Today on Blogcritics
Home » Music » Music DVD Review: 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts

Music DVD Review: 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concerts

Please Share...Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0Share on TumblrShare on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

I didn’t have the highest of expectations for this DVD, since musicians don’t always turn in their strongest performances at these type of events, and all of the diverse collaborations thrown together for this event certainly had the potential to go terribly awry. Well, as I sit here still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor, I can assure you that neither was the case here. The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Concerts DVD is easily one of the best concert DVDs of 2010.

This DVD trifecta includes over four hours’ worth of live performances, so it would be futile for me to try and cover every performance with this review. I will start by saying that I enthusiastically enjoyed every single performance on these DVDs. I recognize that not everyone out there has as varied a musical appetite as I do, but this excellent package oh so wonderfully demonstrates why you would be a fool not to. The queen of soul, followed by the kings of metal, followed by the princes of pop? Are you effing kidding me!?

After an impassioned opening monologue from Tom Hanks, one of the concert’s executive producers, Jerry Lee Lewis single-handedly kicks off the proceedings with a solo performance of “Great Balls Of Fire,” which ends with him defiantly kicking his piano bench to the ground. The old timer may be sounding a bit frail these days, but you could still see the ol’ rock & roll fire in his eyes. Crosby, Stills, & Nash take it from there, and along with some help from a few of their old “No Nukes” cronies, they already had me mumbling, “Man, it just don’t get much better than this!” But, oh yes, it most certainly did.

Just look at the other headliners; Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon (& Garfunkel), U2, Metallica, Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen—not too shabby. I heard that Led Zeppelin and Bob Dylan were both invited and both declined the offer. And where the hell is that Zeppelin reunion concert DVD!? And the reunion tour, for that matter? A-holes!

For such a long and musically diverse concert, I was pleasantly surprised to find every performance engrossing. Not a single dud amongst them. Absolute highlights were Stevie Wonder doing “Higher Ground” and “Roxanne” with Sting, and “Superstition” with Jeff Beck; Simon & Garfunkel still finding perfect harmony together; Little Anthony and the Imperials’ amazing a cappella performance of “Two People in the World;” Metallica backing Lou Reed on “Sweet Jane;” and U2 leading “Gimme Shelter,” featuring this Mick Jagger guy, along with Fergie (from the Black Eyed Pee Stains), who absolutely rips the roof off the joint. And she looked so frigging hot, you’d think she had stepped right out of the pages of Heavy Metal magazine. I’d love to see her front a real rock band someday.

U2 were a bit self-indulgent playing six of their own songs, but they really outdid themselves backing Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith on their 1978 classic, “Because the Night.” Although I have always just been a casual Paul Simon fan, he certainly showed why he sits at the front of the hall of fame class with his outstanding performances this night. Do you believe he will turn 70 this year? His performance of “Here Comes the Sun,” with David Crosby and Graham Nash, was one of the most beautiful renditions I have ever heard. I better stop here or I could easily get carried away.

The production quality of this package thankfully lives up to the performances contained within. There is nothing worse than having a killer performance and mediocre production, or vice versa. No worries here though. The set comes with both Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and Dolby Stereo mixes and both of them sound exceptional. The widescreen image is very clean and vibrant, and Joel Gallen’s direction was about as good as it gets. You can really lose yourself for a couple of hours in these DVDs and not even realize it.

Don’t let the higher than average price of this DVD deter you from buying it immediately, as it did me for a few weeks, because it is definitely worth the price, considering the amount and quality of the material you get. The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Concerts is now one the best concert DVDs I have in my collection.

Track List:

Tom Hanks:
Introduction

Jerry Lee Lewis:
Great Balls of Fire

Crosby, Stills & Nash:
Woodstock
Almost Cut My Hair
Love Has No Pride (with Bonnie Raitt)
The Pretender (with Jackson Browne)
Love the One You’re With (with James Taylor)

Stevie Wonder:
For Once in My Life
The Tracks of My Tears (with Smokey Robinson)
The Way You Make Me Feel (with John Legend)
The Thrill Is Gone (with B.B. King)
Higher Ground/Roxanne (with Sting)
Superstition (with Jeff Beck)

Paul Simon:
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
You Can Call Me Al
Here Comes the Sun (with David Crosby and Graham Nash)
The Wanderer (with Dion DiMucci)
Two People in the World – Little Anthony and the Imperials

Simon & Garfunkel:
The Sounds of Silence
The Boxer
Bridge over Troubled Water

Aretha Franklin:
Baby I Love You
Don’t Play That Song
Chain of Fools (with Annie Lennox)

Metallica:
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Sweet Jane (with Lou Reed)
Iron Man/Paranoid (with Ozzy Osbourne)
All Day and All of the Night (with Ray Davies)
Enter Sandman

U2:
Vertigo
Magnificent
Because the Night (with Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith)
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (with Bruce Springsteen)
Gimme Shelter (with Mick Jagger and Fergie)
Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of (with Mick Jagger)
Beautiful Day

Jeff Beck:
People Get Ready (with Sting)
Let Me Love You Baby (with Buddy Guy)
Foxy Lady (with Billy Gibbons)
A Day in the Life

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band:
Hold On I’m Comin’ (with Sam Moore)
Soul Man (with Sam Moore)
The Ghost of Tom Joad (with Tom Morello)
Fortunate Son (with John Fogerty)
Pretty Woman (with John Fogerty)
Jungleland
A Fine Fine Boy (with Darlene Love)
New York State of Mind (with Billy Joel)
Born to Run (with Billy Joel)
Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher (with Darlene Love, John Fogerty, Sam Moore, Billy Joel and Tom Morello)

Bonus Material:

Crosby, Stills & Nash:
Mexico (with James Taylor)
Teach Your Children (with Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and James Taylor)

Stevie Wonder:
Uptight
I Was Made to Love Her
Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours
Mercy Mercy Me (with John Legend)

Simon & Garfunkel:
Mrs. Robinson/Not Fade Away

Metallica:
Turn the Page
Iron Man/Paranoid (with Ozzy Osbourne) – unedited version

U2:
Mysterious Ways
Where Is the Love/One (with the Black Eyed Peas)

Jeff Beck:
Freeway Jam
Big Block

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band:
London Calling (with Tom Morello)
Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher (with Darlene Love, John Fogerty, Sam Moore, Billy Joel and Tom Morello)

Ratings:
Performance – 10/10
Production – 10/10

Powered by

About Paul Roy

  • Costello

    “Black Eyed Pee Stains”?

    Had a really good review going until that. Rather pathetic

  • Paul Roy

    Nice to know you have a sense of humor Costello. It was my quick way of saying they had no business being on stage with all those real artists. Stick to the MTV awards show.

  • Costello

    If that’s supposed to be a demonstration of your sense of humor, stick to the playground

  • Paul Roy

    You should probably avoid my reviews from now on because, heaven forbid, I’ve been know to use the occasional swear word too.

  • Costello

    You mistake my being a prude with my finding you to have a piss-poor sense of humor

  • Paul Roy

    Hope you didn’t fail to see the humor in calling my sense of humor “piss”-poor