37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2012
First of all, if you haven't seen Joe Satriani - Live in San Francisco, purchase it immediately and watch it before you watch this! LISF is a must for any true Satch fan and is a building block for the rest of the Satriani DVD collection. Now, about Satchurated. As the title says, I truly feel that this release rivals the San Fran DVD. We all know what happened with Joe Satriani: Live in Paris - I Just Wanna Rock; there is none of that here. The only special effects you will see are those that are on the stage behind the band, which, if you are watching in 3D are very cool. The Blu-Ray comes with ONE (1) disc that plays in 3D if you have a 3D setup, or 2D if you have a 2D setup. Joe's switch to Marshall Amps reveals a very sweet (read: awesome!), and at times crunchy, gritty, and especially noticeable during the intro track: Ice 9, very scorching and searing tone for this film. If you thought he had it nailed with the Peavey JSX, you've got another thing comin'! This is also Joe's first film since LISF to feature a devoted keyboardist, and the addition of Mike Kennealy in that role adds a huge dimension to the band by adding tasty fills to the old tracks and especially the new ones. Going back to the video side of things, there are no sudden, seizure inducing camera or angle changes as is the case with so many concert films these days. Don't get me wrong, you won't be staring at the same image for too long, but the changes are very pleasant and easy on the eyes, and add to the "experience of being at the concert". For all of us hardcore Joe fans, there are plenty of close-ups of Joe's fingers, so don't fret- pun intended. For that matter, there are actually a few close-ups of every band member at some point. This is just an overall excellently filmed, excellently played gig that turned in to an excellently produced concert film. I gave this 5 stars because I couldn't give it 10. Anything I missed? Feel free to leave comments. For the complete 25 track listing, see Satchurated: Live In Montreal.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2012
Satriani has now released four solo concert films but this is the one that beats them all and is an essential purchase for Satch fans!
Clocking in at 2h20, Satch puts in a career-best performance across a carefully balanced set that showcases his latest material from the "Wormhole Wizards" CD along with the early 90s classics and everything between.
The playing is technically astounding but Satch and his band still remain relaxed throughout, engaging the crowd in the intimate venue and allowing room in their performance for some playful improvisation. At times, Joe subtly reinterprets the older material, keeping things fresh with added keyboards and some classy melody / time-signature / tempo changes. It's a fun vibe, and a real collaborative effort - this is a true band performance, giving it their all and having a blast!
Production-wise, the blu-ray edition looks and sounds incredible and thankfully the gimmicky production that marred the disappointing "Live in Paris" has been dropped. The direction on Satchurated is of the highest quality, achieving a great balance between close-up and long-shot that allows you to sit back and enjoy this amazing performance by Joe and his band.
Overall, this is a concert-film that meets and exceeds expectations at all levels and should be on every Satch fan's wish-list. Just brilliant!
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2012
Hands down the most enjoyable Blu-ray concert disc in some time. Some reviewers have mentioned that they aren't fans of "live" recordings, I on the other hand ONLY purchase music related concert videos, mainly because I think the better ones have REPLAY value beyond typical Hollywood movie releases - which back in my DVD purchasing days, would end up gathering dust after one viewing.
So with many detailed reviews already posted here, I'll keep my reasons bullet-pointed.
1. Tasteful editing. Thank you Joe and Lamoureux film-makers for understanding that NOT EVERY CAMERA ANGLE needs to be seen at once. No split screen nonsense and .5 second shots here. Shots move gracefuly from one to the next and there is a pleasant fluidity. Close-ups are present when you want them to be and you never feel as if you are NOT seeing what you should be. Also - minimal crowd shots!
2. Joe and his new line-up are AWESOME. Talent, enthusiasm and flawless execution always present. A welcomed change from previous tours, with the addition of Mike on keys. Set list is great too, understanding we'll all have some omitted favorites, but Joe does have an extended library to choose from.
3. Video and Audio quality are SUPERB! This is a reference quality disc, people. Playing on my (2D) set-up of Pioneer Elite BD player and Kuro plasma, I have NEVER seen picture quality this good. Blacks are inky and shadow detail and nuances in shades of grey and black are all enjoyably evident. I noticed not a spot of grain even in the darkest scenes. And man, the colors on this disc simply POP. Within a few minutes of watching this blu-ray recording, I noticed how much Joe's guitars were just SATURATED in color. To say the final video product is perhaps "over-saturated" could be debated, but nontheless, intentional or not (it is titled "Saturated" after all), this disc is simply beautiful to watch. Eye candy if there is such a thing. It brought out the best of my HDTV.
