"Recently Sade ended their seven-year hiatus with the fine year 2000 LOVER'S ROCK album, which is musically so-close-yet-so-far from their 1984-1993 recordings. SADE LIVE (recorded in San Diego, October 1993) closes the book on the first decade of their/her musical career, presenting live versions of eighteen songs culled from the first four albums. Obviously this is a must-have for fans, but anybody who wants to hear these memorable songs again periodically should be happy with either this collection and/or the simultaneously-issued videoclip compilation (LIFE PROMISE PRIDE LOVE). All of the hits are here, plus a few choice album tracks. The remastered 5.1 sound is excellent on this DVD release, capturing their live sound with clarity and fullness. The DVD has a few minor extras besides the surround sound, such as chapter access, a discography, a brief biography (basically a press release for LOVER'S ROCK), and offering the option to display lyrics karaoke-style on the screen in several languages.For the most part, the group sticks closely to the original studio versions in these performances, although occasionally the group's subtle jazz touches become more overt (particularly on SMOOTH OPERATOR). Mostly though, vocalist Sade Adu is in the forefront, singing with a quiet fire and at times physically moving within the flow of the music. Never demonstrative either vocally or in her stage mannerisms, she nonetheless is a captivating presence both to hear and to look at, and her voice is in top form throughout this concert."
Perfect combination of performance and audio/DVD mixing
J. Lizzi | Costa Mesa, CA | 01/27/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was impressed when I saw this concert aired on PBS in the mid-90's, and I'm even more impressed with the DVD. In terms of live performance discs, this one is at the top of my list.Touring in support of her fourth album, "Love Deluxe," Sade was in top form for this October 1993 concert, recorded at the San Diego University Open Air Theatre. On-screen, she looks fantastic and sounds even better (that voice!). Her persona is at-once confident yet reserved, appreciative, carefree and even demurely sexy at times. Her band members play really tight and show off their talent by taking up a variety of instruments. [Note: Rick Braun on trumpet; one of my favorite jazz artists]. The seventeen songs are divided fairly well between old and new (at the time), with ten being from the latter two albums "Stronger Than Pride" and "Love Deluxe." I can think of a couple more earlier hits I would have liked to hear, but tours need to highlight the most recent work, so I'm okay with that.Visually, I can't say enough good things about this disc. With Sade, the attraction has to be the singer, and I'm glad that the film crew kept that in mind, while spending no time at all on the audience (not the case with so many concerts-for-TV spectacles these days), yet still giving the band its due during some nice solos and instrumental flourishes. In fact, the camera always seemed to be focused right where I wanted to look. Big thumbs up in that regard.Even though there's a lack of interactive features, I don't care: it's the concert that counts. I'd recommend this DVD to anyone, whether you're a Sade fan or not."
Derek G | Redneck, South Carolina | 07/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Reading all of the claims that this was studio rerecorded made me pull out this DVD again to see for myself if this was true. Not that I needed an excuse to watch it... In any case, I seriously doubt this is the case with this concert. The background instruments (congas, tambourine, etc...) were all in sync with the songs and you could hear Sade's voice fade in and out at the exact spots she moved away from the mic. Perhaps there was a cut to an instrument or two that was a little off in the edits, but you would have to consciously be looking for mistakes as I was. I know in today's age of lip-synching pop stars, vocal harmonizers, and drum machines it's difficult to imagine a band that sounds as good live as they do in the studio, but this band is just that good.Recorded live at the San Diego Open Air Theatre, this DVD gives you a great selection of Sade's classic hits. No flashy stages or explosions here. The subtle lighting combined with Sade's breathy voice invokes the intimate feel of a jazz nightclub. The director does a great job of showcasing the various band members, but keeps the focus primarily on Sade throughout the show. The sound quality is excellent (especially considering it was recorded ten years ago) and this DVD edition doesn't have the lighting problems and graininess the VHS owners were complaining about.Even if you own all her albums, you'll want this live performance to add to your collection. Watch it with someone you love."
Everything a concert (video) should be!!!!!
Chris Lampe | Oklahoma City | 05/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sade Live is an incredible collection of Sade hits collected into one concert video. Filmed in 1994, the video includes all of her hits with the exception of "Never as good as the first time". In fact, the concert DVD has almost the same songs as Sade's greatest hits CD. Before purchasing this DVD I was not too familiar with Sade's music. I basically knew four or five top-ten hits from the 80's and very little beyond that. Since purchasing the DVD I have really come to appreciate the beauty in songs like "Cherish" and "Kiss of Life". One of the most appealing aspects of this DVD is being able to observe the band doing what they do best....playing live. The band members are all multi-talented musicians with several of them switching instruments between and even during songs. The interaction between the band members seems real and spontaneous and they seem to be having a great time. One scene where Sade is interacting with an audience member is actually more memorable due to her bandmates' reactions than to her actions with the fan.Another selling point is Helen Folasade Adu herself. Having seen a few promotional photos I knew her to be an extremely attractive person but I was not prepared for the reality. She is one of the most beautiful and sensual performers I have ever seen. The emotion and intensity she puts into her singing and onstage movements still has me captivated....even after watching the video countless times.The only real criticism I have of the DVD is that aside from a written biography (very short!) there are absolutely no DVD extras! I've gotten used to DVD's having bonus footage, interviews, "making of" documentaries, etc.. but this one is sadly lacking in that area.In spite of that, this is an incredible DVD and anyone who even remotely likes Sade and watching live performances should purchase it."
Great music...good performance
A. Rodgers | La Jolla, CA United States | 07/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a fan of Sade and her music, you will really enjoy this DVD. I actually purchased the video around 1993 but having on DVD really enhances the concert. The 5.1 Dolby Digital sound is wonderful to hear and the clarity in the DVD format is amazing. This is a wonderful concert because the song selection spans the depth of Sade's music career with the exception of her new release, "Lover's Rock". This DVD rivals her "Best of" CD released several years prior. However, just listening to this DVD performace surpasses the experience of her "Best of" CD because her band is wonderful. This concert features some wonderful extended versions of "Cherish the Day" and "Smooth Operator" as well as great concert versions of her other hit songs. Her vocal performace is fabulous and the energy of both her and her band trancend from the DVD into your living room. A great buy."