Phil Collins - Live and Loose in Paris is an edited recording of a concert given by Phil Collins at the Omnisports Theatre in Paris in 1997.
I use the word "edited" to refer to the fact that gaps and pauses between songs seem to have been eliminated as well as, I suspect, most of the on-stage banter (if there had been any), not to the odious practice of editing or "splicing" to correct "mistakes" made during a live performance. In fact, Phil Collins take some pains to note in the booklet that this has not been done.
In this concert, Phil is joined by a fairly large group of musicians, including a brass section, male and female backup singers, plus the usual assortment of guitarists, drummers and keyboard players.
The Omnisports theatre is an unusual venue for a concert performance since the stage is circular and in the middle surrounded by audience. However, Phil and co. make the most of this through stage antics that include running in circles around the perimeter of the stage, each member of the band facing a different direction towards different sets of audiences and even right at the very end taking several bows in different parts of the stage.
The first song, Hand in Hand, features some nicely improvised vocalisations. The energy level of this concert seems to be set at 11, except right at the end Phil somehow manages to notch it up even higher to 12. In the middle are a few slower numbers, such as Another Day In Paradise and (one of my personal favourites) the theme song from the film Against All Odds. Separate Lives features a really nice harmonisation and solo spots between Phil and his two backup singers. Wear My Hat features some zany hat changing and the last two songs Something Happened On The Way To... and Sussudio really bring the house down.
In addition to being the lead singer, Phil Collins played the drums on some of the songs and the keyboard on 1 or 2 songs.
This appears to be a full frame transfer, although the IMDB states that the German Region 2 version of this DVD has a widescreen 16x9 enhanced transfer.
In general, the transfer is reasonably good, with consistently high levels of sharpness, black levels and excellent colour saturation. I suspect this concert may have been recorded directly onto digital video, or at least a very good quality analogue master. Unfortunately, the quality of the transfer is marred by persistent aliasing and pixelization, perhaps caused by over-compression (the DVD authors have opted to fit a 90-minute feature together with both a Dolby Digital 5.1 and PCM audio tracks onto a single sided single layered disc).
The disc comes with two subtitle tracks, an English track containing lyrics to the songs sung and one that actually transcribes the dialogue spoken in between songs (not that there was a lot).
There are two audio tracks on this disc: English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536 Kb/s), and English Dolby Digital 5.0 (384 Kb/s).
The Dolby Digital 5.0 audio track appears to be a native 5.1 mix (rather than a stereo track remixed into surround sound). Usage of the rear channels was rather aggressive, with some instruments (notably percussion) mixed directly into the rear speakers. Audience noises are spread across all channels.
Despite the use of the lower encoding bitrate, this is a pleasing and full sound track, but does sound rather harsh compared to the PCM audio track. I preferred the PCM audio track to the Dolby Digital track for the ballads, but there is no doubt that the extra speakers increase the excitement of the high energy songs.
I did not detect any issues pertaining to audio synchronisation.
Neither audio tracks make use of the subwoofer (unless of course your receiver or processor's bass management circuit comes into play). The track does not feature a lot of low-frequency content below say 100 Hz but it still sounds bassy enough for all but couch-shaking aficionados.
Given the decision to fit the concert onto a single layered disc, I would have been surprised if there were any extras on this disc, and there are none.
Menu - The menus are full frame and include background audio.
Booklet - This is a four page booklet containing a track listing, a brief note from Phil Collins (mentioned in the Plot Synopsis) and colour pictures taken from the concert.
01. Hand In Hand
02. Hang In Long Enough
03. Don't Lose My Number
04. Another Day In Paradise
05. Against All Odds (Take A Look At...
07. Separate Lives
08. Long Long Way To Go
09. In The Air Tonight
10. Dance Into The Light
11. Wear My Hat
12. Something Happened On The Way To...
- Actors: Ronnie Caryl, Brad Cole, Phil Collins, Luis Conte, Nathan East
- Directors: David Mallet
- Format: AC-3, Color, DVD, NTSC, PAL
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Release Date: Tuesday, 20 May 2003
- Run Time: 90 minutes