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Shelter From The Storm
featuring: U2, Foo Fighters, Mary J. Blige, Kayne West, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys, Rod Stewart, Sheryl Crow, Dixie Chicks, Randy Newman, Paul Simon, Garth Brooks, Neil Young, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, and Jack Nicholson

54 minutes (E) 2005
20th Century Fox DVD Region 0 retail

RATING: 5/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
Shelter From The Storm is a record of the benefit concert held on the 9th September 2005 for the victims of Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans. In between the musical numbers are appeals to camera from various Hollywood stars.

The songs played seem to have been picked for their appropriateness, though in some cases that's dubious at best. The Foo Fighters make a decent fist of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Born On The Bayou, but apart from its Southern-US subject matter, you wonder at its appropriateness. Far more low-key and effective is Randy Newman, who begins the concert solo, accompanying himself on a piano, with his Louisiana 1927, a moving song about a past great flood. Equally restrained is Paul Simon, who does Take Me To The Mardi Gras with just his own acoustic guitar as backup. The prize for the greatest lapse of taste goes to Rod Stewart, who sings People Get Ready. There's nothing wrong with that song as such, but in its present context it seems dubious: is he saying that the people who died have gone to a better place? Politics, especially President Bush's handling of the crisis, is deliberately kept out of the proceedings, but this number came over as rather complacent uplift. The Hollywood stars making telethon-style appeals direct to camera, are sincere and solemn to a fault, their earnestness likely to be trying to someone with any sense of irony.

This DVD gets half marks due to some decently performed music, but it doesn't seem that much effort has been put into this release. There are no extras at all, not even a scene selection menu: all there is on this disc apart from the concert are the FBI and Interpol warnings at the start. The disc is NTSC format and 4:3. Almost uniquely in this day and age for a professionally recorded concert, the only soundtrack is Dolby digital 2.0 - not even a PCM track.

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