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Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley Stadium(2008)
Two sold out shows at Wembley Stadium in London from Friday June 6 and Saturday June 7, 2008. Including the second night's collaboration with special guests: Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones (bass guitar) and Jimmy Page (guitar).
For more about Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley Stadium and the Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley Stadium Blu-ray release, see the Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley Stadium Blu-ray Review
Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley Stadium Blu-ray Review
"This is the best f%$& night of my life" Dave Grohl
Reviewed by Sir Terrence, December 23, 2008
Man has Foo Fighters come a long way. When you think about how this band has come together, it is astounding that they've even survived. Started by lead singer Dave Grohl of Nirvana fame in 1995, he was determined to continue on after the death of Kurt Cobain, and the eventual split up of the band Nirvana in 1994, where he began as the drummer of the group. The Foo Fighters (I love this name) began as a temporary vehicle for Grohl to record and perform his own material. After putting together a demo (entitled Foo Fighters) and giving it to a few friends for feedback, the demo was spread around the music community and eventually caught the attention of record companies and producers. After putting together a group to promote an album release of the demo material, Foo Fighters debut themselves at a keg party in February 1995. Gohl refused to do interviews or tour large venues to promote the album.
Between 1995 and 1999, Foo Fighters had serious issues with band stability, going through several changes in band members for various reasons, but continued to tour, and do studio sessions with replacement band members. However in 1999 the group finally came together into the group that it is today, which consists of Dave Grohl on lead vocals, rhythm guitar, piano and keyboards, Chris Shiflett on lead guitar and backing vocals, Nate Mendel on bass, and Taylor Hawkins on drums, percussion, and back up vocals. They also added touring members in 2006 which consists of Pat Smear on rhythm guitar, Rami Jaffee on keyboards and accordion, Drew Hester on percussion, and Jessy Greene on violin, cello, double bass, and vocals. This group of musicians is a winning combination, garnering six Grammy awards, one MTV video music awards, and two BRIT awards, a total of nine awards since 1996. Grohl is definitely the glue that holds this group together, and you can tell he really enjoys working and performing with his band. He sure knows how to work a crowd into a frenzy, and had me cracking up at times with his stage banter.
Foo Fighters Live at Wembley Stadium was filmed in HD on June 6th and 7th of 2008 in front of a sold out crowd of 86,000 people. This Bluray release contains footage from both nights, and damn is it good. Ladies and gentlemen, this is big stadium, high energy rock and roll at its very best. You have state of the art lighting design, a huge rotating stage, state of the art sound system, and a light show from hell along with two hours of screaming guitars, vocals, and an amplified band at decibels that will surely have you evicted before all is said and done. I was particularly impressed with the lighting design for the concert, as it highlighted the latest in computer assisted color LED technology, featuring colored LED panels, LED wash and tubes, and LED PAR cans. The fact the concert started in daylight hampered the light show somewhat, but under the night sky, the effect was eye catching and impressive. The rotating stage also gave a nice effect, as it allowed the band to turn and play to the audience no matter where seated. The big standout moment of the night was the appearance of Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin plowing into Zeppelin tunes :Rock and Roll" and "Ramble on" with the help of Grohl and Hawkins. This concert was so on fire; even the rain couldn't put it out.
I am sure my neighbors are glad I am moving shortly, because after this review, I am sure there is plaster to vacuum up off carpets, and a lot of ringing ears that need to heal. That is how head bangin this concert is, and any fan of Foo Fighter must have this Bluray in their collection.
There were some songs taken from Friday's performance, but the majority on this Bluray disc comes from Saturday's performance.
