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Live in Glasgow / [DVD] [Import]
Outgoing (as of 2007) British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a onetime rock musician and promoter, once said that if he could sing like Paul Rodgers, he might never have entered politics. Whether that would have been music's gain and Parliament's loss is debatable, but Live in Glasgow is further evidence that Rodgers is a worthy role model. While he went on to stardom and the commercial big time with Bad Company and the Firm (with Jimmy Page), and more recently fronted the re-constituted Queen in Freddie Mercury's stead (a strange pairing that worked well nonetheless), many would argue that Rodgers' best band was his first: Free, the late '60s-early '70s blues-rock quartet that was a model of spare soul combined with a melodic pop sensibility, with Rogers' vocals leading the way. Rodgers apparently agrees; no less than nine songs in this 80-minute concert are drawn from the Free catalogue, including not only their one big hit, "All Right Now," but also a number of more obscure but still excellent tunes like "Wishing Well," "I'll Be Creepin'," and "Be My Friend." His band, too, does a pretty decent job of reviving the Free spirit; guitarist Howard Leese, formerly of Heart, fairly channels the late Paul Kossoff on several solos, albeit with less restraint. There are four songs from the Bad Company era ("Can't Get Enough" and "Feel Like Makin' Love" are among them, natch) and just one, "Radioactive," from the Firm (probably no coincidence, as that band was neither Page's nor Rodgers' finest moment). But this is all about the singer, who, if anything, has improved with age. Rodgers can belt the blues, but never goes overboard; he can deliver plenty of grit and passion, but has an appealing tender side as well. And "Warboys," the one new song featured here, indicates that while Tony Blair may be done, Paul Rodgers is still a ways from the end of the road. --Sam Graham
Rodgers is flawless and I hope I look as fit as he does when I'm nearing 60 years old (I don't look that good now). The band is excellent, especially Leese and Denglar's solos. I only wish they included my favorite Bad Company song Rock Steady and let Denglar play the opening riffs.
The song selection is heavy on Free material but that's fine because we have In Concert: Merchants of Cool for the Bad Company stuff so it's great seeing the underappreciated Free songs get new life. The essential Free are all pretty much here, Alright Now, Wishing Well, the Stealer, the Hunter, Ride a Pony, Be My Friend, I'm a Mover and my favorite Fire and Water. Once you this DVD and are interested in seeing the original Free you need to get Free Forever.
Finally, another thing I loved about this show is that's about the music (sorry for the cliche) but it's five guys in jeans just playing music. There some very effective basic lighting and no fancy graphic or elaborate stage production. The band is a bunch of guys I could relate to, no over abundance of tatoos or piercings (if any). Just great music.
Keep it going Paul. You're the best and lets get a new cd out soon. We need more classic music from you. You can count on my advanced order as soon as it's available.
It was great to hear the Free and Bad Co. tunes. They were all done with excellence. I was impressed when Paul played piano on "Bad Company" and was able to multitask both parts so well. The interviews with the band were short, but enjoyable. I could not understand the interviewer who interviewed Paul Rodgers, but I could understand Paul with no problem. I thought his comment about Steely Dan was amusing and surprising.
This Blu-Ray concert is outstanding and fans of Paul Rodgers' projects should not miss it.