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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cranberries: Live In Paris
Cranberries: Live In Paris
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 11, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
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The Movie:

I've always been a slight fan of the Cranberries, enjoying their more up-tempo songs such as "Salvation". I don't own any of their albums, but I'll always stop to listen to them if they come on the radio.

"Beneath The Skin" though, is another instance of a band that I don't otherwise know much about stunning me with an energetic concert performance. Lead singer Dolores O'Riordan may be small in size, but she offers a remarkable amount of energy, whether it be belting out one of the songs, or extending her microphone into the audience to capture them singing along with equal intensity.

All of the more popular songs ("Salvation", "Zombie", "Linger", "Dreams") are included here, but I felt that the concert was most entertaining during the more lively songs. The band even performs a cover of "Go Your Own Way", where O'Riordan seems to be having a great deal of fun, running around the stage. The 84 minute concert was recorded live in Paris in December of 1999 and is quite professionally filmed, with a slick, clean look that captures the band well. More than anything though, this is a band that really looks like they're having a great time and so does the massive crowd.

1. Promises
2. Animal Instinct
3. Loud and Clear
4. Ode to My Family
5. The Icicle Meets
6. Linger
7. Wanted
8. Salvation
9. Desperate Andy
10. Go Your Own Way
11. Pretty
12. When You're Gone
13. I Can't Be with You
14. Waltzing Back
15. Free to Decide
16. Zombie
17. Ridiculous Thoughts
18. Dying in the Sun
19. You and Me
20. Just My Imagination
21. Delilah
22. Dreams


The DVD

VIDEO: I almost think, at this point, that Image Entertainment should be the one company who gets to handle all concert presentations on DVD. Although some are not as well-done as others, their best work really shines. "Beneath The Skin" is presented in 1.85:1 and it's also anamorphic, which is a pleasant suprise. The picture quality is beautiful, with fantastic sharpness and detail to the close-ups. Some shots from farther out seem a bit soft, but still very clear and well-defined.

As for problems, I did see a few little traces of artifacts now and then, but these were so minor as to hardly be noticable. The lighting is fantastic, washing the stage in a light blue or other various colors that look beautifully rendered here.

SOUND: The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack really impressed me for this presentation. It's a big stadium show and it's a big stadium sound - really enveloping, loud and powerful - but also quiet and subtle when it needs to be. Surrounds are used well for the music and an "open" crowd sound. The music is really well captured, crisp and clear and not muddled together - instruments seem distinct. Bass is appropriately strong during some of the more intense songs. O'Riordan's fantastic voice also comes through perfectly, almost seemingly in the same room. Very entertaining and enjoyable audio quality that really delivers that "front row" feeling for this great performance.

MENUS:: The menus are really the only part of the disc that I have an issue with. They include animation and animated transitions that are a little too long. More than that though, I had some other problems. It takes going through too many menus to get to some of the extras and the song selection menu is a whole other problem. It seemed that I had to type in the number on my remote to choose the song. This worked fine up until 10 and above, where it didn't seem to work. I could be too dim to figure it out though, which is entirely possible. I did figure out that hitting the "title" button on the remote is the easy way to get back to the main menu. Still, these menus seemed to be a little too complex for their own good. In non-menu issues, this is the first Image title that I've seen that doesn't use that snapper case that everyone hates.

EXTRAS: The disc provides a great deal of extra features - some a little more interesting than others.

Technical Documentary: This is a short documentary that takes us behind-the-scenes to talk to all of the technicans that are involved with making sure that the instruments are working and that the sound at the venue is up to speed and working. They seem like a fun bunch and it's pretty interesting to hear about everything that has to happen for a show to go right.

Band Documentary: 2 documentaries are included with interviews from the band, who talk about their feelings on the music and the instruments they use.

Music Videos: "Promises", "Animal Instinct" and "Just My Imagination".

Live Performances: "How"(1993), "Not Hollywood"(1996), "Saving Grace"(1999), "Yesterday's Gone"(MTV Unplugged 1995).

Also: Photo gallery and "Bury The Hatchet" Morphing Album Cover(which is pretty odd). Text lyrics are included (but hard to read), but no subtitle lyrics while the show is playing. Searching further into the menus I also found an audio test to make sure your system is set-up properly.

Final Thoughts: Although I did have a little bit of an issue with the menus, this disc really does deliver where it counts for a concert DVD - the performance, audio & video quality. Many of the extra features are also interesting. Highly recommended.

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