Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: America: Live in Chicago [Blu-ray]
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on September 14, 2011
While I would not consider America one of my all time favorite groups during the decade of the 70's and early 80's, I am familiar with the majority of their hits such as: "Ventura Highway, Tin Man, Sister Golden Hair, A Horse with No Name" which are all performed on this Blu-ray.

Live concerts on Blu-ray have to be one of the most beneficial recipients for this newest of high definition home entertainment formats. Visually stunning 1080i/p resolution with a broad color space utilizing uncompressed lossless audio codec's (in this case: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio) comes closest to the ultimate goal of replicating live performances within the comfort of one's own home theater. Potential though, is always one thing with the end result at times far different than expected as many of us have experienced on the multitude of concert or film titles in our collections.

Visually, America: Live in Chicago is typical of the staged performances found on the majority of Soundstage's productions. Bright primary colors wash typically sparse stage backgrounds with well lit accurate flesh tones and the expected sharpness on all close-ups. Cuts and dissolves are mostly appropriate for the rhythm of the songs being performed as one would expect from veteran Soundstage Director Joe Thomas.

Sonically though, it took just moments into the first track (Riverside) when Gary Beckley began his individual guitar riff that I realized this latest addition to my ever growing collection of Blu-ray concert titles would be in that small group that actually delivers on the promise of sonic clarity and one I now consider as a reference on how a proper audio mix should be produced. Unlike so many recordings where one hears nothing more than a "wall of sound," on America: Live in Chicago, each instrument from drums to piano to harmonica to guitars to vocals are heard distinct from each other in proper proportions. Solid bass, clean mid range vocals, crisp plunks across guitar strings. It's all here to be heard and enjoyed as nothing is more disconnecting than watching a drummer, bass guitar player, a horn section, etc. all very hard at work yet the fruits of their efforts are nowhere to be heard in the resulting mix.

They really got this one right which when combined with America's smooth harmonies results in a performance I can leave on and enjoy repeatedly whether I'm watching or using as background during other activities. Song after song, the consistency was exceptional in bringing out the very best from each participant in the group. For little more than what iTunes may charge to download a single album using compression (AAC; MP3), concert titles on Blu-rays are truly exceptional values with America: Live in Chicago one I highly recommend to demonstrate the clarity and capability of your own home theater's audio system.

Note: Rear cover indicates the Blu-ray disc contains "Bonus Interview with Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell" but none are listed in the title program's menu. Most likely a manufacturing error during disc authoring or in the design for the rear cover. Certainly nice to have but doesn't detract from the overall content.
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HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICEon September 3, 2008
Koch Vision and Soundstage presents "AMERICA LIVE IN CHICAGO" (2008) (77 mins/Color) (Dolby digitally remastered) --- The early-'70s light folk sound that became popular in America was defined by the very band that shared a name with the country that embraced them. America ruled the Top 10 charts of that era with their evocative harmonies and acoustic-styled ... Full Descriptionmusicianship. America's performance on the acclaimed PBS concert series Soundstage features all their greatest hits along with riveting versions of 'California Dreaming' and 'Nowhere Man' - plus an interview with founding members Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell.

America owned the charts in the 1970s with their folk-infused pop, and the band now enchants fans once more in this intimate live performance. Filmed for PBS's Soundstage concert series, the remarkable set includes all of America's hits, such as "Horse With No Name" and "Sister Golden Hair," and features a special duet with singer-songwriter Christopher Cross.

Track Listing in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English

1. Riverside
2. Ventura Highway
3. You Can Do Magic
4. Don't Cross The River
5. Daisy Jane
6. The Last Unicorn
7. I Need You
8. Head and Heart
9. Till The Sun Comes Up Again
10. Tin Man
11. Woman Tonight
12. Sandman
13. The Border
14. Horse With No Name
15. Sister Golden Hair
16. Lonely People (with Christopher Cross)
17. Muskrat Candlelight
18. Only In Your Heart
19. California Dreaming
20. All My Life

SPECIAL BONUS FEATURES:
1. Bonus interview with Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell.

Great job by Koch Vision --- looking forward to more high quality titles from the Sound Stage Collection film market --- order your copy now from Amazon or Koch Vision where there are plenty of copies available on DVD, stay tuned once again for top notch releases --- where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the collector.

