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    Back To Front: Peter Gabriel Live in London Blu-ray Review

    Blu-ray

    Jul 03 2014 01:05 PM | Todd Erwin in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
    Peter Gabriel's latest concert film Back To Front, arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Eagle Rock. Unfortunately, the single-disc version only contains the concert performance, not the theatrical version which may contain fewer songs, but does include interviews with the band (and was not provided for this review).

    Title Info:

    • Studio: Other
    • Distributed By: Eagle Rock Entertainment
    • Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, English PCM 2.0
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Other
    • Rating: Not Rated
    • Run Time: 2 Hr. 15 Min.
    • Package Includes: Blu-ray
    • Case Type: Blu-ray keepcase
    • Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
    • Region: A
    • Release Date: 06/24/2014
    • MSRP: $19.98

    The Production Rating: 4/5

    Filmed over two nights at London's O2 Stadium on October 21 and 22 in 2013, Back To Front: Peter Gabriel Live in London is a fairly straight forward concert film, minimalizing the on-stage chatter and focusing mostly on the music. That's not necessarily a bad thing. As Peter Gabriel explains to his audience at the beginning of the concert, Back To Front is like a three-course meal, an acoustic appetizer with the house lights on, an electronic “main course” as the lighting and staging become more theatrical, ending with a full live performance of the album So as the dessert. I disagree somewhat, feeling that So is more of a main course and the encores being the dessert.

    Regardless, Gabriel starts out the concert with an unfinished piece, Daddy Long Legs, with some assistance from Tony Levin, segueing into more familiar songs like Shock the Monkey and Solsbury Hill before settling into the set most fans came to see and hear, So, beginning with Red Rain. Gabriel is backed by many of the musicians that also performed with him on So, including Manu Katche, David Rhodes, David Sancious, Jennie Abrahamson, and Linnea Olsson.
    Director Hamish Hamilton keeps things visually interesting for the home viewer, capturing the lighting and staging, especially the mantis-like lighting cranes that dance on stage and perch to seemingly attack Gabriel throughout the concert. The production may be slick, but fans of Peter Gabriel would expect nothing less.

    Concert Set List:
    Daddy Long Legs
    Come Talk To Me
    Shock the Monkey
    Family Snapshot
    Digging in the Dirt
    Secret World
    The Family and the Fishing Net
    No Self Control
    Solsbury Hill
    Show Yourself
    Red Rain
    Sledgehammer
    Don't Give Up
    That Voice Again
    Mercy Street
    Big Time
    We Do What We're Told (Milgrams 37)
    This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)
    In Your Eyes
    The Tower That Ate People
    Biko

    Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA

    The 1080p AVC-encoded transfer retains the film's intended 1.85:1 aspect ratio. As with most concert films, the color palette often favors blues, and the colors are well-saturated without any banding or bleeding. Contrast is exceptional, with very deep blacks and whites that never clip. Detail is also exceptional, allowing viewers to see wrinkles in some of the fabrics and beads of sweat on the performers' faces.

    Audio Rating: 4.5/5

    Two soundtrack options are provided, a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix and a PCM 2.0 stereo mix, both in 96kHz and 24-bit. The PCM stereo has quite a kick to it, with some excellent low-end bass response while also providing clean, clear lyrics. The 5.1 mix opens up to a much wider soundstage and a stronger LFE presence. You can't go wrong with either choice.

    Special Features: 3/5

    The Visual Approach (1080p; 6:13): The only bonus feature is a brief featurette is an interview with Peter Gabriel and director Hamish Hamilton on the visual style of the concert.

    Overall Rating: 4/5

    Fans of Peter Gabriel will find this concert film a nice addition to their library, and a way to hold them over until the perfectionist completes his next album.

    Reviewed by: Todd Erwin
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    • Dougofthenorth likes this


    7 Comments

    Photo
    Keith Cobby
    Jul 03 2014 01:38 PM

    Peter Gabriel is on blu-ray, as is Phil Collins, as is Mike Rutherford (with the Mechanics) but where is Genesis When in Rome 2007. The DVD is superb but the blu-ray of this possibly farewell concert is long overdue.

    Photo
    Josh Steinberg
    Jul 03 2014 02:00 PM

    Just got this and watched it a couple nights ago -- really enjoyed it.

     

    I was torn between the single Blu-ray and the deluxe box (which includes this disc, the theatrical version of the concert with extra interviews but less songs), and the concert on two audio CDs.  But the single disc was about $10 and the deluxe set was $50, so I figured I could always grab the larger set later.

     

    Anyway, loving the disc... one of the first things I played/listened to with my new AVR and new 5.1 speakers, and it had a really nice, full, immersive sound to it.  The show isn't as visual exciting as Gabriel's "Secret World Live" and "Growing Up Live" tours, but I think they did a great job of capturing the look and feel of this particular show.

      • Adam Gregorich and phillyrobt like this

    So this is shot in 1080p/24? Often concerts are 1080i/60 on Blu-ray.

    Photo
    Josh Steinberg
    Jul 05 2014 12:04 PM

    Jari, I think it was 1080p/24 but I'd have to double check to say for sure -- I will try to remember to pull it out when I get home from work (much) later tonight.

     

    It was also 1.85:1 instead of just 16x9.

    Photo
    Josh Steinberg
    Jul 05 2014 09:37 PM

    Just double checked, it's indeed 1080p/24

    Photo
    Jeff Brooks
    Jul 06 2014 12:57 PM

    This is a great quality disc, when played on my Panasonic or PS3 BD players.  However, on my Oppo-103, there is no sound when the 5.1 audio track is selected, and the disc freezes on playback and the menus, so much so that the player has to be powered off and back on.  Since it plays on two other BD players without a hitch, I feel this is not a disc authoring problem.  I am going to contact Oppo in the morning, to see if they are aware of problems with this disc and their units.  If anyone else has any thoughts, please feel free to contribute.  Thanks.

    Photo
    Josh Steinberg
    Jul 06 2014 01:14 PM

    I watched it on my Oppo BD103, and didn't have any issues with either the menu or playback.  (Used the 5.1 track).  I wonder if it's maybe a glitch in your firmware or something along those lines?