Dixie Chicks: Top Of The World Tour DVD Review
PictureThe non-anamorphic letterboxed 4:3 image may be described as “varied” in terms of quality - there are times when detail and sharpness are both more than adequate leading to a solid picture with good contrast levels - then a new camera angle or a scene from a different show is spliced in and the image loses focus, becoming softer and less sharp. I also noticed a little noise in some scenes, but this was never distracting. Black levels are good whilst colours are faithfully depicted and skin tones look natural amid the ever-changing lighting effects.
SoundTwo audio tracks have been included - PCM stereo (default) and Dolby Digital 5.1. The Dolby track opens out the soundstage and has better instrument placement and detail, although I wasn't too keen on the fact that vocals are spread across the entire front stage and not localised to the centre channel. Rear surrounds are used to good effect doing their best to replicate that live show feel. On a slightly more negative note it quickly became apparent that the treble has a rather shrill tonality, which gets worse as the volume is increased. This is country and western music with banjos, violins, the Chicks' voices and especially the crowd's clapping straining upper frequencies - the only way I found of even partially neutralising this raw and ultimately tiring sound was to turn off tone defeat on my amp and adjust bass and treble settings - not something I'm fond of doing. Once adjusted things sounded a whole lot better.
ExtrasThe only extra on this disc is a music video for the song Top Of The World, which is shot in 4:3 and has a PCM track only.
VerdictDespite the minor flaws in picture quality and slightly shrill sound I thoroughly enjoyed Dixie Chicks Top Of The World Tour - Live. At the end of the day it is the Dixie Chicks themselves, with their stage presence and fantastic vocal talents, which get my endorsement - if you don't feel even a touch jealous of their musical prowess during White Trash Wedding then you're a better banjo player than I am - these Chicks rock, country and western style!
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