A few years back, Lollapalooza was an extremely popular touring package of several different kinds of musical acts ranging from rock to pop to rap. Although that festival didn't last as the last one stopped a couple of years ago, at least several touring festivals came about during that period that are still popular - the more notable of which is Lilith Fair. After encountering resistance from concert promoters to tour with other female acts, singer Sarah McLachlan had the idea to put together a group of acts on her own - the result was hugely successful and has brought out such popular female acts such as Jewel and Sheryl Crow, both of whom are included on this concert/interview documentary.
Building a Mystery (Sarah McLachlan), Water is Wide (Indigo Girls/Jewel/Sarah McLachlan), Bitch (Meredith Brooks), Tried to Be True (Indigo Girls/Sheryl Crow), Sunny Came Home (Shawn Colvin), Strong Enough (Sheryl Crow), Near You Always (Jewel), Shame on You (Indigo Girls), Ice Cream (Sarah McLachlan), Closer to Fine (Indigo Girls/Meredith Brooks/Jewel/Sarah McLachlan), I Need (Meredith Brooks), Wichita Skyline (Shawn Colvin), Angel (Sarah McLachlan), I Shall Believe (Sheryl Crow), Morning Song (Jewel), Big Yellow Taxi (All Artists).
Several strong performances highlight the very enjoyable documentary, especially from Crow("I Shall Believe", "Strong Enough"), Brooks("Bitch") and McLachlan("Building A Mystery"). The interview footage is also worth watching as the camera follows many of the artists backstage and in more personal interview segements where they talk about the success of Lilith and what it means to them. There's even some funny moments where McLachlan talks about the expectations of "catfights" taking place in a touring group with many women. I've got a great deal of respect for the women involved in this fair, who challenged the industry and showed them that a festival like this one can not only be a success, but a major one.
VIDEO: The image is presented full-frame for both the entire concert/interview presentation and like Image Entertainment's usual efforts, the results are excellent. Sharpness and detail are very enjoyable, as both the interview segements and concert footage are both well-defined and very crisp & clear. I noticed nothing in the way of pixelation, although a couple of instances of very, very slight shimmering appeared. Colors from clothing to the sets to stage lighting appeared accurate, bold and vibrant. Although not without a couple of very minor bumps, this remains a very good presentation.
SOUND: Although Image Entertainment usually presents concerts in both Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 audio, there is only a Dolby Digital 5.1 presentation here, but it still sounds pretty excellent throughout the documentary. Although the interview and backstage segements between the songs are understandably limited in presentation, the actual concert footage sounds entirely pleasing.
The music sounds remarkably clear and clean, with every note of the musical instruments coming through perfectly. The outdoor settings for the concerts allow this to have a nice, wide-open feeling, as crowd cheering (and some musical re-inforcement) comes from the surrounds, but the music is focused in the front. Bass comes in appropriately during the more intense numbers, but the more subdued songs sound excellent, as well. There's even a few times throughout where the crowd is clearly heard singing along. Vocals by the actual singers themselves also are flawless. A very entertaining audio presentation that was a pleasure to listen to.
MENUS:: Although menus aren't animated or do they have music, they do use the "Lilith graphics" nicely as backgrounds.
Positive: The interview/backstage footage is inspirational and often entertaining between songs - and the concert contains some fantastic performances with a good mix of rock and songs that are more folky. Image has not dissapointed me with any of the concert DVDs that they've put out and this continues their streak of fine efforts with excellent image and sound quality. Highly recommended and certainly a must for fans.
Negative: No extras (songs not used in the final documentary, etc), although with the main program being so entertaining, this is a minor note.