Good concert made into a mediocre DVD
Trent Ogren | St. Paul, MN USA | 12/13/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, this is one of Umphrey's better shows. It's certainly not one of their best, but it's worth putting on DVD.
What's frustrating, though, is that the way it is filmed is more distracting than it is conducive to enjoying a good Umphrey's show. Much of the time watching this I was wishing the editor hadn't drank so many cups of coffee before he sat down with all the concert footage. It literally cuts to a different camera every 5 seconds. This completely rules out the possibility of the camera staying on one of the band members that is at the focal point of the music for more than a short while. You find yourself wondering, "Hey, isn't Jake soloing right now? Why is the camera on Andy playing a tambourine?"
Even more irritating is the unnecessary amount of crowd footage. I understand that crowd footage helps recreate the ambiance of the concert for the viewer; I have thought crowd footage has worked well in all other concert videos I've seen. The crowd footage in this DVD distracts from the music, though. A surprising amount of it is footage of someone who is not that into the music, which is kind of a buzz-kill. More often, though, one of the cameramen will be filming some girl and the DVD will cut back and forth between the band and the same girl for a minute or so. I like girls, don't get me wrong, but when I'm watching a video of a good concert, I don't need the camera to keep cutting back to Jane Doe doing a hippie-dance.
Emtybag Productions (who produced the DVD) inserted other annoyances during the concert like sped-up video tours of the venue's hallways played during the middle of a song. The clips are in no way synced up with the music, so it is almost as though Emtybag put them in to annoy the viewer, like they were forcing you to make a trip to the john during the concert.
I feel bad ranting about one of my favorite bands' DVD. Emtybag produced UM's last DVD also and I didn't have any problem with it. Umphrey's is so talented that I was disappointed when I saw what had been done with the concert footage of one of their better shows. I could only recommend this to a devout Umphreak. [...]
At least the DVD extras are good!"
addison | 10/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"yeah this is a good dvd and lives up to it's description of "jaw dropping performances" but it's not the full show, i was very dissapointed that the 'resolution' and the beatles cover of 'good morning' at the stroke of midnight were not on here... wtf"
"Wrapped Around Chiacgo" rocks!
The Delite Rancher | Phoenix, Arizona | 06/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Wrapped Around Chicago - New Years at the Riv" is a good showcase of Umphrey's unique brand of progressive rock meets jamband. A composite of the New Year's 2005 run, there is drama like a brass section, acrobats and dwarfs that are dressed as members of KISS. The sound and video quality is excellent. The video editing is a drawback. In the attempt to artificially create energy, the picture jumps from camera to camera too often. Highlights include 'Prowler > Jimmy Stewart,' 'Plunger' and 'Miss Tinkle's Overture.' While some tunes are better than others, the strong representation of songs from "Anchor Drops" (2004) are especially appreciated with the release being one of the most worthy studio efforts by any jamband. The second disc is the more compelling of the two and the overall length provides a substantial experience with Umphrey's McGee. While "Jam in the Dam" is probably a better DVD for the uninitiated, "Wrapped Around Chiacgo" rocks!"
Ryan Despins | durham nh | 03/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"umphrey is a great group. if you like jamband, this is a great group to get into."