VideoAlthough these are live concerts the video quality is as good as it could be. Both concerts occur during the night so lens flare from lighting and often seen dark areas as various cameras pan across the crowd and stage are evident but this is to be expected. Other than that the video footage is clear with very little aliasing or artifacts. It certainly isn't a pristine 16:9 enhanced transfer but is more than adequate for live concert style footage.
The footage is primarily of the stage and performers but sometimes pans to view the audience and sometimes even the venue itself (castles and such). There is no other video footage other than the concerts themselves.
The transfer rate sits on a rock solid 9 to 10MB/s throughout both concerts.
AudioThe audio quality of both live performances is excellent. I have tried both the PCM Stereo and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks and for once the quality of both tracks are equally very crisp. I usually find with most concert DVD's that I prefer listening to the PCM Stereo track rather than the Dolby Digital because for me the clarity of the audio is much better. In this case there was very little in it (possibly due to the fact that the rear surrounds are hardly used at all).
The two concerts are basically the two studio albums Tubular Bells II and III verbatim (simply live performances). The songs are in the correct album order and they even sound almost identical to the studio albums. The only deviations I detected were the few extra tracks like an introduction and some reprises at the end. On Tubular Bells II I also noticed that the "last" song (Moonshine) was done quite differently to that which is on the studio album (they had a little fun with it).
ExtrasThere just aren't any at all. It probably would have been nice to see something like a bio on Mike Oldfield and his discography and maybe the words to the songs, etc.
OverallThis is a flipper disk but since each side is actually a different concert I figure that in reality we are getting a bonus. They could have stuck all this material on two separate DVD's and charged us double but instead you get more than two whole albums worth of material for much less than the two CD's and the crystal clear video as a bonus.
This isn't a rock concert in fact the presentation is much more reminiscent of a classical symphony. There isn't any exciting action to speak of and Mike doesn't even speak really. What you do get is more a presentation of his studio albums - there is even a conductor for the "orchestra". I'm not sure I've ever seen that many different guitars, guitarists and keyboards on one stage before :-). You do get to see Mike play numerous different instruments though.
If you are a fan of Mike Oldfield this DVD is an absolute must - it is primarily the music we are after and the video footage is a bonus - as is seeing Mike Oldfield in the flesh (so to speak).
Some things to look out for are; the guy playing the water filled glasses in Tubular Bells III (see near the start of the first track); Richard Branson in the crowd in Tubular Bells III (see Secrets and Far Above the Clouds); the timing to have the bells on Big Ben chime at Ten O'Clock exactly at the end of the last song of the album (Far Above the Clouds); and of course the Tubular Bells :-).