I thought I would start this one off myself, as I bought this disc with very high expectancies - the online store (which shall remain nameless) advertised it as having a DTS soundtrack as well as DD 5.1 and stereo.
Well, first problem was the total lack of a DTS stream, so beware. At least the store is allowing me to return the disc as I would not have bothered for just a Dolby mix - there are too many other albums to buy with High Rez or DTS as yet for me to grab a pure DD disc unless it is something very special indeed.
The mix itself is good, but not great. The surround sounds fake to my ears, with large amounts of reverb in the rears, giving the by now all too familiar impression of being in the middle of a dirty great big hall. I hate this, and think it is a waste of time completely. If I want this sound, I can play the old CD and turn on either the fake DTS or DPL II Music mode and have pretty much the same effect - but higher quality audio as it is 16/44.1 PCM uncompressed.
The sound quality on the disc can only be described as underwhelming.
It's VERY quiet - my normal listening position is -40dB on my amp, but with this I had to add another 10dB to get the same kind of levels I am more used to. Therefore, I suspect because it is the live show with the actors all over the stage doing various cameos, that the dialogue is down the centre, and dialnorm is therefore attenuating far too much - also, there is a serious amount of low end rumble when the band kicks in - this is particularly noticeable during "The Cross" - when the Bass drum kicks in, you can hear the click of the beater and a vast rumbling from the LFE. This also confirms the dialnorm theory, and I further suspect that the dynamic range compression has been turned on, and set to Main Movie - as we all know here, with music this should be off and dialnorm should be at -31 to avoid any attenuation at all.
Still - can't have everything I guess.
Which is a crying shame. This is (was?) that rara avis a superb live album.
The performances are simply stunning. The title track is around ten times better than the studio cut in every aspect. More feel, more power, better played, far far more attitude. The man himself is on fine form, and is clearly enjoying himself onstage.
The visuals are superb - I remember fondly the original VHS release of this with the comment "Makes Michael Jackson look nailed to the floor" - and it does. The cameos add some great atmosphere, the set is blistering and the video does not look it's age at all - remastered in HD, maybe?
What a shame the surround mix and the sound quality lets it down so badly.
A reluctant "6" - and it was so nearly a lot lower.