..

KYLIE FEVER 2002
Live in Manchester

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars:  Kylie Minogue
 Audio:  Dolby Digital 5.1
Video:  Anamorphic Widescreen 1.77:1
Studio:  Capitol/EMI
Features:  See Review
Length:  170 Minutes (Total)
Release Date:  November 19, 2002

“…Feel the fever…”

Concert ****

Most people who know me know I’m an avid music fan, from my monster CD collection up to playing guitar in a local rock and roll band.  So when I had the chance to review the latest Kylie Minogue concert video, I jumped at it…and with good reason.

She’s cute as hell.

Okay, that’s an oversimplification.  Truth is, while America has rudely yawned, Kylie has set the rest of the world on fire, and deservedly so.  In an era dominated by teenybopper boy bands and lasses who aren’t girls and not yet women, Kylie Minogue is a refreshing voice.  She makes pop music for grown-ups.

With the international success of her recent album Fever, though, the States began to see her as something more than just the bright-eyed gal with the big smile who turned a remake of “Locomotion” into a chart hit some ten years earlier.  Chances are, if those same Americans give themselves the chance to watch the new DVD Kylie Fever 2002, they’ll be quite stunned, if not blown away.

Kylie simply has one of the best stage shows I’ve ever seen, and one of the most visually vivid, imaginative and exciting since U2 set out upon their ZOO TV tour.  Her stage is huge, her light show spectacular, and her background is adorned by five giant and moveable video screens.  Her dancers are first rate and the choreography endlessly inventive, as are the costumes and the visual themes than run through each segment of her show.  Her band, actually visible on stage (sometimes a rarity in modern pop), is solid and strong.

But none of it upstages Ms. Minogue…as soon as she steps out of her robot-skinned costume and takes the stage like with drone like dancers in a setting straight out of Metropolis, there’s no doubt who the star of the show is.  She keeps in character as she belts out the dance hits “Come Into My World” and “Shocked”, before warming her audience with a smile and greeting that keeps them on their feet pretty much to stay.

The music, dancing, stage sets and costumes add up to first class entertainment.  Each time you think you’ve seen something spectacular, Kylie and company top it.  Their Metropolis motif gives way to A Clockwork Orange for “Spinning Around”.  “Confide in Me” shows Kylie as a cop coming on to an acrobatic male dancer.  She becomes a bedroom tease for a sultry version of “Locomotion”.  Finally, she returns for two encores, finishing with the worldwide hit “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”.  In between are a couple of surprising and welcome covers, including “I Feel Love” and “The Crying Game”.

For those critics who continue to snub her, this concert ought to be all the answer they’ll ever need.  This show has it all:  good music, spectacular production, imaginative entertainment, and one terrific star who holds it all together and channels the energy of the entire show through her performance.  

Video ***

This anamorphic widescreen presentation is mostly high quality, with surprising color reproduction and clarity for a video-filmed event.  Like most videotape preservations, lower lit settings don’t fare as well, with less definition and a little more unintentional grain and texture, but when the stage and light show are going full blast, Kylie’s show is a feast for the eyes.  Fans should be more than pleased.

Audio ***

The 5.1 mix is solid, with plenty of action for the .1 channel, but not as much discreet use as I’ve heard with other concerts.  True, the forward and rear stages open up the whole listening event in your living room, giving you a full on potent and dynamic concert experience, but there’s just not a lot of noticeable separation between the speakers.  The clarity is top notch, however, and the overall offering is still solid.

Features **1/2

The disc boasts a few good extras as well, starting with a half hour “Feel the Fever” documentary, which brings you up close and personal with Kyle while dishing out interviews, rehearsals, backstage footage and extra concert clips, while giving you a good idea of just how much work it takes to pull of a show like hers!  There is also a collection of the video screen projections used in the concert, in case you’d like to look at them more closely, and a cleverly presented picture gallery that makes good use of digital effects for a more lively appearance.

Summary:

If you’re a Kylie fan, you need to buy this DVD.  If you’re not a Kylie fan, you need to buy this DVD and become a Kylie fan.  Kylie Fever 2002 is tremendous entertainment from start to finish, and easily one of the year’s best concert discs.