Rolling Stones, The: Havana Moon

Featured In Issue 212, December 2016

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Eagle Rock Entertainment
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Paul Dugdale
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DTS HD Lossless 5.1
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March 25, 2016 marked the date of Havana Moon—The Rolling Stones Live In Cuba. This date will go down in both Cuban and Rock 'n' Roll history. The Rolling Stones became the first rock band to play a massive free outdoor concert to hundreds of thousands in Havana. This historic concert was captured by award-winning film director Paul Dugdale. The British rockers' free show attracted a million people in the country's capital city. As the Stones took to the stage under a perfect “Havana Moon” in front of an ecstatic crowd everyone knew that this was a life-changing cultural moment for a country on the brink of change. Mick Jagger welcomed the massive crowd. “Finally the times are changing, Cuba we are so happy to be here” and joked with his bandmates during the performance describing them as “the revolutionary Ronnie Wood, drummer Charlie Che Watts, and compadre Keith Richards.” They played all the big hits including “Jumpin' Jack Flash,” “It's Only Rock 'n' Roll,” “Paint It Black,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Start Me Up,” “Brown Sugar,” “You Can't Always Get What You Want,” and “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction” in the two-hour-plus performance. (Gary Reber)

Special features include five bonus tracks: “Tumbling Dice,” “All Down The Line,” “Before They Make Me Run,” “Miss You,” and “Start Me Up” (HD 28:25); two CDs; and a 20-page color booklet.

The 2.40:1 1080p AVC picture opens with a documentary-styled video montage of Havana. Photographed on film, the color palette is warm and rich, with a natural look. The concert opens with a huge crowd, surrounded with a black night. The stage lighting is nicely dramatic, with bright highlights contrasted against the black environs. The stage backdrop is three large video scenes, which further reflect the light as projected from the camera tracking. The Stones themselves are brightly dressed with strong primaries, which projects vivid colors. Fleshtones are remarkably natural, given the intense stage lighting. The camera pans and isolated perspective are nicely edited, for a spectacular sense of the Stones live in concert. One particular overhead shots of Charlie Watts' drum kit is great. This is a terrific concert video production that will thrill Stones fans. (Gary Reber)

(The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack delivers a wide and deep soundstage and an expansive surround field, which produces a wonderful enveloping soundfield. Fidelity is quite good for a rock concert. Each instrument is identifiable and focused pretty much within a wide center. Charlie Watts’ drum kit punches through nicely, yet never overpowers the guitars or Mick Jagger's singing. The band has great presence, yet the sound is reverent as it projects to the surrounds. Bass is not particularly deep but balanced nicely amongst the overall balance of the guitars, bass, piano, keyboards, saxophones, and background vocals. This is a great rhythm n' blues rock concert in which the music shines. Fans will love the sonics. And the grand finale with a choir introduction to “You Can't Always Get What You Want” and “Satisfaction” is just a great send off. And there are two CDs within the Blu-ray DigiPak for more convenience for listening when there is no Blu-ray player. Of course, then sound is limited to stereo, not surround. (Gary Reber)