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Emerson Lake & Palmer: 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: PCM 2.0 Stereo; Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: MVD Visual
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 23, 2011
  • List Price: $29.98

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Emerson, Lake & Palmer: 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert -

Purchase Emerson Lake & Palmer 40th Anniversary on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:4.5/5]

It is sobering to AARP members like myself that Emerson, Lake and Palmer,  better known by their iconic monogram, ELP, has been performing for 40 years. The brilliance of this group is inherent  in Keith Emerson’s ability to take musical ideas and transform them into not just classic rock music but classical music period.  In their prime era, or in any contemporary era for that matter, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer formed a trio of extraordinarily talented musicians. ELP ceased performing as a group in 1998, so the organizers of the High Voltage Festival are to be highly commended for coaxing them back for a one-off reunion concert, July 25, 2010, in Victoria Park, London. This would have been merely a pleasant trip down nostalgia lane were the actual performances not as powerful and thrilling as they turned out to be. The Emerson Lake & Palmer 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert delivers the goods musically, visually, and realistically.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The ELP 40th Concert was filmed in high definition and with a relatively high bit-rate, averaging around 20 Mbps.  As these were evening performances, the dark background is augmented by a panoply of bright, occasionally garish purple stage lights. There is a small degree of motion artifact but it does not lessen the excitement of the proceedings.  The overall detail is uniformly excellent. The camerawork keeps viewers engaged with panoramic wideshots,  ensemble stage shots and individual closeups. Periodically, the audience is surveyed, and without exception, all the faces that I saw were enraptured.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

I am a bit disappointed that audio engineers “chose” to encode in a lossy format like Dolby Digital 5.1 rather than lossless formats, Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio. Although I have not heard the DVD version, I would suspect that the soundtrack would have been the same. This bombastic and expressionstic music deserves the best sound capture available. While there is nothing objectionable about the soundtrack, it does not have the impact, slam, immediacy or detail of which high definition audio is capable. The surround channels add a little depth, but the audience effects are limited.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

The extras consist of a 29-minute documentary featuring interviews with ELP, some of their management, and friends. It offers some interesting insights into the proceedings and for younger viewers gets them acquainted with one of the all-time legends of rock.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

I did not realize how much I missed ELP or that they had been gone from the scene for so long, really too long. Unlike any of their contemporaries, living or dead, they provided a distinctive musical voice that has aged quite well.  It is amazing to see these 60-plus year olds still whaling away at their respective instruments, Emerson “slaying” his keyboards after an over the top Carl Palmer drum solo.  ELP fans will appreciate the inclusion of their biggest hits including a reworking of Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition,” Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” and Brubeck’s “Rondo a la Turk.” However, ELP got me at “Lucky Man.”  Reservations about the soundtrack aside, this is a must-see musical document that will, most likely, never be repeated.  Thank you, Keith, Greg, and Carl, for taking me back to the future, one more time.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B0052Y0FCC[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Emerson, Lake & Palmer: 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert -

Purchase Emerson Lake & Palmer 40th Anniversary on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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