Various Artists

Woodstock 1999 [Video]

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The heavily-edited, VHS version of Woodstock 99 comes to DVD, presenting two-and-a-half hours of music from a fairly diverse lineup, including Jewel, Megadeth, Elvis Costello, Insane Clown Posse, and Lit. Thankfully -- or perhaps willfully -- ignoring the sexist and violent acts that ruined the festival at the 11th hour, Woodstock 99 tries to focus on the music, featuring one song apiece from each of the show's acts. Though the choices end up being somewhat predictable (Bush's "Everything Zen," Live's "I Alone"), the disc includes enough artists that there is something for almost everyone's tastes. James Brown's "Sex Machine (Get up I Feel Like Being A)," Jamiroquai's "Black Capricorn Day," G. Love & Special Sauce's "Cold Beverage," and the Brian Setzer Orchestra's "Rock This Town" rank among the best performances and show off Woodstock '99's admittedly great sound. Not surprisingly, festival veterans like Rusted Root and the Dave Matthews Band also stand up well to the live setting, though the Chemical Brothers' "Block Rockin' Beats" wilts slightly from being transplanted from the dancefloor to 90 degree heat. Of the metal acts included on the bill, Rage Against the Machine, Korn, Creed, and Limp Bizkit all give strong, if somewhat monotonous, performances. Even though it's over two hours long, at times Woodstock '99 feels like it's just skimming the surface of the show and occasionally seems somewhat rushed and scattered. That the DVD is basically just a direct transfer of the VHS edition (with the addition of a photo gallery) and uses little of the format's extra features -- such as multiple angles, biographies, or discographies -- which is bound to disappoint fans hoping for a more fleshed-out video version of the concert. But for casual fans who appreciate the comforts of home more than the total Woodstock experience, Woodstock '99 delivers plenty of highlights.

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