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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 10/23/02

Dave Mason: Live at Sunrise
2002 (2002) - MCY Music World (Image Entertainment)

review by Matt Rowe of The Digital Bits

Encoded with DTS & Dolby Digital 5.1 Digital Surround

Dave Mason: Live at Sunrise Program Rating: B+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B/A-/D

Specs and Features

66 mins, NR, full screen (1.33:1), single-sided, single-layered, Amaray keep case packaging, "behind the scenes" featurette, film themed menu screens with sound, song access (9 chapters - see track listing below), languages: English (DTS 5.1, DD 5.1 & 2.0), subtitles: none

Dave Mason, along with Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi, formed the nucleus of Traffic, an important fusion band that began in the 60s. After the usual 'creative difference' argument (and before their second album), Dave left to pursue a successful solo career, which led to the wonderful Let It Flow in 1977 (songs from which are performed on this disc). Mason is not only a prolific songwriter, writing rock songs that have been recorded by many over the 30+ years of his tenure, but has also been a contributor to many visible luminaries. He's played guitar on the albums of many, including The Stones, Jimi Hendrix and George Harrison to name a few. Dave also briefly joined Fleetwood Mac a few years back, touring and recording with them (including Mac's Time album).

Needless to say, Dave Mason has been around the block... and what a grand block it's been. Mason's soft, progressive rock styles have endeared him to fans all over the world and have earned him a place in history. The song selections on this DVD bear that out. While this is only a small collection of his performances, I'm always happy to have what I can get, especially when it's played so bloody well.

This DVD showcases Dave Mason and his talents from a performance at the Sunrise Musical Theatre in Sunrise, Florida. The theatre seats nearly 4,000, with the stage strategically placed to afford the fans an unobstructed view and providing an ambient experience that leaves one feeling satisfied. The band includes Rich Campbell (Dr Dawg) on bass guitar, John Sambataro on guitar, Bobby Scumaci on keyboards, Greg Babcock on drums and the familiar growling voice and skilled guitar of Dave Mason himself.

Beginning with Let It Go, Let It Flow (from 1977's Let It Flow) and ending with the anthemic Feelin' Alright (written during his Traffic years), this set of performance pieces underscores Mason's importance to the world of rock. Included in this set is a smokin' Traffic song, 40,000 Headmen, along with Dear Mr. Fantasy and more solo material. The crowd favorite All Along the Watchtower is also part of this show.

The DVD is presented in full frame. The video is amazingly clear and largely free of grain and other imperfections, allowing for pleasant visual enjoyment of the concert. The shadowing that occurs due to lighting effects has a tendency to dull the visuals, but not enough to fret over.

The sound is great! We couldn't have it any other way, with such an aurally pleasing band as this. The Dolby 5.1 and Stereo 2-channel mixes are clear and highly satisfying. But the DTS 5.1 track is the way to listen to this material, given the ambience of the concert setting. The imaging in the soundfield is expertly handled, resulting in a nicely musical and natural experience for us to enjoy.

There's only a 15-minute, "behind the scenes" featurette included as an extra, which amounts to a look at the band as it prepares for the upcoming show, from arrival to sound check rehearsal to show time. It's augmented with brief interview snippets, but is a considerably weak additive to the otherwise high-octane concert that it piggy backs on.

Still, this title is a beautiful sonic adventure, that gives us the stunningly talented Dave Mason in a somewhat sparse, but highly satisfying, tour through his catalog. With excellent musicians to help him deliver a quality show, the Dave Mason fan can only be happy with the release of this DVD.

Matt Rowe
Visit Matt Rowe's MusicTAP ------ Music Flows There!

Track Listing:

Let It Go, Let It Flow
Only You Know and I Know
World in Changes
We Just Disagree
40,000 Headmen
Look at You Look at Me
Dear Mr. Fantasy
All Along the Watchtower
Feelin' Alright

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