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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DVD Review: "'83 US Festival Days 1 - 3"

For anyone over 40 who remembers 1983's "US Festival" I have some good news for you because there is finally an authorized home video document of this event.

But wait!

Don't get too excited because this is a very flawed release!

Let's start with the basics…

The DVD menus have countless mistakes… you click on one band you get another.  You click on one song you get a different song!  These mistakes are unforgivable!  How did a "Video Company" let this disc get all the way to the printing plant without checking to see if the menus were correct!!

The DVD itself is kind of a mess as well.  MVD uses the same b-roll shots of the crowd over and over again throughout the disc.  Instead of getting a lot of current interviews with the performers who actually played we get MTV's Mark Goodman through out with a little Colin Hay from Men At Work to mix it up a bit.  Are you telling me Quarterflash, Berlin and Missing Persons weren't available to be interviewed?

The overall quality is a B- and it doesn't seem like any work was put into restoring the audio or video.  The DVD case says "Digitally re-mastered and restored" but it really only looks a little better than the clips you can watch on YouTube.

Now before you start asking where's this band and what about that band etc, etc, etc please know that licensing music is a tricky situation so just be happy with the groups you do get to see and there are many great performances for sure.

Some of the standouts are The Stray Cats, INXS, Men At Work, Missing Persons and U2.  It's a shame that this one time event can't be given the same treatment given to the "Live-Aid" DVDs.

If you've never seen any of the "US Festival" I guess you might be interested in this DVD but for diehard fans just stick with YouTube and wait for a definitive release to hopefully come out in the future.

Drumroll please… 5 out of 10 drumsticks!!!

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