"The Pretender" (Saturday)
"Times Like These" (Saturday)
"No Way Back" (Saturday)
"Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)" (Saturday)
"Learn To Fly" (Saturday)
"Long Road to Ruin" (Saturday)
"Stacked Actors" (Friday
) "Skin and Bones"
"My Hero" (Saturday)
"Cold Day in the Sun" (Saturday)
"Monkey Wrench" (Friday)
"All My Life" (Saturday)
"Rock And Roll" (Saturday)
"Ramble On" (Saturday)
"Best of You" (Saturday)
Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley Stadium Blu-ray, Video Quality
Shot in high definition, Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley Stadium rocks onto Bluray in a stunning 1080p/AVC encode, framed at a generous 1:78:1 aspect ratio. This transfer is simply terrific in every way. With the source being digital, there are no film related issues to be found, and quite frankly with the exception of a light bit of digital noise, it has no flaws whatsoever. Blacks are profoundly inky and consistent with a highly detailed lower end of the grayscale showing tight gradients from grey to pitch black. Contrast is perfect, and when combined with deep black levels makes for images with a very wide visual dynamic range. Colors are just beautiful and well saturated without bleeding or smearing. Detail and micro detail just go on forever in wide, big shots, and in close ups. This gives overall images a deep 3D look that only the best transfers can deliver. Skin tones look very natural, revealing sun tans and pale faces easily. This transfer had me clapping like a seal after just being fed a fish. It just does not get any better than this. The only blemish I could find was the small amount of digital noise I found on a particular shot, and I never saw it again. Sony deserves a big high five for this transfer that is for sure.
Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley Stadium Blu-ray, Audio Quality
As stunning as the video looked, the audio was even better. Presented in three flavors, a 5.1 uncompressed PCM track at a 24/48khz bit and sample rate, a 2.0 uncompressed PCM track at 24/48khz bit and sample rate, and a 5.1 Dolby Digital lossy track encoded at a 640kbps bit rate. I will get into the comparative differences later, but suffice to say I chose the 5.1 PCM track as my reference for this review. State of the art is the best way I can describe the recording of this track. The sound is HUGE, and I am not exaggerating one bit when I say this. The audio mixer was able to capture the terrific acoustics of Wembley, without sacrificing musical clarity and detail from the band. Every drum slap created nice clean reverberation tail(s) 360 degrees around the listening position, in the same positions it would be captured in great detail from all over the stadium. The LFE carried all of the bass of the mix, and it was highly detailed, deep, powerful, and nicely reverberant, but also muddy on occasion because of the captured reverberation. The kick and bass drums have very tight transients that are clearly captured even in the presence of the bass guitar. Guitars sounded squeaky clean, especially the acoustic guitar which had a level of clarity that was quite pleasing to the ears. Vocals are the only element in the center channel which makes them sound clear, uncluttered, but well integrated into the overall mix. The surrounds are full of crowd noises, reverberation tails, and contribute along with the front channels in mapping the acoustics of Wembley with stunning accuracy. The overall sound field is deep back to my front wall; side wall to wall wide, and from floor to ceiling high leaving me sitting in the middle of the concert bangin my head.
When comparing the different audio offerings, I must say I was surprised at what I heard. Aside from the surrounds and center, the two channel PCM track sound exactly like the 5.1 PCM track. If I shut off the surrounds, they sound exactly alike. Switching to the DD 5.1 track you lose the fullness and presence of the other two, but you lose nothing else.
The only thing I can do with this sound track is give it a freakin perfect score. Word of caution, be careful of your playback volume. This is sure to have your neighbors cussing you out if you don't.
Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley Stadium Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
There are no extras on this disc
Foo Fighters: Live at Wembley Stadium Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
High energy arrangements, screaming guitars and vocals, state of the art visuals and sound, two flashes from the past, and a great venue for a concert. How in the hell can you go wrong here? Foo Fighter fans; you would be a Foo to miss this Bluray. It was a pleasure to see the sense of satisfaction of Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighter exhibited just before the concert concluded. Grohl was almost overcome with emotion, who would blame him? He has watched this band ascend from a pull together group of musicians supporting a single project, turn into one rocking the floor of Wembley Stadium in front of 86,000 adoring fans moshing and jumping around like a frenzied bunch or piranha. That is one long ride, with a lot of bumps on the way. Highly recommend!!!
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