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B52s live in Germany 1983 professionally filmed short set,
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This review is from: Live Germany 1983 (DVD)
This is a professionally "filmed for television" performance by B52s recorded in Dortmund, Westfalenhall, Germany 14th May 1983.
Songs in order: "Song For A Future Generation" (sung and danced to a backing track by Ricky, Cindy, Keith, Fred and Kate) after which they take up their instruments, with added brass, and proceed to whip the audience into a frenzy with Planet Clare, Mesopotamia, Big Bird, Dance This Mess Around, Rock Lobster and Party Gone Out Of Bounds. All up it's 33 extremely entertaining minutes.
The video quality ranges from OK to good - and that's either a reflection of video camera and mixing quality available at that time, or the management of the software used in editing this transfer. The main thing is that the performance is fantastic from all five original band members and their two guests on brass - it's a very big and powerful sound and the band/audience interaction is genuine and vibrant.
The audio is offered as a choice of Dolby 2.0, Dolby 5.1 or DTS 5.1 - and while the source material was clearly mono (which is quite apparent on headphones), the treatments for stereo and surround work very well on loudspeakers.
Cindy Wilson is dazzlingly skilful on bongos in "Big Bird" - but all members are in the peak of form and they're all integral stars of an intrinsically cohesive band.
The DVD is very attractively packaged - including a colour leaflet with an informed spiel by William Hogeland. A minor quibble is that this DVD, while listed here as 4:3 fullscreen, is actually formatted as 16:9 - stretching the 4:3 image unnaturally (and on my PC I can't compensate for that). I know lots of people happily choose to stretch 4:3 video to fill every square inch of their widescreen TV - but I'd like to have the choice of viewing the correct perspective.
This is an important historical record of the original B52s lineup (with the late great Ricky Wilson), however I would love to be able to support the band by buying a genuine authorised DVD release of either their "Funplex" or "Cosmic Thing" tours. July 2012 update: in March 2012 The B-52s released the ultimate high definition live performance recording of their 2011 homecoming concert With The Wild Crowd! - Live In Athens, Ga [Blu-ray]  - filmed in 1080p high definition and true surround sound and released on Blu-Ray, DVD and as a 2 CD album. Perfect.