There's a plethora of live Sheryl Crow DVDs out there. Off the top of my head I can think of Rockin' the Globe Live, Wildflower Tour, and Live From London, and I'm sure there are others. So why should you buy this one? Well, I'm not 100% convinced you should. I mean, it is different, coming as it does from the US Soundstage series. But will anyone outside the die-hard Crow fanbase be interested?
For those who don't know, the PBS series Soundstage predated music television as we know it, in its original run from 1974-1985. Then in 2003, the series returned in brand, spanking new high definition format. Joe Thomas, who instigated the revival, says, "What I envisioned was bringing the entire audience to the 10th row and building a stage commensurate with what you would see at an arena show instead of asking the artist to alter their performance for a smaller venue." Which seems to be a good thing in the cold, clinical world of the 21st century arena show, especially with a roots/country rocker like Sheryl Crow.
And, to be fair, her band put on a spirited show. Which is just as well, as the early numbers see Ms Crow appear positively disinterested in what's going on. Maybe it's the hits format of the Soundstage show that sees perfunctory run-throughs of "My Favorite Mistake", "The First Cut Is The Deepest", and "Leavin' Las Vegas". Maybe it's the nature of her music, good though it is, that doesn't really allow for peaks and troughs.
Luckily, things do pick up in the middle; she gets a bit chattier, starts to smile a bit, and by the time you reach "All I Wanna Do", "Soak Up The Sun", and "Everyday Is A Winding Road", you actually get a sense of enjoyment coming from the performers, something that makes all the difference when you're watching a live show. A strangely downbeat running order towards the end sees a somewhat dour close to proceedings with even a bash at the Nick Lowe song "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love & Understanding" lacking excitement.