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Rhino presents
Live 8 at Eden: Africa Calling (2005)

"This is a great moment of time where we hope with the music, with the people, that we're gonna make a change, that Africa's gonna become a continent with less famine, with less poverty, and with less disaster."
- Angélique Kidjo

Review By: Chuck Aliaga  
Published: August 10, 2006

Stars: Peter Gabriel, Youssou N'Dour, Angelique Kidjo
Other Stars: Mariza, Chartwell Duriro, Nelson Mandela, Syiyaya, Angelina Jolie, Dido, Geoffrey Oryema, Thomas Mapfumo, Shikisha, Maryam Mursal, Tinariwen
Director: Hamish Hamilton

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 02h:42m:00s
Release Date: October 25, 2005
UPC: 603497050529
Genre: music

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A AB+A+ C-

DVD Review

Singer/songwriter Peter Gabriel has enjoyed a lucrative career that has spanned many musical genres. One of his biggest musical contributions comes in the form of Real World, his world music record label that has given many international musicians the chance at global notoriety. In 2005, with Bob Geldof's huge, Live 8 concert event taking place in various countries, Gabriel threw his hat in the ring to have many of these world music stalwarts take place on these numerous stages. Geldof didn't want them to be dispersed throughout the world; instead asking Gabriel to organize a separate, Africa Calling show to showcase the best of what Real World has to offer.

Taking place on July 6, 2005, Live 8 at Eden: Africa Calling is indeed a who's who of African and world music. Being an enormous Peter Gabriel fan, I was thrilled to see that he plays a major part in the show, from introducing many of the acts, to even lending his vocals to a few of the performances. Dido is also a guest vocalist and even Angelina Jolie shows up to say a few words as well. This isn't a Peter Gabriel or Dido show though, as we instead see performances by artists like Thomas Mapfumo and Chartwell Dutiro from Zimbabwe, as well as other world music stalwarts on this 2-disc set.

Disc 1 also has performances by arguably the best singer in the show, Uganda's Geoffrey Oryema. Armed with only an acoustic guitar, Oryema brings a blues touch to the songs "Lapowny" and "Land of Anaka," the latter of which also benefits from Gabriel's presence. The incredible performers continue with Thomas Mapfumo and his band, The Blacks Unlimited. This older man from Zimbabwe is as vibrant and attention-grabbing as any of today's younger musicians, and if it wasn't for this DVD we might never have experienced his wonderful music. Other highlights from the first disc include performances by Youssou N'dour (the backup singer on Gabriel's classic, "In Your Eyes."), Shikisha, and Maryam Mursal, but there really isn't a performance that isn't worth a look.

Disc 2 begins with a song by Angélique Kidjo, who appears after an interesting introduction by Gabriel. While Gabriel's is a bold, playful statement, Kidjo does everything she can to make us believe his musings on her. We get another Gabriel guest vocal on "Afrika," where he does an amazing job meshing with Kidjo's unique vocal style. While there are many of them, the main reason to stick disc 2 in your player is the trio of songs by a band from Mali called Tinariwen. Their bold costumes aside, Tinariwen's songs "Chet Boghassa," "Amidiwan," and "Amassakoul," had me running to the internet to see if the group had any CDs available in the US (they do). Watching the crowd can say a lot about a band's effectiveness as well, and the crowd at Live 8 at Eden was engrossed by every second of Tinariwen's stage time.

I'll admit I was only interested in these DVDs for the promise of a Peter Gabriel experience, which I got. Little did I know that this set would also open my eyes wide to the endless pleasures of world music. Regardless of the country or the style, there's a sense of togetherness in every performance. This is an element that is sorely lacking from today's more contemporary, ego-centric acts, as it's all about playing a set, then immediately heading off to the next big venue and paycheck. Music is life for these people, as well as an escape from their countries' political and societal problems. Their love and dedication is what music should be all about.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: This 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format is nearly flawless. The bright, bold colors of the various costumes are a huge plus, while black levels are appropriately deep. Flesh tones are accurate, and there are some artifacts and grain, but the images are sharp and detailed for the most part.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: You can choose between a Dolby Digital 2.0, 5.1, or DTS audio mix, and the latter gets the nod, thanks to a slightly wider dynamic range. It's a difficult decision between the DD 5.1 and DTS, though, as both feature impressive bass, and wonderful channel separation. The lyrics benefit from nice handling of the center channel, and are perfectly blended into the overall mixes.

Audio Transfer Grade: A+


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Music/Song Access with 45 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Deutsch, Italiano, Portuguese, Espanol with remote access
1 Documentaries
Packaging: Cardboard Tri-Fold
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: The only extra is a nearly-29minute documentary that gives us a comprehensive look at what went into making this world music event happen. We hear from many of the performers here, and get a nice, intimate feel for the day's events.

Extras Grade: C-


Final Comments

Whether you're a fan of world music or simply curious about what it has to offer, look no further than Live 8 at Eden: Africa Calling. This is the ultimate world music experience, and Rhino has delivered this to us in the form of an excellent 2-disc DVD set. Not only is the video easy on the eyes, but we have the choice between both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS, allowing even the slightest nuance of a given performance to be distinctly heard.


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