My reasons for recommending this disc could go on and on, but these are my top 3 and we'll keep it at that.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2012
This is a great show. The band is playing with so much intensity and feeling. Satch's tone is better than ever. Important to mention, too, is that there are no excessive visual effects that tend to compete with the music. Everything is simple and true.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2012
If you love Satch, then you're gonna love this. It's the first high def production for him. My only beef is that the base is so strong in the venue that it shakes the cameras so much that it makes it very noticeable. I can tell it's the base because the vibrations follow the beat of the music. It's more of an annoyance than anything else but I've never seen this on any other concert video.
14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2012
How can Joe put out SOOOOOOOOO many live albums and yet ALWAYS have so many of the same songs on them? Right now I'm listening to the title track to Not of this Earth - a stunning song -- and one I will never hear played live -- why, I guess because we need to hear Summer Song and Ice 9 for the 100th time.. Always with you always with me, ..again??????
Joe if you are going to release ANOTHER live album next year (which you will) please in addition to the new songs (which are great to hear live) include songs you've never played live or haven't played for 15 years for disc release purposes - relearn them if you must.
Your to do list is here --
the Phone Call, the Snake, Not of this Earth, Motorcycle Driver, Time Machine, and Thinking of You. We don't need the 10th live version of Flying in a Blue Dream as great as the song is. Just being real here.. can't believe none of the other reviews have a similar problem.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2012
I have had this for months- I just popped it in yesterday for the first time and I have been stunned ever since.
Joe and I go way back. I remember when I was 16- I saw Joe on MTV in his video for Big Bad Moon. I lost my mind. I had this piece of crap Peavey Gremlin guitar- and I was inspired to play.
I have followed Joe religiously ever since- I have everything he has done and have memorized every note and nuance of every one. I have been fortunate enough to catch him live 3 times- including front row pit for the Professor S tour.
I read the "worst" revew and wanted to chime in. "The same songs" was the theme of that ill conceived post. I really don't get it- last time I checked it is 2012 and you know the songs on the release before you buy it- it's not some marketing suprise, it's not the box of cereal that says "New and improved" and you open it and can't tell a difference.
I take issue with the complaint as well as it is not based in fact.
"The same songs"
There are 10 songs from the new album on this one- 10. They obviously aren't "the same songs"
Hordes and Memories are old songs that you can't find in any recent live release since his 1988 EP.
War has never been featured on his live releases and Big Bad Moon and Crystal Planet not since Live in San Fran 2001. That's 15 songs. 15 of 25- 60% of the live album is stuff that is NOT "the same songs"
How can anyone complain if an artist plays hits? Of course he's going to play staples AWYAWM, Summer Song, Ice 9, Blue Dream and Satch Boogie. They're STAPLES. What does this guy suggest in it's place? The Phone Call and The Snake among others.
In short- as this has gone on too long. Joe is as great as ever- and as one of the most technically awesome guitarists to have ever lived- that's saying something. Even the staples have a different flair- a twist.
I am amazed and grateful to be able to listne to another flawless live Joe release. His last album was a shining example of thinking how could an instrumental guitarist put out anything different when he has had a career over 20 years? He did- The last album is epic and my favorite. This live release showcases that album beautifully.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2012
After the last awful Joe Satriani DVD I was hoping we would get a good Satriani Blu-Ray to watch. This one looks/sounds great. The video is well shot, no distracting effects and constant scene changes like the last one Live in Paris. I do not have a 3D TV, I watched it in 2D Blu-Ray and it was great. The audio is the star here for me. The audio choices are as follows: PCM 24Bit/48KHz Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and Dolby True HD 7.1 24Bit/96KHz Surround. I listened to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 on my 5.1 setup with some nice high-end Monitor Audio Gold GX speakers. Jeff Campitelli's drums in particular are very well recorded with lots of air on the highs and tight low end. Allen Whitman is new to me and his bass was tight and punchy with a solid performance. Mike Keneally on keyboards and Galen Henson on guitars sound just right in the mix. Joe Satriani's guitar is also clean and crisp on those solos. The surround was good, not overwhelming. The sound had a solid image in the front with the surrounds adding some more depth to the soundstage and crowd noise. Not sure how 7.1 would have sounded better over 5.1 but I enjoyed it very much. The Blu-Ray is recommended for Joe Satriani fans.
