| Usher: OMG! Live in London |
Single Layer BD
MPEG4-AVC @ AWBR 25.4Mb/s
1.78 AR @ 1080I
DTS-HD 5.1 Audio, 2 Channel LPCM
OMG! It's Usher!
Usher: OMG! Live from London is a presentation is an interesting moment for Usher. Following the release of his album Raymond Vs. Raymond, this is a follow up tour that presents the new music shift for Usher, a progression as an artist that tends to be much more production, electronics, mix rifts, and other major shifts from his past more R&B roots. But Usher's calling card has always been that when he puts on a show, it's generally a well done, incredibly produced event. OMG! Live From London definitely sells that, with a high energy performance that rotates through the hits as well as lets the artist show off the artist involvement.
Floating above the audience
Usher floats above the audience, races across the stage, and his cast and crew present a lot of numbers with some very.. interesting choreography.
So, a cat tree of a different sort...
The performance is fun, at times pretty steamy, and the production values are very good. A sweeping camera follows the performers onstage and off, focusing mostly on stage, but the audience gets some moments.
Video Quality: 4.5 / 5
Presented in MPEG4-AVC @ 25.4 AWBR, the blu-ray makes great use of the bandwidth and gives us a pretty solid appearance. In 1080I, the O2 Arena in London looks sensational, the audience gets some good looks and the picture quality stays very good. I was most impressed with the fact that when there are pyrotechnics/light shows, it didn't really wash out or negatively impact the way I felt the video was presented. That isn't to say it's perfect; there are occasional lighting issues that prevent this from being perfect, but it's quite good.
Audio Quality 4.5 / 5
Presented in DTS-HD 5.1, the audio mix here is very, very good. The mix gives us a great feel for the music as it likely felt in the arena. There are moments, as you go on, where the lack of audience seems to make it feel as though the music was dubbed in after the fact, and then mercifully the audio-mix changes to give a more airy, open feel that allows the vibe of the audience and arena to filter in. I found that we'd go through several numbers in a row that would make you feel as though you were listening to a well produced CD, and then, the audience would drift back in, you'd get a reprieve and that "live" feeling would take over. That tonal switch is really the kind of thing I look for in a live performance because it sells to me "this is a real live recording" vs. "I'm listening to audio dubbed after the fact or only off a soundboard that's mostly pre-programmed so the artist can lip sync.
Extras: 1 / 5
The disc contains two extras. The first, a 20 minute behind the scenes, "On the Shoulders of Giants" is frankly terrible. It's not very informative, it seems to move from place to place and feels as though it was just slung together as padding. The second, a 3 minute short, is on Usher's foundation, formed in 1999. You will not sit through either of these as long as you own the disc, unless you're a teenage girl looking for a reason to romanticize Usher.
Summary: 4 / 5
In the end, we buy concert discs because we want a good concert. There aren't any other real reasons to do it. Usher: OMG! Live From London certainly delivers. The show is obviously one of great effort, with a great stage show, solid performances, good dancing, great vocals, and a good audio mix. There isn't much more to ask for from a concert BD. I have said in other concert reviews the biggest testament is whether or not the Blu-Ray makes you feel like you'd want to see it live. I have to say, this disc didn't accomplish that, mostly because it looks like I'd be hemmed in by packs of rabid 22 and younger girls, and I don't think I could live that down. That said, I can also say: like Luther Vandross or Barry White, there isn't necessarily anything wrong with curling up for a good showing with your significant other and taking in some Usher in the comfort of your own home.