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SHINE: THE HITS LIVE DVD (2000)
Shine: The Hits Live - Click to view! If you can't sell 'em, give 'em away. That at least seems to be Sparrow's marketing philosophy with the Newsboys' Live One Night in Pennsylvania concert video. Distributed to VHS not long after the studio release of Step Up to the Microphone, no one seemed to notice (or be even remotely interested) in watching a live Newsboys video. With the advent of DVD technology, however, Sparrow decided to give it a second shot and offer a free disc to everyone who purchased a copy of Shine: The Hits.

Was it really that bad? Truthfully, no. If you've never been to a Newsboys concert before, then this DVD might be your ticket to see why the boys from down under have one of the most coveted shows ever. Since the video was released prior to Love Liberty Disco, there's very little of the Newsboys cheese that shows up on later albums, and all of the songs are performed in the high energy, live environment that you'd expect from a concert. The infamous dual-rotating drum solo even has its own special segment, featuring Peter Furler and Duncan Phillips lashing out with spontaneous percussion talent. Overall, it's a well-orchestrated concert including some live Newsboys favorites: "Shine," "Take Me to Your Leader," "Woohoo," and "Breakfast" are a mere handful among the fifteen song set list.

Normally a free, live concert DVD wouldn't be such a bad deal, but now for the negatory. Seeing as this DVD was a direct port from VHS, video quality is poor, and a lot of the concert looks fuzzy and unmastered. There are several areas in the film where the DVD will randomly freeze and/or skip for a couple of seconds, not to mention a couple of spots where the video suddenly blanks out, leaving the last few moments of a song only in audio. Furthermore, there are no special features whatsoever included. At least a commentary, interview, or even a "making of" featurette would have been enjoyable, but instead we are only given four Newsboys music videos as compensation: "Entertaining Angels," "Take Me to Your Leader," "Shine," and "I Cannot Get You Out of My System." The entire package is presented in Dolby Digital Sound as a nice touch, but without the video to match we have a much lessened concert experience.

As a free offer, there can't be any complaining about Live One Night in Pennsylvania. The killer song lineup and live footage will undoubtedly provide fans with a memorable hour-and-a-half viewing experience. Unfortunately, if you plan on dishing out fifteen bucks to secure your copy, you'd better be among only the most devoted of Newsboys fans as it's simply not worth your money. However, I hear there's a great DVD out there entitled 11ive...
- Rick Foux
February 2003
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