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Blu-ray Review A MusiCares Tribute to Paul McCartney Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Richard Gallagher

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A MusiCares Tribute to Paul McCartney Blu-ray Review

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

Subtitles: English

Rating: Not Rated

Run Time: 58 Min.

Package Includes: Blu-ray, Other

Standard Blu-ray Keep Case

Disc Type: BD25 (single layer)

Region: A

Release Date: 03/24/2015

MSRP: $21.98




The Production Rating: 5/5

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 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.



Video Rating: 5/5  3D Rating: NA

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.

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.



Audio Rating: 5/5

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.

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.



Special Features Rating: 0.5/5

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.

The Blu-ray’s menu affords the opportunity to jump to any of the 15 performances.



Overall Rating: 5/5

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.

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


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Ronald Epstein

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Okay, Rich. Ordered!


Great way to break in my new home theater system.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Raul Marquez said:
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! for this GREAT review Rich.


OF COURSE I HAD TO ORDER IT AFTER READING IT!


Raul


P.S.

I have a feeling I will wear this Blu-ray out too, same ways I'm doing with the latest Billy Joel one :)

What is the latest Billy Joel one? I take it that it's THAT GOOD?
 

Raul Marquez

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I really like it!

61nIifGSo4L._SL1024_.jpg
 

Josh Steinberg

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I was there, Raul! My dad said he spotted us when it was shown on our local PBS station, but I've yet to notice so I'm not sure if I completely believe him on that one. Great show!
 

Wayne_j

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I have that Billy Joel concert on both CD and Blu. Paul McCartney was also a special guest on it.
 

Ronald Epstein

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I will pick that Shea Stadium Blu-ray up as well. Thanks, Raul.


The reason I originally stayed away from it is because, although I am a huge Billy Joel fan and have seen him at the Garden dozens of times, he has kind of lost his zest in his older age.


To be expected. I just didn't think this concert would be that good.


However, you guys sold me on it.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Raul, have you seen the "Matter of Trust - Bridge to Russia" Blu-ray that came out last year? It has the 1987 Russia concert that there used to be a VHS of, but remastered in HD and with extra songs. It's pretty awesome.
 

Raul Marquez

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Josh Steinberg said:
Raul, have you seen the "Matter of Trust - Bridge to Russia" Blu-ray that came out last year? It has the 1987 Russia concert that there used to be a VHS of, but remastered in HD and with extra songs. It's pretty awesome.

Yes Josh,


Bought it immediately when it was released on Blu-ray. Kind of sad seeing him with his wife (now ex) Christie Brinkley and his daughter on it.


Agree it's a good show of Joel in his prime.


I just love Blu-ray concerts of musicians I grew up with. Going a bit off topic here, but the recent Santana "Corazon" Blu-ray concert is another one of those I am frequently playing and using to show off my 4K display.


91qR8Fm7kSL._SL1500_.jpg



Recommended!


Raul
 

Raul Marquez

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Ronald Epstein said:
I will pick that Shea Stadium Blu-ray up as well. Thanks, Raul.


The reason I originally stayed away from it is because, although I am a huge Billy Joel fan and have seen him at the Garden dozens of times, he has kind of lost his zest in his older age.


To be expected. I just didn't think this concert would be that good.


However, you guys sold me on it.

Also Ron,


It has good performances by Paul Mc Cartney, Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, John Mayer, Roger Daltrey (The Who), and Steven Tyler (Aerosmith)


Raul
 

Ronald Epstein

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Decided not to purchase the Billy Joel Shea Stadium concert Blu-ray.


Many Amazon reviews saying it has a bad audio mix. These come from the audiophiles who say that the disc is not properly mixed and anyone who enjoys well balanced audio will find it annoying in the first few minutes of the concert.
 

Raul Marquez

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Ron,


Sorry to hear that. Went to the Amazon site and from the hundreds of 5 star positive reviews, this one seemed important:


"Received this Blu-ray in July 2011. IGNORE THE CRITICS GIVING THIS CONCERT ANY LESS THAN FOUR STARS. The sound problems mentioned by some people have been rectified. If they ever existed (Yes, I use High end equipment). The complaints about the actual performance are what really made me laugh. "The guy is 62! What the hell do people expect!

This is a fantastic concert with an amazing atmosphere that can only be created by 100,000 or so fans.
The guest appearances are an added bonus. A highly recommended experience."



I for one agree with it. I would suggest if you could somehow borrow a copy to check it out for yourself. If not, and if we see each other at the Hollywood meet... I'll bring you one as a gift!


Take care,


Raul
 

Mike Frezon

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I have listened to the Billy Joel Shea Concert many times and have never had any issues with the audio. I'd say purchase without fear, Ron.


I also have the Soviet concert. That's a lot of fun, too. I'm glad they got around to releasing it.


My personal favorite Joel concert was an early 80s concert Live on Long Island (at the Nassau Coliseum). I had it on Beta HiFi and it kicked ass. Probably my favorite concert on home video of all-time! It's one of those things I would pay top dollar for if ever released on Blu. The stereo audio was magnificent. I will never forget Liberty Devito's cascading drums starting in one speaker and fading across to the other.


Here's what the VHS box looked like (still available on Amazon):


71YGEVD2BDL.gif



Several months ago I was looking and found this DVD of the concert. The PQ was worse than my Beta tape, but it allows me a chance to relive those great performances! Unfortunately, it is currently out of stock.


51iiS32Q4fL.jpg
 

Mike Frezon

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Oh. And on-topic...


I have received my copy of the McCartney Musicares Blu and look forward to giving it a spin this weekend.


I couldn't resist those pairings of James Taylor with my girl, Diana Krall. :biggrin:
 

Ronald Epstein

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Oh my God, do I remember that Long Island concert video. Used to play it in the video store I worked at in the 80s.


There is also a kick-ass Billy Joel DVD I have been waiting for Blu-ray release:


51PAsfl5GcL.jpg



Then there are his red and blue music video compilations on DVD, which I believe, are now sold as one complete set.
 

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