Blu-ray: Highly Recommended
4 Stars out of 5
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List Price $24.97
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Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Movie Release Year: 1987
Release Country: United States
COLLAPSE INFO -

Peter Gabriel: Live in Athens 1987

Review Date November 20th, 2013 by
Overview -

In October 1987 after many months on the road, it was in the elevated surroundings of the hillside open-air theatre at Lycabettus overlooking Athens, that the So tour came to a climactic close. Filmed over three nights, this was the first time Peter Gabriel set out to capture a full concert on film and who better to do so than renowned cinematographer and director Michael Chapman and executive producer Martin Scorsese. As a concert film, it was brilliantly shot and has now been equally brilliantly remastered, a crystal-clear record of Gabriel and band in their mid-80s pomp.

Live In Athens 1987 places the viewer right in the heart of the action all the way, from the band’s synchronized choreography on opening number “This Is The Picture,” right through to the skin-pricking closer “Biko.” In between, we’re lost in music, spellbound by the spectacle, totally absorbed by the imperfection-free tightness of a band that’s been on the road for so long.

This is a fantastic package containing both the Live In Athens live show complete with Youssou N’Dour’s opening set for the first time and also the “Play” DVD featuring 23 original promotional videos. Both discs are packed with Peter Gabriel classics including: “Sledgehammer”, “Games Without Frontiers”, “Biko”, “Shock The Monkey”, “Don’t Give Up”, “Solsbury Hill”, “In Your Eyes”, “Mercy Street” and many more.

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TRACK LISTING:

DVD 1 – LIVE IN ATHENS:
1) This Is The Picture
2) San Jacinto
3) Shock The Monkey
4) Family Snapshot
5) Intruder
6) Games Without Frontiers
7) No Self Control
8) Mercy Street
9) The Family And The Fishing Net
10) Don’t Give Up
11) Solsbury Hill
12) Lay Your Hands On Me
13) Sledgehammer
14) Here Comes The Flood
15) In Your Eyes
16) Biko
17) Quiet & Alone

DVD 2 – PLAY:
1) Father, Son
2) Sledgehammer
3) Blood Of Eden
4) Games Without Frontiers
5) I Don’t Remember
6) Big Time
7) Lovetown
8) Red Rain
9) In Your Eyes
10) Don’t Give Up
11) The Barry Williams Show
12) Washing Of The Water
13) Biko
14) Kiss That Frog
15) Mercy Street
16) Growing Up
17) Shaking The Tree
18) Shock The Monkey
19) Steam
20) The Drop
21) Zaar
22) Solsbury Hill
23) Digging In The Dirt

OVERALL
Highly Recommended
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  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs: 50GB Blu-ray+DVD
    Video Resolution/Codec: "1080p"/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:177
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):1.78:1
    English Descriptive Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,English: LPCM 2.0
    Subtitles/Captions: None.

Story Review Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take

4.5 Stars out of 5

Peter Gabriel fans, this should put a smile on your faces. The long awaited 1987 concert from Athens is out on Blu-ray. The previous releases of this concert have been of poor quality on the whole, and the show has never been released in its entirety. Previously, the people close to Gabriel have said this wasn't going to be released in high definition anytime soon, so best to pick up the big 'So 25th Anniversary Box Set' which included the DVD version. So I'm sure many of you, like myself, went ahead and purchased the expensive box set when it was released.

But luckily or maybe a little annoyingly for us, they went back on their statement and eventually released the 1987 Live in Athens concert in Blu-ray. This is one hell of a concert, and not just for Gabriel fans, but for fans of music in general. If you a newbie to Peter Gabriel, I guarantee you'll be a fan for life after watching this concert film.

Back in the mid to late 80s, Gabriel was already a big name, but with the release of So, he definitely changed the world and rose to super stardom. And this concert shows just what a genius he is when it comes to music. And that's what I love about this concert film. Gabriel didn't rely on fancy lights, or big stage setups, fireworks, or big screens. Here, it was all about the music, where it's mostly just a plain black backdrop with the band, their instruments, and the man himself giving it their all.

