CeeLo Green is Loberace – Live In Vegas is an electrifying, musical journey into the colorful world of CeeLo’s brainchild, “Loberace" filmed live at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. It’s packed to the rafters with girls, glamour and glitz, with CeeLo Green as the ringmaster of this technicolor circus. There are classic songs, provocative dance routines and a breathtaking array of costumes.
This unique show created especially for Las Vegas features many of his hit tracks including “Crazy,” “Forget You,” “Ladykiller,” “Smiley Faces,” and “Bright Lights, Bigger City” plus classic covers of music that has inspired him over his career.
'CeeLo Green is Loberace – Live in Vegas' captures the singer's Las Vegas residency at Planet Hollywood in the Spring of 2013. The setlist is filled with songs from throughout his career and a collection of covers. Las Vegas seems the perfect location for this 78-minute performance, not only because of the showgirls and the lavish costumes, but also because of the weird showbiz vibe created by a singer phoning it in, seemingly caring more about doing the bare minimum to earn his paycheck than entertaining the audience.
I wouldn't consider myself a fan of CeeLo, but I think he has a very good voice. While I must have heard his work before, certainly on Santana's Supernatural, which was ubiquitous for months at the Barnes & Noble I worked at after the album was released in 1999, but it wasn't until Gnarls Barkley's international smash hit "Crazy" and their cover of Violent Femmes' "Gone Daddy Done" that I became aware of CeeLo Green. I thoroughly enjoyed his broken-heartened kiss-off "Fuck You," one of the all-time funniest pop singles, have seen him sing on TV a few times, and caught his infamous abbreviated set at the 2011 Coachella where his microphone was cut because he started about 30 minutes late.
This video was the most CeeLo I've experienced in one sitting, and it's hard to imagine many of his fans won't find this show disappointing. I use the word "performance" above rather than "concert" because there's no band playing. It's just CeeLo singing karaoke over pre-recorded tracks. Even worse, during INXS' "Need You Tonight" the background vocals are clearly that of the late Michael Hutchence. However for some reason, new background vocals were created for Rick James' "Super Freak."
After only 14 minutes, CeeLo left for a costume change, and during the Boy George medley, which might as well have been called the Culture Club medley, an impersonator appears and lip-synchs portions of three songs. CeeLo doesn't join him, but appears in the audience afterwards wearing a glittery Elvis jumpsuit. He rambles on about his influences yet obnoxiously calls Boy George an “it.” He also bemoans how bad modern music is. As the show continues, CeeLo offers up a kid lip-synching "Smiley Face," a brief Goodie Mob reunion doing a medley, and, following the Sammy Hagar model, an embarrassing plug for Ty Ku, his low calorie alcohol, in which shots are passed around the audience. He should have started with that.
I'm not sure if attendees in Vegas knew what they were getting going in, but many of them seem underwhelmed for most the show, so much so that canned audio reactions of cheers and laughs are added, yet the editor(s) never bothered to pay attention to the visuals because the people on screen are rarely responding the way they sound. Not until "Crazy" and "Fuck You" do a majority of them get to their feet to dance. While I liked some moments during the show, most of the time I found myself wanting it to end.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Eagle Entertainment presents 'CeeLo Green is Loberace – Live in Vegas' on a 25GB Region A Blu-ray disc in a standard blue case. The disc boots up directly to the menu screen without any promotional advertisements.
The video has been given a 1080i/AVC-MPEG-4 encoded transfer displayed at 1.78:1. The picture looks very good so it's shame it's wasted on such an uneven performance.
Under white lights, the colors are quite vibrant, from the deep red of the showgirls costumes to the richness of the gold metallic hoodie and pants CeeLo wears to start the show. He almost covers the entire spectrum when the light refracts off his jumpsuit. Blacks are solid. Shadow delineations is good on stage, but doesn't always come across well in the dimly lit audience where faint noise creeps in.
The video delivers great depth and strong details, as seen in the different textures of the many costumes he and the women wear as well as the apparent scuffmarks on the stage floor. Also, during close-ups, the elements that make up the video screen can be seen over Cee Lo's shoulder.
The audio is available in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0. CeeLo singing is usually mixed well with the prerecorded tracks, although "Hot Thang" finds the music louder than his vocals.
The instruments are discernible from one another other in the arrangements and contribute to a healthy dynamic range. The bass has a strong presence, although during "Need You Tonight" the subwoofer rattled a bit from it being too loud. Some audience sounds can be heard in the rears adding ambiance, but the less said about that phony effect the better.
While Eagle Entertainment offers a quality HD presentation, as is typical for most their concert videos, CeeLo's lackluster show just isn't worth the time. Fans may want to give it rent as they may be more forgiving getting to hear the songs they like, but others should skip it or they might be singing their own f-bomb tirade to CeeLo.