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BMG Music presents
Santana: Supernatural Live (2000)

"Oye como va mi ritmo, Bueno pa gosar mulatta."
- Lyrics from Gypsy Queen.

Review By: Dan Lopez   
Published: September 26, 2000

Stars: Carlos Santana, Cee-Lo, Everlast, Dave Matthews
Other Stars: Sarah McLachlan, Lauryn Hill, Rob Thomas, Wayne Shooter
Director: Joel Gallen

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (general concert atmosphere)
Run Time: 01h:27m:34s
Release Date: September 12, 2000
UPC: 078221575096
Genre: rock

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- B+A+A A-

DVD Review

Carlos Santana has been a musical figure for longer than I can remember. Typically characterized by his devotion to musical technique, his jazz-like penchant for lengthy, improvised, guitar solos placed him in a class above standard 70's rockers. His popularity has recently shot sky-high with his album Supernatural, which has him teamed up with many Top 40 musicians in assorted collaborations. In a way, this new surge in popularity has been long overdue considering the length and depth of Santana's career.

This DVD presents a full-length concert by Santana and his band along with special guests. Many songs from the Supernatural album are presented and the focus is mainly on the ones Santana performs with other artists like Sarah McLachlan, Rob Thomas, Dave Matthews, and Lauryn Hill. The concert is extremely lively and amazingly well presented. The stage is decorated with colorful dressings, the lighting is vivid, and a round, digital screen in the background is constantly displaying strange, digital images with incredible clarity. Rarely do live performances look this good and play out with such visual splendor. The camera work matches this visual style with creative techniques. Large, sweeping, crane shots are mixed with careful close-ups. Santana's guitar even has a small camera attached to the top, providing an extra close-up view of his fast fingerwork.

Inbetween songs are brief interviews with the guest artists, providing a short look into the inspiration for the collaborative process between them and Santana. Wisely, the concert never gives a whole lot of attention to any specific guests, but rather treats them like just another member of the band for that particular song. This lowers the "commercial" aspect of the concert and makes it feel more honest. Of course, the one song that drives the audience crazy is Smooth, the gigantic (and overplayed) hit single that essentially broke Supernatural into the mainstream. Carlos Santana fans, new and old, should find much to enjoy in this powerful, well-paced performance.

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


Image Transfer

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

Image Transfer Review: A striking transfer makes this concert really pop off the disc. With all the lively use of color and visual technique, none is lost by distracting artifacts or pixelization. Colors are bright, balanced, and leap out of the screen. Black level is precise and adds sharpness to the darker scenes. Clothing textures are even plainly visible, thanks to this luminous treatment. Even when zooming in, it's hard to specifically locate digital flaws. The interview segments were filmed with a diffusion filter, giving a glow to the image, but even still, no artifacts or shimmer are present. This is an outstanding disc.

Image Transfer Grade: A+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Matching the video quality is a good Dolby 5.1 audio track. Placing you right in there, the audio features a wide stage of frequency response: the front channels handle most of the action, with minor directionality applied relating to the location of musicians on the stage. The surround channels carry additional information (like audience cheers) and other instruments carry over. The LFE channels handles most of the bass and, in general, the concert feels very real and dynamic. Turned up loud enough, you'll have Santana performing right in your TV room. An alternate DTS track is also provided and, though I cannot review it, I'd guess it's just as solid. Certainly the image quality hasn't suffered from the presence of the DTS track.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 14 cues and remote access
2 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Carlos Santana Interview & Biography
  2. Santana photo gallery.
  3. 4 music videos
  4. Complete Lyrics
Extras Review: Some decent goodies are present here, among them the 4 music videos from the album, all of them featuring great image and sound quality. Two short segments are also presented, one an 8-minute rehearsal segment, and the other, a making-of featurette, contains information about how the concert was put together. A very short interview with Carlos Santana accompanies his bio, discography, and photo gallery. On top of all this, the lyrics for all the songs on the disc are also present. The menus are intricately themed to the keepcase artwork and look extremely good.

Extras Grade: A-


Final Comments

Supernatural Live is an outstanding concert DVD and perhaps a long overdue tribute to a musician whose career has spanned so much time. If you enjoyed the album, you'll certainly enjoy this energetic and fun performance. Highly recommended.


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