In 2002 the influential and ground-breaking band The Cure
traveled to Berlin
where they preformed three of their albums from beginning to end. Pornography (1982),
and Bloodflowers (2000) show
the band at different stages in their career, yet
all three are powerful and impressive works.
The resulting three-hour concert, aptly titled Trilogy, is as extraordinary
as it sounds. Luckily the group had the
foresight to record the show (actually two shows played on consecutive
high definition, and now Eagle Rock Entertainment has put out this
rock event on a great looking Blu-ray disc with sound that will simply
The three albums that make up this concert have a lot of
similarities, Cure front man Robert Smith has often stressed that, and
them preformed back-to-back really brings that point home.
The show starts out with Pornography,
from the opening chords it's clear that the band isn't going to phone
in their performance. The band was in the
groove and didn't try to
replicate the album note-for-note played the songs with gusto while
retaining the dark atmosphere of the record.
Simon Gallup's bass was deep and tight and Perry Bamonte's
playing was a joy to hear.
If they had just released the Pornography
concert by itself,
I would have been happy with the disc, but as it ended and I realized
were still two more albums to go, I grew excited. Disintegration only raised the bar. The least depressing and most pop influenced
the three albums, the band seems to relax during this set and it's the
highlight of the concert. Smith's voice
was particularly strong during Pictures
of You and hit the from the album, Lovesong,
will have even the most casual fans mesmerized.
The show concludes with Bloodflowers,
a disc that I still
feel is still one of the bands underappreciated works even though it
them a Grammy nomination. I was curious
how the band would handle this material.
They had recently toured to promote the album and had been on
nearly two-hours already. It would have
been natural for them to slow down a bit and just finish the concert in
by-the-numbers fashion but they don't.
This last section is just as stunning as the first two. Bamonte's guitar is just as energetic on the
10+ minute Watching Me Fall,
the highlight of the set, as it was on the first
song of the evening, and Smith's voice was just as intense.
Filmed with 12 HD cameras, the images are lively and manage
to capture the whole band, as well as the audience, to good effect. While there are some songs where the cutting
from shot to shot is a little fast for my tastes, overall I thought the
was very good. The band members all get
time on screen and the camera work was never too static.
This is a great looking rock concert.
The Blu-ray Disc:
I was a little disappointed that this disc didn't come in a
standard Blu-ray keepcase. Instead it is
packaged the way they used to sell CD back in the day, with a thin
case that has a plastic disc holder on one side. It's
effective though I wonder how long it
will take before the cover pressboard cover starts to wear.
This concert was filmed in 2002 using HD cameras that had a
1080i resolution and the resulting image looks very good, much better
majority of concert films. Presented
with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio and encoded with the MPEG-4/AVC codex, the
presented with a lot of challenges and overcomes them all for the most
part. Being a live concert the lighting
wasn't optimal for cameras yet the colors are strong and the blacks are
and even in tone. In low light there is
some noise but overall the image is fairly sharp and the level of
very pleasing. I wasn't expecting a lot
image wise from this disc and was pleasantly surprised at the
looking transfer. If only all concert
be filmed and presented with such care.
This concert comes with three audio tracks: DTS-HD
MA 5.1, PCM stereo, and a DD 5.1
mix. I started with the stereo track,
to the DTS audio for a couple of songs and then tried the DD 5.1 track
quickly switching back to the DTS-HD mix for the rest of the concert. While I'm sure the DD 5.1 would have wowed me
a decade ago, compared to the lossless tracks there is no comparison.
The PCM stereo mix sounded great, but in comparison it didn't
have the energy and immersive feeling that the DTS-HD track did. That multichannel mix had it all, with both
the lows and highs being reproduced with crystal clarity and enough
make it feel like you were in the audience.
Smith's vocals were crisp and clear and the bass drum wasn't
indistinct like it can sometimes come across.
Even with the difficulties of
recording a live show, this disc sounds great.
If this was a bare bones release I wouldn't be disappointed,
so the extras that Eagle Rock included are icing on the cake. First off there are a pair of encore songs,
"If Only We Could Sleep Tonight," and "The Kiss". Those
are followed by an interview with the
entire band (in 480p/i.) They talk about
the history of both the group and the Trilogy as well as the setting
concert. The bonus section is wrapped up
with some interview outtakes and alternate camera angles for two songs
Deep Water as You" and "Plainsong."
Casual fans of The Cure might be a bit put off by this
concert at first. This isn't your
typical show where the band plays a selection of their greatest hits. Give it some time however, and even the most
fair weather fans will be won over. Playing
three albums from start to finish is an ambitious project but The Cure
the occasion and creates a very impressive and worthwhile event. A must-own for any fan of the band, this disc
comes highly recommended.
images in this review are not from the Blu-ray disc and do not
represent the image quality on the disc.