- Dec 9, 2001
- Fishkill, NY
- Real Name
- Rich Gallagher
On February 10, 2012 MusiCares, an organization which provides financial, medical and personal support for people in the music industry in times of need, held A MusiCares Tribute to Paul McCartney in Los Angeles. A stellar lineup of superstar musicians, whose recording careers span seven decades, was assembled to perform songs written by the former Beatle. The concert now comes to Blu-ray with gorgeous picture and sound courtesy of Shout! Factory.
Studio: Shout! Factory
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, English PCM 2.0
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 58 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray, OtherStandard Blu-ray Keep Case
Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)
Release Date: 03/24/2015
Paul McCartney was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year in 2012, recognizing both his considerable artistic achievements and his charitable/philanthropic works. Except for a few comments by Sir Paul and Neil Portnow of MusiCares, this is a no-nonsense concert disc which features one outstanding musical number after another.
The Production Rating: 5/5
The concert opens with performers from Love, Cirque du Soleil's Beatles show, with acrobats, men on stilts, and unicyclists cascading through the concert hall while decked out in fabulous costumes to a medley of the tunes "Get Back," "Hello Goodbye," and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." I am a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil and have attended several Cirque shows in Las Vegas, but I have yet to see a home video presentation which fully captures the magnificence of the performances. I liken it to trying to capture the awesomeness of the Grand Canyon with a still photograph - it can be approximated but never fully captured.
Sir Paul, backed by his current band, then takes over the stage with a wonderfully energetic rendition of "Magical Mystery Tour." He follows this up with a pulsating version of "Junior's Farm," a song he wrote with his late wife, Linda.
Next up is Alicia Keyes, who accompanies herself on piano while she beautifully sings "Blackbird." She opens by saying "I never knew just how much this song was about me. But, you know, songs, they do that to you sometimes. You can hear them a hundred times and suddenly you realize that it's about you."
Alison Krauss and Union Station, with Jerry Douglas on resonator guitar, then perform "No More Lonely Nights" on a circular stage in the midst of the audience. Alison's singing is lovely as always, and she is accompanied by a wonderful melding of acoustic guitar, mandolin, upright bass, and Douglas' resonator guitar.
We then go back to the main stage for a wonderful instrumental version of "And I Love Her" by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarist Duane Eddy, who is backed by Sir Paul's outstanding guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, with drummer Abe Loboriel Jr. on bongos. Duane's distinctive "twangy" sound has been imitated but never duplicated since the late 1950s, and here he plays his signature Gretsch guitar with both sensitivity and authority. A cutaway shot shows Sir Paul watching with rapt attention.
Norah Jones is up next with a bluesy and gorgeously sung rendition of "Oh! Darling," She accompanies herself on piano and is backed by Sir Paul's band.
Duane Eddy's wife Deed reports that Neil Young and Crazy Horse were originally slated to do a different number, but Neil changed his mind and they ended up bringing down the house with an inspired and raucous performance of "I Saw Her Standing There." This number lasts for nearly five minutes and includes two powerful guitar breaks.
We then get a change of pace with Sergio Mendes performing "The Fool on the Hill," with which he and his group Brasil '66 had a smash hit single in 1968. Mendes plays keyboards and is accompanied by three female vocalists.
The action then moves back to the circular center stage for Coldplay doing a well-received version of the Beatles tune "We Can Work it Out." The song was remarkable for being the sixth consecutive Beatles single recording to reach #1 on the Billboard charts in the United States.
James Taylor, accompanied by Diana Krall on piano and John Clayton on upright bass, then sings Paul's melancholy hit "Yesterday," which according to BMI was performed more than seven million times in the 20th Century alone. James sings the song beautifully while playing his acoustic guitar. They remain on the stage while Diana plaintively sings "For No One" with backing from Taylor on guitar.
Following a brief break in the music for comments by Neil Portnow and the guest of honor, Sir Paul commends the assembled artists for "putting the nuances on the songs that I didn't know were there." He then takes over the stage to sing "My Valentine," a touching love song which he wrote for his wife, Nancy. Then it is time to rock again, as Paul takes to the piano while he and his band do a rousing performance of "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five."
The concert closes with the medley of "Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight"/"The End" from the "Abbey Road" album. Paul is accompanied by guitarists Joe Walsh and Dave Grohl, as well as his band guitarists, and the result is a stirring, exhilarating performance which lasts for six minutes and leaves the audience wanting more.
I do not have any technical specs on the video, but it is framed at 1.78:1 in 1080p and is encoded with the AVC codec. The picture quality is stunning, with exceptional detail and nary a flaw to be found. It likely was shot digitally in high definition.
Video Rating: 5/5 3D Rating: NA
Director Leon Knoles creatively mixes in a few long shots with close-ups of the performers. There are occasional brief glimpses of the audience, giving the viewer an opportunity to make some celebrity sightings. Among the notables I spotted are Steven van Zandt, Eric Idle, David Crosby, and Tom Hanks. When I have a chance I will have to do some freeze framing and try to make some additional identifications.
There are two audio options, 5.1 DTS HD-MA and LPCM Stereo 48k. Both are excellent, although to my ears the 5.1 track provides a wider soundstage. Personal preference will determine your choice. The only audio anomaly which I noted is that it appears that Sergio Mendes' microphone was set too low.
Audio Rating: 5/5
Simply put, this is a terrific-sounding concert Blu-ray which will make you feel as if you are in the middle of the performances.
There are no extras on the disc. An eight-page illustrated booklet provides the set list and credits, still photographs, and information about the work which MusiCares does.
Special Features Rating: 0.5/5
The Blu-ray’s menu affords the opportunity to jump to any of the 15 performances.
I cannot imagine why any fan of Paul McCartney and The Beatles would not want to own this Blu-ray. Fans of the guest artists will also want to see and hear their wonderful performances. I have already watched A MusiCares Tribute to Paul McCartney four times, and if it is possible to wear out a Blu-ray disc this will be the one in my collection to bite the dust.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Sit back, crank up the volume, and treat yourself to some superlative music.
Readers who are interested in learning more about MusiCares should go to www.musicares.org.
"And, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."
Reviewed By: Richard Gallagher
Support HTF when you buy this title: