Top positive review
26 people found this helpful
As good as it gets without actually being there
on November 26, 2009
I got my copy November 25.
I experienced the concert live in Melbourne in October 2009, at the tail end of the tour. The performance was polished and near perfect. The extra visuals (lighting, video) was a little distracting at times, grabbing your eye when you felt you should have been focusing on Il Divo. The sound was amongst the best at any concert; maybe a little loud when there would be impact in any case, but all of this is quickly forgiven and I don't remember ringing in my ears afterwards. At times, it was hard to believe the vocals and the band were live; the sound seemed too good.
With my recent memories of the concert, it's hard not to make comparisons when watching what turns out to be a much earlier concert, presented in Hi Def clarity on Blu-ray, where details don't go unnoticed. The guys do not appear to flow as naturally as I remember, and my wife thought the same thing. They just don't seem as comfortable and I got the sense they were having a much better time months later and enjoying themselves more. Maybe that's a disadvantage of filming early in the tour with the advantage of having a product that can be released while the tour remains fresh? I won't dwell on this, but if you attended a show late in 2009, you'll probably appreciate what I'm saying. Simply, they appear a little more serious and obvious about their markers and what direction they should be looking. Compared to months later, they don't seem to be having as much fun or be as relaxed.
As expected, the sound is beautiful. To that, the only real criticism (?) is that audience noise at times may be a little too detailed; you can hear the occasional individual chatter, but maybe this is part of the clarity the producers want for you? With regard to the visuals, there is not so much focus on the lighting and surrounding video and the stage presence of the band to distract you but you get a very good sense of the "artistic vision". This was well done and watching it on video helps to absorb some of the detail that may have been missed on the night.
Have you seen Il Divo - Live at the Greek Theatre? That is available at most retailers in the bargain bin. At least now the justification becomes apparent. If I had nothing else to compare it with, I would not likely be as harsh, but to compare that effort with the Barcelona concert it becomes obvious that Il Divo have matured in the best possible way and this latest release has taken a quantum leap over previous DVD only offerings.
If you went to the concert, I know you're going to buy this and love every minute of it. You will groan that the "extras" last about 10 minutes, but I would argue that is all that is required. The whole concert is faithfully reproduced, albeit without the intermission and obvious encore interlude. And I love the fact that the editing doesn't make me feel like some of the audience should have their own credits!
If you like Il Divo but haven't yet forked out for a CD or DVD to call your own, start with this concert. FIVE STARS because it has all of their best material, the difference from show to studio is not worth arguing, there are some new songs and this is by far the best presention to date. And you never know... There is a good chance you might even become a fan and finally "get" what all that hype is about!