His opening act, Youssou N'Dour is lively and lets you in on some great world music beats with some African influences. Then it's on to the main event, in which Gabriel focuses on the album So, but also manages to get some of his other hits from earlier years in there. Some of the songs sound a little different from the album, but then again it's a live show and Gabriel likes to surprise us. Gabriel is joined by David Sancious on the keyboard, Manu Katche on the drums, David Rhodes on lead guitar and vocals, and Tony Levin on the bass and more vocals. Let me also mention that Martin Scorsese was a big part of this project.

The Peter Gabriel setlist includes This is the Picture (Excellent Birds), San Jacinto, Shock the Monkey, Family Snapshot, Intruder, Games Without Frontiers, No Self Control, Mercy Street, The Family and the Fishing Net, Don't Give Up, Solsbury Hill, Lay Your Hands on Me, Sledgehammer, Here Comes the Flood, and Biko.

This is a great concert film and for fans of this genius musician, it's worth every penny.

  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    50GB Blu-ray+DVD
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    "1080p"/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:177
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.78:1
    Audio Formats:
    English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,English: LPCM 2.0
    Subtitles/Captions:
    None.

Video Review

4 Stars out of 5

'Peter Gabriel: Live in Athens 1987' comes with a great 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. Like I mentioned above, there isn't much in the way of a lively and colorful stage here. Much of the time the stage is dark with a light or two shining on Gabriel and his bandmates. But that doesn't stop the image from being high quality. The detail here is very sharp and clearly defines the musicians facial blemishes, sweat beads, and hair follicles.

Sure there are some soft elements in the picture, but there isn't a whole lot of grain here. This has been cleaned up very nicely from the original negative. There isn't a lot in the way of color. The blacks run very deep and are inky with some great contrast in the dark stage and the brighter costumes on stage. This is the best this concert has ever looked on the screen,a great improvement from previous releases.

Audio Review

5 Stars out of 5

This release comes with an incredible lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix as well as an uncompressed LPCM 2.0 stereo mix. As mentioned in the booklet, this audio track was remastered from the original film negative and mixed from the original recordings with individual instrument and vocal channels. Needless to say, this sounds like you're actually there.

The vocals are crystal clear and always easy to understand, and the instruments give a full immersive sound that slowly takes you over like some sort of alien feeding off your nervous system. The bass is full and smooth with the highs sounding perfect. Every note played, every drum hit, and every lyric sung, all sounds top notch. If you close your eyes, you might believe you are actually at the concert.

Special Features

2 Stars out of 5
  • 'Play the Videos' DVD (SD, 153 mins) - There are 23 music videos on this separate DVD, totaling 153 minutes.
  • 1986 Peter Gabriel Interview With Paul Gambaccini (SD,11 mins) - An interview with Peter Gabriel and Paul Gambaccini as he talks about his music career and the album So.
  • Sledgehammer Music Video (HD, 6 mins) - The Sledgehammer video with 5.1 audio.
  • Booklet - You get a booklet that talks about the remaster, the concert, and the credits of the show and Blu-ray, as well as info on all the music videos and songs.

Final Thoughts

This high definition version of 'Peter Gabriel: Live in Athens 1987' is one of the holy grails for Peter Gabriel fans. The video and audio presentations here are top notch, and we finally get the entire concert on disc. Not to mention a completely separate DVD of 23 music videos. If you're fan of Peter Gabriel or just a fan of music, this Blu-ray release comes highly recommended.

Sale Price $19.99
List Price $24.97
Buy
3rd Pary $18.54
Usually ships in 24 hours
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  • TECH SPECS & RELEASE DETAILS
    Technical Specs:
    50GB Blu-ray+DVD
    Video Resolution/Codec:
    "1080p"/AVC MPEG-4
    Length:177
    Release Country:United States
    Aspect Ratio(s):
    1.78:1
    Audio Formats:
    English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1,English: LPCM 2.0
    Subtitles/Captions:
    None.
    Special Features:
    'Play the Videos' DVD
    1986 Peter Gabriel Interview With Paul Gambaccini
    Sledgehammer Music Video
    Booklet