Hmmm, a SoundStage! writer reviewing Soundstage Presents DVDs. And not just reviewing music, but music videos. The world is full of ironies, isnt it?
SoundStage! actually had nothing to do with these Soundstage music videos. These are concerts from the PBS TV show by the same name. And if you are of a certain age, the music on these DVD videos will bring back pleasurable memories of past glories. Songs such as "Saturday In the Park," "25 or 6 to 4," and "Colour My World" from Chicago, and "It Keeps You Runnin," "Minute By Minute," and "Takin It to the Streets" from McDonald, virtually comprise a soundtrack to the '70s and '80s.
It is extremely difficult for someone who grew up listening to Chicago (from Chicago Transit Authority on) to see a band that has only four of its original members. The replacements, though talented, dont quite measure up. As for Michael McDonald, I have always felt the Doobie Brothers sold out when they brought McDonald on, moving from a rock/blues/alt. country band to a pop-oriented, let's-just-make records-that-sell band. McDonald's performance here, with strings no less, are thoroughly professional -- and predictable.
The picture quality is good, the shots concentrating completely on the bands, and the surrounds are used to make one a part of the audience, not the band. The sound is quite good, if you dont compare it to CD or high-resolution formats. If you are a fan of either of these artists, these videos will please you to no end. After all, seeing them is like watching (as well as hearing) a greatest-hits album. And if you are new to these artists, well, where ya been?
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