My Dad and I are both big music fans and over the past couple of months we’ve gotten into watching concerts on Blu-Ray. Watching a show on the big TV in surround sound in HD is not the same as being at a show, but between perfect sound, really seeing what’s happening on stage and not having to spend an hour getting out of the parking lot, you are getting a lot of value for the $20 or so you pay.
This weekend I watched two concert documentaries – one on the 25th Anniversary of Paul Simon’s Graceland, and the other on Paul McCartney’s Concert for New York that was done right after 9/11. I was surprised to find that I had the same opinion of both of them. While it was great to see behind the scenes I found that I got tired of that quickly and I thought both of them would have hit harder if they were not as long. I’m pretty sure I would have enjoyed watching the shows more than the making behind them. There were some interesting moments though, you get a taste of what it must be like for a former Beatle not to be able to go anywhere without drawing attention, and I hadn’t paid much attention to the controversy that was created when Paul Simon went to South Africa. Unfortunately while looking with a marketing eye I tend to cynically wonder about the line between doing art and taking advantage of political events to sell more music. Paul Simon makes some interesting points on that from the artists view.
As the music industry continues to be blown to bits I also find myself hoping that with the big data that comes out of things like iCloud that we might see more interesting stuff come back to light. After seeing Billy Joel in the concert for New York I went looking for some of the shows he had done back in the 90’s with Elton John just to see what they sounded like. With the exception of some Japanese imports it seems like there’s not much out there. I can’t be the only person out there with obscure 80’s remixes.
If you’ve seen any good shows in HD, do share. There are a bunch of older shows that are great but were prior to, or didn’t take advantage of HD, like Diana Krall in Paris. Chris Botti in Boston is the favorite so far. I was a big fan of his original material, but I enjoy the standards too and this show takes full advantage of the sound and video.
Now if I could only get U2-3D in HD…