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Blu-ray Music Review: The Black Crowes – Warpaint Live

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Having great confidence in the album, likely because they had heard it as opposed to simply passing judgment from one new song and the band’s catalog (say like David Peisner, formerly of Maxim), The Black Crowes toured in support of Warpaint and performed it in its entirety. This Blu-ray captures their concert at The Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, California on March 20, 2008, less then three weeks after Warpaint’s release, which was was previously listened to and reviewed here.

 

Playing the album in order, the concert starts with the joyous “Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution.” When Chris Robinson requests people “come join the jubilee,” it makes for a perfect start to the festivities. He sounds in fine form whether belting out a rocker or delivering a ballad. Back-up singers Charity White and Mona Lisa Young make for great accompaniment.

 

The presence of Adam MacDougall’s organ and Sven Pipien’s bass really come through on Evergreen’s arrangement. Chris strapped on an electric guitar to augment his brother Rich and Luther Dickinson for “Wee Who See The Deep.” Dickinson switches to mandolin for the country rocker “Locust Street.” During the lead in on “Movin’ on Down the Line,” MacDougall’s organ sounds like its underwater, reminiscent of John Paul Jones’ playing on Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter.” Steve Gorman comes out from behind his kit wearing a marching bass drum and drum major regalia for a rendition of Reverend Charlie Jackson’s inspirational gospel number “God’s Got It.”

 

After taking a break, they return for a short second set. They open with Delaney, Bonnie & Friends “Poor Elijah – Tribute To Johnson,” followed by two slow, bluesy songs that flow well together from The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion era: B-side “Darling Of The Underground Press” and “Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye.” They create a Bramlett bookend with Eric Clapton’s “Don’t Know Why,” which Delaney co-wrote, and leave the stage. They come back to encore with The Rolling Stones “Torn And Frayed” and close out the night with a grand flourish with Moby Grape’s “Hey Grandma.” Chris played acoustic guitar on the former and electric guitar on the latter.

 

No slight intended to anyone else but the main highlight of getting to see the Crowes live in action is witnessing the brilliant talents on display by new member guitarist Dickinson whose contributions have really propelled their sound to great heights.

 

The video is presented in 1080i High Definition Widescreen with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The band plays under a haze of stage smoke and shifting multi-colored lights, contributing to why the details lose some of their sharpness at times. There is some occasional video noise, but not enough to ruin the viewing experience.

 

The audio is defaulted to LPCM Stereo and is also available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS HD Master Audio. The DTS offers a good dynamic range while the bottom end is well delivered through the subwoofer. The audience can be heard well in the surround speakers as the show opens and in between songs

 

Warpaint Live offers a fantastic night of music for Crowes fans, or at least 103 minutes depending on when you watch it. The Blu-ray captures the sights and sounds of a Crowes concert. The only thing missing is the (herbal) smells.

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About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS