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).
Distributed By: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Video Resolution and Encode: 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-rayBlu-ray keepcase
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 06/24/2014
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.
The Production Rating: 4/5
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
Digging in the Dirt
The Family and the Fishing Net
No Self Control
Don't Give Up
That Voice Again
We Do What We're Told (Milgrams 37)
This is the Picture (Excellent Birds)
In Your Eyes
The Tower That Ate People
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.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
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.
Audio Rating: 4.5/5
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.
Special Features Rating: 3/5
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.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Reviewed By: Todd Erwin
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