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DVD Review: The Doobie Brothers: Live At The Greek Theatre 1982 Farewell Tour

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This DVD is filmed in Berkley, California’s Greek Theatre in 1982 during The Doobie Brothers’ last date on their Farewell Tour. The band plays all their best loved hits and wows the crowd with their musical inspiration.

This 120 minute musical compilation gives you sixteen of their best loved songs and five bonus tracks. The viewer is treated to songs like “Listen To The Music,” “What A Fool Believes,” “China Grove,” “Taking It To The Streets,” and many others not as popular on the radio, but beautifully rendered nonetheless.  Additionally, there is a bonus feature included in which the band members share themselves through interviews.

Founding member, vocalist Tom Johnston joins John Hartman, Tiran Porter and Michael Hossack for their final rendition of “Listen To The Music,” giving the viewer the best performance of the band’s history as each performed with pure raw emotion. You cannot but feel melancholic knowing this would be the last time they would perform with such grandeur.

The promotional sleeve included with the DVD has many band pictures scattered throughout as well as some history about their last concert.  It also mentions how MTV hit television like a storm, bringing an end to classic rock and bands such as the Doobie Brothers that brought us their brand of music.

The music is powerful and well-performed, with the energy of the audience feeding the band. Overall the DVD gives us almost two hours of musical musings by a group that delivers the tunes. Not only can you feel the excitement of the performance, but you can feel the background energy.  The audience is caught between wanting to enjoy themselves while knowing this would be their last live enjoyment of a band that makes you want to dance. Even though the band did rejoin five years later, the magic that they once shared was left at this concert. It was the epitome of all that they had ever done or would ever do again.

You can hear the difference of writing styles between Johnston, whose style was more a boogie hillbilly beat, while Michael McDonald (who later took over as lead) brings a jazz/R&B back beat to their songs. McDonald ended up taking the band to their first ever Grammy, putting the name of the band on the lips of musical listeners everywhere. While both writing styles worked for the band, it’s their style of playing that makes them top notch performers.

The digital appearance of the performance is phenomenal. It was filmed in the 1980s, where video technology was lacking; therefore sometimes reissued performances from the time were gritty and grainy in their DVD upgrade. In this instance, this isn’t the case, and the sound is supreme without the scratching and hissing of sound bites of the time.

This is an excellent music DVD to add to your collection, it truly packs a wonderful performance!

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