Live albums serve a weird function in the world of musical recordings. Attempting to capture the essence of live performance, but without the visuals, the atmosphere, the alcohol etc. renders the endeavour a far from adequate substitute.
Indeed, the fact that most music goers will happily pay upwards of 3 times the cost of an album to see a decent act “in the flesh” stands as testament to my point. That’s a very considerable premium (or discount depending on which direction you’re coming from), especially as the album can be played multiple times.
This double-CD from the Black Crowes has had numerous plays around our place, but it certainly doesn’t capture the excitement of seeing these guys live. There isn’t the electricity in the air, the sweatiness, the lighting, the volume, or the hilarious throwback attire.
The album capture some giggle-worthy on-stage soliloquies from the decidedly spacey Chris Robinson (especially his one about the “Cosmos”). And they deliver a setlist heavy with their best tracks. They are still using those damn backup singers… so I refuse to overly endorse this release. But if you don’t wanna fork out the big bucks to see them on stage, you could do worse things…
File under: Live but not always kicking