For those of you unfamiliar with Joe Satriani, his job description is best expressed as "Guitar God," a fast-fingered fellow of few words who does things with the strings that seem to defy the laws of nature. He's been wowing audiences for quite a few years and he and his bandmates certainly know their business, enabling them to perform the 3D concert movie Satchurated: Live in Montreal in a single night, essentially in one take, but for a technical snafu on one song that most viewers will never notice. (Spoiler: they performed the first song twice due to a recording glitch).
Mr. Satriani seldom puts lyrics to his music, which is entirely of his own composition, content to jam through a series of wildly impressive riffs that take on a jazzy, almost improvisational feel. And just when we think we've seen/heard it all, he'll go acoustic on us, or whip out a harmonica, and eventually bust out his singing voice, as if he just can't hold that much music inside himself. This disc presents a generous program of 22 live songs, spread out across well over two hours.
The 16:9, MVC-encoded 3D video showcases the strong colors of the brighter portions of the stage, set off against some decent blacks. The image is marked by slight motion streaking during faster movement. The 3D effect is utilized enough for a you-are-there vibe, with the audience in the foreground and the players standing out against the background. It's a subtle illusion, allowing us to appreciate the size of the stage, the depth of Jeff Campitelli's drum kit and so on.
This is the first concert movie ever released in both 3D and Dolby Surround 7.1, and now it is among the very first Blu-ray discs enhanced with Dolby's new Advanced 96K Upsampling applied to the 48K studio master. The resulting Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack wonderfully maintains the power and electricity of actually being there in the Metropolis theater. The high resolution benefits the many nuances of all the instruments, while the low frequencies ably underscore the visceral rock 'n' roll impact. The cheering--and later, chanting--of the crowd inhabits the surround channels, along with the abundantly room-filling music. The complicated edits are perfectly synched, even as the camera moves about the hall.
Two additional songs are presented in black-and white rehearsal footage, "The Golden Room" and "Two Sides to Every Story," about twelve minutes combined. "Inside the Wormhole" meanwhile is a 43-minute documentary about the creation of the album Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards which this concert tour supported. The story is told with a juxtaposition of one-on-one interviews and fun behind-the-scenes snippets from the studio. These extras are in high definition.
An enjoyable evening's musical entertainment for the curious and mandatory viewing for faithful Satriani fans, Satchurated brings to life the real concert experience as few Blu-rays have, thanks to both the deft implementation of 3D and the cutting-edge bonus of Dolby TrueHD 7.1 with Advanced 96K Upsampling.
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