Quick Capsule Review: Marbles on the Road
I got home today and found a pleasant surprise in my mailbox: My : Marillion: Marbles on the Road
DVD had arrived! There had been all kinds of warnings on the website about how there were going to be shipping delays left and right because of high order volume before Xmas and because the office was going to be closed for two weeks starting on the 23rd, so I figured that it wasn't even going to ship until January.
Anyhow, I had bitten the cost bullet and direct-ordered the two-disc version direct from the band's website (any stores that have it otherwise just have the one-disc edition), and I'm glad I did, as there's a lot of good stuff on it.
First and foremost, this DVD is a perfect example of how to do a concert DVD. It's region free, offered in NTSC and PAL, and the sound. Damn, the sound. On the website, they advertise it as a 5.1 soundboard mix. What they don't tell you, though, is that there's also a 2.0 stereo soundboard mix. And this isn't just any 2.0 stereo, it's linear PCM (read: uncompressed) audio. And it sounds damn sexy (I want a 5.1 now so that I can give that a test run).
I didn't really want to sit through all 2:45 of it tonight, so I just did a spot check and watched a couple favourite songs. The video quality is nice, everything's sharp, and the colours are extremely vivid (and damn are there a lot of colours). Also present are the music videos for You're Gone
and Don't Hurt Yourself
, with alternative versons on the second disc, and a 20 min. docu/band interview to promote the album (probalby something that was sent to retailers...it was labelled as EPK, which means, IIRC, electronic press kit). The music videos were interesting to watch, because they prove that despite having twenty years behind them, Marillion still can't make a music video worth shit. Ah well, the concert part was damn cool.
Disc by disc: Disc One is the standard Marbles set from the tour, which was identical at all stops, both in Europe and the US, as well as the first "old stuff" set, and the first couple songs from the second "old stuff" set. Disc Two has another ten songs from "old stuff" sets, and demo performances from Marillion Weekend 2003 when they first premiered four of the songs to the public while still working on the album.
Overall, worth the (IIRC) 16 quid if you're a fan of the band. Worth it IMHO just to have the songs in 5.1 (and yes, there is a noticeable difference between the downmixed 5.1 and 2.0 mixes).