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One of the best concerts I’ve ever heard.

Blu-ray Music Review: Billy Idol – In Super Overdrive Live

Written by Pirata Hermosa

This Blu-ray is from a concert that aired on the TV series Soundstage and was filmed at the Congress Theater in Chicago. Starting off with the song “Super Overdrive” from his most recent album The Devil’s Playground, you immediately can tell something doesn’t sound right. Normally from a live concert you’d hear comments about poor sound quality, but during this performance it’s the exact opposite. The sound is way too good and sounds overly processed. Idol is known for being somewhat of a punk rocker with a bit of gravel to his voice, but right from the beginning the voice and music sound way too smooth. These songs need to sound a little dirty and feel a little bit rawer than the over-polished sound that comes through.

His guitarist, Steve Stevens, plays perfectly throughout, and after watching him play you’d think he was born with a guitar in his hand as he makes it look so effortless. The only thing negative about Stevens’ performance is that he doesn’t get to showcase his musical talents enough.

The show is pretty bare-boned. Billy Idol’s costume changes consist of him taking off one layer of clothing at a time. The lighting is pretty simple, and there isn’t a lot of banter with the crowd. It’s also strangely edited and it feels like large chunks are missing. It’s pretty noticeable when after performing “Eyes Without a Face” he comes back onstage wearing a jacket and shirt again.

Choosing “Kiss Me Deadly” by Generation X as the final song seems like a really odd choice to end the concert on, but if you continue to watch after the song when he is waving to the cheering audience, suddenly his clothes are changed back to what he was wearing during “Ready Steady Go” and it becomes obvious that this wasn’t really the last song he performed but just the order that they decided to put it on the Blu-Ray.

The concert is presented in 1080i High Definition Widescreen 16×9 with a 1.78.1 aspect ratio and is of exceptional quality. Unlike a normal concert, nothing is lost in the dark areas of the stage. You can see the drummer in the back as if he was up in the front, and you can even read some of the dials and settings on the amps and racks in the background.

Audio is in LPCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, and DTS HD Master Audio. This is one of the best concerts I’ve ever heard. The music comes at you from all directions. It has an excellent blend of all five musicians and allows you to be able to hear each one individually while not overpowering anyone else.

There are no special features or commentary on the disc.

The set list includes:

Super Overdrive
Dancing With Myself
Flesh For Fantasy
Touch My Love
White Wedding
Scream
Eyes Without a Face
Cry
Blue Highway
Ready Steady Go
Rebel Yell
Kiss Me Deadly

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