the actual sound on the dvd is pretty good. there are some excellent performances of some songs i'm really glad to have. songs like "under pressure" and "sunday" are just amazingly good at the show they were recorded at, and if i had better speakers that supported 5.1, i'm sure it would sound incredible. it's also nice to see songs performed live that i hadn't heard live, like "never get old" and "five years". there are other songs that i thought were better when i'd seen him live, and the performances on the dvd were, while not bad by any means, a bit disappointing. the performance of "ziggy stardust", for example, doesn't rock nearly as hard in dublin as it did in d.c. last may. there are also some songs i'd liked to have had live, like "china girl" (which he did at nearly every show), that aren't even on the dvd. all in all though, having this much music (30 songs) performed live is a great value at just $10 dollars.
the actual video quality, however, is the most hilariously terrible dvd presentation i've ever seen. to start off with, the footage they recorded isn't really that great. lots of crappy audience shots, bad camera angles, jerky footage, and uninteresting shots of things like the video screens and the back of the drummer's head. at times when bowie is doing interesting things with his whole body, they'll zoom in to a head shot. or go to the crowd. if i recall, i'd paid a large sum of money at the actual concert to get in front and see as few of the other people in the way as possible. why do i want to watch them instead of bowie on the dvd? i don't know.
had they stopped with that, it would have still been better than what they did in the editing room. someone else commented that watching the dvd "was nothing like seeing the concert, unless you were constantly shaking your head left to right the whole time". that's a pretty accurate depiction of most of the editing. awful, fast shots back and forth during a lot of the songs. and slow motion, freeze frames, white outs, quick freeze-frame montages, black and white stills intercut with the actual performance...it's as if someone did a powerpoint presentation and selected every effect for every slide. brandon and i nearly died laughing, with the addition of making fun of the people who did the editting. it's as if they were trying to make a pbs benefit concert presentation look like something they would assume to see on mtv. had i paid more than $10 for this dvd, i would have been pissed. as it is, chances are i'll just turn off the picture and listen to it like a cd. without enough BOWIE even IN the picture most of the time, it's not worth the eye strain.
so, yeah. i haven't even finished watching it all yet, since it's two hours long and my eyes could only handle so much and i could only laugh so hard. good music though, so i can't complain. i can poke fun though, and that i will do plenty.