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4.5 out of 5 stars42
4.5 out of 5 stars
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
The release of 'Foot of the mountain' saw my wife & I take an interest in a-ha again. We saw this farewell tour at Nottingham's ice arena & I have to say were pretty impressed.
The release here of the end of the tour in, naturally enough, Oslo promises much.
The intro. see's a darkened arena lit by blue neon & laser and immediately the extra crispness of Blu Ray is highlighted with just a little shimmering of the light here and there. The sound of the audience surrounds the listener but quite subtly as left & right keyboard effects follow the band doing the usual 'heroic slo-mo' walk to the stage. Once the lights go up the sharp detail is evident everywhere and on occasion can be pretty unforgiving at showing just how many years it's been since 'Hunting high & low' was first released & the band were as popular as pin ups as for their music.
The opening track, 'The sun always shines on TV' is a little lacklustre, no surprise here, I remember the Nottingham concert took about 3 tracks to get going and here is no different with both the band & the audience not being fully warmed up until around track 4, 'Scoundrel days',. From here on in things motor along far more freely & less stiffly with vocals being stretched further and a stronger presence from the keyboard.
However it has to be said that while nicely detailed and deftly handling the old surround problem of where to place the audience sound & just how loud should they be, the surround mix fails to completely sparkle. The main problem is that the drums are far too recessed in the mix and so the driving rhythm is missing.The echo of the arena is not cancelled out enough in the sound edit and leaves things too lightweight. While earth shattering low frequency was unlikely this really doesn't ever get the sub. going and while it is fine on the quieter tracks it is unlikely to get anyone on their feet during faster & more pop oriented songs. Vocals are clear and centred nicely.
The picture is very good with primary colours lighting up the stage as the light show flicks away above the band. One regret is that more of the display cannot be seen. The visuals displayed on the screen were excellent, especially during 'Take on me' and the slow retrospective. Unfortunately too much of this would have spoilt the 'live' atmosphere but an optional 'angle' that showed the display would have been nice and not really too much to ask. A bit of a missed opportunity really.
The director gets things just about spot on. All the usual 'live' pitfalls are avoided, too much gawping at the audience, ridiculous angles, stupid effects, seeing what's going on backstage during the concert,(who cares?), and the headache inducing handi-cam are all dumped in the bin and this is so much better for it.
The concert track listing is different from the UK and sadly there is only 1 track from the excellent 'foot of the mountain' album, (the title track). The belting live version of 'Bandstand' seen in the UK was sadly chopped from this.
The Blu Ray itself has a low key menu that seems more like a DVD one.
The extras are a 15 minute last concert documentary and a photo gallery.
Audio is either stereo or DTS HD 5.1.
There are a lot of subtitles to choose from. French, Spanish, German, Norwegian, Russian, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese & Latin American Spanish.
For the fans this is a pleasant enough farewell. I'm just left feeling that with only a little more effort this could have been so much more. Why no proper retrospective? The picture is top drawer but surely the sound is vital for a concert so why has this been mixed in such a lacklustre fashion?
There are times when I despair at the lazy approach that some companies have to Blu-Ray. There is so much potential but they just can't be bothered.
The picture, direction & editing and ease of use are all 5*. The extras & especially the sound are barely 3*.
For a band that has lasted so well and has such a large & faithful following both they & their fans had a right to expect better than this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2011
They called this "Ending On A High Note - The Final Concert" and they were not wrong at all. They really did end of a "High Note" their performance was truly Stunning, Thought Provoking with fantastic backdrop video animation and great set design.

Everything was done to a grand scale and lavish design; their live versions of their songs were amazingly crafted and well executed. The three performers were awesome and gave this concert all they had to offer, they really did put their hearts, minds and souls into their performance and their dedication and commitment shows.

