You don’t necessarily have to be a fan of Big Beat or Electronica music to enjoy this DVD, but it probably helps. Luckily for me, I’m a fan of the genre, and I’m an especially avid fan of Norman Cook, A.K.A. Fatboy Slim. He is an artist that has an uncanny appeal to young and (hip) old alike. Even still, I had my doubts about just how interesting it could be to watch other people dancing and having a good time, while a DJ spins records.
Lucky for me, this DVD follows the same “just have fun” attitude that …ook’s music does, providing a truly entertaining disc. It’s one thing to think about a large number of people going to a free concert on the beach, it’s another to hear that there were about 250,000 people there. It’s still another thing to see it yourself, and actually try to wrap your brain around the scene. A quarter of a million people, on an average day, meet at the beach at sunset for no reason at all, except to dance and be happy. Wow. This is really cool stuff.
The audio tracks available on this disc meet or exceed all of my expectations. The Dolby Stereo 2.0 track is a nice mix that is perfect for parties or gatherings. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix gets the job done well, and is an excellent blend of both music and crowd noise. My favorite of the three, however, is the DTS 5.1 track. I found this option to be not only louder, but also fuller than the Dolby offerings. The whole presentation sounds fantastic, complete with rich deep bass and tight highs. On a concert DVD, audio is everything, and the studio has done some excellent work in this area.
The visuals are really great on this disc. Many of the shots have been digitally edited in the post-production process to make them move with the music. Some frames swell from the middle, some shake, and some change colors. The picture is both interesting and crystal clear, and like I said before, you kind-of have to see a quarter of a million people dancing on the beach for yourself to truly be able to comprehend exactly how many people that really is. Lucky for us, you can see just that very thing in crystal clear detail. Simply breathtaking.
Not only does this disc contain a great feature presentation, it’s also bulging with extras. First up is an interview with Norman himself, where he discusses how the gig came about, as well as some other miscellaneous ramblings about his career and his style of music. Next, we have some carnival games to play. There are two different games, and a win lets you in to see additional bonus footage from the big day. This is a really fun little extra. Also here is a DJ Request section, which lets the viewer pick up to 12 tracks from the show, to be played in any order they wish.
But wait, there’s more. This disc also contains a feature length commentary, with Norman and some of his crew discussing the day of the show, and what all was going on behind the scenes. Not only did this open up my eyes with regards to the logistical nightmare that this show was, but it is also quite entertaining to hear Norman and his mates pointing out their friends and family throughout the presentation. This is an excellent commentary.
Rounding out the fun is a great Easter Egg. Viewers who wish to find said Egg will have to visit the DVD’s companion web site. Once they do, they will be treated to a rather long documentary entitled “Fatboy Slim at the World Cup”. This little extra is well worth seeking out.
Instead of putting out a standard performance DVD, Fatboy Slim has gone all the way here, creating a piece that stands completely on its own. This is a really great disc, and a very fun way to show off your home theater. If you’re a dance music fan, or just like to have fun, this DVD is definitely for you!
Special Features List
- Audio Commentary
- DJ Request
- Easter Egg: Fat Boy Slim at the World Cup