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IntroductionIf you are not a fan of the trance music genre, you'll likely never heard of DJ Tiesto (real name Tijs Verwest). If you are, it's just as likely that you are one of his many loyal fans.
The Breda-born Dutchman has been considered the best DJ in the world for several years now, and certainly the most popular, allowing him to embark on tours that have travelled to such diverse countries as Macedonia, Lebanon, and Ukraine.
Having achieved success mostly on the back of his excellent "In Search of Sunrise" mix albums, his fourth "solo" album, "Elements of Life", was released to much furore in 2007. The world tour to back up the release began in Belfast, Northern Ireland in March 2007, and barely let up until February 2008, when he completed his final date in London, England.
This 2-disc DVD set, entitled "Copenhagen – Elements of Life World Tour" was recorded on 10th November 2007, at the Parken Centre in
Copenhagen, Denmark. Disc One is entitled "Elements of Life", with Disc Two named "The Sound of Tiesto".
Video is presented in 16:9 anamorphic PAL (Region 0), and is very good for a DVD of this genre.
The production values here are very high indeed – said to be the most elaborate ever seen for a trance DJ set. It's everything that you would expect from a high-end rock concert, except that in place of the band, is Tiesto and his mixing desk. There's a huge video wall behind him, and there are enough lighting effects going on here to make David Gilmour blush.
The camerawork – shot mostly with high-definition cameras - focuses in and around Tiesto and the crowd for the duration, which even with the various pyrotechnics and video-wall distractions, does get tiresome after a short period of time. The cuts are timed to the music, so when the music gets busy, so do the director's changes.
The actual transfer to DVD is excellent, and the only time in which any digital artefacts are noticeable, are when the various light shows are a little too full-on.
Audio is presented in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0, and in both cases, is also very good.
Unsurprisingly, the 5.1 mix is the better of the two, with a real depth of sound here that does an admirable job of giving you the Tiesto concert experience. The surrounds are used mostly for the purpose of atmosphere, with crowd noise and some of the main musical sounds coming through. When required, the subwoofer is booming, as you'd expect from a concert of this type.
The 2.0 mix may be inferior to its 5.1 counterpart, but it is still a great listen. Of course, it doesn't have the aforementioned depth, and there is more treble with less bass, but it won't disappoint those without surround equipment.
FeaturesThe "On The Road" featurette is the main extra here, a 26-minute behind the scenes look at Tiesto's world tour. The enormity of it all really comes across here, in particular with the police escort he has to receive anywhere he goes, and the private plane that the crew take to each new country. Throughout it all, though, it's great to see that he's very personable to all his fans. This is a very nice compliment to the main feature.
Aside from that, there are commercials for Tiesto's albums "Elements of Life" and "In Search of Sunrise 6 – Ibiza", as well as a commercial for "Dance4Life", which helps promote AIDS awareness.
We also have a music video for the rather good "Imagination" track by Jes, and if you open up Disc One in Windows Explorer, you'll find 160kbps MP3s of both the "Elements of Life" and "Sound of Tiesto" concerts, in full, which should save a lot of people the hassle of trying to rip it from the DVD.
For all the technical quality of this concert, and the discs it is presented on, your enjoyment of this release is really going to be down to one thing: the music.
Some may associate trance music with a prior generation's rave culture, but at it's best, it can be melodic and atmospheric, as well as rock your socks off.
Disc One here – "Elements of Life" – has a slightly heavier groove than "The Sound of Tiesto", something which is generally a symptom of his solo albums, rather than his more uplifting "In Search of Sunrise" discs. But there are some very good tracks here, including Allure's "Somewhere Inside" (which has a live vocal provided here by Julie Thompson), James Doman vs Red Carpet's "Allright" (which has a real house music vibe), and Oliver Smith's "Tomahawk". There's even a snippet of the original Adamski track "Killer" in Starkillers' version of the song.
Disc Two certainly has a more trance feel, and there are some outstanding Tiesto tracks available here, either in the form of his own solo work, or his remixes. "Dance4Life" sets a great tone for the set, "Flight 643" is one of the most iconic songs of the genre, and Tiesto's reworking of Delerium's "Silence" is his most famous hit. The "He's A Pirate" theme from the last Pirates of the Carribean album is also great once given the Tiesto treatment.
If there was to be a criticism of this DVD set, it would perhaps be that this isn't the type of concert you can pop in the DVD player, and sit down and put your feet up. There isn't enough of interest visually, and watching this concert is much more suited to a party atmosphere, with more of an emphasis on picking up the atmosphere created by the music.
That said, it is a pleasure to see Tiesto at work, and to experience one of his shows, on disc. Overall, this is a tremendous release, truly capturing what was a huge concert at the back end of the Elements of Life World Tour.
If you are a Tiesto fan, and a fan of trance music, this two-disc set is a must-have. For those who haven't been bitten by the bug yet, it's also a great opportunity to introduce yourself to Tiesto's music.