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Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden(2007)
Is it possible that the "Rocket Man" has turned 60? The sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden is equally amazed when they see Elton John marking not only this birthday milestone, but 60 performances at the illustrious New York venue. Elton performs "Madman Across the Water," "Better Off Dead," "Honky Cat," "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word," "Tiny Dancer," and many more.
For more about Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden and the Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden Blu-ray release, see the Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden Blu-ray Review
Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, August 16, 2009
On March 25, 2007 the Rocket Man turned 60. Can you believe it? For more than four decades, Sir Elton John has been writing and performing songs that have literally changed people's perceptions about music. In 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine rightfully placed him amongst the 100 greatest artists of all time.
Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden was recorded on Match 25th, 2007. In front of a sold out crowd, Elton performed some of his greatest hits - "Madman Across The Water"," I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues", "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me", "Bennie And The Jets"," Something About The Way You Look Tonight", "Levon", etc. Joined by old-time band members Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson, as well as the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, the British artist gave his fans the type of show they had come to witness.
Elton's singing is convincing. He might be aging but his voice, contrary to what some critics have been claiming, isn't. On the majority of his 70s hits for example – "Funeral For a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding", ".Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting", "Madman Across the Water", and "Levon" - his voice is still fresh and strong, just as we remember it.
The Blu-ray release of Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden captures the energy and excitement of this terrific show exceptionally well. From the powerful "Sixty Years On" all the way until "Your Song", you would literally feel as if you are in Madison Square Garden. Numerous strategically positioned cameras follow Elton as he sings, plays the piano, and talks to the audience.
1. Sixty Years On
2. Madman Across The Water
3. Where To Now St. Peter?
5. Ballad Of A Well Known Gun
6. Take Me To The Pilot
7. High Flying Bird
8. Holiday Inn
9. Burn Down The Mission
10. Better Off Dead
12. Empty Garden
14. Honkey Cat
15. Rocket Man
16. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
17. The Bridge
18. Roy Rodgers
19. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters
20. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
21. Bennie And The Jets
22. All The Girls Love Alice
23. Tiny Dancer
24. Something About The Way You Look Tonight
25. Philadelphia Freedom
26. Sad Songs(Say So Much)
27. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
28. I'm Still Standing
29. The Bitch Is Back
30. Crocodile Rock
31. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
32. Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
33. Your Song
Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Universal Music.
The picture quality is very strong. Contrast is impressive, clarity very good and detail excellent. The color-scheme is also terrific. Vibrant reds, blues, yellows, greens, blacks and whites are everywhere. The lighting in particular is very effective – there are absolutely no shadow issues to report. Indeed, even if you are looking only at the screencaptures we have provided with the review, you should be able to tell that Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden is a very special release.
Macroblocking is not an issue of concern. On the contrary, the picture is naturally crisp and detailed. I did not detect any serious image deteriorations either. Given that this is a 1080p transfer, you also won't notice any motion-judder. To sum it all up, Universal Music have done an excellent job with the Blu-ray release of Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden, and I am convinced that fans of the British singer will be thrilled with it. (Note: This is a Region-Free disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location).
Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: English PCM 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit) and English PCM Stereo. I opted for the English PCM 5.1 track and later on did a few random comparisons for the purpose of this review.
Similar to the video treatment, the audio treatment does not disappoint. The PCM 5.1 track allows one to truly immerse into this very special show. Elton John's singing is crisp and delightfully clear. One almost feels as if he is singing for one's personal enjoyment. I thought that "Levon" and "I'm Still Standing" sounded exceptional. The bass is strong, the rear channels not overly active but very effective (the crowd noise is under control), and the high frequencies not overdone. There are a few songs where I felt that Elton John's vocals were brought forward a tad more than they should have been – most notably in "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" and "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" – but overall the audio treatment is indeed very strong. For the record, I did not detect any disturbing pops, cracks, or hissings.
The English PCM track is very good. Dynamically, it is not as potent as the PCM 5.1 track, but it certainly allows for a terrific listening experience. I still prefer the PCM 5.1 track, as it gives the band a better exposure, but the PCM 2.0 track is certainly quite convincing. There are no disturbing pops, cracks, or hissings that I detected with the PCM 2.0 track. All in all, it is indeed very easy to tell that Universal Music put a good amount of work into the post-production mixing of Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden
Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Most unfortunately, there are no supplemental features to be found on this Bu-ray release.
Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden looks and sounds very good on Blu-ray. It would have been great if there were at least some supplemental features included on the disc, but I can't see how fans of the British singer would not want to have Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden in their collections. Highly Recommended.
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