Go Go's: Live in Central Park
Image // Unrated // $19.99 // December 11, 2001
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted December 17, 2001
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The Movie:

After seventeen years since their last studio album, the Go Go's suprised and thrilled many by reuniting for a new album and a new tour, one stop of which was this outstanding Central Park show, where the band simply plays their hearts out. A nearly flawless set by the power/pop band, singer Belinda Carlisle and her fellow Go Go's run through a set of both new and old tunes to a set of adoring fans. The audience at a concert like this really has fun if it's obvious that the band is having a great time as well, and it looks like the ladies in the band are having a blast on-stage again.

Songs: Head Over Heels, Skidmarks on My Heart, Stuck in My Car, How Much More, Apology, Vacation, Insincere, Sonic Superslide, Automatic, Automatic Rainy Day, This Town, Unforgiven, Beatnik Beach, Our Lips Are Sealed, La La Land, We Got the Beat, Throw Me a Curve, I Wanna Be Sedated.

As per usual, Image Entertainment has done their best to make sure the concert experience doesn't lose as much in the translation to the small screen. Image quality is excellent, while sound quality is splendid, as well, available in either Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1. After the concert, there's a couple of fun behind-the-scenes supplements to explore, as well.


VIDEO: "Go Go's: Live in Central Park" is presented by Image Entertainment in 1.33:1 full-frame. While there are several aspects of the presentation that are quite wonderful, there are a few minor concerns. Sharpness and detail are certainly not one of them - the picture remained beautifully crisp throughout the presentation, whether the camera was pointed at the audience or the band. There's even nice depth to the image, as well.

Where the problems arise are a few instances of very slight pixelation in the backgrounds during a few moments. These little flaws are not particularly noticable and I think most will be enjoying this superb show so much that they'll definitely not find these distracting. No edge enhancement or other problems appeared.

Now, back to the positives: colors, whether it be stage lighting or otherwise, are perfectly rendered, looking rich and crisp, with no smearing or other flaws. A very nice effort from Image Entertainment.

SOUND: "Go Go's: Live in Central Park" is presented in Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 by Image Entertainment. I went into this presentation not quite knowing what to expect, but what was terrifically pleased with the surround-sound mix that's offered here. Belinda Carlisle's vocals are clearly offered from the center speaker only, while guitar, bass and drums are spread out across the front two main speakers. Surrounds provide an appropriate amount of musical reinforcement and crowd noise throughout the show; they really don't call attention to themselves that much, but add nicely to the sense of envelopment.

Audio quality was superb; tight and punchy like the band's music, the audio offered a satisfying amount of power, along with a good deal of low-bass. Carlisle's vocals came through with splendid clarity and was never overshadowed by the exceptional backing's wonderful instrumentals. All of the instruments remained crisp and distinct, as well. This is a great mix that I found really involving and that really added to the enjoyment of the viewing experience greatly. I felt was if I was in the front row for this highly entertaining concert. Switching back and forth between Dolby Digital and DTS revealed very similar quality; if anything, the DTS track offered a minimally warmer and richer sound, but both tracks are definitely high-quality.

MENUS:: As expected, Image Entertainment provides an enjoyable animated main menu, complete with music in the background. What makes these menus even better is the terrific design - for example, when the viewer is in the "set list" menus, the other options (such as extras, audio) are easily accessable from these menus. Really nice navigation.


Documentary: This a terrific 30-minute behind-the-scenes documentary that shows the band getting ready for their performance and discussing their history in music while in their make-up chairs. The action then jumps into the band's van, where the girls make some hilarious little comments and we also hear some other little details about how this whole process works (most of them are on their cell phones discussing the plans for the show and we learn that the girls have to meet with a magazine at one point). Then, we find ourselves backstage, where the girls rehearse and fans outside discuss their live for the band. Finally, there's a little wrap-up with thoughts from the band about their new album and their future.

In Retrospect: This is a shorter, 4 1/2 minute featurette that takes a look at the band's history and early work, as well as their thoughts on the new record.

Final Thoughts: The Go Go's absolutely rock the house in this terrific Central Park performance where they rip through hits both new and old. Image Entertainment continues their excellence with music releases, providing fantastic audio quality and very good image quality, along with a couple of fun supplements. Highly recommended.

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