Total Time: 77 mins on DVD ~ Koch Vision 6579 ~ (9/02/2008)
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on September 10, 2011
Received this yesterday and watched it today. Really sharp picture. Calmly produced unlike most of these concert videos so not too much cutting back and forth with the cameras. The venue seems a little sterile like the show was put together just for this recording but the band sounds great none the less. Very nice audio quality in both surround and stereo modes and the video is very crisp. Definately worth the $15 for any fan.
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on July 14, 2008
Hi ~ I too have been waiting Moonsages for this release to come to be. What a magical event this was, it was a whirlwind dream come true time for me getting to be there at the Soundstage Studio. Picture this, a big stage with a backdrop of screens all showing America's history of album covers. The sound, lighting and acoustics were all top notch. Add America coming on stage and there was a Right Back at You Magic all around for this taping. America performed their hearts out, and adding to this treat was Henry Diltz, long time friend of America joining them on Don't Cross the River and HWNN, playing his banjo. Christopher Cross also joined America to sing and play on Lonely People & HWNN.I too am hoping that this dvd will be of the full playlist of songs done that night. We were treated to the known America gems, and we also were treated to such hidden gems, as Survival, Till The Sun Comes Up, Head and Heart, Everyone I Meet is From California, and a pinch me this is for real moment when Gerry sang All My Life. If you have never been to an America show, this dvd is a must have for you, I guarantee after watching it you will want to find the next scheduled America live show in your area. Thank You to all that are involved in bringing about the release of this dvd. I am also looking forward to the interviews from this evening. Take care and Ride On America! Nancyh :)
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on July 13, 2008
Been waiting for this show to come out now a couple of years. Hope I'm not bummed with just a partial show like the one aired on PBS. I was there that night and these guys were fabulous all night, not just on the "hits". Now let's work on getting these guys in the Rock Hall Of Fame like they so rightly deserve!!!!!!DanC
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on September 18, 2011
Not always when you buy a Blu Ray disc means you will have the best in audio and video quality.
On this concert you will get all the best! Awesome video quality and gorgeous sound!!!

If you are a fan of this band even better...

Go ahead and buy it.
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on January 30, 2013
America is a band that we have always loved their CDs, yet I always love to see concerts also. We had seen America several years at our State Fair, where they were excellent. Each year they seemed better and better. I tried to buy a concert DVD after the last one and was disappointed as I couldn't find that many and the one I found was actually a foreign tape, in German, and it was not of very good quality. I had found a few others since, but all of them seemed to be less than optimal.

So after a few years thought I would try once more. Bought this one for my wife, and after watching it thought "Finally, a high
quality DVD concert tape! It was excellent! Much more like what we had seen in person. If you are an America Fan and
can't always get out to see them when they tour, this is a very good remedy!
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on July 7, 2015
America is one of those groups you hear on adult oriented radio and easy listening stations . They have an amazing catalogue of hits and most of them are here on this blu ray and it doesn't disappoint . The sound and picture are both excellent and its such an up close and personal show . It's music like this and their showmanship that leaves me proud to be an America ( n ).
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on March 23, 2015
Very good picture and sound. They also play my favorite songs by America and Christopher Cross comes on stage - I love that song he recorded on a different album called "Ride Like The Wind'. My favorite "America' songs are Riverside / Ventura Highway / Don't Cross The River / I Need You / Tin Man / Muskrat Love / Lonely People / Sand man / & A Horse With No Name.
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on January 12, 2012
Update 5/16/12:

I upgraded my sound system because I realized that it needed more improvements than I thought. Consequently my criticism about the sound was a little too strong yet accurate too. I hear anything now and it sounds better as does this concert. While the concert could have been better exactly like I wrote it before the good parts are better now.

My original review:

I America is on my short list of great classic rock bands and I like 70's music better than any other decade of rock. I had a few issues with the mdvd however. The sound and feel could have been better like the original recordings in some ways. Over all the sound is wonderful. The guitars are so very clear and sound really good, far better than most mdvds. I had problems with distortion on the bottom end of the bass and the chorus vocals. The lead singers seemed as good as ever over all.

The bass was off badly for me. Perhaps my subwoofers could be set up better as they are very difficult to master. There are many variables that effect the subwoofer sound and you cannot simply just plug and play them like you can regular speakers. I may want another subwoofer to give my system a bass boost so the subwoofers and over all volumes can be lowered with more bass. I did not notice and lack of bass, however, on the new Robin Trower mdvd Living Out of Time. The Trower mdvd has perhaps THE best bass I own in my dvd collection on it and it was so loud and clear and smooth it did not need another subwoofer to help out.

A few of the America songs had good low end, however. Don't Cross the River was perfect! Daisey Jane, Lonely People and Sandman were almost perfect as well.

Chris Cross really stole the show.

America is a great band so that makes this mdvd very good. The lead vocals and guitars are far above average in recording quality. If you want an America mdvd I highly recommend this.

Other than those few issues it is a great concert because they have great hits that needed better recordings. They could have been recorded or mixed better than they did however.

I saw them playing at ski resort in Park City once a long time ago. That was a very good sounding show. I opted for a strategic perch on top of a hill in back in a discrete place and had a blast. Nobody saw me smoking and drinking to complain on me. I just sat back listening to the music shooting up the mountain side while remaining out of sight. That was a better show perhaps but then again I was having so much fun.
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