5/18/2012 - For you Audio Geeks, I found out this isn't a true 24/96K recording, but actually was a 24/48K recording that was upsampled by Dolby. Here is an article at Stereophile Magazine's website with some technical info, "Dolby® Upsamples & Apodizes TrueHD".
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2012
Why? Because of the attention deficit disorder many film editors have these days when creating concert DVDs, with their seizure-inducing camera angle switching every 1.3 seconds. This has been somewhat of a disappointment for me on past Joe concerts (until this disc, Live in San Francisco was my favorite). Satchurated will have NONE of that!
It's great to see Joe in Blu-Ray. I confess I have NOT watched the 3D part of the film, just the 2D. Regardless, the high definition really lends itself to what is going on with Joe's hands. There's a bit of digital grain here and there, most likely due to the low-lighting of the venue, which is forgivable. There's also some very mild camera shake on the mounted cameras when the bass drum kicks, but I've seen that on so many other concert DVDs that I'm willing to let that pass. Regardless, the venue looks great and Joe looks great. Joe is in his fifties now, and isn't slowing down at all in my opinion.
The audio is superb in its mix and presentation. The bass guitar could have been a little higher in the mix, but that's not to say it isn't present. The keyboards - oh, the keyboards! I love that Joe brought in Mike Keneally for this project. The keyboards (more below) sit just perfectly in the mix for me - not too high or too low. Campitelli's drums were especially notable - the cymbal decay is crisp and tight, the bass drum is punchy but not overbearing, and the toms are miced perfectly. I was actually surprised when I flipped the disc over and saw that it was only recorded at 24-bit/48kHz (which is the DVD standard - I've seen Blu-Rays up to 24/192). I thought I was hearing something in the 88kHz+ range. So I congratulate the sound engineers for their recording, mixing, and mastering on this album (which is probably 100 times harder to get right than studio recordings). I haven't ripped the album to FLAC yet for a dynamic range test, but I don't think I need to. I'm guessing it probably scores around 8 or 9 on the JusticeforAudio Dynamic Range meter, which I consider to the be the "sweet spot" for rock music. The CD might yield a different dynamic range measurement, however.
The setlist: Wow, where to begin? Joe's latest album was a real pleasure to me. He out-did himself with songwriting, and even created some songs which are a bit unusual for JS album. He picked what I consider the high-points of the latest album and included them here. Joe also played a lot of his back catalog that is in usual rotation, with the addition of a couple of rare gems, like "Why", probably one of my most favorite JS tunes, and one which is grossly overlooked. He did, however, gloss over the middle of his discography in creating this setlist. There's practically nothing from his albums of the mid 90s through the mid 2000s. We do get a scorching performance on "Crystal Planet," however. But I was hoping for some of his more well-recognized tracks from that era like "Until We Say Goodbye" (which wouldn't have been much of a problem, since Mike Keneally was standing right there for synth accompaniment), "Starry Night" would have been great, the once controversial "If I Could Fly," "Time Machine," or "Cool #9." Regardless, I'm not knocking off a star because in my opinion Wormhole Wizards trumps pretty much Joe's last three albums by a mile, and it is still the centerpiece of the show.
The crew: Wow, hearing JS songs with synth/keyboard accompaniment is spectacular. Keneally's presence isn't annoying, he plays well, (there's even some back-and-forth musical banter between Joe and Mike that displays their mutual improvisational talents - both of them even playing their instruments with their mouths!), and lends some texture to many of Joe's songs (even those with no original keyboards extant) which gives this concert disc a "fuller" production feel and flavor. Allen Whitman is a capable bassist (still no Stu Hamm, but Stu is a rarity), just don't pay attention to his picking technique, which is all wrong (but who cares? he gets the job done, and does it well). Galen Henson's rhythm guitar is pretty low in the sound mix, sometimes to the point that I can't pick it out (and I'm listening with audiophile grade equipment). Campitelli is... the usual Campitelli. He's having fun the whole time, and playing JS songs isn't something that requires world-class drumming anyway.
