PictureThis is a digital video shoot so is never going to be reference visual material but on the other hand, because it is digital, the transfer to DVD obviously doesn't throw up any print or grain issues. The majority of the picture is very dark, as you'd expect from an indoor concert but when present on screen, Eminem and the other key elements are perfectly well coloured. The black levels were never overbearing and I was pleased to see detail levels and flesh tones did not suffer. The image is widescreen, although not anamorphic which is fairly unusual for a release of recent material these days. I was a bit disappointed to see some mpeg artefacts and smearing during scenes of fast movement but as this disc is mainly Eminem walking about the stage it wasn't really a problem.
SoundIn my opinion, the video quality is less important than the sound quality on a release like this. When listening to a live concert - especially someone like Eminem with his mastery of rhythm, beats and bass, you'd want a special soundtrack to show this off.
Thankfully this disc comes with DD5.1 as well as a 2 channel stereo mix, however the difference between the two is not as marked as one usually notices. My only other live concert DVD before now was Metallica's Cunning Stunts - and for me, the 5.1 soundtrack on that disc shows what an enveloping experience a 5.1 musical soundtrack can provide. Perhaps it's because Eminem is a solo artist rather than a band or perhaps the production values applied to this concert were less than for Metallica's but it didn't stir my blood quite like when I first cranked up the volume of Enter Sandman! Disappointingly little use is made of the rear or sub channels to create a dynamic soundstage.
I think some of the (minor) criticism of the soundtrack is not so much with the disc itself but the mixing of the source material live - as I said earlier in the review, I have usually found that live rap performances don't stand up to close scrutiny. Often it's because of the performer themselves, but in this case it's not Eminem, but perhaps the backing tracks could have been given a bit more bass over the vocals during the mix. I'm disappointed that this disc is missing some audio dynamism - as I'm sure a thumping sonic performance would have lured some of the mainstream fans into his other less popular work.
ExtrasThis release comes in an attractive card wallet case with an 8 page booklet - although this just contains photos of Eminem on stage and some credits at the back so doesn't really add much value. The only extra on the disc itself is a 27-minute behind-the-scenes featurette entitled "On The Road With Anger Management Tour 2002: a behind the scenes look at the tour" which says it all really. This is just an assortment of back stage clips and soundbites from the various people who get the show on the road, as it were. It's not something that should influence whether you buy this disc or not as you will probably only watch this part once but for fans it is always interesting to see any behind the scenes footage of your favourite artists.
VerdictIf you only like Stan and a few of the other chart hits, then I'm not sure if this disc will appeal, however it is priced quite competitively with an RRP of £14.99 so one can't really criticise the value for money aspect of this disc. Let's hope that after the European tour they release an updated version with more interesting extras and a more involving soundtrack. This is by no means a bad release, just not enticing enough to be a mainstream classic.
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.