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Music Video Distributors presents
Sublime: Live '94-'96 (2002)

"Everyday I wake up just a little bit more/feelin' like a dog out in the yard/because that's just how we are"
- lyric from the song Saw Red

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: November 13, 2002

Stars: Sublime
Director: unknown

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for language
Run Time: 00h:54m:42s
Release Date: September 10, 2002
UPC: 022891433095
Genre: music

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

DVD Review

Besides the death of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, the loss of Sublime front man Bradley Nowell stands as perhaps the most monumental blow to the forward movement that rock music was making in the mid 1990s. Nowell, who died of a drug overdose in 1996, was a gifted performer who carried an unbridled exuberance for his music. The fusion of punk, hip hop, and ska that Sublime so effortlessly created opened the door for numerous artists who are currently thriving atop the charts today, including the similarly themed No Doubt and Sugar Ray.

Those who missed the chance to see Nowell and Sublime are afforded a great opportunity thanks to Sublime Live 94-96, a recent DVD release that showcases twelve live performances, including the last public appearance by the band before the tragic death of Nowell. Sublime Live 94-96 captures the band during the Vans Warped Tour and is thankfully more about the performance aspect of the tour rather than being bogged down by unnecessary behind-the-scenes footage.

Adding to the enjoyment of the music is the fact that the footage provided on Sublime Live 94-96 is stripped to the point where several performances feel as though they were simply captured on a low grade camcorder. The black & white imagery (several songs are available in color) does a nice job in bringing the music to the forefront, as the viewer is less apt to focus on the gimmickry of the crowd, or even to some extent, the members of the band.

My lone complaint about the disc is that the audio distracts from the overall quality of the songs; the poor quality of favorite songs lessens the thrill of hearing a rare live cut. Overall though, the program is certainly winning in its construction and will serve as a monument to the gifted musicians that comprised Sublime, who were parted by a tragedy that likely kept a great band from becoming legendary.

The songlist is a nice collection of well known, and some lesser known songs, that will please even the most die hard fan. The downside is that the better known hits, including Santeria and What I Got, are strangely absent, a pity considering Santeria ranks as my favorite song by the band.

Rating for Style: C
Rating for Substance: B-


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: The video quality for Sublime Live 94-96 varies depending on the song, though the set maintains the same flaws throughout. The largest fault of the transfer is that there seems to be an excessive amount of grain present in both the color and black & white performances. The color tracks are fine, aside from heavy bleeding, which is a constant. The black & white tracks suffer from poor definition due to heavy grain.

Image Transfer Grade: C+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Presented in both a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix as well as a Dolby Surround track, Sublime Live 94-96 features some of the worst audio I have encountered in the numerous concert performances I have had the pleasure to watch. The 5.1 mix fails to maintain a constant level as it bounces back and forth from overbearing to a near whisper. The track is uneven in the various levels accorded to each speaker. The one constant was the .1 LFE channel, which hit hard with several bursts of tight, precise bass.

Audio Transfer Grade: C


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 12 cues and remote access
Packaging: generic plastic keepcase
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Seven extra performances
Extras Review: A collection of rare performances, including an appearance by adult film legend Ron Jeremy at the KROQ Weenie Roast. Jeremy starred in the video for Date Rape and, as anyone who has seen the clip will attest, it brings back some funny memories. Other performances offered as extra material are strangely similar to those offered in the main program, which led me to wonder why MVD would not just include them as part of the feature.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

I liked Sublime Live 94-96 simply because I greatly enjoy the band. For those who are outsiders to Sublime, or who have heard their largest radio hit What I Got and expect every song to be a copy of the single, you will likely be disappointed. A must have for fans.


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