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As a rule, we at Antsmarching.org don't tell you what to spend your hard earned money upon. But every once in a while something comes along that seems like such a no-brainer. Live Trax 40 is such a fantastic release if you don't have it you don't know what you're missing. We wanted to take a little time and explain a few things in case you're a bit weary on ordering or have ordered and thing something is amiss.
First let's start with the obvious. In 2002, the Dave Matthews Band did not video record in high definition. What that means is that the video doesn't make it all the way across your widescreen TV monitor. And guess what? It's not supposed to. Despite what you hear in advertising, there is no such thing as upconverting. You can't take a video in it's native format, and make it into a higher format. In other words, a 2002 video recording can't magically become a 4k video. You can't upgrade the Mona Lisa into a high definition digital image can you? So you can't expect a 2002 video to suddenly become wide screen.
In other words, yes, the video is not supposed to fit across the screen; it's supposed to be cropped. The 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer aired December 10. Did you watch it? Shame on you if you didn't. But if you did you didn't even realize the video didn't fit across the screen. That's because just like Live Trax 40 you can't improve it past the original format.
Another "complaint" is lighting. Why is it so dark? The answer lies in concert videos. If you've ever had the pleasure of watching Shine a Light, the 2008 Martin Scorsese documentary concert featuring the Rolling Stones, you can hear Mick Jagger complain about how bright it is on stage. That's because it's very difficult to light properly for video. Unless DMB has an extra crew and enough lights to hit the entire stage, there will be parts that look dark on video. Fenton isn't lighting for a TV audience, he's lighting for the crowd (as well he should). And of course there's Madison Square Garden itself; it's really a poorly lit venue anyway. Yes, it's supposed to be dark.
But the real gem is the audio. DMB records their live audio in multi-track. The true value of the blu-ray isn't the video - that we just explained to you - it's the audio. Once you pop your blu-ray in, choose the 5.1 mix and sit back and enjoy. Stefan's bass pops. Boyd fills your back left speaker while Roi blasts his solos. Dave's voice hits you dead center from the speaker above your TV. The blu-ray truly gives you the feel that you're at MSG.
If you're reading the boards and a bit apprehensive about ordering, fret not. This is a fantastic release. If you haven't picked up that Boxing Day gift for the DMB fan in your life, order Live Trax 40 for them.
If you were wondering if Dave Matthews Band's Live Trax 40 would be special, the answer is obviously yes. Let's take a look at what this release has under the hood.
Right off the bat... James Brown! If you're wondering how he even ended up with DMB, the answer lies in the opening act. Karl Denson's Tiny Universe served as James Brown's backing band. If you weren't around back then, the James Brown info leaked out prior to the show; not like anyone believed it however. So it wasn't a complete shock, but still, the Godfather of Soul appearing with DMB was stunning.
Live Trax 40 marks the first full band Blu-Ray release. By default, the audio will be 'better' than a standard DVD video. It's complicated to explain, but it just is. There's also a plethora of add-ons, including posters, t-shirts and an Encore disc. The details aren't out yet but it's from the 2002 winter tour. Please keep in mind that there is a different Bonus Disc for The Warehouse than the DMB store. So if you're a Warehouse member order via their site.