Title: Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2019
Genre: Blues, Rock
Released: Rhino Music
Duration: 02:09:21 + 02:19:45
Video codec: AVC
Audio Codec: DTS-HD MA, LPCM
Video: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 29998 kbps / 1080p / 23.976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio # 1: English / LPCM Audio / 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Audio # 2: English / DTS-HD Master Audio / 5.1 / 48 kHz / 4698 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Size: 33.35 + 38.35 GB
Eric Clapton, one of the world’s outstanding blues/rock guitarists, once again assembled an all-star team of six-string heroes for his fifth Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2019. Organized at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, the two-day concert event raised funds for the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, the therapy facility for alcohol and drug addicts founded by Clapton in 1998
After a six-year hiatus, the festival returned with new energy and outstanding performances, including performances by James Bay, Jeff Beck, Doyle Bramhall II, Gary Clark Jr, Robert Cray, Sheryl Crow, Andy Fairweather Low, Peter Frampton, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, Sonny Landreth, Lianne La Havas, Los Lobos, John Mayer, Keb’ Mo’, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Randolph, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jimmie Vaughan and others
Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2019 is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Rhino Music with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1 (there are a few split screen moments that are in wider aspect ratios). While there are still a few of the focus pulling issues that hobbled Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013, they’re nowhere near as ubiquitous or problematic, and even better this presentation is not littered with the same kind of noise that the previous release had (though there’s just a hint of it a couple of times in the darkest moments). This is by and large a very sharp and well detailed looking transfer, one the preserves potentially problematic elements like the crosshatched pixellated display in back of the players, or even the vibrating strings on any number of axes being strummed or otherwise massaged. There’s really good coverage of the players from a variety of angles. Occasional shots from the audience’s perspective are blocked by eager fans who jump up and the like, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.
Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2019 features DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 tracks, but like a glut of concert fare I’ve reviewed lately, this is another release where the discs have been authored to default to the stereo track, so have your remote handy if you want to experience the music in surround, which is my advice. Aside from just a couple of “technical errors” like near feedback a couple of times (listen as Sheryl Crow begins “Every Day is Winding Road” for one example), this is a sterling track that offers crystal clear fidelity and very nice reproduction of all frequency ranges. Everything from some of the quieter acoustic moments to other, more electric and arguably head banging, performances register with a full bodied tone and generally well prioritized vocals. The surround track preserves the ambience of the arena environment, with crowd noises occasionally spilling over the performers. No subtitles are offered.