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Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe, Live in Barcelona(2010)
Concert from two sold out nights at the Palau St Jordi in Barcelona on November 20th and 21st 2009 of the acclaimed Tour of the Universe. Includes a tour documentary, tracks filmed at tour rehearsals in New York and Anton Corbijn's specially created on-stage 'screen films'.
For more about Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe, Live in Barcelona and the Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe, Live in Barcelona Blu-ray release, see the Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe, Live in Barcelona Blu-ray Review
Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe, Live in Barcelona Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, November 21, 2010
Now that Dave Gahan has publicly admitted that the time to call it quits is probably coming, I hope that Depeche Mode will manage to put together at least one more world tour. I've followed them for well over 25 years but could not attend any of their North American Tour of the Universe shows in 2009, which is why I would love to see them back in the United States one last time before they retire.
Tour of the Universe commenced in Luxembourg in 2009 to support Depeche Mode's 12th studio album, Sounds of the Universe. Shortly after their Tel Aviv stop, however, the band canceled a number of shows in various European capitals because Dave Gahan fell ill (the singer had a malignant tumor removed from his bladder). A month later, the band resumed their tour in Germany.
Filmed on location at Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, in November 2009, Tour of the Universe: Live in Barcelona contains 25 tracks from various albums Depeche Mode released during the years.
Tour of the Universe: Live in Barcelona does not have the intensity and energy of One Night in Paris, but it is nevertheless a good show. The track selection is great, the performances inspired, and the atmosphere in the venue certainly appropriate for a Depeche Mode show. Admittedly, Dave's voice is not as powerful as it once was, but anyone expecting a man in his condition to constantly match live what he delivered with 101 (1989) or Songs of Faith and Devotion Live (1993) simply does not understand how a singer ages.
Like other long-time Depeche Mode fans who have already seen Tour of the Universe: Live in Barcelona, I also felt that we've heard better live renditions of "It's No Good", "Precious", and "I Feel You". But there are still some great performances here - "Walking In My Shoes", "Policy Of Truth", "In Your Room", "Never Let Me Down Again" and "Personal Jesus" sound fantastic.
The show is filmed with multiple strategically positioned cameras. There are plenty of panoramic shots from the elegant stage, as well as plenty of footage showing the audience singing with the band. The various clips that are projected on the large screen right in the middle of the stage are gathered in a small collection offered in the supplemental features section of this Blu-ray disc.
1. In Chains
3. Hole To Feed
4. Walking In My Shoes
5. It's No Good
6. A Question Of Time
8. Fly On The Windscreen
11. Come Back
12. Policy Of Truth
13. In Your Room
14. I Feel You
15. Enjoy The Silence
16. Never Let Me Down Again
17. Dressed In Black
19. Behind The Wheel
20. Personal Jesus
21. Waiting For The Night
22. World In My Eyes
23. Sister Of Night
24. Miles Away / The Truth Is
25. One Caress
Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe, Live in Barcelona Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.28:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080i "live" transfer, Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe - Live in Barcelona arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of EMI.
Filmed on location at Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, in November of 2009, Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe - Live in Barcelona looks terrific. Clarity is excellent and contrast levels great. The stage is not too big but there are giant screens and all sorts of different equipment on and around it that makes it look enormous. The camerawork is excellent - there are numerous close-ups of Dave, Martin, and occasionally Andy, as well as plenty of different 'looks' showing the crowd having a terrific time (there are some terrific shots during "Never Let Me Down Again"). The stage lighting is also fantastic. This being said, some extremely mild motion-judder occasionally creeps in, but the overall quality of the presentation is indeed excellent. Fans of Depeche Mode will be impressed! (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe, Live in Barcelona Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0. I opted for the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track and later on did a few random comparisons with the LPCM 2.0 for the purpose of this review.
Contrary to what some early reports claimed, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is very strong. The bass is potent and punchy, the rear channels effective, and the high-frequencies not overdone. "Walking In My Shoes", "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy the Silence" sound particularly good, and "In Your Room", despite the new arrangement, is very much on par with the live version from "Songs Of Faith And Devotion Live". Dave's voice sounds fantastic - it is rich, deep and strong. Martin's guitar solos also have plenty of depth and color. The prominent keyboard accompaniment and electronic effects do not disappoint either. Lastly, there are no serious balance issues, though there are some minor fluctuations. The crowd noise is prominent, but never overwhelming. All in all, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track recreates the live atmosphere Depeche Mode shows are known for beautifully.
I was not particularly impressed with the LPCM 2.0 track. In terms of nuanced dynamics, it is nowhere near as effective as the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. For example, the echo effects in "Wrong" are practically missing, and the beautiful guitar solos from "In Your Room" not as rich as they appear on the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. Indeed, there is no need to experiment with the LPCM 2.0 track.
Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe, Live in Barcelona Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Note: All of the supplemental features noted below are placed on Disc 2.
"Most people just worry about hitting the right note". Inside The Universe - a wonderful, incredibly revealing documentary that sheds plenty of light on how exhausting a Depeche Mode tour could be. Dave, Martin, and Andy, as well as various members of the tech support team discuss many of the issues Depeche Mode had to overcome during various stages of the tour (the Greek show, in particular, was very problematic), how they prepare for each show, etc. In English, with optional English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Hungarian, and Czech subtitles. (36 min, 1080i).
Tour Of The Universe/Screens - a collection of various screens seen throughout Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe - Live in Barcelona. With two audio options: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0.
-- "In Chains" (7 min, 1080i).
-- "Walking In My Shoes" (7 min, 1080i).
-- "Precious" (5 min, 1080i).
-- "Come Back" (6 min, 1080i).
-- "Enjoy The Silence" (7 min, 1080i).
-- "Personal Jesus" (5 min, 1080i).
-- "Policy Of Truth" (6 min, 1080i).
Tour of the Universe/Rehearsals - raw footage from the rehearsal sessions for:
-- "Wrong" (4 min, 1080i).
-- "Walking In My Shoes" (7 min, 1080i).
-- "Hole To Feed"/Live Screen Montage (5 min, 1080i).
-- "Behind The Wheel"/Barcelona Montage (6 min, 1080i).
-- "Never Let Me Die Again"/Live Screen Montage (7 min, 1080i).
"Insight"/Live - (5 min, 1080i).
Sounds Of The Universe/Videos -
-- "Wrong" (4 min, 1080i).
-- "Peace" (4 min, 1080i).
-- "Hole To Feed" (5 min, 1080i).
-- "Fragile Tension" (4 min, 1080i).
Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe, Live in Barcelona Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
I would have preferred to see EMI/Universal Music release One Night In Paris - The Exciter Tour 2001 instead of Tour of the Universe - Live in Barcelona. Or Rhino Music release Depeche Mode: 101. Both show the British band at the top of their game. Regardless, Tour of the Universe - Live in Barcelona is very easy to recommend to long-time Depeche Mode fans. Contrary to what some critics have claimed, it is well produced and filmed. RECOMMENDED.
Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe, Live in Barcelona Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Depeche Mode Live Blu-ray Coming Up - September 24, 2010
The first live Blu-ray from the electronic music band Depeche Mode is coming soon. On November 8, EMI-Mute will release Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe - Live in Barcelona, shot over two nights in Barcelona, Spain during their recent tour in support of the Sounds ...
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