Lastly, I probably would have bought this Blu-Ray if all I saw of it was "Andalusia." It was the ONLY song I enjoyed on the "Satchifunkulous" album. The reason for this is because Joe does ALL of his signature guitar sounds all packed into about a 7 minute window - whammy dives, harmonics, pick scrapes, tremolo picking, sweep picking, etc. etc. and more etc. I don't even know all the names of the techniques he employs, but "Andalusia" is the quintessential JS track for me. If anybody were ever to ask me to demonstrate Joe's abilities, I could condense it down into one song for them, and this one is it. I mention it aside from the rest of the setlist of the concert because - and I didn't even think it was possible - Joe actually puts EVEN MORE technique into Andalusia than he did in the studio, and it gives me chills watching it.
If you're a casual fan, big-time fan, or just getting to know Joe, pick up the Blu-Ray.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 24, 2012
UPDATE 4/25/2012 - All is right with the world again and I'm bumping this disc up to it's rightful 5 stars - apparently I had Dynamic Range Control (DRC) turned on several weeks ago within my OPPO BDP-80's menu settings and I forgot to turn it off. By turning off DRC, both the DD 5.1 and TrueHD 7.1 opened up and equaled the volume level of the PCM stereo. Now that the empty pit in my stomach has subsided I can finally enjoy this Blu-Ray in all it's glory! Thank you Joe and the Lamoureux brothers for putting this together for us hardcore fans!
PREVIOUS REVIEW 4/24/2012 - First off, regarding Amazon, I pre-ordered this last month via Prime shipping and received it today on release date (I was hoping to get it earlier since Amazon is often good about that). Aside from the fact that Amazon needs to correct certain details (it is, in fact, a single disc), they did at least deliver on release date and their price beats everyone else out there. Thank you, Amazon.
Now, with regards to the Blu-Ray itself...
* Sound - while stereo listeners won't have much to complain about - PCM 2.0 48/24 sound is "constant, accurate and intense", the surround fans, like myself, will be disappointed - in comparison to the stereo playback, the Dolby Digital 5.1 (yes, you read that right) volume is reduced by about 50% while the Dolby TruHD 7.1 is reduced about 60% with a very weak surround mix to boot, especially during the first 30 minutes of the show. I cannot comment on the 3D portion of the disc, unfortunately, as my OPPO BDP-80 is not equipped for that, but I had just viewed segments of The Police' 'Certifiable' and Joe Bonamassa' 'Live At Beacon Theatre' the night before and the 5.1 was glorious as always. Perhaps my copy is from a bad batch, but dare I suggest that a replacement disc swap is needed to remedy this issue as many home theatre enthusiasts are not shelling out their hard earned cash to upgrade to 3D Blu-Ray and 7.1 surround so they can enjoy their favorite artists performing live through two friggin' speakers!
* Video - incredible resolution, great camera work with only a few questionable moments, no choppy editing or horrendous special effects a la Joe's Live In Paris DVD (coincidentally, this release was also plagued with sound issues and a low-profile disc swap offer was announced on satriani.com when they had supposedly fixed the audio - I sincerely hope this doesn't become a pattern with Joe's future live releases!) In short, Joe and Co. have never looked better on film - speaking of which, Joe, if you're reading this review, PLEASE consider giving your fans a Blu-Ray of Live In SF and the 1st G3!
* Extras - two tracks filmed in B/W during sound check and a 43 minute segment surrounding the "Black Swans..." recording and tour - PQ again is wonderful here and audio is fine during these sections, but playback is limited to DD 5.1 and/or stereo. Entertaining and informative nonetheless.
* Packaging/menu - typical BD case, non-digipak. Menu is easy enough to navigate but a little generic for 2012 - what's with the X's in the corners? I guess you could say this makes it PC for a PC ... ?
Well, there you have it. To sum up, excellent PQ, nice set list and performance from Joe and the band (Mike Keneally on keys makes an awesome contribution to the sound), disappointing 5.1 and 7.1 SQ in 2D, decent extras, all in a single disc package. Four stars rather than five due to the surround sound issues I experienced.