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Soundstage Presents: Sheryl Crow Live
Sheryl Crow turns out dependable, well-crafted, solidly performed mainstream rock, and the show captured in Soundstage: Sheryl Crow Live is dependable, well-crafted and solidly performed mainstream rock. Like Crow's canon, however, it, well, just isn't especially interesting.
Nevertheless, fans of the singer-songwriter will not be disappointed. This 90-minute show from the PBS concert series includes most of the hit singles Crow has produced since her 1993 debut album, Tuesday Night Music Club. Her live versions of such crowd-pleasers as "If It Makes You Happy," "Everyday Is a Winding Road," "Soak Up the Sun," "Steve McQueen" and "All I Wanna Do" are straightforward and respectable, if not especially sonically adventurous. But there are a few deeper cuts thrown in for good measure, and nifty covers of Cat Stevens' "The First Cut Is the Deepest" and Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding," best known as being an Elvis Costello signature tune.
The DVD doesn't indicate where or when the concert was shot, but the setlist encompasses four tracks from that '93 debut, five from 1996's Sheryl Crow, one from 1998's The Globe Sessions and four from 2002's C'mon, C'mon. The complete list of tracks follows:
1. "My Favorite Mistake"
2. "You're an Original"
3. "The First Cut Is the Deepest"
4. "Leaving Las Vegas"
5. "Strong Enough"
6. "Redemption Day"
7. "Sweet Rosalyn"
8. "If It Makes You Happy"
10. "All I Wanna Do"
11. "Everyday Is a Winding Road"
12. "Soak Up the Sun"
13. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding
14. "Let's Get Free"
15. "Safe and Sound"
16. "I Shall Believe"
17. "Steve McQueen"
The Soundstage production is slick and seamless, with myriad high-definition camera angles and the requisite shots of an appreciative audience. Crow has a no-frills stage presence. She keeps anecdotes and chat to a minimum, but she is relaxed, friendly and self-effacing, and she looks terrific.
While no one can dispute Crow's commercial mega-success throughout the Nineties, her performance here tends to belie a largely homogenous sound. The songs are pleasant and catchy, if a little bland -- certainly less interesting than Crow's often-tumultuous personal life and professional career.The DVD
The widescreen picture, enhanced for 16x9 television screens, is sharp and crisp, as befits a high-definition production. Skin tones are realistic and blacks are vivid. There are no noticeable defects.The Audio:
Viewers can choose between the 5.1 Surround and a 2.0 Stereo mix. You can guess which one is the preference (hint: It's not the second one), but the 5.1, it must be said, is not especially noteworthy. Audio is strong, but not immersive.Extras:
Soundstage: Sheryl Crow Live isn't going to win over the unconverted, but her fans will be satisfied. The performance is taut and brisk, and the "Peace, Love and Understanding" cover throws in a bit of welcome unpredictability.