Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I can't, I can't, I can't stand looking...

The Police: The Synchronicity Concert (DVD)

Pros: It sounds really, really good...

Cons: ...but you could hurt yourself (literally) if you watch it

The Bottom Line: The visual effects in this 1983 concert are decidedly annoying. The Police's excellent performance is largely ruined by Godley & Creme's experimentation.

Getting tickets to a concert by The Police this year was not easy - with this being their first tour in over thirty years, demand was very high for their shows. And so, seeing a show by these megastars of the early eighties remains a rare event - even if you want to see a show in the comfort of your own home.

The Police's Synchronicity Concert DVD is the only complete concert widely released on DVD (there is a South Korean DVD of a Ghost in the Machine tour show, but it's not really "official"). Despite the band's enormous popularity during the earliest days of the rise of MTV, and despite the known existence of recorded shows from various tours, this 1983 show at the Atlanta Omni remains the only filmed performance by the band to be brought up to date using today's technology.

Directed by Godley & Creme, who also directed three of the videos from the Synchronicity album, the concert video is basically seventy-five minutes of visual experimentation using some common video tricks of the era. Video and MTV were still relatively new, and at this point, there weren't any stereotypes or expectations for what live performances should look like when filmed.

Godley and Creme used several cameras and a lot of video post-production editing to attempt to create a new look for concert films. Some of it works, some of it does not. Unfortunately, there are some moments where the director's work overwhelms the music, and with the rarity of concert videos by The Police, it leaves fans of the band like myself wishing for more concert videos where the music gets the lion's share of the attention...

Read the entire review at epinions.com

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