(Edited 12/09/08 - I've just purchased the Blu-Ray version and all I have to say is WOW what a MAJOR improvement in video quality over the SD DVD. No black bars, the aspect ratio is fixed, and the picture quality looks like an HD live broadcast. The blu-ray edition is the DEFINITIVE version to buy!)
I've been a big fan of Ricky Martin for many years now and I'm so pleased that the "Black & White" tour is available for everyone to see on DVD.
While there are a few Ricky Martin DVDs on the market this is Ricky's first actual concert tour show available on DVD (clocking in at 100 minutes) and the best stage show that Ricky has ever put together. I've seen many of Ricky's performances on stage, tv, and video and this concert is by far his most polished work.
The concert spans through 5 different "acts" (tribal, romance, revoluccion, & rave + encore) as Ricky performs many of his greatest hits such as "Por Arriba, Por Abajo," "Bella," "Livin' La Vida Loca," "The Cup Of Life," and "Tal Vez". La Mari from the group Chambao also makes an appearance to perform the duet "Tu Recuerdo" as well.
Ricky also shows off some nice capoeira moves along with a little bit of choreographed dancing, plays the congo, with some great sets and costumes throughout the show. I was also impressed by how much Ricky's vocals have improved since his first album. He has always had some great songs but I never felt that he performed ballads with sufficient passion. However it has become very apparent that he has taken his vocals to a higher level and now I can totally "feel" Ricky when he's singing songs such as "Fuego De Noche, Nieve De Dia."
To those of you who purchased the CD/DVD pack of "Black & White" (as I did) - YOU HAVE BEEN RIPPED OFF!
The DVD in that CD/DVD combo set DOES NOT CONTAIN THE ENTIRE CONCERT! It is merely a condensed version of the show and I find it very neglectful of Sony not to indicate this on the packaging.
For the ENTIRE concert along with a short backstage documentary, this is the DVD to buy.
While the show itself deserves FIVE STARS I must take one back due to the mediocre production value of this DVD. Compared to another Sony concert DVD release (Shakira: Oral Fixation Tour) the video quality looks dull and compressed. For whatever reason, the production company did not even author this show in 16X9 anamorphic widescreen. Because of this, Ricky (who is fairly tall at 6'1") looks shorter and slightly pudgy in wide camera angles on my 32" Samsung LCD.
I certainly hope that Sony will fix this in a future Ricky Martin concert DVD and give us Ricky as he was meant to be seen on a widescreen TV!
Overall, I recommend this DVD because of Ricky's fantastic showmanship and continuing evolution as a music artist. Ricky fans who did not see the Black & White Tour in person should especially buy this because it is virtually the same show that I saw at Madison Square Garden.