For two nights in March 2011, Peter Gabriel took to the stage at The HMV Hammersmith Apollo London, in the company of the 46 strong New Blood Orchestra, performing a selection of songs completely rearranged for orchestra without guitar, bass, or drumkit. The repertoire mixes cover versions from his Scratch My Back album with classic tracks from across his solo career in brand-new orchestral arrangements. As you would expect, the concert is a visual feast, with graphics, animation, and imagery blending to enhance and illustrate the music. This extraordinary show was filmed in 3D. (Tricia Spears)
Special features include the featurette Blood Donors (HD 18:26), which tells the story behind the project, including an interview with Peter Gabriel. The three-disc set includes the 3D Blu-ray™, the Blu-ray, and a DVD.
The native 3-D 1.78:1 1080p MVC picture is beautifully and dramatically produced with exceptionally natural depth and dimension. Multiple cameras capture various views of Peter Gabriel as he moves around the stage, as well as the different orchestral groups whenever they are featured. Resolution is excellent, especially during close-ups, with wider shots of the entire orchestra and audience less defined. The stereographic camera work is well executed and captures various engaging views and perspectives that enhance the dramatics of the concert production. Lighting is dramatically used to create mood and can at times be spectacularly effective. Certain segments are presented in black-and-white for effect. Even laser light effects are effective. Yet the 3D is never comprised. The entire show is impressively innovative, and during the rounded roll of the credits one can observe aspects of the technical camera production, including the use of dollies, Steadicam hand-held cameras, polecams, and cranes. Virtually no crosstalk or ghosting is evident, for an artifact-free 3-D presentation. It is obvious that this was a carefully created and produced 3-D presentation that represents one of the finest "live" concert 3-D videos yet to be released. It is a testimony to the power of 3D to enhance the connection of audience with performer in a visceral way that 2D lacks. This is a must-see 3-D experience! (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack sounds fully dynamic with nicely perceived nuanced sonics. The program features orchestral arrangements of Peter Gabriel's songs. The performance by "The New Blood Orchestra," conducted by Ben Foster with arrangements by John Metcalfe, is stellar. The sound is full spectrum, lush, powerful, and dynamic, and nuanced instrumental timbres are clearly discernible, as well as prominent solos, whether instrument or backup vocals. Gabriel's own vocals are not as clearly communicated and, at times, it is difficult to discern what the lyrics are and the talk between songs. Deep bass is nicely presented and enhances the sense of natural fullness associated with a large orchestral ensemble. Fidelity is excellent and surround envelopment is nicely holosonic®. When the audience applauds, the entire back hemisphere of the soundfield roars in appreciation. The LPCM 2.0 soundtrack lacks the dynamics and nuanced resolution of the lossless surround mix. Nor does the Dolby Digital 5.1-version match. Overall, if you are a Peter Gabriel fan, this will be an appreciative soundtrack experience. (Gary Reber)