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Pioneer presents
Dave Mason: Live At Perkins Palace (1982)

"There ain't no good guy/There ain't no bad guy/There's only you and me/and we just disagree..."
- lyrics from We Just Disagree

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: April 12, 2002

Stars: Dave Mason, Jim Krueger
Director: Dave Levisohn

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable, other than bad fashions)
Run Time: 00h:58m:06s
Release Date: March 12, 2002
UPC: 013023167797
Genre: music

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ B-BB- B-

DVD Review

Dave Mason isn't exactly a household name anymore, so here's a snapshot for the uninformed. After a stint as the road manager for The Spencer Davis Group, guitarist Dave Mason helped form the heady fusion band Traffic in 1967, along with Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi. While Traffic went on to release a string of then influential albums, Mason left the band after Traffic's debut title Mr. Fantasy, citing that old artistic bugaboo, "creative differences." He bounced across the next few decades, occasionally teaming up with other artists (Delaney and Bonnie, Mama Cass, Fleetwood Mac), or putting out lukewarm solo albums, trading on his name as a founder of Traffic. 1977 was his strongest year, with the single We Just Disagree hitting number twelve on the pop charts.

This 1982 concert, recorded at Perkins Palace in Pasadena, finds Mason and guitarist Jim Krueger (who wrote We Just Disagree) doing an acoustic set to a generally enthusiastic crowd. Production values are very basic, alternating between a few static shots of Mason and Krueger, whose stage presence is relatively lifeless throughout.

Mason has a pleasant enough voice, well-suited for softer pop songs, and he performs a nice cross-section of material from his career, including more than a few covers. Some of the performances still work well, like The Words (about author John Steinbeck), which feature some nice harmonies between the duo. The hits are trotted out (We Just Disagree, Let It Go, Feelin' Alright), as well as his spirited take on Dylan's All Along The Watchtower. His tepid covers of All Shook Up and Stand By Me, on the other hand, are weak, and seem like simple set filler.

I'm not entirely sure for the need to release this concert on disc, as Mason's stage presence is decidedly stiff. This is the type of music that would work much better as an audio CD (which is available, by the way), rather than a truncated concert DVD.

Track List:
It's Just A Song
Stand By Me
Sad And Deep As You
Dust My Blues
We Just Disagree
Let It Go
Feelin' Alright
All Shook Up
Every Woman
The Words
Bring It On Home To Me
All Along The Watchtower
Take It To The Limit

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The 1.33:1 image transfer looks presentable, considering that this is a 1982 concert. Detail is a little soft, but much better than I would have expected (check out the sweat on Dave Mason—he looks like the guy from Airplane!). Some noticeable grain is present in some of the darker corners of the stage, at the edge of the lights.


Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: The 5.1 audio mix was a pleasant surprise, and while it is not the fullest sound stage I've ever heard on DVD, it suits the material. The simple acoustic set by Mason and Krueger is mixed well, though the high ends could have been more prominent for my tastes. This is a predominantly front channel mix, with literally no rear channel cues.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 15 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Dave Mason
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Photo Gallery
  2. Trivia Game
Extras Review: Pioneer has included a respectable set of extras, including a full-length Dave Mason commentary. Unfortunately, more is not always better. Mason's admission to "bulls*** my way the best I can" sort of sets the tone for his reluctant input. He doesn't offer much insight into song origins ("The music speaks for itself"), and occasionally appears to be bored out of his mind. Bits of self-deprecating humor ("We look like sensitive lumberjacks") are sprinkled here and there, but overall it is painfully forced commentary.

The subtitle option is available for song lyrics, as well as 15 chapters, a Mason bio and discography, a photo gallery of 12 photos spotlighting moments in Mason's career, and a 16 question trivia game (truly for the fan with a lot of free time).

Extras Grade: B-


Final Comments

There are a couple of nice moments here, but for the most part it is a bit dated. The 5.1 audio is clean, and the inclusion of a Dave Mason commentary was a nice idea, though it is achingly uninformative.

This disc might serve as a handy "Best Of" for diehards, but otherwise the appeal is extremely limited.


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