dc Talk is a bit of an anomaly in the growing Christian music scene. While not necessarily a group that crosses over into the mainstream, they have grown into about as big of a Christian music act as they can become. The group is made up of three members, each one unique in their musical style and talents. The rock, rap and pop influences they bring together blend to create something new and unique. Backed by a full band, dc Talk has created a live show that rivals most major mainstream acts.
Welcome to th… FreakShow is a concert video, shot during the support tour for the group’s “Jesus Freak” album. Footage from the show is intercut with backstage footage, interview segments, and scenes from different stops on the European leg of the tour. These bonus segments help to break up the show into something that is more enjoyable for home viewing than just a standard concert performance.
Of particular note is the acoustic section of the show, a pretty standard occurrence during many tours in the ninety’s. Many times, acoustic renditions of an artist’s songs feel empty, but in this case they are wonderful new arrangements that bring old songs back to life again for both the audience and the artists. There is enough new and re-arranged material included on this disc to make it worth checking out.
Viewers are provided with one and only one audio option, the ever-popular Dolby Stereo. I have my receiver set to automatically convert 2.0 tracks into Dolby Pro Logic, which is what I had it do for this title. Almost all of the audio comes from the center channel in this format, with the fronts and surrounds providing only minor ambient subtleties.
Having said that, this track is a pretty great live recording. All instruments can be heard clearly, and there is plenty for the subwoofer to do throughout the performance. Since most of the audio is anchored to the center channel anyway, there is no problem with “wandering vocals”, which happens sometimes with live performance DVDs. There may not be any audio options, but the one that is provided gets the job one with only minor complaints.
The full frame presentation on this disc is downright frustrating. Much of the concert footage was shot on Super 8, resulting in a video presentation that is grainy at best. Likewise, the color levels are off, due in part to the film, and in part to the stage lighting. These are some colored people, indeed.
I know that this was done for effect, however, because mixed in with the snowy footage are some really great, crystal clear shots. This may be a preference issue, but as for me, I would much rather see the show in detail, instead of with the “cool” grainy 8mm footage.
The special features on this disc come in the form of three bonus videos for the songs “Jesus Freak”, “Colored People” and “Just Between You and Me”. While the “Freak” and “People” spots are nothing special, the “You and Me” video is a quite entertaining piece, complete with a surprise ending. Normally I would have been disappointed with so few extras, but much of what is normally considered extra content is cut into the feature, so I felt satisfied with what I was given here.
This is a title that was originally created to go straight to VHS, long before the commercial success of DVD. Keeping that fact in mind, this is actually not a bad little disc. It has some limitations with color and sound, but I think that ForeFront has done a nice job of working around those obstacles as best they could, creating a disc that is both entertaining and informative. dc Talk fans will be pleased by this postcard from the FreakShow.
Special Features List
- Three Bonus Videos