Heart – Alive In Seattle, Blu-ray (2008)

by | Jul 15, 2008 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Heart – Alive In Seattle, Blu-ray (2008)

Director: Dave Diomedi
Studio: Image Entertainment
Video: 1.78:1 widescreen for 16:9
Audio: DTS HD Master Audio 5.0, English DD 5.0, LPCM Stereo
Extras: Interviews
Subtitles: None
Length: 102 minutes
Rating: ****

Comcast has an HD music channel, and they’ve been showing some clips from this concert recently, so based on what I’d seen, I already knew that I’d probably pretty much like the performance qualities of this Blu-ray, and would only need to skim through it for my impressions of the technical aspects of the disc. What I wasn’t expecting was, from the opening chords of their classic “Crazy On You,” how totally mesmerized I was by just about every song in the hour-and-a-half set list. These girls can still rock, and neither Ann nor Nancy has lost a thing from their rock glory days of the seventies, or their even more commercially successful power-pop phase throughout the eighties. The concert opens with the first few numbers featuring the full band, then strips to just Ann and Nancy for an acoustic set, then brings out the remaining band members for a totally rocking finale.

One of the really great things about these dinosaur acts revisiting their earlier works is that they often re-imagine them in ways that are not only incredibly entertaining, but artistically maybe even superior to the originals. During the acoustic set, they plowed through many of their eighties power ballads that made them for me so much more enjoyable and meaningful than the album versions, and boy can Ann Wilson still belt it out! Nancy adds a particularly poignant reading of Elton John’s “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters;” her singing and guitar work are really beautiful. And Nancy can really play the acoustic guitar; her finger-picking was just phenomenal on songs like “Alone” and “Dog and Butterfly,” and when she switches back to electric guitar for signature tunes like “Barracuda” and “Straight On” she proves that she can play with the same technical facility as any of the big boys! And from the “guilty pleasures” department, they do a couple of their trademark Led Zeppelin covers; their awesome version of “Battle of Evermore,” with superb mandolin work by Nancy and wailing vocals from both is worth the price of admission alone!

Technically, this disc is a knockout – the image quality is exceedingly crisp and clear, with little or no noticeable artifacting. And the color was superb throughout, with very little crush and washout that often plagues these sometimes poorly lit concert videos. The sound was also nearly reference quality, and even though the DTS HD Master Audio track is only 5.0, there was no lack of bass at all in my system – all the big rock numbers came through thunderously! I recently saw that an online colleague knocked the disc’s lack of extras – aside from perhaps a few featurettes, what would you really expect from a disc like this? If it offers a truly thrilling concert experience, what else could you ask for? This disc will entertain both fans and novices alike, and Image Entertainment is to be thanked for the obvious effort they put forth in capturing this event on Blu-ray. Very highly recommended!

— Tom Gibbs

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