Image Entertainment // 2008 // 106 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // July 24th, 2008
Why yes, it is lovely to see you. Maybe you've lost weight since then?
You know, if I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times; if you take British progressive rock that's more than 40 years old and trot it out in front of the demographic who it appeals to most, you're going to get a fairly clunky and subdued 90-plus minutes of music. That's the case here with Lovely To See You, a 2005 concert performed at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre by the Moody Blues.
Let me sum the band up in so many words: they were formed in Birmingham England in 1964 and achieved crossover success with their sophomore album Days of Future Passed, which spawned the songs "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Nights in White Satin," the latter of which being one of the more recognizable songs in rock music. Drummer Graeme Edge, bassist John Lodge, and guitarist Justin Hayward have remained at the core of the group since 1966, and while know each other's ins and outs, they've even recorded various solo albums through the years. And while they were a prodigious group -- releasing twelve albums in twenty years -- they've only released three albums since 1991, presumably because record sales where slightly dwindling. And besides, they might as well perform the hits, which they've essentially been doing for two decades now.
So with the trio of about-to-be or recently aged sexagenarians about to take the stage, here's the set list for their show:
* "Lovely to See You"
* "Tuesday Afternoon"
* "Lean on Me (Tonight)"
* "The Actor"
* "Steppin' In a Slide Zone"
* "The Voice"
* "Talking Out of Turn"
* "I Know You're Out There Somewhere"
* "The Story In Your Eyes"
* "Forever Autumn"
* "Your Wildest Dreams"
* "Isn't Life Strange"
* "The Other Side of Life"
* "December Snow"
* "Higher and Higher"
* "Are You Sitting Comfortably?
* "I'm Just a Singer (In a Rock & Roll Band)"
* "Nights in White Satin"
* "Ride My See Saw"
Performance wise, the concert is OK, but let me explain my opening thoughts for a second: the crowd is an older crowd. When you play in front of an older crowd, they're a little less ambulatory, even if they see something that pleases them. So even while the Moody Blues are playing the hits, the crowd stays in their seats, save for the occasional limber grown-up. Everyone kind of bobs and weaves without getting up, which leads to a dead crowd, all the more so when the band doesn't play up to it. Or maybe the band is so familiar with their crowd that trying hard isn't a requirement. If that's the case, kudos for the self-awareness. Either way, from a showmanship point of view, the concert just comes off as flat.
Technically, this is the first concert disc that I've seen on Blu-ray, and the show was recorded with HD cameras, so the 1.78:1 widescreen version of the film looks very sharp. Detail is good, blacks are pretty solid, though there's not too much depth to be had when watching. Overall, I liked how the disc looked, but the way the disc sounded was a little more impressive to me. The DTS-HD Master Audio presentation has quite the dynamic range, more so than I was expecting. The ambient crowd noise was there when it was needed, but I was more impressed by the constant low-end fidelity. The reverb from Lodge's bass strings is quite noticeable, vocals sound crisp and clear, and the disc, subject matter or not, is a great sounding one. The only bonus to speak of is a half-hour long segment featuring interviews with the band members that cover where they are, artistically and socially.
So, would I recommend Lovely to See You to the average high-definition consumer? Well, if the average consumer is in their fifties or sixties, has a ton of disposable income and wants to play something for their fellow aged person, great. Something tells me though that the average high-definition video consumer is probably within the 24-49 demographic and isn't that likely to pick the disc up. It's a solid rental at best.
Review content copyright © 2008 Ryan Keefer; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Lossless Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* PCM 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 106 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Interview Footage
* Official Moody Blues Site