Most helpful critical review
93 of 101 people found the following review helpful
Not what it could have been
on 2 July 2003
I was at this concert, and it is a very special memory for me. So I have the TV coverage recorded on the day, and the VHS release. The VHS release was edited (some artists were completely cut out) and slightly doctored to cover mistakes and technical problems on the day, and as such does not necessarily serve as an honest document of the concert. So I hoped that the DVD would perhaps restore some footage that was inexplicably missing from the VHS version.
Imagine my disappointment when I discovered that the entire first half of the concert is missing. There were some blistering performances here from all concerned, and I was looking forward to seeing them on this format. To be fair, perhaps this is due to licensing issues. Nonetheless, it would seem I must still refer to my ropey old mono TV recording if I want to see this again.
It's great to hear the sound remastered (even if a little doctoring remains... I distinctly remember "Stone Cold Crazy" going very wrong in the middle and yet its performance here is suspiciously flawless), and wonderful to see some very special moments again - for me, Queen and David Bowie's rendition of Bowie's "Heroes" was spine-tingling, as was George Michael's performance of "Somebody To Love".
Unfortunately, the aspect ratio effectively removes the top and bottom of the original picture, which is very annoying. What is the point in this? The "Live at Wembley" DVD preserves the original aspect ratio and therefore the full original image, so why crop it here?
This could have been a superb DVD - a marvellous opportunity to utilise the format to any number of useful ends. Unfortunately it is an opportunity wasted - nothing more than edited highlights inexplicably cropped. The special features are fairly interesting, and what there is of the concert is of course superb. Sadly, as a document of a sad yet wonderful, memorable and bittersweet day, this doesn't really stand up. Stick to the VHS or, if you have it, the original TV coverage.