Saturday, January 20, 2007

Westlife: Live At Wembley

Westlife’s sixth tour was an exuberant, exhilarating presentation. Frenetic dance moves, amazing light shows, some very entertaining moments, and fantastic singing made it one of Westlife’s best concerts.

It’s too bad that the DVD doesn’t show any of this.

Starting remarkably downkey, the boys descended from the ceiling to open the show, delivering a stirring rendition of Flying Without Wings before storming into the uptempo stuff. But it’s hard to focus on this when the camera is switching between extra-extreme long shots and claustrophobic close-ups. And it continues this way the whole concert.

Rather than enjoy the great dance moves, we’re treated to shots that seem to focus on the pores on the boy’s noses than anything (especially disappointing during the medley). Rather than enjoy the expressions on the boys’ faces, we have to squint to see them, as the camera tracks its way along the very back of Wembley arena.

Apart from the camera work, the editing itself is distracting. Ours barely have time to focus before they have to focus on something new, the choppy effect more conducive to vertigo and motion sickness than enjoyment.

But that’s not to say the DVD doesn’t have some great points. The concert itself is fabulous, even if it’s butchered by the editing. All the boys are on top form, belting out the lyrics and shaking their booties like pros. If only the cameras would focus on Mark or Nicky for once – it seems to be Shane and Kian who get all the screen time. The song choices are outstanding (Pussycat Dolls’ Dontcha especially), their presentation dazzling (Titanic-inspired Queen Of My Heart is heartrendingly naff), and they throw in a few cheeky extras (a striptease; Shane’s handstand).

If you can get past the editing, it’s a delight. If you can’t… bring the sick bucket.

Extras: A short documentary chronicling the photo shoot for The Love Album, and Kian's parachute jump earlier in the year; You Raise Me Up and Amazing video clips; a 'jukebox' where you can reorganise the performances of the show into the order you'd like to see them.

NOTE: check out the photo work on the cover - those are taken by Mark's boyfriend, Kevin McDaid.

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