Top positive review
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The Small Machine is BIG on Sound
on November 1, 2011
With Fleetwood Mac as my number one musical group and "Go Your Own Way" as one of my two all time favorite songs, I've greatly anticipated the arrival today of this Blu-ray when it was announced back in September. Having attended many of their live concert performances and owning a multitude of the group or individual member's performances on LP's, CD's, Laserdisc, DVD and now Blu-ray through the decades, I am quite familiar with Lindsey's musical contributions.
Recorded at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, CA, this is a wonderfully intimate theater of 1900 seats offers the perfect venue for what is a solo performance by Lindsey for 1/3 of the set (6 songs out of the 19 total) running 1 hour 47 minutes. Sonically, it is Lindsey and his variety of guitars at their peak both in performance and recording. 5.1 DTS HD Master lossless audio without compression is on full display during his solo performances with a sample of the available dynamic range on "Never Going Back Again." Lindsey's vocals and his guitar plucks & twangs are solidly spread across the front soundstage with the surrounds limited to immersing the listener among the concert attendees who's every comment can be heard loud and very clear. As the 3 members of his band contributes their talents starting with the 6th track of "Under the Skin", the surround channels fill with the added vocals and instrumentals expanding the already spectacular sound stage to totally encompass the listener.
Visually, the dynamic range here is every bit as broad as the sound going from the Blackest Black backgrounds during each of Lindsey's solo performances to the absolute peak Whites when the high intensity stage lights are aimed directly into the camera's lens. The latter causes some slight banding that is understandable due to the lighting conditions involved but certainly doesn't take away from the overall quality of the high definition recording. Again due to the artistic choices made for the stage lighting, wide shots from the balcony are more limited in detail than what many might be accustomed to on other recordings. Go in tight and the available video resolution is all on display best evidenced on the song "I'm So Afraid" where you cannot only see the beads of sweat back lit, dripping off Lindsey's forehead but individual specks of dust floating in the air on stage as well. Close ups on his fingers at work (Lindsey's guitar skills fully on display in tight close ups also on "I'm So Afraid") on the strings clearly reveal the many years of wear and tear on the necks of his guitars with swirl marks and microscopic scratches catching the spot lights clearly visible on a number of his many different guitar bodies.
As familiar as I am with Lindsey's performances of many of his past songs, the new interpretations here are very nicely done and different enough to sound fresh again. Add in some of the new songs from his latest "Seeds We Sow" CD that I found remarkably commercial (End of Time, In Our Own Time) along with views from the best seats in the house that allowed me to watch Lindsey's skill with a guitar up close and personal, this Blu-ray concert is a must own for any of his (or Fleetwood Mac) fans. For others who are simply looking for that great sounding demo disc to show off their home theater system, this audio mix by Lindsey Buckingham & Neal Heywood will impress with its clarity, dynamic range and ability to reveal what a single gifted singer backed only by his guitar is able to produce.