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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare moment of absolute perfection, 13 Dec 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Portishead - PNYC - Live At The Roseland Theatre [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
This is simply stunning. I cannot praise it enough. It was quite clearly one of those rare moments when you just had to be there. I unfortunately wasn't, but when watching this I can almost feel like I didn't miss out. This was basically an experiment to take Portishead's raw, crusty sound on the road with the benefit of an orchestra. The result was/is breathtaking and enchanting, mysterious and moody, warm and soulful. Everything here is classic - this really is Portishead at their absolute best - in the words of vocalist (vastly insufficient terminology in this case) Beth at the end of the concert; "it wasn't meant to sound like that!".
Previously available on VHS and Audio CD, and now quite rightly transferred across to DVD (I have been waiting for this for *ages*!), it is an absolute essential purchase. BUY IT!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheer magic (this refers to the CD edition), 12 Nov 2002
This review is from: Portishead - PNYC - Live At The Roseland Theatre [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
I love Portishead. Ever since I properly listened to 'Dummy', I was hooked. This live album shows why. You start with the orchestra tuning up, the usual sounds of violins and cellos geting themselves ready. Then the band decide to start, a haunting wave of electronic music, seductively shifting it's tone; then it happens. Beth Gibbons sings.
For those of you who don't know Beth Gibbons, she is arguably one of the greatest female vocalists ever, definitely of the last 15 years. Here she is on fire, filling the opening number with aching sadness before launching into 'Cowboys' with a passion that is quite frankly frightening.
The playlist is well chosen, shifting from the sublime 'Only You' to the sinister and scary 'Over'. This last track shows Gibbons at her most ferocious, with the drumbeats and turntables beinhd her going nuts. When this song crescendos, it's a 'hide behind the sofa' moment. Then they move in 'Glorybox', before launching into an amazing version of 'Sour Times' which ends the main act. All these tracks show just what an amazing voice Beth has, but it is on the 1st track of the encore that you realise just exactly how wonderful she can be. This version of 'Roads' (possibly my favourite track from 'Dummy') is heart-breakingly, soul-achingly beautiful, mournful, fragile, the sort of music you could fall in love in time to.
Overall, this is amazing, superlative live material from a band at their peak. Buy this, their studio albums and Gibbons' solo debut, you will not regret it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the bands of the 90's, 10 Mar 2000
Having seen Portishead live in a small venue in New Zealand I went a bought this video as soon as it was released. This band live are even more exceptional live than on their Cd's. If you own any of there CD's you will appreciate the way Portishead play live in this video, accompanied by a full orchestra they play all the classic Portishead tracks .Perfect video to watch if you just want to chill out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portishead's Perfect Performance, 6 Oct 2009
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This review is from: Portishead - PNYC - Live At The Roseland Theatre [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
Over a decade ago I was fortunate enough to photograph Portishead for my university magazine. Since witnessing that performance, especially the last three songs from the proximity of the 'pit', I have been an avid Portishead fan. I respect and admire all that they have done (except of course 'third', which is utter rubbish).

As my introduction was via their live performance, I have always held the 'Roseland NYC' CD to be the pinnacle of their respective and collective talents. I was therefore enthralled to find that they had released the DVD to accompany the CD.

Many might be unsure about spending the money twice, and that's usually a legitimate concern, except not in this particular case. Firstly, whilst the CD contains twelve tracks, the DVD has footage of sixteen. That alone makes it worth the purchase. In addition there are music videos for five singles and a couple of extras on top of that. So all in all, if you evaluate this product simply on quantity, it's clearly worth spending the money.

That established, anyone who is so uncultured as to evaluate Portishead on such a basis, probably shouldn't be listening to them in the first palace (or maybe they should!). That aside, the REAL reason to purchase this DVD in addition to the CD is that you can see what you could only previously hear. More than that, you can see the performers constructing the music in such a way that you will never return to listening to Portishead in the same way. The delicate intricacy with which they weave their rich and varied musical tapestry is really quite stunning indeed.

If you keep your ears open and also pay careful attention, you can see the band members and supporting musicians playing music in a way that you have probably seldom witnessed. The majority of tracks don't follow a 'traditional' pattern, whereby everyone plays in parallel and the singer sings over the top. What we see from the screen is that Portishead construct their soundscape quite differently indeed, and this is remarkable to see. An odd note here and there, a scratch here, a different instrument almost every track, manually playing with an effects peddle, a gentle fade out... the list of minute and detailed intricacies that we can now witness, and which we previously didn't even know existed is the real attraction of this DVD. I was literally spellbound watching how they constructed the tracts and was amazed to see the musicians switching around and using different instruments.

The visuals of the DVD are not only enrapturing, but, on a much more profound level, being witness to such creation of genius really adds to one's greater listening pleasure. Now every time I play PNYC I find my ears sucking in a much wider and richer set of sounds and distinguishing a more complex range of instruments than I had been able to hear before.

In summation I would have to say that the CD and the DVD are really an inseparable pair. I am glad I purchased them in the order I did, i.e., CD first, because it allowed me to become familiar with this remarkable performance which ultimately allowed me to find more in it than I would have done if I had gone straight to the DVD. Certainly any fan of Portishead, vocal electronica, the Bristol Sound or indeed any fan of quality music should definitely purchase this DVD, I can't see how you would regret your purchase, unlike 'Third', of course, which is a total waste of money...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential. Essential. Great performance., 10 July 2008
This review is from: Portishead - PNYC - Live At The Roseland Theatre [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
Make no mistake. If you like Portishead, you HAVE to get this DVD. Out of maybe 30 music DVDs I own, this stands in my Top5 for sure. Excellent video/audio quality, excellent performance, Beth's singing is greater than ever, the orchestra is a plus, and all these mini movies/videoclips at the extras are also great. The playlist is heavily focused in the "Portishead" album (which is a plus for me).

If you like Portishead, get this Dvd and then you will love them! That's what happened to me anyway..
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5.0 out of 5 stars OMG, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Portishead - PNYC - Live At The Roseland Theatre [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
Finally got this again after not hearing for years. If anything, better live than in studio. Brilliant recording, So recommended...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good, 15 May 2014
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This review is from: Portishead - PNYC - Live At The Roseland Theatre [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
I have always like Portishead and never seen them. Their are not the most greatest band to watch but this is a very good DVD to buy if you like them. My oldest son has it at the moment, must get back!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars just simply amazing, 24 Aug 2012
This review is from: Portishead - PNYC - Live At The Roseland Theatre [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
just finished watching the video, was trying to buy it locally but never could find it so i broke down and bought it online. okay, not sure why i waited this long to do it cause the dvd is mind blowing. I've listened to the cd hundreds if not more, but the visuals of the band and especially Beth are amazing. they re-eq'ed the sound, i now need to hook up the TV to the stereo just to listen to the whole thing by headphones. i wish all bands could sound this good. just buy it now, and you will add your 5 stars. simply amazing dvd.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Portshead, 18 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Portishead - PNYC - Live At The Roseland Theatre [1998] [DVD] (DVD)
SIMPLY AMAZING! Its a great DVD, i enjoyed it very much i would recommend you to buy it, as a gift or for yourself.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, 27 July 2000
By A Customer
an absolutley amazing video better than the nirvana unplugged session and they turn strangers into an amazing encore. buy this video
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