Blu-ray
Recommended
3.5 stars
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Overall Grade
3.5 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
4 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
5 Stars
Supplements
1 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
Recommended

Chicago in Chicago

Street Date:
June 12th, 2012
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
August 11th, 2013
Movie Release Year:
2012
Studio:
Image Entertainment
Length:
94 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Unrated
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Back in 2010, the band Chicago teamed with The Doobie Brothers at the Charter One Pavilion in Chicago and put on a show for the ages. While not all of the original members of Chicago are still playing, the replacements and remaining members give one hell of a performance to a packed house. Not to mention the fact that The Doobie Brothers open for Chicago, but also come out on stage for the last three songs. The sound is as good as it was 40 years ago and all the musicians sound amazing.

Robert Lamm, James Pankow, and Lee Loughnane were all in attendance playing on stage. Walter Parazaider couldn't make it that night, so Ray Hermann substituted for him. While these guys all look like somebody's granddad, they haven't missed a step in the form of stage presence or their music abilities. The actual performance focuses on Chicago, rather than The Doobie Brothers, although they do show up in the final encore where the stage is a jumbled mess of instruments and musicians that would make Parliament Funkadelic look like a structured stage set up.

Lamm talks about the band just returning to the states from Asia and once they are done with some of the U.S. tour dates, they're off to other countries, proving that this band is still relevant and capable of packing arenas throughout the year. And with this tour, Chicago teamed with the American Cancer Society to raise funds for cancer research in the form of an auction on their website. In each city the biggest item up for auction was for the winner to get up on stage with Chicago and sing with the band. For this particular concert, Stephanie Buck, won and while she looked fragile, she belted out with ease the lyrics with Chicago to 'If You Leave Me Now'.

Since Chicago has so many hits, the band had to create medleys of some of their songs, which shortened some of their fan's favorite songs. So instead of full versions of 'So Much To Say, So Much To Give' and other Chicago favorites, we get a 15-20 minute medley of several songs. But the fan's didn't seem to mind as Chicago flawlessly flowed throughout each song, and gave the fans what they wanted.

The Doobie Brothers join Chicago for a three song encore ending with '25 or 6 to 4', which tears the roof off the place. While there are other concerts of Chicago out there for purchase, and they might even be more intimate, with a smaller venue, this 'Chicago on Chicago' is a lot of fun to watch and hits on all the band's favorites.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

'Chicago in Chicago' has a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This is more of a straightforward front angle of the giant stage. There aren't a whole lot of shots from behind the stage or up close on the musicians. The detail is amazing as we can see every glisten and shine on the instruments, as well as the dents that has come with the years of traveling on the road. Wrinkles show up on the aged performers as well.

The colors and lighting are uncomplicated and don't go for the bright flashes and many color changes. Instead, the lights give off a glistening shine for the stage and provides some interesting colors on the performer's costumes and instruments. There was no evidence of banding or motion blur and no compression issues. This is a solid video presentation.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

This release has a phenomenal if not demo worthy lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix. The sound is amazing and hits you full force with an abundance of music. The LFE is powerful, with the bass flowing smoothly and constantly through their concert. The woodwinds and brass all sound great from the surrounds, providing a full sound that gives the feeling you are actually in the arena.

Thy lyrics are always crystal clear and easy to understand.. There were no pops, cracks, or hissing throughout the whole performance, which earns this amazing audio presentation a top score.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • Interview With The Band (HD, 41 mins) - Here, the original members and new members are interviewed about their band. They discuss the origins of the band and their long career. This is a great watch, for fans of Chicago this a perfect extra.
  • Trailer (HD, 2 mins) - A trailer for the concert film.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no HD exclusives.

Final Thoughts

'Chicago in Chicago' is a great concert film. The Doobie Brothers and Chicago give stellar performances and prove that despite their age, they can still rock packed houses. The video presentation is top notch with the audio being demo worthy. There is a good lengthy interview with the band members for an extra as well. Recommended. For fans of Chicago, this is a must own.

Technical Specs

  • 25 GB Blu-ray Disc

Video Resolution/Codec

  • "1080p"/AVC MPEG-4

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • English: LPCM 2.0

Subtitles/Captions

  • None

Supplements

  • Interview With The Band
  • Trailer

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