In Short: A great documentary with a very good quality image and outstanding audio.
U2 teamed with director Phil Joanou in 1988 while on their "Joshua Tree" tour. The resulting concert film is a moving, fascinating and emotional look at not only the backstage life of the famed rock band, but it also puts you in the front row to capture some of the band's best moments on stage throughout the tour. Personally, I think this time was the best for the band, who focused on pure, fantastic rock music. A few years later, they embraced other forms of music as they started their larger-than-life Zoo TV tour. The music still rocks, but it isn't as beautiful as some of the songs that the band had come up with before. Say what you will about the band, I doubt anyone could disagree with the fact that Bono is an excellent and intense performer and that U2 is an energetic live act, and I think that the concert footage here certainly proves that.
The black and white film style gives the entire proceedings a more pure, raw feel and on this DVD, the image quality on this anamorphic transfer is quite good. The film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio, with only the a bit of grain and a mark or two present. Other than that, this is a very clear, smooth picture and will please fans of the band.
The audio is absolutely wonderful throughout and it was a pleasure to listen to. There are quite a few highlights, but the one that really impressed me was when the band stops by a church in Harlem to perform "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" with a local choir. The music sounds crystal clear, but what really impresses is when the choir begins to sing and their voices float through the room, sounding absolutely beautiful. The songs where the band plays in concert are just as impressive, sounding rich, dynamic and clear throughout. The sound mix presents the concert environment fantastically during these sequences, putting together a realistic and enveloping concert ambience. I definitely felt like I was front row at a U2 concert while watching this picture. I keep becoming more and more impressed with how nicely some of the DVD concert discs are able to at least present the concert experience at a basic level, and the audio on this disc really has to be the most impressive effort I've heard so far at trying to create that concert feeling.
The songs included are: Helter Skelter, Van Diemen's Land, Desire, Exit, Gloria, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, Freedom For My People, Silver and Gold, Angel Of Harlem, All Along The Watchtower, In God's Country, When Love Comes To Town, Heartland, Bad, Sympathy For The Devil, Ruby Tuesday, Where the Streets Have No Name, MLK, With Or Without You, The Star-Spangled Banner, Bullet The Blue Sky, Running To Stand Still, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Pride(In The Name Of Love) and All I Want Is You.
Still, I must highly recommend this DVD. Not only is this the band at their finest and most energetic, but the audio really is stunning and does a fine job at realistically recreating the concert experience.
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