If you are new to a-ha or have been a lifelong follower of a-ha then this bluray version of "Ending On A High Note - The Final Concert" is for you, it's something you can enjoy time and time again. I highly recommend this product.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 April 2011
I opted to go for the DVD version of ending on a high note simply because all the others I have are on DVD so this compliments the set. However, I was not disappointed by the quality. I played the disc on my Blu ray playey which upscales anyway and the quality was better than some of my blu ray discs! The picture is vivid and bright and the sound quality is also amazing. Do not let the DVD put you off, it simply means it's more versatile - yet cheaper!

I attended one of a-ha's shows for this tour in Bournemouth. To be completely honest - the DVD is identical. A-ha did exactly the same show word for word pretty much apart from putting in a few lines about how much they love Bournemouth. The set was identical and their suits. The lighting was breathtaking and well thought out. This is not a bad thing. I wanted this DVD so I could relive the concert - not see the Oslo show (no disrespect to Norway - I love you guys too!) but this DVD fulfilled every need. I was sad to see a-ha go - but i'm now glad i didn't waste time trying to take my own pictures and video on my phone - I simply enjoyed the concert and just hoped a-ha released the concert onto DVD - which they did!

Just buy it - don't hesitate, buy it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2012
"Ending On A High Note: Final Concert" is a brilliantly played performance that showcases powerful music harmony among the band members. "The Sun Always Shines On TV", "Manhattan Skyline", "Hunting High And Low", "Butterfly Butterfly (The Last Hurrah)", "Foot Of The Mountain" and "Take On Me" were some of my favorite performances of the concert. There is a complete listing of the concert songs on A-ha's storefront website from playdotcom. "Ending On A High Note: The Final Concert" is best for those who like at least three songs by A-Ha and/or pop music spanning from the 80's to the early 2000's.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2012
It was a great concert and a fitting 25 years. There on stage musicality and mortens vocals are first class, choice of songs and arrangments are so close to the actual songs its easy to not appreciate their artistry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2012
Went to their farewell concert at Manchester MEN and apart fro being asked if I was trying to smuggle any chocolate in I can say this is the best concert I have been to for a very long time. The DVD contains all of their hits and the backdrop screen is captivating.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2011
Seen the tour Ending on a High Note and this is it live.
Great production, looks good on HD and sounds very good.
If your a fan you probably already brought it :)

A-ha I think where going "through the motions" in this tour. It shows a bit.
You can tell that maybe they have had enough of A-ha
and where grateful to let it go. There heart just isn't in it anymore.
That doesn't mean that its not good.
The music is fab and Morten Harket can still hit the high notes, a underrated singer. My favourite live is "Hunting High and Low"

It would have been great to have all the old videos on this blu-ray as well and maybe some old footage. There is a interview with the guys separately which is quite good and gives a bit of insight why they have let go of project a-ha.

Recommended .
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on 25 January 2013
This is a wonderful recording of A-ha's farewell show in Oslo in December 2010. The quality of the production and camera work are simply awesome. The whole atmosphere is captured brilliantly. It is not often that I will watch the same music blu-ray more than once or twice but I keep going back to this one.

People underestimate this band. Beyond the Alan Partridge jokes, these guys are really first rate musicians and song writers. The band sing their best material - the hits and great album tracks from the Sun Always Shines to Hunting High and Low, The Living Daylights and, of course, Take on Me. I hope they re-unite because they have a chemistry and atmosphere that is hard to beat.

Morten Harkett has a great falsetto voice and he is still very much a bit of a heart throb in his early fifties - he looks twenty years younger. I would totally recommend this blu-ray to any one who likes this great band and if you were not too sure, give it a try. They are not AC|DC or Bon Jovi - they don't sweat and swear or swagger like Jagger but there is a commanding style to their music. I must admit it - I love A-ha and hope they get back together again in the next few years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2011
I have been fan of this group since I was really young, it was the eighties...
This final concert in Oslo is a great performance of their old and new hits.
Enjoy "the living daylights", "summer moved on" or all the rest in a memorable night for their fans.
The sound and the images are excelent.
A great product !!
You'll enjoy it, I'm sure !!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2012
This is really good dvd, a-ha are great in concert and the sound and picture are impressive, what a way to end.
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