First of all, this review includes the bonus DVD, which is only in the set available directly from Burning Shed. I am including it because 1) I'm sure many fans will choose that version and 2) I'm sure used copies will show up here on Amazon eventually. The 2 CDs are the same as available here, or download from other sources.
For those who weren't there: The Incident tour of 2009/10 was divided into 2 halves, The Incident performed in its entirety (then a 20 minute break) followed by a 2nd set of older material. So that is what you get here; disc 1 is "The Incident Live" and disc 2 is the 2nd set (which is a quite different setlist from the show I saw in Atlanta only 3 days earlier).
While it is nice to get live versions of Bonnie the Cat, Dislocated Day and (a LONG waited for) Russia on Ice (1st half only then it goes into the middle section of Anesthetize), I could have done without yet another version of Hatesong, Even Less and Arriving Somewhere but Not Here. Yes they are all excellent songs, but all 3 are already on the DVD Arriving Somewhere and those are (arguably) better versions too!! How about, instead, live versions of Deadwing (it IS a title track after all) or Slave called Shiver or one of the MANY PT songs we do not have official live versions of yet?!?
Also, sorry T. Griffin but daledebil is partially right, the sound isn't all that, especially compared to what we have come to expect from this band. It's about on par with the soundboard-recorded benefit CD "Atlanta" the band released a couple years ago. And frankly, compared to the DTS sound on the other 2 PT DVDs, these CDs are downright disappointing!! There is NO WAY I'd ever consider mixing these tracks in with MP3 rips from those aforementioned DVDs, the difference in sound quality is just TOO drastic. The high range in particular seems very muffled, almost like my treble was turned down, or the tweeter protection was tripped. But I will mention that songs 5-7 on the 2nd CD are from a different concert and do seem to sound a little better!
(And I also have to say.....come on daledebil........only 1 star?!?!? REALLY?!?!)
Now, on to the bonus DVD that's available from Burning Shed.......well, I can say it sounds a little better than the CDs. Which is REALLY weird considering it's the SAME concert and same recording!! I can only guess they put more love and care into mixing the DVD than the CDs!
Other than that I am quite sad to admit it is also disappointing. Not only is it just a regular DVD (I e-mailed Burning Shed and there are no plans to release a Bluray), its only soundtrack is stereo; no surround sound?!?!?! WTF? After the magnificence of the DTS sound on the 2 previous DVDs (and DTS HD master on the Anesthetize BluRay), offering stereo as the only choice is inexcusable! Oh well, at least it looks good!
But, considering Arriving Somewhere is 5-star EXCELLENT and the Anesthetize BluRay is one of THE gold standards of concert DVDs (and the one I reach for when I want to show off my system) this one can't be called anything other than a disappointment in comparison.
Also, be aware that the DVD is ONLY the Incident set, i.e. the 1st CD. None of the tracks from the 2nd set are on the DVD. Since (the 1st 4 tracks anyway) are from the EXACT SAME SHOW......WHY did they choose to not offer them on the video? I would have loved to SEE Russia on Ice and Bonnie the Cat live as well, not just hear them. And, if they wanted to keep the conceptual idea of The Incident intact, they could have at least offered them as a bonus section on the DVD.
I'm afraid I have to agree with daledebil again in wondering if this was released just to generate some holiday $$. They certainly didn't put the care and perfection into this product that we are used to seeing from this band!
Doesn't really matter in the end though, they are still my favorite current band, so I'd still buy it even having looked into the future and read my own review! There's just no way I'm going to turn into some bewildered fanboy and give this 5 stars just because I love the band. (For the record I also thought The Incident was their weakest album in a while. In Absentia, Deadwing and Fear of a Blank Planet were all better.)
If this had of been a full DVD with both sets (and offered as a BluRay) AND had the sound and production quality of the past releases, it would be 5 stars all the way. But, subtracting 1 star for the subpar sound and another for the inexcusable shortcomings of the DVD, leaves it a 3 star release. The first ever from me for a Porcupine Tree product!
(INSTANT EDIT - come to think of it, I got King's X DVD Live Love in London last year and it had this same problem. SAME show but the DVD sounded a lot better than the CDs!! So now I have 2 examples of this....strange, truly strange.)