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Customer Review

34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! (Shame about the transfer though....), 17 April 2003
This review is from: Peter Gabriel: Secret World Live [DVD] (DVD)
Peter Gabriel is without doubt one of the UK's most innovative and original composers and performers, and his Secret World show, performed in Modena, Italy in 1993 to coincide with the release of 'Us', is proof of that.
This truly is a show rather than a concert, complete with a telephone box, a tree that rises from beneath the stage and a giant dome that swallows up the performers at the climax. Gabriel and his fellow musicians (including David Rhodes on guitar, the brilliant Manu Katche on drums, Paula Cole on backing vocals and the inimitable Tony Levin on bass) perform a collection of tracks from 'Us' along with classics including Solsbury Hill and, of course, the ever-popular Sledgehammer. Highlights for me are Shaking The Tree (check out the fancy footwork) and the stunning rendition of In Your Eyes.
The VHS and album of the Secret World show were both released in 1994, but we've had to wait a further nine years for it to finally make an appearance on DVD. We're offered three audio options - Dolby 2.0, Dolby 5.1 and DTS - and the sound quality is superb (though apparently some of the vocals and keyboards were re-recorded for the DVD). Sadly the same cannot be said for the picture quality, which in places is pretty poor - the VHS had a grainy, documentary-style appearance which is also true of the DVD, but the DVD also suffers from blotchiness wherever the background is smokey or indistinct. The image has also been cropped in order to create a ‘widescreen’ effect.
The extra features are also rather thin on the ground - a 15min 'Behind The Scenes', a whacky 3min 'Timelapse' segment which shows the construction of the set, the concert and the set being dismantled in a series of still images, a photo gallery and a 7min documentary on Gabriel's 'Growing Up' coinciding with the release of his pretty naff new album, 'Up' (nice to see Melanie on stage alongside her dad though...)
So has Secret World on DVD been worth the wait? Undoubtedley! This is the best concert video/DVD I've ever seen, and the great sound makes up for the ropey image quality. If you’re a Gabriel fan, or if you simply love overblown high-concept concerts, this is a must-buy.
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Location: Bristol, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 14,035