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Rhino presents
Travis: At The Palace (2004)

"Why does it always rain on me?
Even when the sun is shining
I can’t avoid the lightning
Oh where did the blue skies go
And why is it raining so..."

- lyric from Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: August 31, 2004

Stars: Fran Healy, Dougie Payne, Andy Dunlop, Neil Primrose
Other Stars: Adam Wakeman
Director: Matt Askem

Manufacturer: umknown
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild language)
Run Time: 01h:34m:30s
Release Date: August 31, 2004
UPC: 603497033928
Genre: music


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B+ B+AA- B-

DVD Review

It is no secret that if you go overseas that there are a crapload of great bands that barely get a mention in the U.S. Case in point with Travis, a group that thrives in Europe but that have yet to track any significant or measurable chart success in the United States.

Since the early 1990s, the Glasgow band has continually churned out a small canon of smart. intelligent pop songs lacking in the flavor-of-the-month theatrics, relying instead on the ol' standby of songwriting and musicianship. As with the recent rash of Brit rock, it is a guitar-based sound, melding into what could best be described as amalgam of Coldplay crossed with James and Oasis by way of hip rock grandfathers The Cure—like all good pop, it's easy stuff to listen to, but it is clear there is some substance as well.

With At The Palace, recorded on December 20, 2003 before a screaming throng crowd of 8,000 at London's Alexandra Palace, the band moves through an eloquent 22 song set, and the performance is an exercise is subdued energy. Performing live, the band avoids portraying themselves as a frothy singles outfit, and singer/songwriter/guitarist Fran Healy, guitarist Andy Dunlop, drummer Neil Primrose (here seemingly recovered from a near fatal swimming pool accident), and bassist Dougie Payne don't offer up any overblown stage theatrics, to say nothing of their remarkably minimal stage lighting.

The band lobs out a new anthem for peace (Peace The F**k Out), encores with their biggest hit (Why Does It Always Rain On Me?) and for a quick laugh even trots out a very thin Santa Claus (during a cover of Wham's Last Christmas). For all their chart success in England, it is kind of refreshing to see a group like Travis just come out and play. Rhino has budget-priced this release, and as essentially a greatest hits package, it should act as good intro to yet another of those talented bands you may never have heard.

Set List:
Happy To Hang Around
Re-Offender
Writing To Reach You
Pipe Dreams
Quicksand
Sing
Love Will Come Through
The Fear
The Beautiful Occupation
Side
Mid-Life Krysis
As You Are
Driftwood
Somewhere Else
All I Want To Do Is Rock
The Humpty Dumpty Love Song
Turn
Some Sad Song
Last Christmas
Coming Around
Peace The F**k Out
Why Does It Always Rain On Me?


Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The concert is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, and Rhino has done a fine job carrying this off, even with the relatively minor lighting. There is a bit of grain during the audience shots, but really no lighting flare-ups or other ugly bits to detract from what is otherwise a somewhat staid, but beautiful looking disc.

Image Transfer Grade: A

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishno
DTSEnglishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Rhino has provided two well-crafted listening choices in Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS surround, and the similarities between the two are enough to call it a draw. Both are first-rate, and deliver pretty active rear channels—primarily audience cheers—as well as a robust (but rarely overpowering) and efficient LFE track. Nice.

A 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track, suitable in a pinch, is also included.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 23 cues and remote access
Music/Song Access with 22 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Taking a peek at the bonus materials reveals Inside At The Palace (22m:46s), a backstage doc made up of six separate segments that can be viewed using the Play All option. This serves to show off the band in a nice light, making them all look like nice guys, and while it is not particularly insightful (we see soundchecks and the like), I always love a look backstage at a rock show. The six rather self-explanatory sections are:
Arrival at the Ally Pally
Preparations
Rehearsing
With The Fans
Nerves
Before, During and After - The Gig

The doc features optional subtitles in English, French, Portuguese, Spanish or Japanese.

The concert itself is cut into 23 chapters.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

A pair of mighty fine audio mixes and a beaut of a transfer are just cappers on this set of smart pop by a band largely unknown in the States. This thing retails for less than the price of a CD, making it a no-brainer purchase.

Recommended.

 


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