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Portnoy, Sheehan, MacAlpine, Sherinian: Live in Tokyo Blu-ray Review

live-in-tokyo-blu-ray-coverU.S. Release

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Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(The below TheaterByte screen captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray Discs and losslessly compressed in the PNG format. There should be no loss of picture quality with this format. All screen captures should be regarded only as an approximation of the full capabilities of the Blu-ray format.)

The Performance

[Rating:4/5]

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This hard rock supergroup brings together classically trained guitarist Tony MacAlpine, drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic), bassist Billy Sheehan (Talas, Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Black Country Communion, Dream Theater, Billy Idol) for a live performance from Tokyo, Japan’s Zepp Tokyo on 14 November 2012. Anyone who lived through the metal explosion of the 1980s is sure to remember the musicians here and their inimitable ability to “shred” at lightning speed. With MacAlpine and Sherinian onboard, the music also veers into progressive territory, keeping it two notches above your typical “hair metal” instrumental band. Just sit through the breakneck track “Apocalypse 1470 B.C.” with its light-speed classical runs and spot on syncopation, and you know you’re in for something quite invigorating.

Track List:

  1. A Change Of Seasons: I. The Crimson Sunrise
  2. Acid Rain
  3. The Stranger
  4. Stratus
  5. Apocalypse 1470 B.C.
  6. Tony MacAlpine Guitar Solo
  7. Been Here Before
  8. Birds Of Prey (Billy’s Boogie) / Billy Sheehan Bass Solo
  9. The Farandole
  10. The Pump
  11. Mike Portnoy Drum Intro
  12. Nightmare City
  13. Hell’s Kitchen
  14. Derek Sherinian Keyboard Solo
  15. Lines In The Sand
  16. Shy Boy

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

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The high definition production comes in a 1080i/60 AVC encodement form Eagle Rock. It has a heavy dose of video noise and tends to look washed out plus we can definitely spot the occasional combing artifact, but close-ups do show quite a bit of detail.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

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I don’t know how they make the decisions for audio codecs on these Blu-ray Disc releases, but this disc from Eagle Rock Entertainment comes with the rare high-bitrate lossy DTS-HD High Resolution (48kHz/24-bit) for its 5.1 track alongside a LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit) stereo track. Despite not being lossless or uncompressed, the DTS-HD High Resolution track sounds wonderful. One would really have to listen very intensely to hear the small differences between this and a full lossless track. The low end is weighty yet controlled, tight. Stereo spread is wide, instrumental separation is sublime and the midrange is punchy. Guitar solos really stand out and even Sheehan’s bass solos have a distinct sound that stand out well from the mix.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:0.5/5]

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Not much is offered here, only this brief behind the scenes featurette, which isn’t really worth watching.

  • Behind the Scenes (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:10:38)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

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This Live in Tokyo Blu-ray concert video from these veteran heavy metal/hard rockers shows off the skills they have been known for for years with mesmerizing chops, light speed runs, and tight rhythms. Although the lack of vocals is at times a loss for this sort of music, the level of musicianship more than overcomes it.

Additional Screen Captures

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